Why do I crave sweets when I can't taste them?
November 12, 2009 2:25 PM Subscribe
I've lost my sense of smell/taste because of sinus congestion. Why do I still crave sweets after a meal?
posted by otherwordlyglow to science & nature (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For the past few days I haven't been able to smell much of anything and only taste very faintly, if at all due to the effects of a severe cold/flu. Why is it then that after I finish a meal, a meal that I can't even taste, I start looking around for the leftover Halloween candy? It doesn't seem like it's just out of habit but I really seem to crave something sweet after a meal even though when I eat the sweet, I can't taste that either. Somehow that satisfies the craving but how does my brain know I've eaten the sweet if I can't taste it? This has happened before when I've temporarily lost my sense of smell and I've never understood the underlying basis sensory processing. It's always seemed like such a waste to eat dessert to fulfill a craving but not even enjoy it! Could I blindfold myself and eat some tofu and trick my brain into thinking I had had a Reese's? Why doesn't that work?