Losing weight using apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be an effective method for many people because it’s easy to incorporate it into our daily life. But I must point out that ACV does not help with rapid weight loss. It is, however, a good formula for gradual weight loss as it helps with shrinking of fat cells throughout a period of time – which leads to pounds that you can actually keep off.
For those who are unfamiliar with what apple cider vinegar is, it’s a type of vinegar made from apples administered through a specific fermenting process. Apple cider vinegar is fermented twice: it’s first fermented into hard (alcoholic) apple cider, and then fermented the second time to become apple cider vinegar.
The Mother of All Vinegar
There are many types of apple cider vinegar out there, but I would only recommend the raw, organic kind that contains the “mother” as this is the component that contains the beneficial nutrients. Potassium, malic acid, acetic acid, and pectin are the nutrient carrier ingredients in most apple cider vinegars and without the mother, the usefulness of apple cider vinegar decreases to practically nothing. If you use the distilled kind which is thoroughly clear, it’s only empty vinegar that does not contain any nutrients. It’s easy to see which ACV has the mother in it – this component is usually a cloudy substance at the bottom of the bottle.
Apple cider vinegar can be used in many ways from helping with health conditions to home care. While I wouldn’t call it a miracle cure-all, apple cider vinegar does have its own sets of benefits that can contribute to weight loss. Many people have had good results using it as a skin or hair care formula and currently, apple cider vinegar is a favorite natural weight loss remedy.
An ACV a Day, Keeps the Pounds Away…
Dr. D.C.Jarvis (March 15, 1881 – August 18, 1966), an American physician from Vermont who was best known for his writings on the subject of folk medicine, was one of the firsts to document the effectiveness of using apple cider vinegar for weight loss. In his treatments, he recommended his patients to take apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water before meals. When taken regularly, Dr. Jarvis postulated that it would help with gradual weight loss.
In fact, there are studies that show apple cider vinegar can encourage weight loss more efficiently than eating raw apples. This is because the acids in the apple cider vinegar can help digest protein which are the building blocks for some of our hormones, especially growth hormones that is responsible for breaking down our fat cells. Let’s examine the 6 ways that ACV helps with weight loss further:
1. Suppress appetite
Apples are a good source of pectin and it helps to promote a sense of fullness and satiety. Since apple cider vinegar contains the same amount of pectin as apples (one apple has about 1.5g pectin), the vinegar can suppress appetite in the same way. When mixed with water, the fibre compound in apple cider vinegar expands – this gives a feeling of fullness and satiety in the stomach when it’s taken with meals, making ACV a good formula to suppress appetite and control food cravings. There was a study (2005) where a group of people was given ACV-covered bread while another group ate only plain bread (under controlled circumstances). The vinegar group reported that they felt the fullest and those who were given bread with even higher concentrations of vinegar felt even fuller – this shows that ACV contributes to our level of satiety.
2. Increase metabolism
Difficulty in losing weight is also caused by a low metabolic rate, which affects how our body burn calories. Due to the acetic acid in ACV, this vinegar can help to increase metabolism. The acid improves the body’s ability to absorb iron which causes high use of oxygen, leading to higher metabolism and resulting in easier calories burning.
3. Improve digestion
As ACV is a prebiotic and has carbs that are easier to digest, it can help to improve digestion. Prebiotic (don’t confuse this with probiotics) is a source of food for beneficial bacteria and introducing it to our diet can help encourage a healthy population of these bacteria in our gut to maintain an optimal digestive system.
While apples are high in fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols or FODMAPS which are carbohydrates that do not digest very well, apple cider vinegar is a low-FODMAP food. Along with ACV’s enzyme, this vinegar can enhance our digestive flora, ensuring our body can break down foods more easily and absorb nutrients better. This also helps with other digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion.
4. Eliminate fat
According to a biomedical study in 2009, daily doses of ACV can lead to lower waist circumference and abdominal fat mass. This is largely due to the acid acetic in ACV which can help with fat burn. Other studies on rats have also shown that acetic acid offered protection from obesity while increasing the genes that are responsible for fat burning.
Additionally, ACV can also control blood sugar levels and insulin secretion which also affect fat storage. Several studies have proven apple cider vinegar consumption can reduce blood glucose levels. One research demonstrated that the morning levels of blood sugar were lowered to four to six percent in patients with type 2 diabetes who drank two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed everyday.
5. Relieve water retention
Water retention in the body can also cause weight gain – sometimes overnight! This happens when we consume too much sodium, causing our body to retain water and blocking the absorption of nutrients. ACV contains potassium (about 15mg per tablespoon) which helps to flush out the excess sodium, creating better fluid and salt balance in the body.
6. Release stress
Not all weight issues are caused by just physical factors, some are due to emotional or psychological imbalances as well. Stress is one of them and can cause a person to gain weight or have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Stress can be managed by using ACV as it is effective in triggering serotonin secretion in the brain. Serotonin acts a tranquilizer to create a sense of balance and inner calmness, which leads to lower stress levels.
Taking ACV for Weight Loss
There’s no specific plans on consuming ACV for weight loss purposes. Basically, you just need to take 2 tbsps with a glass of water before every meal. I like having it with a pinch of Himalayan salt in the morning before my breakfast or morning workouts. Some people take it twice a day – once in the morning and another before bed.
If you cannot tolerate the taste and smell, you can use ACV as an ingredient in your daily meals instead. For example, splash it over your daily salad or add 2 tbsps into your soup or gravy. Just make sure you get your daily 2 tbsps doses a day.
Have ACV in moderation though, as its acidic components can cause teeth erosion, interfere with medication or worsen stomach ailments. Consult your doctor before taking ACV for daily consumption. Also it’s best to not take ACV straight from the bottle; always have it water to reduce its acidic effects.