Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a home health remedy, in cooking, and as a health tonic. In recent years, it has been touted as a cure for a wide range of health conditions and even as a weight loss booster. But are these claims backed by science?
According to a number of studies, apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar has been shown to increase fat loss, reduce calorie intake, improve gut health and regulate blood sugar. If you’re on a weight loss journey, it may be worth your time to add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your diet.
At Ideal You, we understand that weight loss is more than just calories in/calories out. That is why we take a comprehensive approach, focusing on whole foods and all-natural supplements that can help to change your metabolism to burn more fat. To learn more about how incorporating something as simple as apple cider vinegar into your diet can boost your weight loss, keep reading.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented liquid that is made in a two step process. First, apples are crushed and combined with yeast. This step converts the apples’ natural sugars into alcohol.
Second, bacteria is added to the mix. These helpful bacteria ferment the alcohol into acetic acid. The process can take as long as a month.
The finished product contains water, acetic acid, and trace amounts of other acids. Acetic acid is the main active component of apple cider vinegar. It is a short chain fatty acid, and may also be called ethanoic acid. When you consume acetic acid, it dissolves into acetate and hydrogen in your body.
Apple cider vinegar is a low calorie food. Each tablespoon of apple cider vinegar has approximately 3 calories, and almost no carbohydrates.
How Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Me Lose Weight?
When it comes to weight loss, the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar is a super star. Studies on animals have shown that acetic acid may promote weight loss by lowering blood sugar and insulin levels, improving metabolism, reducing fat storage, burning fat, and suppressing appetite.
Scientists have also performed studies on apple cider vinegar using humans, with promising results. For example, in a 2005 study, scientists found that participants who consumed apple cider vinegar along with a meal that was heavy in carbs had a 55% lower blood sugar response one hour after eating (compared to those who did not drink vinegar with their meal). The people who had vinegar also consumed between 200 and 275 fewer calories afterwards.
This research suggests that apple cider vinegar may help to suppress appetite, in addition to regulating blood sugar. A 1998 study reached a similar conclusion. Scientists found that participants who took apple cider vinegar with a starchy meal had delayed stomach emptying, which led to increased feelings of fullness. Participants also had lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
Because of the way that apple cider vinegar increases feelings of satiety, or fullness, and keeps blood sugar and insulin in check, it may help you lose weight. In a 2009 study, 144 obese adults consumed a placebo, 1 tablespoon, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar each day for 12 weeks. The study participants were told to follow their regular diet, but to restrict their alcohol intake.
At the end of the study, the participants who consumed apple cider vinegar daily saw significant effects – without exercising more or changing their diet. Specifically. Participants who consumed 1 tablespoon of vinegar per day lost an average of 2.6 pounds, 0.7% body fat, and .5 inch around their waists. Individuals who took 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar lost an average of 3.7 pounds, 0.9% body fat, and 0.75 inch from their waists. By contrast, the placebo group gained an average of 0.9 pounds over the course of the 12 week period.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Functional Food also found that apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss. The study participants followed a restricted diet, and either took a placebo or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day. Over the course of 12 weeks, the people who took the vinegar lost an average of 8.8 pounds – while those who did not get the vinegar lost an average of 5 lbs.
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to fight bacteria that cause food poisoning. In this way, it may help to improve gut health. Our digestive system is closely linked to our immune system, so maintaining gut health can help overall wellness.
The bottom line? While the science is still developing, a number of studies have demonstrated that apple cider vinegar can help to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, decrease triglycerides, and increase weight loss. If you are looking to shed unwanted pounds, then consider adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.
How Should I Take Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss?
For weight loss, the optimal amount of apple cider vinegar to consume is between 1 and 2 tablespoons per day (15 to 30 mL). This vinegar should be mixed into water, perhaps with a squeeze of lemon for flavor. Because drinking too much vinegar at once can cause nausea, if you are taking 2 tablespoons per day, take 1 tablespoon at a time.
Drinking apple cider vinegar straight isn’t recommended, as its high levels of acidity may burn your teeth and/or esophagus. As a bonus, drinking water can help you lose weight – so adding apple cider vinegar to your water may bring even more benefits.
Avoid taking more than 1 to 2 tablespoons per day, as it is unclear how these higher amounts will affect your body (such as by interacting with medications that you take or eroding the enamel on your teeth). Ideally, you should start with a small amount (1 teaspoon) to see how well your body tolerates it.
You can buy apple cider vinegar at your local grocery or health food store. Choose a brand that states “with the mother” on the label (such as Bragg’s). It is relatively inexpensive, although vinegar that contains the mother will cost slightly more. Avoid taking apple cider vinegar tables, as it may put you at risk of throat burns if the tablet becomes lodged in your esophagus.
Reach Your Goal Weight with Ideal You
Losing weight shouldn’t be as hard as it is. Yet for many of us, dropping excess weight is far more difficult than it ever was to gain weight.
Fortunately, there is a way to lose weight quickly and sustainably: Ideal You. Our program offers you all-natural supplements, a structured food list, weight loss coaches, and more. The Ideal You team will give you the tools you need to make a real, lasting change.
If you’re ready to get started on your weight loss journey, we are here to help. Reach out today at 888-488-7258 or schedule a free consultation at our Ann Arbor, Sterling Heights, or Grand Rapids locations.