Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Post-meal cravings

As Day 10 off sugar comes to an end, some of the jitteriness has been fading and I'm feeling more settled in my body. But one curious and unpleasant thing is happening more and more. I really crave sugar after a meal.

I've not been a lifelong dessert eater. I've preferred my sugar on an empty stomach, more buzz for the buck. And in my growing up years, we seldom had dessert as my mother was always watching her weight. I do eat dessert occasionally out with friends, but I much prefer late afternoon sugar or late night sugar, when the fullness of the meal has worn off.

But I find myself restless and unhappy and craving right after lunch, no matter what it is. A sandwich of meat and cheese. Chicken and potatoes and veggies. Soup and salad. It doesn't matter what or how much but all I can focus on is sugar: chocolate, a cookie, something.

I've done a little research on the Internet and can't find anything yet that explains the phenomenon. It's the time of day, post-lunch and a little bit post-dinner, that I really, truly NEED something. I don't know if it's a blood sugar issue or all in my brain chemistry but I don't like it.

Anybody else experienced this?


Thomas said...

Here is my theory on the cravings. Many people who eat lots of sugar have some insulin resistance or at least some over activity of insulin secretion. So when we eat we secrete insulin in excess of what we will need for the meal. This extra insulin drives our craving. When our systems get used to the decreased sugars and we stop over secreting the cravings will lessen. It could also be that our old pattern of feeding on sugars has habituated our systems to look for sugars when we eat and insulin goes up. Maybe it is a combo of these two or something totally different.

I've been without sugar for 3 weeks now and the cravings come and go. The cravings are a bit better than they were and I expect that I will have good days and bad. My energy is getting better.

sorella said...

It's that "crack that needs filling." Oh, yes, I am familiar with that. Leslie and I have talked a lot about it. In both of our families, there was always dessert after dinner when we were growing up. Now that I look back on it, it was one of the few culturally-approved ways to experience pleasure in that oh-so-Puritan Midwest culture. I think a lot about Europeans, and how they don't deny themselves the occasional little sweet treat -- but they probably enjoy it, savor it, are satisfied by it. They also have a much healthier relationship in general to pleasure than we Americans do. So there is a lot to consider when pondering that post-meal craving.