How do I always stop wanting a dessert after lunch and dinner?
Last Updated: 04/19/2022 at 2:19am
Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.
Top Rated Answers
Sugar is an addictive thing! (literally) So if you are used to eating sugar regularly, your body is going to crave it. There's not really a way around that. It will take some time ( and some patience on your part) for your body to detox and adjust to having less sugar. It can be helpful to replace your desserts with healthier ones (like a piece of fruit or dark chocolate instead of a slice of chocolate cake), or with smaller portions (a quarter slice of chocolate cake instead of a whole slice). If you don't keep desserts around your living/eating space, then it makes it much more difficult to give into a craving. It can also be useful to remember the reasons why you'd like to have dessert less often, and to have some ideas for distraction or health focus when your mind or body is telling you that IT NEEDS THE SUGAR NOW. I have a friend who calls that the "sugar dragon"....so then when that craving comes up she can be like "not right now sugar dragon", which can be a nice way to acknowledge that those cravings are there and happening but not give in to them. In time (try to give it at least a few weeks/a month), your body will know that it is okay without that much sugar and will be content with not having the desserts. Hope that helps!
Hi! - What do you usually have for dessert? Is there a way to switch it? Things like yoghurt instead of icecream or popcorn instead of chips can be small choices that can help - Distract yourself! Bit hard to get dessert if you're caught up in a movie or chatting with a friend. - Don't buy it! If you don't have it in the pantry/fridge then you're less likely to want it - Fill up at lunch and dinner so that you don't have to be hungry - Find lots of other choices so that you can head towards that first. For example, if I'm feeling peckish for something sweet I'll try and have something healthy first.
I have felt the same way! I'm seeing a nutritionist and she recommended an interesting strategy to me. I am definitely not a nutritionist, so take this with a big grain of salt. She had me pick one treat (Oreos) that I carry around with me in my purse all the time. She gave me permission, and told me to give myself permission, to eat them whenever I want, so long as I put them on a plate and eat them mindfully (slowly and with no distractions, taking the time to notice and enjoy the taste and texture). I've only eaten them once. She said that removing the forbidden nature of the sweet would help to make it less tempting. Honestly, I've found that I mostly want the treat when I'm stressed out about something and don't have the time to sit down with a plate of cookies. It's made me realize that if I'm not really going to enjoy the treat, there's not much point in eating it. Not that I've totally given up treats, but it's definitely helped me to re-frame them. The flip side is, like others have said, that sugar is addicting. It may be that you feel you want sugar after meals because that's what you're used to and it's a habitual way to end a meal. Powering through a few days without (or with a substitute like tea or fruit) may make it feel easier on the other side.
maybe remind yourself that you do not need the Dessert. try and set yourself a goal. for example if you don't have a dessert for so many amount of weeks. You can treat yourself (not necessarily with food)
Dessert doesn't have to be bad for you! You're entitled to have something 'sweet' now and then - but start looking at healthy dessert recipes that will give you heaps of good nutrients and not give you a sense of guilt! For example - healthy energy balls, fresh fruit, choc-avocado mousse... The list is endless of healthy desserts you can make - have a look on google and see what you can find :)
Try drinking water. It will fill you up, and can sometimes quench your cravings (because dehydration can induce cravings). You can also try to have a small portion of it to subdue your craving a tiny bit. If you notice dessert cravings being a long time thing, also check your sleep schedule. Having an unregulated circadian system can also increase your desire for cravings. In addition, trying to substitute fruit for dessert may also help in satisfying your sweet tooth. However, do try to remember that it's okay to treat yourself to dessert! Quitting cold turkey on something doesn't always work well. Making gradual changes yields the best results.
I have always had a big sweet tooth, so I typically want to end my meals with some sort of dessert. One thing I found really helpful was to substitute a more traditional dessert like cookies, cake, and ice cream for something that is still sweet, but also healthier and more nutritious. I like to have fruit after my lunch because it satisfies that sweet craving. I still like to treat myself to desserts, but I try to wait a little while instead of eating dessert immediately after dinner. I find that by doing this, I sometimes am not even craving a dessert once some time has passed, or just need something small and light.
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