11 Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Works

"Drinking apple cider vinegar before a carbohydrate-filled meal can reduce blood sugar spikes that would usually occur after eating."

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. 

By Tina Donvito, Reader's Digest

Apple cider vinegar helps to control blood sugar

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There are more than 50 ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise—and one may be adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your diet. 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."

ACV affects how food is digested

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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." Healthy diets often control blood sugar to keep our eating patterns more regular. But watch out for these three fad diets that could raise your risk of diabetes.

ACV makes you feel full

Don't fall for these sneaky ways you get tricked into overeating. One way to fight back 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 appetite

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Eating this secret food can stop your junk food cravings for good—but ACV can help too. "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 binging later on.

ACV affects insulin regulation

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ACV affects insulin regulation
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 diabetics


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.

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. Check out the scientific reason why belly fat is so hard to ditch.

ACV may improve metabolism

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We all want to know the ways 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.

Why ACV is different from other vinegars

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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

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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 drink it straight—the acid can damage your tooth enamel and throat.

Don't use ACV as an excuse

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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."

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Women's Magazine: 11 Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Works
11 Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Works
"Drinking apple cider vinegar before a carbohydrate-filled meal can reduce blood sugar spikes that would usually occur after eating."
Women's Magazine
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