Brigida's Blog: Why I say no to sugar and you should, too!

It's a question I get again and again: why give up sugar? That query is usually followed by an, 'Are you crazy?!' or 'I could never do that!'

No, I'm not crazy and you'd be surprised at what you could do if you put your mind to it and decided that you are ready to change your life no matter what it takes.

But before I get on THAT soapbox, back to why I say no to sugar. It's simple: in order to lose weight, you have to burn fat (most importantly, the stored kind). Here's the thing, though. Our bodies currently burn sugar and carbs FIRST and fat, second. So by not putting any processed sugars in your body -- you're essentially re-setting your metabolism so you burn that stored fat first.

And that, is what leads to serious results. Couple this dietary lifestyle (because that's what it is -- NOT a quick fix) with even moderate exercise at least four days a week and you. will. see. results. Guaranteed!

One of the biggest keys to my success: Having healthy snacks on hand at all times. You need to be eating every two to three hours to keep that metabolism humming. And without healthy choices - you're bound to head to the vending machine or make a U-turn and hit up the drive-thru all in an effort to curb that (sometimes) raging hunger.

Here are my go-to, never-fail-me, always-have-at-least-one-of-them-on-me snacks!

Almonds: I love the 100 calorie bags from Blue Diamond or Emerald. No calorie counting and they're packed with protein and the good fats! Walnuts or pistachios are also good alternatives.

Almond butter: My fav brand is MaraNatha, the maple flavor. It does have 3g of sugar. But my trainers says the benefits (hello, protein, fiber & healthy fats!) far outweigh that. Oh, and it can be pricey but I get mine from Walmart and save nearly 6 bucks!

Apples: packed with fiber so they leave you full longer.

(Hot) Green tea: it's a natural fat burner and helps to curb those cravings. Plus, it's packed with antioxidants! A bit of Truvia or Stevia and a squeeze of a lemon wedge and it helps get my day started or what I turn to when I think -- I'm really not.

Protein Fruit Smoothie: cup of frozen berries, cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, scoop of protein powder and blend. Voila! (I also add a tbsp of almond butter if the smoothie is my meal.)

Hummus: Now before you wrinkle your nose and say you're not a fan -- try it. Seriously. Especially the roasted red pepper kind. Or Tuscan Herb. Or --well you, get the picture. I love mine with celery but any raw veggie will do. Seriously hummus, made from chickpeas, is straight protein. Need I say more?

Blueberry tea: LOVE this. Takes the edge right off my craving to have something sweet after my meals.

Bowl of berries: I stick to blueberries, raspberries, black berries and strawberries. They have less sugar than other fruits and their deep-hued skin is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Sprinkle a bit of Truvia or Stevia until you get used to their natural sweetness. (Oh, and try topping them with fat-free whipped cream after the #TeamNOSugar challenge is over. Divine!)

Bottom line, folks. It's about being prepared. If you want something bad enough -- you will make it happen. Period. There are always excuses to be made, willpower that crumbles and slip-ups that will happen. Buck up, put on your big girl (or boy!) pants, dust your self off and get right back on track.

This is your LIFE we are talking about. You only get one of those. The wonderful thing about it: you can decide at any day, any moment, any time to change it. Make it better. Make it the life of your dreams.

So what are you waiting for?

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