I never had a sip of coffee until about five years ago.  Yep – I made it 43 years without so much as a sip of the stuff so many people love.  One day, I had a sip of a Starbuck’s Skinny Vanilla Latte and thought, “Hmmm….that tastes pretty good! Plus, it’s only 120 calories??!!”  I was hooked.  I had one almost every day for about eight months.  Around the same time, I noticed a few pounds of weight creeping on to the bod and my arms didn’t look as good as they used to look.  I took pen to paper and started tracking what I was eating and drinking.  The only thing that had changed was the addition of the SVL.  I looked that sucker up and dang it – it contained 16 grams of sugar!!!!  Just a few grams shy of the sugar in a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. I quit that SVL habit ASAP and within a month, the extra weight was gone, and my arms returned to their more defined state.

I get a lot of questions on calories, fat and how much protein is needed to lose weight and look our best.  Those three macronutrients are important, but I think there are four things that are even more important.  I’m going to touch on each of them during the month of March.  Each week, there will be a challenge to eat and drink within the guidelines set by organizations like the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization.

First up?  SUGAR.  According to the American Heart Association, to avoid heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes, women should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar (or 100 calories) per day.  Oh!  Hi!  16 grams in a Skinny Vanilla Latte?  UGH.  I’ve been playing with this number for the last week, and it’s NOT that hard to stay within these limits.  Am I consuming less fruit?  Yes.  Am I hungry?  Not even.  Do I feel lighter?  Totally.  Your challenge for the next week will be to do the same.  Eat and drink no more than 25 grams of sugar per day.  “Cassie, I don’t eat candy!  I’ll skip this challenge.”  Wrong!  Here are some sneaky sugar bombs:
*Juices – I looked up Suja green juices, and each bottle contained two servings.  Each serving had 14 grams of sugar.  One bottle = 28 grams of sugar.
*Agave – It was once the darling of the health world until we learned that it 85% fructose.  Fructose is metabolized exclusively by the liver.  Taxing it beyond belief.  One teaspoon is equal to 5 grams of sugar.
*Dried fruit – One-half cup of dried apricots has about 34 grams of sugar.
*Yogurt – It’s so healthy!  It’s only healthy if you are eating the unflavored versions.  They can easily pack 19-28 grams of sugar per container.  That’s the same as eating seven teaspoons of white, granulated sugar.
*Wine, salad dressing, pasta sauce, bars, and energy drinks.  So sneaky!

Does this mean you can never eat watermelon ever again?  Or a glass of wine?  NO!  This means that for seven days you will read every package, Google things that don’t have a package and be conscious of what you are putting into your mouth.  Get a cute little notebook or start a Note on your phone and track your sugar grams for seven days.  Aim to consume no more than 25 grams per day.  (BTW, men can have 37.5 grams per day.)   Keep track of how you feel.  See how it goes and take note of what you might start to limit and what you might stop consuming ASAP.  I’m doing it with you!  Oooh!  Important!  –  Don’t fall for items that are sweetened with sugar alcohols.  (Click HERE for a list.)  These chemicals cause bloating and other gastrointestinal distress.  None of which are going to make you feel great in a bikini.

Lastly, if you don’t have four weeks to be Bikini Ready, you can jump right over and buy my Seven to Sleek meal plan.


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