How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Apple cider vinegar

Many of you have already heard that raw, organic, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar can assist in weight loss and overall well-being. ACV is a probiotic, and has many additional health benefits. Here we explore how apple cider vinegar as part of a healthy diet can help you lose weight while at the same time, acting as a tonic for the body.

Although many fad diets that create rapid weight loss have come and gone over the years, it is encouraging to note that the apple cider vinegar diet leads to gradual weight loss. It would be nice if we could shed pounds quickly and never see them again, but experience has shown that weight that leaves easily comes back easily.

If you lose weight quickly, your body will oblige you by kicking in mechanisms to make it more likely this weight will slip back on in no time. But if you can be patient and do not expect instant results, your fat cells will adjust to their new size more willingly and not insist on contributing on your waistline.

Take it before meals
When you give it some thought, it makes good sense that drinking apple cider vinegar before meals would help with weight loss. Apples are a good source of pectin, and including pectin in your diet can make you feel fuller and more satisfied. Since apple cider vinegar contains the same amount of pectin as apples (one apple has about 1.5 grams pectin), it can suppress your appetite in a similar way.

There is also good science behind why apple cider vinegar would encourage weight loss even more effectively than eating raw apples. In general, acids help with the digestion of protein, the building blocks for some of our hormones, especially growth hormone.

We’ve seen how this hormone is instrumental in breaking down fat cells. By increasing the acid present in your stomach before a meal, you’ll ensure the chances for thorough digestion and increase the availability of protein for hormone synthesis.

Protein utilization
Greater protein utilization helps the formation of growth hormone, the substance that keeps the body’s metabolism going while we’re at rest. This is why it is important to drink apple cider vinegar before or with your evening meal.

Stimulates digestion
Because apple cider vinegar stimulates digestion, it also reduces the amount of time that fats remains in the digestive tract. It’s important that your body gets a chance to remove key nutrients from your food, and conditions that contribute to diarrhea can be life-threatening.

At the same time, it can be unhealthful to have food remain in the intestines for too long. If fats present longer than necessary during digestion, more fats will be absorbed.

Apple cider vinegar works at the very beginning of the digestive process to stimulate your appetite and increase your interest in food. Normally, you wouldn’t think of this as being the direction you want to go in if you’re trying to lose weight. But apple cider vinegar works positively to support your efforts by increasing your interest in whole foods.

Utilization of iron
ACV can improve the body’s utilization of iron, a nutrient that acts like fire-starter for fuel. Iron is a key component in substances that carry oxygen to the cells and hold it there. It’s the ability of apple cider vinegar to increase iron utilization and energy consumption in the body that makes it such a supportive food for weight loss.

A great source of potassium
Apples are a great source of potassium, and likewise, apple cider vinegar, taken on a regular basis, will contribute the potassium you need to help balance the sodium in your diet. In fact, try replacing salt in your diet with apple cider vinegar. Use it to top foods you might be tempted to salt, such as vegetables or protein foods. A little vinegar over a plate of beans is a regional favorite in many parts of America.

Recommendation for taking ACV to lose weight
Here is my recommendation for taking apple cider vinegar to lose weight, based on the work of Dr. Jarvis and others:

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar + 8 ounces water *
  • Drink before meals 3 times a day

* Though this author recommends 1 to 2 teaspoons of ACV per cup of water, other sources call for 1 tablespoon per cup of water or other liquid, and that seems to be what VegKitchen readers have found most effective.

Excerpted from Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss & Good Health* by Cynthia Holzapfel (Book Publishing Co.), reprinted by permission.

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How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!


1,320 comments on “How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

  1. Raja Qaisar

    I have used Apple cider vinegar myself and i have lost more than 40lb of my weight in less than 4 months.I started taking it when i found out that i was diabetic.Your article is very is informative but you did not mention that Apple cider vinegar can also helps to reduce/cure diabetes.

    I have setup small wp site: –where I have mentioned Apple cider vinegar and other remedies for weight loss and to cure diabetes. Your site is good, please keep your hard work going.

    Sincerely, Raja

  2. Larry


    I’ve started to take apple cider vinegar, mainly because of ibs and so to help flush out the plaque and bacteria in the colon, also for better nutrient absorption. Does it flush out the good bacteria too tho?

    I was happy to read about the great protein synthesis and GH production because i’m male and currently trying to bulk up in the gym. And so am concerned of the weight loss.
    or is this weight loss specific to fat loss? and further how does it react to good fats?

  3. Nava

    Hi Larry — thanks for your good questions. I will have the author of this author respond here, hopefully early in the week of Jan.30. Stay tuned!

  4. tympestt

    I can take the 2 tbsp of vinegar more willingly without the water, otherwise I would think about the taste too much and not drink it…. can I still get the same results without mixing water?

  5. Nava

    Tympestt, I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t take the vinegar straight — I understand it’s really hard on tooth enamel that way. I wonder, too, whether it might be too acidic for the stomach taken straight. Maybe at least put it in 1/4 cup water, and make sure to brush your teeth afterwards!

  6. Nava

    From what I’ve read, Kathy, it’s pretty much right before a meal. Maybe within 15 minutes. An hour would likely be too much time.

  7. shanthi

    hi, My son is turning 13 this years this year. My worry is, he s putting on inches at his belly. Is it safe for me to give him Apple Cider Vinegar before his meal.

  8. Nava

    Hi Shanthi, I don’t think it could do any harm if taken with water before meals but for a 13 year old, more activity would probably be better. Often a growth spurt helps with that baby fat around the belly, so hopefully with exercise and a good diet that extra fat will disappear.

  9. Lorraine

    I was wondering if taking apple cider vinegar pills would work as well as drinking the vinegar mixed with water?

  10. Nava

    Lorraine, I am not familiar with cider vinegar pills, so I can’t comment on if and how they’d work. I wonder if they’d be hard on the stomach; though the sensible thing would be to take them with lots of water. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  11. Nava

    Maureen, that’s a lot of vinegar– and though this article is written by a different expert, I’d say to be careful; the acidity could be hard on both your stomach and teeth. make sure you take the vinegar w/ plenty of water, and brush your teeth afterwards. Or dial it down to 1 T per cup of water and see if you still reap the benefits.

  12. Nava

    Kay, there is no way to know this … it also depends on so many other factors; how much/what do you eat, amount of activity you get, etc. But try it for a week and see what happens; report back to us here and let us know!

  13. Marnie

    Hey I’m curently substituting 2 of my meals with a special k shake & the 1 meal that I do eat I do the 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mix wit a glass of water. My concern is I’m I gonna get the same effect from intaking only 1 mixture of the apple cider vinegar & water a day, as you would if you do the 3 intakes a day?

  14. Nava

    Marnie, since this article was written by a guest contributor, it’s hard for me to answer such specific questions on this with any degree of accuracy or expertise. the only thing to do is to try it for a week and see what your results are. But I’m more concerned that you’re replacing two meals, as I’m not sure that’s sustainable over the long run. Good luck!

  15. Becky

    I take 2 TBSP before each meal. No water. Like someone said before, I couldnt get it down of I had to drink it. I have heard to put natural honey in the water of the taste is to bitter but have not tried it myself. My questions is this; Sometimes I forget to take it before my meal and will take it during or after, do you know if it still has the same effect? I have been taking the A.C.V. for 2 wks and I am down 2lbs. I was told when I started to expect about 1-2lbs a week. I have found many of the things mentioned in the article to be true. I suffer from chronic fatigue, depression, I am obese and so on…I am experiencing an energy surge, clearer thinking and a craving for fruits & veggies. Thank You for this article, it is very helpful & inspirational.

  16. Nava

    Becky, I’m glad that this post has been helpful to you. I wonder, though, if you should chase down the vinegar with some water. I’d be worried that all that acid would be hard on your stomach and teeth. I really can’t say if the vinegar would have the same effect taken with or after your meal. That would certainly be hard to quantify, but if anything it can’t hurt.

    An energy surge and craving fruits and veggies are good signs! As soon as you are able, add movement into your daily routine. Activity is the key to sustained weight loss.

  17. Kierra

    I have school during the day so will it still work if i drink the vinegar and water every hour for 2 hours then the third hour 15 minutes before i eat?

  18. Heather

    This is my first time seeing this article, but I’ve been drinking an apple cider vinegar drink for about a month, and I am starting to lose stubborn abdominal fat with no other change. Also, my complexion has improved. I take 2 tsp. of vinegar, 8-9 drops liquid stevia, and the juice from half a lemon, with a full glass of water. It’s actually quite tasty that way, I really like it.

  19. Nava

    Heather, thanks for this great tip. If you do check back in, could you tell VegKitchen’s readers whether you do this before each meal, or just once or twice a day?

  20. claudia


    I’ve heard about acv and have been trying it for about a week. No changes in weight loss but my stomach is feeling less bloated after meals. My question is will it still work if I drink it throughout the day? Like before and after eating? I usually drink a glass of acv then drink some green tea. I’ve cut out any other liquids cause I have been having trouble loosing those last extra pounds and as a full time student I don’t have enough time to hit the gym.


  21. Nava

    Claudia, it’s really hard to say if it will work. I hope you are drinking it in a glass of water, otherwise it will be hard on the stomach and on your teeth! Give it a try and let us know how you make out.

  22. Jane


    I Would like to know if I can eat apples and drink the apple cider vinegar as well and still manage to lose weight? I really Want to lose 20 lbs before the summer.

  23. Rose

    Im drinking acv only once a day, I wonder if this will have the same effect as if drinking it twice a day. In the morning I eat cereal or drink a shake then drink acv wit my lunch meal and for dinner im eating vegetables. If its recommended to drink acv twice a day with what meals should I take it or should I just continue to drink it once a day?

  24. Nava

    Rose, all this information is anecdotal, but my sense is that if you drink the ACV in water before both of your main meals rather than just one, it would probably have more effect. Do let us know if you see any results.

  25. Nava

    Jasmine, in the article it says that taking 2 teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water before each meal on a regular basis leads to weight loss. So yes, I’m afraid this needs to be done on a daily basis for it to work. Try also adding a little lemon juice and a few drops of liquid stevia as another reader suggests; it’s good that way — almost tastes like lemonade.

  26. Bailey

    Hi, I am new to drinking ACV. I was wondering if I take my ACV with a bottle of water (which is usually about 20 fl oz.) will I still get the same effect compared to 8oz. ?? I workout 3 times a week, and I have a fairly balanced diet, but I’m having trouble losing this horrendous belly fat. Thanks in advance.

  27. Nava

    Bailey, I can’t say for sure whether that’s a good idea or not, but intuitively I’m not sure it would be a good thing to take the ACV in the water bottle you use to keep yourself hydrated. I think the concentration of the 1 to 2 tsp in one glass of water before meals is the formula recommended in this article. Good luck!

  28. Brittany

    I was wondering if I only take in two tablespoons of ACV a day with exercise for 30 minutes a day will that lead to faster weight loss?

  29. Nava

    Brittany, adding 30 minutes of exercise to your day is very likely to lead to quicker and more sustained weigh loss. No way it could hurt, so do give it a try and let us know how you are doing.

  30. Nava

    Marie, there’s really no way to predict. It also depends on what you are eating, how much activity you get, and how consistent you are with the ACV. ACV weight loss is generally known to be very slow, so unfortunately this is not a quick fix!

  31. Rock

    Im eating a lot of protein and mainly veggies for carbs and I’m extremely active in the gym I take a tablespoon of acv straight up do u think my fat loss would be quicker this way?

  32. paula

    Hi ive been doing the avc diet for 2 weeks now although im using the braggs raw unfiltered acv i mix 2 tbsp with a few drops of lemon juice to a 16.9oz bottle of water 3-4 times a day. I eat my regular foods i dont eat diet stuff and have had great success. I have lost 12 lbs in the short time. I have also added exercise to my daily routine. I want to lose another 30 lbs.

  33. Nava

    Rock, I would still put the ACV in water — otherwise it might be hard on the stomach and the teeth. As far as whether it would be quicker, it’s hard to tell, it really varies according to body weight and overall activity. Paula, a 12-lb weight loss in a short time is amazing! Way to go …

  34. beth

    is it okay to take two teaspoons and chase it with a glass of water rather than mixing it.. I find it easier to get it down this way?

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