Diet & Weight Loss
10 Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Works
This isn’t like some ad in the back of a magazine that makes promises it can’t keep. Scientific studies show that apple cider vinegar may have wonderful health properties that can help you slim down. Here’s how.
Apple cider vinegar helps to control blood sugar
There are all sorts of suggestions out there for how to lose weight—and adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your diet might be one that actually works. How? An apple cider vinegar weight-loss plan affects how blood sugar is regulated, according to a study by Carol Johnston, PhD, at Arizona State University. “Her research provides evidence that drinking vinegar before eating actually led to a decrease in change of blood glucose post meals,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, New York City-based registered dietitian, best-selling author, and founder of the F-Factor Diet. “Drinking apple cider vinegar before a carbohydrate-filled meal can reduce blood sugar spikes that would usually occur after eating.” And that’s not just good for weight loss—it’s good for your overall health, too. Learn some more amazing health benefits of taking apple cider vinegar.
ACV affects how food is digested
Healthy diets often control blood sugar to keep our eating patterns more regular. Researchers theorize that apple cider vinegar for weight loss helps achieve this blood-sugar regulation in a few different ways. “Carol Johnston believes the acetic acid in the vinegar blocks disaccharidases, enzymes that break down starches for digestion, from being absorbed into the bloodstream,” Zuckerbrot says. “If the disaccharides from the carbohydrates we eat cannot be digested then we avoid the rapid increase of our blood sugar level, which is followed by a subsequent drop.” Check out several more ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
ACV makes you feel full
One way to combat overeating is with ACV, which can also give a feeling of fullness after a meal and keep you from reaching for that evening snack a couple of hours later. “A small Swedish study found when individuals consumed vinegar with a meal, they reported feeling a higher level of satiety after eating than those who did not consume vinegar,” says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. “Although this study was conducted on only a small number of individuals, it may give insight into how the consumption of vinegar may help to promote a healthy body weight by reducing caloric intake.”
ACV may control appetiteSergey Chumakov/Shutterstock
Taking this superfood can stop your junk food cravings for good. “Acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, has been promoted as a natural appetite suppressant,” Zuckerbrot says, which has been shown in research from the U.K. Blood sugar drops leave us craving sugar to replace it, and instead, the acetic acid helps keep it steady. “When blood sugar levels are more evenly maintained, cravings for sugar and unhealthy foods are minimized or not experienced,” she says. One way apple cider vinegar for weight loss works is to help us avoid bingeing later on. Also consider trying these other healthy weight-loss foods.
ACV affects insulin regulationSyda Productions/Shutterstock
You should be eating bread at the end of your meal for the same reason you should start it with apple cider vinegar—to lower insulin levels. “It appears from the results of one small study in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care that consuming vinegar with a carbohydrate-rich meal may improve insulin sensitivity directly after the meal in those with insulin resistance or who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,” Palinski-Wade says. In addition, “an improvement in insulin regulation in the body may be beneficial for weight management.”
ACV is helpful for diabeticspittawut/Shutterstock
You can potentially reverse type 2 diabetes if you drop pounds, and an apple cider vinegar weight-loss plan can help you do that. “Apple cider vinegar may be particularly useful for people with diabetes because blood glucose control is a main concern for diabetes management, and it can affect insulin sensitivity,” Zuckerbrot says. But, be careful if you’re on meds for your condition. “Since vinegar may reduce blood glucose levels after meals, those taking medications to reduce them, such as insulin, should carefully monitor their readings and response to prevent hypoglycemic episodes,” Palinski-Wade says. Here are some other detox foods that might work just as well as apple cider vinegar.
ACV may help you lose fat
So apple cider vinegar may work to regulate blood sugar, appetite, insulin, and cravings, but it can actually melt pounds? Some research suggests it does. “In 2009 a double-blind, placebo-controlled study was done investigating the effects of apple cider vinegar intake on body weight and abdominal fat in 175 obese Japanese subjects,” Zuckerbrot says. “This was the first study to show that continuous vinegar intake reduces body weight, BMI, and body fat mass.” She says acetic acid may help fat breakdown. But more research is needed to replicate the study’s findings and identify exactly how ACV caused the weight loss.
ACV may improve metabolism
We all want to know how to get the metabolism of a 25-year-old, and apple cider vinegar may be one of them. “Although this has not been proven in human studies, one animal study from Japan found consuming vinegar may increase the production of an enzyme responsible for fat burning,” Palinski-Wade says. But again, more research is needed in this area. Learn the things that can happen to your body if you take apple cider vinegar every day.
Why ACV is different from other vinegars
Yulia von Eisenstein/Shutterstock
Eating an apple a day may be one of many old-time remedies we need to bring back—and likewise, apple cider vinegar weight loss works through its unique properties. “In comparison to other vinegar, apple cider vinegar has a slightly higher mineral and vitamin content,” Zuckerbrot says. “Since it is made from apple it also retains its natural antioxidants, fruit polyphenols, and essential nutrients necessary for normal body function like digestion and metabolism.” In addition, ACV contains pectin, found naturally in apples. “Pectin is known to increase satiety, which aids in weight loss,” she says. You can choose filtered or unfiltered—unfiltered is often unpasteurized and contains the “mother,” leftover bacteria from the fermentation process, which some say has potent medicinal properties. But Zuckerbrot says to use whichever type you prefer.
How to consume ACV for the most benefits
The benefits of apple cider vinegar go beyond weight loss, and are a healthy addition to any meal—they can even help tummy troubles. “One to two tablespoons of vinegar may be diluted into eight ounces of water or added into a marinade, salad dressing, or soup,” Palinski-Wade says. Zuckerbrot says you can also use it in smoothies, a homemade brine for pickles, or DIY BBQ sauce. “Johnston [the researcher from Arizona State] suggests drinking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach at the beginning of your meal to reduce insulin and glucose spikes,” she says. Just don’t try drinking apple cider vinegar straight—the acid can damage your tooth enamel and throat. Learn more about the things you should never do while taking apple cider vinegar.
Don’t use ACV as an excuse
As with all weight-loss tips, you can’t rely solely on one thing to make the pounds drop—and using ACV as a reason not to take other measures to get healthy will backfire. “Apple cider vinegar is not a magic eraser! Just because apple cider vinegar has many diverse health benefits, it does not negate the negative health effects of unhealthy foods, nor are its weight-loss benefits potent enough to simply counteract caloric intake,” Zuckerbrot says. “While it can certainly aid in weight loss, it does not actually cause weight loss.” Learn the truth about some more myths about apple cider vinegar you need to stop believing.