If you have found yourself craving more chocolate, cookies, and cake lately, you certainly aren’t alone. The coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of strain on everyone’s lives — and it’s understandable if you want to find some comfort in a sugary treat.
That said, binging on ice cream is not the healthiest way to deal with our emotions, and it usually makes us feel even worse when we eventually crash from the sugar high.
If you’re trying to stay healthy during this crazy pandemic, sugar is one of the things you can be keeping to a minimum.
Too much sugar intake can lead to a whole host of negative effects on your body and mind, including weight gain, acne outbreaks, and increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression.
Here are 6 simple tips to help you stop sugar cravings during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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Resist the urge to stock up on sweets
The easiest way to reduce sugar from your diet is to simply not have it around at all.
Next time you’re stocking up on groceries, stay far away from the junk food sections and stick to filling your cart with foods that are high in fat, which will keep you feeling fuller for longer — such as apple slices with almond butter.
If you have a stash of chocolate in your cupboard and you’re stuck at home for weeks on end, it’s only a matter of time before you might give into the sugary temptation.
Eliminate the possibility altogether by keeping junk food out of the home.
Fix yourself a big glass of iced tea with lemon
Dehydration can cause cravings, so drinking plenty of fluids is essential when you find yourself longing for a sugary treat.
Instead of reaching for a sugary soda, make a big batch of iced tea. Lots of herbal teas are naturally sweet, like rooibos, vanilla, orange, and raspberry teas. Add in some fresh lemon juice for an extra kick of flavor.
This is a tasty drink you don’t need to feel guilty about — as it will promote fullness, support hydration, boost your metabolism, and can even increase weight loss.
Eat frozen grapes
When you throw grapes in the freezer, something magical happens. The consistency turns into a sorbet-like texture and they taste even sweeter.
Since they’re so cold, you have to eat them slowly and savor each one.
Plus, frozen grapes aren’t only delicious, they’re packed with nutrients — especially Vitamin C and Vitamin K. They’re also high in antioxidants and even contain certain compounds that may help improve your memory, attention, and mood, according to several studies.
For the most health benefits, choose red grapes over green, as they contain more antioxidant properties.
Add cinnamon to trick your taste buds
Cinnamon is a magical spice that is great for tricking your taste buds into thinking you’re eating something sweet
Sprinkle ground cinnamon on sweet potatoes for a hearty dish that will leave you satisfied for hours. Try adding cinnamon to sugar-free Greek yogurt for a creamy and decadent dessert that won’t leave you feeling guilty. It’s also the perfect addition to a warm baked apple.
Cinnamon not only makes everything taste delicious — it also gives a boost of antioxidants to your dish. Cinnamon also lowers blood sugar levels and reduces heart disease risk factors.
If you consume large amounts of cinnamon, however, we recommend you use Ceylon cinnamon, the true form of cinnamon. It’s more expensive than the more common Cassia variety, but it’s healthier. This is because Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, a natural compound that can be toxic in large doses.
Get your body moving
As most of us are stuck at home in lockdown, we may be getting less exercise than usual.
If you can’t get outside, put on a workout video or even dance around the house to your favorite tunes.
Exercise releases endorphins — the “feel good” chemicals in your brain — that can help turn your sugar cravings off.
Related reading: The importance of Vitamin D3 and K2 when you’re stuck inside
Reduce your stress
Obviously this can be challenging in light of the global pandemic happening right now.
But feeling stressed out is one of the main reasons most of us give in and binge on sweets.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has you feeling (understandably) stressed, try some of our top 10 calming things you can do right now to ease your nerves.
The bottom line
In stressful times like these, don’t be too hard on yourself if you want to have some ice cream or chocolate as a treat. But don’t let your sugar cravings wind up making your health and mood even worse — moderation is key.
The good news is, the longer you manage to resist eating sugar, the weaker your cravings will become over time. Eventually, you will stop thinking about sugar altogether — there is a light at the end of the sugar craving tunnel!
You’ll wind up having more energy and feeling much healthier overall, which is especially important these days.
Related reading: What we’re doing the support you through COVID-19