Can apple cider vinegar help you weight lose ?
In a perfect world, losing weight when you want to lose weight would be an easy process. In reality, it’s complicated and often requires you to change your diet (more on our best diets for weight loss), your thoughts on food, and your exercise program. So if you happen to hear claims of a link between apple cider vinegar and weight loss, you’re understandably curious.
Plenty of holistic health experts and Instagram influencers swear by the stuff, but whether ACV can actually help you squeeze into a pair of tiny jeans isn’t quite as straightforward. Here’s what experts and research actually say about apple cider vinegar for weight loss.
The Science Behind Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: There is only a small amount of evidence directly linking ACV to weight loss in humans.
A study in the Journal of Functional Foods followed 39 adults and found that participants who consumed a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with lunch and dinner while cutting 250 calories per day lost 8.8 pounds over 12 weeks.
On the other hand, those who cut the same number of calories but did not consume ACV lost only 5 pounds.
In another study in Biosciences, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, 144 obese adults were randomly assigned to drink either a placebo or one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks.
At the end of the study, those who drank two tablespoons lost nearly 4 pounds, while those who drank one tablespoon lost 2.5 pounds.
However, these findings by themselves do not prove that ACV is a magic fat melter.
These studies were done in very small populations, said Erin Palinksi-Wade, However, the consistent results suggest that ACV may be a beneficial tool for weight loss.”
Most importantly, ACV appears to have properties that may support your weight loss efforts. For example, a 2013 study in the Journal of Functional Foods showed that drinking apple cider vinegar before meals was associated with smaller blood sugar spikes.
Another 2010 study in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that taking two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with meals helped reduce blood sugar crashes and keep blood sugar levels stable.
Why this happens isn’t entirely clear, but nutrition researchers like Dr. Carol Johnston, who studied ACV at Arizona State University for years, suspect compounds in vinegar interfere with the absorption of certain starches.
This is important because blood sugar highs and lows often lead to cravings for sugary snacks. So, if apple cider vinegar can help control blood sugar, it would help with appetite control and portion control, which could lead to fewer calories consumed,
Additionally, a 2014 study in the Journal of Food Science showed that vinegars such as apple cider vinegar have antioxidant activity that may help reduce the effects of diabetes and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Apple cider vinegar contains high levels of polyphenols called chlorogenic acids, which may help improve heart health by inhibiting the oxidation of harmful LDL cholesterol.
It’s also possible that ACV directly makes you want to eat less. A Johnston study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that participants who drank the fermented liquid before meals consumed up to 275 fewer calories the rest of the day.
But again, the reasons behind this are murky. ACV can boast compounds that actually suppress appetite. But drinking it can also be so unpleasant that you end up refusing to eat for the rest of the day.
At the end of the day, all the research on ACV and weight loss comes from small studies — and it is hard to draw conclusions from them.
We do not really have any conclusive data on this, she said. There are some amusing data on blood sugar control, but these are small studies.
Cording also notes that one study linked apple cider vinegar to weight loss because it is an appetite suppressant, but that’s because people found that drinking apple cider vinegar made them feel sick,” she says.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented made from apple juice, Cording says. To make it, you ferment the sugar in the apples to produce acetic acid the main ingredient in vinegar.
Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to initiate the alcoholic fermentation process, which converts sugars to alcohol, said Vanessa Rissetto, MD, CDN, In a second fermentation step, the alcohol is converted to vinegar bacteria.
In terms of taste, apple cider vinegar has a tangy sour taste with a hint of apple.
You Should try drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss?
Drinking ACV alone won’t help you lose excess pounds, but it can support our weight loss efforts (such as eating a healthy diet and getting more exercise). According to Goodson and Palinski-Wade, it’s unlikely to hurt you — as long as you don’t overdo it.
Like all vinegars, ACV’s high acidity can irritate your throat and strip tooth enamel, says Johnston. Plus, if you experience reflux, the acidity may bother you, Rissetto adds.
Palinski-Wade recommends sticking to one tablespoon no more than twice a day, always diluted with eight ounces of water. ACV should never be consumed directly, she cautions.
This one is definitely going to be slower, Cordin said. I would not recommend getting a shot or something – that would really hurt your esophagus.
In the end, Cording says, Whenever someone tells me they want to take apple cider vinegar in liquid form or in supplement form to lose weight, I usually try to steer them in the other direction.
How to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet for Weight Loss
Wondering about the perfect time to take apple cider vinegar? You can drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in eight ounces of water up to two times a day preferably before or with meals.
This will increase the chances of ACV increasing satiety and helping keep blood sugar stable, Palinski-Wade says.
If you can not stand the thought of drinking vinegar, consider adding it to your meals. Try drizzled with ACV and olive oil, Palinski-Wade, on salads or steamed vegetables. Or add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your smoothie.
If you’re using ACV as a replacement for higher-calorie salad dressings and marinades, and you have had enough of it in the past, it can help you lose weight by cutting calories, notes Cording.
To maximize the health benefits, choose ACV labeled raw and unfiltered. The unfiltered version contains proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria from the vinegar starter, or mother vinegar, says Palinski-Wade.