Mindfulness is a popular concept these days, and it is often used as a way to help individuals make better life and health choices. And while itís no secret that reducing your sugar consumption can help with weight loss and general improvement in health, both are often easier said than done. A recent study conducted at the University of Minnesota has shown that mindfully consuming your coffee without sugar may help with not only weight loss but also a more focused approach to choices.
Drinking Unsweetened Coffee Can Lead to Mindfulness
Participants in the University of Minnesota study were divided into three groups. One group went cold turkey and immediately began drinking unsweetened coffee. A second group was allowed to gradually reduce the amount of sugar they added to their coffee. A third group was taught how to discern different flavors and tastes in coffee, and was instructed to mindfully drink their sugar-free brew by focusing on the sensations and the different flavors that were present in the beverage. They learned how to be mentally present to the action of drinking coffee, and in some cases to enjoy the beverage more than they had in the past.† After one month, the mindfulness group drinkers were more likely to enjoy their coffee and the drinking experience. They also continued to drink coffee sugar free more often than the other two groups who immediately eliminated or gradually reduced the amount of sweetener they added to their coffee.
Reducing Sugar Intake can Help Promote Food Awareness
Researchers suggest that the combination of reducing sugar intake as a tool to promote health, in conjunction with being mindful about the action, may lead to a longer-term healthier lifestyle. It is believed that making a conscious decision, in this case eliminating sugar in coffee, focuses attention on actions and being a participant in the choice, which can lead to mindfulness in other life choices. In an interview one of the researchers noted that beginning a lifestyle change is relatively easy, but sustaining change is very challenging. Researchers anticipated that most participants would go back to adding sweetener to their coffee, yet the majority of participants in the mindfulness group continued drinking their coffee sugar-free.
Source: J Health Psychol 2017.