You know how it goes. You're feeling full after a nice meal and then moments later you're actually in the mood to eat more, but only if it's dessert. This usually happens after dinner however it can happen following any meal where something sweet is involved.

According to Henry Ford Health, there's science behind what has been named 'dessert stomach' and it's a real phenomenon. I know I'm not alone when it comes to craving dessert not long after I feel too full to eat anything else like a small scoop of ice cream or a couple of cookies.

Ice cream

Personally, I'm surprised by my ability to eat dessert after a full meal. Maybe not immediately after but within 30 minutes if not sooner, all of a sudden, no matter how full I am, the only thing that does sound delicious to my full tummy is something sweet, especially if it's staring at me in the face.

This idea of having a ‘dessert stomach’ is very real. Of course, it’s not a literal second stomach. But introducing a new food, especially something sweet after a savory meal, can override satiety cues and make you feel hungry again. After a while of eating a food, your senses get tired of it, but when you change it up, your tastebuds get excited again. Chemicals, like dopamine, stimulate the brain’s reward center and make eating pleasurable.

The scientific evidence behind this is something called 'sensory-specific satiety' according to the Daily Mail. Basically, the more we eat something the less we want it after a while during our meal so the less we like it so to speak and that often gives us the impression we're full. However, a new taste, texture, or flavor overrides feeling full.

I mean often we are full because we may have overeaten so physically there's no way we're eating dessert any time soon. However, most of us will notice that even after stuffing ourselves, even if it's an hour or two later, we'll crave something sweet, even if it's just a small bite.

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