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Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Diet: Does It Really Work?

Every year, new diets come out claiming to be the best for losing weight.

The apple cider vinegar (ACV) diet has been around for over 40 years.

There’s a good chance that if you ask any person with excess weight about apple cider diet, that they either tried it or know something about it.

So what is apple cider vinegar?

Let’s start with the basics.

The process of producing apple vinegar takes 3-4 weeks and it’s pretty straightforward.

Crush some apples to get apple juice. Add certain types of bacteria and yeast, and let sugars ferment into alcohol. This then ferments into vinegar.

Luckily you don’t have to go through this lengthy process, because raw apple vinegar can be bought in almost any health food store.

4 ways it helps with weight loss

Recent scientific studies have proved the effectiveness on losing weight.

Suppresses appetite

Apple vinegar will prevent you from overeating by providing a sense of satiety faster.

Did you know that there is a delay between when food enters your body and when brain starts sending signals that you are full. It takes about 20 minutes for gut to send signals to the brain to “stop being hungry”.

By including apple vinegar in your everyday diet, you will considerably lower the delay time, and ultimately eat less.

Study, published in the European edition of “Clinical Nutrition” journal, showed that people who ate bread with vinegar were feeling much fuller compared to those who ate only bread.

The sense of satiety was proportional to the amount of acetic acid (which is the main ingredient of apple vinegar) contained in the food.

Another small study found that by taking apple cider vinegar along with a starchy meal the stomach emptying process was reduced significantly. Again, this leads to prolonged feelings of fullness.

Controls the blood sugar levels

Apple vinegar prevents uncontrolled drops in blood sugar.

Sudden sugar drops are one of the main reasons why we get hungry between meals.

When the blood sugar level is stable, it’s much easier to follow a diet and avoid snacks between meals.

The previously mentioned study also recorded blood sugar levels. Participants who consumed apple vinegar had a significantly lower blood sugar levels after a meal (there was no large spike in blood sugar, which is common after consuming carbohydrates).

Also, in one study performed on rats, acetic acid improved the ability of muscles and the liver to use sugar from the blood.

Prevents fat deposits

Apple cider vinegar increases metabolism and causes fat to dissolve faster.

It contains a lot of organic acids and enzymes that accelerate metabolism and increase the rate of fat reduction.

Unfortunately, there is not much research on people who could confirm these claims.

Japanese scientists observed the effect of acetic acid on rats that ate fatty foods and concluded that the consumption of acetic acid (which is found in apple vinegar) prevents the accumulation of fat. It also helps in reducing cholesterol and increasing the expression of genes that reduce liver and belly fat.

Decreases insulin levels

Insulin is closely related to blood sugar levels and its secretion is limited in people with diabetes.

Prevention of diabetes is very important goal as the number of Americans with type 2 diabetes is expected to double in the next 25 years.

The importance of having control over the insulin levels is the fact that this hormone increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents fat from releasing it for energy.

In other words, insulin increases fat storage.

If carbs increase insulin levels, which decreases fat burning and increases fat storage, then isn’t a low carbohydrate diet the answer to weight loss?

Many people lost weight just by decreasing carb intake, which ultimately reduced appetite and decreased insulin levels.

Once you bring insulin levels under control, fat cells can get rid of their stored fatty acids.

Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high carbohydrate meal.

In the same rat study that I mentioned previously, acetic acid reduced the ratio of insulin to glucagon.

How the diet works?

Ok enough of the jib jab.

Let’s take a look at exactly how to use apple vinegar to improve fat burning.

There are no standard recommendations, however some believe apple vinegar should be consumed early in the morning while others drink it one hour before every meal.

In general, this is a very flexible diet, so you can drink it whenever it suits you, 2-3 times a day.

Just please don’t drink more than 3 tablespoons per day. If you feel your stomach is upset, reduce the amount of apple vinegar or don’t drink it on an empty stomach.

Here is what I found works the best.

Drink it 30-60 minutes before meals

High insulin spike is your biggest enemy after a meal, especially after a high carbohydrate meal. It blocks fat reduction and increases fat storage.

Drink apple cider vinegar with a glass of water 30 to 60 minutes before each main meal.

This will make you feel fuller faster and it will reduce the risk of sugar cravings until the next meal.

Drink it when you feel hungry

Instead of reaching for that sweet calorie bomb cookie, drink apple cider vinegar with a glass of water.

This will hydrate your body, get insulin levels in control and reduce appetite just enough to “survive” until the next meal.

There are no time limitations when it comes to consuming apple vinegar. The diet can last until you’re satisfied with the results.

Some people recommend taking a break from time to time, for example for 7-14 days every couple of months.

How much should I take?

Studies show that 2 teaspoons (30 ml) before meals are effective for suppressing appetite and losing weight.

Smaller doses didn’t have the same effect as 2 or 3 tablespoons.

If can’t get used to the smell and taste then you can try apple vinegar supplements.

Why is apple vinegar better than other vinegar types?

The reason why apple vinegar is so effective is because the main active component is acetic acid (ethanoic acid).

Apple vinegar consists of around 5-6% of acetic acid, no carbs and only 3 calories per one tablespoon.

Although other vinegar types might be beneficial, they all have less potent effect because of lower acetic acid content.

Research performed on animals shows that the acetic acid in apple vinegar may lead to weight loss.

Side effects

Side effects include esophagus irritation, mucous membrane damage, bone and tooth osteoporosis, and kidney damage.

Most of the side effects, such as soft tissue damage, are the result of not diluting apple vinegar before consuming.

Vinegar is not toxic in high doses. However, overdose can lead to disturbances that affect the kidneys and cause high blood pressure.

See a doctor immediately if you feel mouth, throat, face or neck swelling.

These are the signs of a serious allergic reaction.

However, it is not very common since it affects less than 0.1% of the population.

Your dose of two spoons must be diluted in a glass of water to avoid the irritation of soft tissues.

Other scientifically proven health benefits

Apple vinegar is good not only for losing weight, but for:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • heart health
  • increased cholesterol
  • damage from free radicals
  • digestion
  • treating kidney stones
  • heartburn

Which type of apple vinegar should I use for losing weight?

I highly recommend to use raw unprocessed apple vinegar.

This is because raw vinegar contains pulp and residues that have many healing properties.

This type of vinegar is more expensive and can be found in health food stores.

Keep in mind that industrial apple vinegar is very nutritionally poor.

To sum it up

Apple vinegar is great for reducing appetite and insulin levels, which ultimately leads to weight loss.

It’s acetic acid effects are scientifically proven to affect weight loss.

Because of it’s strong taste, gradually include it into your meals.

Don’t overuse it, because it’s a strong liquid that can have negative impact on the soft tissue.

If you like this article, then please share it with your friends who are looking to lose weight 🙂

About Mia Lopez

Mia is a personal fitness trainer and a certified nutritionist from New York. She has helped hundreds of women across the world to slim down and keep healthy lifestyles with good eating habits and exercising.

Role: Chief Content Officer

Join the conversation!

  1. Linda G Woodard says:

    At one point you say 2-3 teaspoons and at another 2-3 tablespoons…which is it?

    Studies show that 2 teaspoons (30 ml) before meals are effective for suppressing appetite and losing weight.
    Smaller doses didn’t have the same effect as 2 or 3 tablespoons.

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