How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

Apple cider vinegar

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.

Bragg apple cider vinegarVegKitchen recommends Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, a naturally fermented product. Learn more and read reviews on Bragg ACV on Amazon.com.*

When you give it some thought, it makes good sense that drinking apple cider vinegar before meals would help with weight loss. We saw earlier that 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.

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. If you make sure this meal is high in protein, it will increase the amount of protein available for the apple cider vinegar to convert into amino acids. This increased protein breakdown makes it more likely that growth hormone will be produced and your metabolism will be stimulated while you sleep. (If you find a high-protein evening meal over-stimulates you, consider eating it a little earlier in the evening than usual.)

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. But 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 can improve the body’s utilization of iron, a nutrient that acts like firestarter for fuel. Iron is a key component in substances that carry oxygen to the cells and hold it there. Acids (like the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar) help release iron in the food you eat and make it more available to be a building block for oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and oxygen-attracting myoglobin. Oxygen is as essential for burning energy in the body as it is for a fire to burn in a fireplace. 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. The formula for this process looks something like this:

Iron absorption » oxygen utilization »energy consumption » weight loss

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. Vinegar is well known as a stimulator for the taste buds. It’s the secret ingredient in ketchup, salad dressings, and other condiments that keeps you coming back for more. If your taste buds are working well, it’s easier to appreciate the wonderful, complex flavors of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans—all foods which will help regulate your blood sugar level and improve metabolism. You won’t fall prey as easily to the tandem diet busters: salt and fat.

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.) Salt is often present in the foods you eat as a flavor enhancer for fat. So besides increasing the amount of water weight you carry, salt can tempt you to eat more of those fatty foods—French fries, pastries, high-fat meats or meat substitutes, etc.—than you might consume otherwise.

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 + 1 glass of water
  • Drink before meals 3 times a day

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

Note: VegKitchen recommend’s Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar,* which is organic and raw.

  • For a great subscription vegan weight loss program, see this post on a sensible Weight Loss for Life by Nancy Walker
  • For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, explore VegKitchen’s Healthy Vegan Kitchen page.

*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!

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188 comments on “How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

  1. Nava

    Aneequa, it is doubtful that acv can be the entire solution to a medical issue like pcos. Perhaps if you treated the underlying hormonal condition, a folk remedy like ACV would be more effective.

  2. latha

    i have tried a lot to get the Bragg ACV but i could not get it .Is it suggestigle to use any other brand to loose weight?Please suggest.
    I am from Hyderabad,India.

  3. lydia

    can i use ordinary ACV i cannot get organic ACV,and does this ACV have any sideeffect on the liver.thanks

  4. Nava

    Lydia, I don’t know about any specific effects on the liver, the only thing I’ve heard is positive, that it helps the liver do its job. Personally I wouldn’t use anything other than organic ACV. Apples that are not organic, after all, are heavily sprayed with pesticide and I’m not sure that it’s totally mitigated with the fermentation process. I would look for a source to order Bragg’s or other organic brand of ACV online, or ask your closest natural foods store to order you a big bottle — it lasts a long time!

  5. Nava

    Latha, I wish I could help you but I really don’t know what would be available in India.I wonder if you can get any brand of organic ACV other than Bragg’s.

  6. Nava

    Jovie, it really depends on other factors — do you exercise, are you eating reasonable portions, etc. I found that when I stopped doing ACV before dinner, I started putting a little weight back on; I do thing it speeds digestion. But it’s a very slow weight loss process and you shouldn’t expect quick results. Give it 30 days to see if it works for you.

  7. tiara

    So it has to be organic ACV? I have bought a store brand and another question I’m planning on doing 20 sit ups before bed will that speed up the process? How many lbs did you lose in thirty days?

  8. Nava

    Tiara, organic ACV is simply healthier. I recommend Braggs. Doing 20 sit ups will help with muscle tone but not weight loss. The speed of process is quite variable, but this is a slow process in general.

  9. Louise

    I drink a shot of acv at bedtime for relief of heartburn. Does anyone else do this? Should I be diluting it?

  10. Nava

    Louise, I’ve never heard of it for heartburn, but hey, if it works, why not? I would’t do it undiluted, though, as it can be hard on the stomach and teeth. In a short glass of water would be safest.

  11. mcpatty

    This really works..i recently resumed acv drinks because I was constantly craving sugar and refined carbs- I have lost 4 lbs in less than 2 weeks. Drinking Bragg’s ACV diluted in plenty of water and sweetened with Stevia.

  12. Sharon

    Just want to say that I’ve been taking a tablespoon of Braggs vinegar before dinner every night for over a year now and I have noticeably lost weight! I haven’t increased exercise or changed my diet (except it’s true that vinegar will make you crave healthier foods and eat a little less). It has also helped in other ways (seems to have regulated my body temp, I’ve avoided getting sick, less blood loss during cycle and more). I highly recommend ACV!

  13. zikhona

    I am also looking for organic acv have look at pick n pay and every grocery shop where can I buy it .I’m in pretoria south africa

  14. Maz

    Hi

    I have reached plateau on my diet. I don’t eat much as I am on slimming capsules. Can I take acv and still take my slimming capsules?

    I don’t really want to stop the slimming capsules, however I need to break through from this plateau.

    I want to try acv purely just to end this plateau.

    Thanks

  15. Nava

    Maz, I don’t think ACV would interfere with slimming capsules, but I think a better strategy is to increase your level of activity if you have reached a plateau. A 15-minutes burst of aerobic activity would probably be an effective way to break through.

    But you might think of stopping the capsules, as you can’t do those forever. Another good thing to do is to make sure you are eating 2 to 3 pounds of vegetables every day. these are practically calorie-free, and fill you up!

  16. Maz

    Hi

    Thanks for your response.

    I started the acv today and I had been to the toilet ten times by noon.

    I have read that fluid retention is the main reason for weight loss plateau regardless of the approach you take to lose the weight.

    Is this true?

    Previously I was not urinating at all despite all the water I was consuming, as it is a symptom of malnourishment. I’ve started eating healthy foods especially protein, in conjunction with the acv I’m really hoping I get my body balanced and be on my way to losing my last 10kg.

    Do you think I’m doing the right thing?

  17. Maz

    Btw I will be walking for half an hr a day as I do think my physical activity is rather low, I just gave birth so I’m stuck at home.

    Also the I didn’t want to get off the slimming capsules although I have reached a plateau as they contain serotonin and also give me energy for the new bub, I have a tendency of having post natal depression and very bad mood swings…… These pills have helped me avoid these.

    As soon as I get back to work I’m normally better mentally, and so don’t need pills.

  18. Maz

    How long does it take for the water weight to come off with acv?

    Can’t seem to find anything online

    Thanks

  19. Zara

    Hi, im not sure why Bragg’s acv is the one advised as a good one to use (perhaps due to a commission based contract with the publisher?) as when i was told of the benefits of acv i was told to get a acv that is
    4 THINGS 1. Raw as in un pasturised (not boiled or cooked) to keep the nutrients alive.
    2. un refined, as in all the nutrient rich bits left in the acv

    3. No added extras, as in water, alcohol ect to dilute and destroy the helth benefits and lastly but MOST IMPORTANT NO. 4 your acv should have what is called “MOTHER” (look it up) naturaly occuring in your acv (if you have the top 3 down then 4 is a given) if you want the best THAT is the ACV YOU WANT!

  20. Zara

    p.s if you are only wanting to use avc for weight loss you can shed pounds very quickly by drinking a tall glass of water with half a FRESH lemon squeezed into it first thing in the morning an hour before your breakfast, substitute water for your usual drink of choise and add a little light exercise (or not) and watch the weight drop off.
    There are other health benefits to adding half a lemon to your diet every morning too.

  21. Nava

    Hi Zara, the four reasons you state are exactly the ones why Bragg’s ACV is recommended here. There is no commission! I wonder if Bragg’s is not available in the UK. Perhaps your equivalent brand is different. If so perhaps you’d like to share that with VegKitchen readers, as there are plenty from the UK. And thank you so much for your tip on the water with half a fresh lemon. I have no doubt that’s a great way to wake the body up, though it would be a difficult habit for those of us addicted to our morning coffee!

  22. Nava

    Naesha, a lot of people have found ACV to be helpful, and it certainly can’t hurt … it has a lot of other health benefits. But I think that doing cardio and weights, plus portion control and eliminating white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white starches and high fat foods will go a long way toward weight loss. Good luck!

  23. Nava

    Manjunath, this is a long, slow process from what I understand. It may or may not work for everyone trying to lose weight. But if you use the organic ACV the only side effect is a good one — it’s supposed to strengthen your immune system and improve digestion.

  24. Natasha

    As you’ve recommended to take it thrice a day ,…does it mean the same glass to be taken three times or every time a glass of water with 2 tbs of acv to be taken. I am confused.

  25. Nava

    Natasha, I do beleve that the author means three different glasses of water with 1 to 2 teaspoons each time. Hope that clarifies …

  26. Nava

    Abby, it wouldn’t hurt from the perspective of the other benefits of ACV — ie, it’s good for the immune system, etc. — but if it’s strictly for trying to lose weight, I think a big part of it is the combination with the glass of water just before meals.

  27. Aneuk

    Hi, I just found your article. I have been drinking ACV for a while now, twice a day 30 mins before breakfast and dinner 1 tbs dilluted in water and 1 tbs of raw honey. I didnt take Bragg’s brand as I couldn’t find it in my city. So I ‘ve been taking Heinz. I read a few articles that doubted this brand because it was claimed to be not natural. Thankfully I`ve still noticed weight loss after two weeks. at least 2 Kg (no exercise) or even more if I did exercise. My first aim was to reduce my allergy (and it did!) but I got weight loss bonus as well because I dont crave food even though it looks very delicious and smells tempting. I`ve eaten regularly and felt full with the sufficient amount of meal.

    Great article by the way!

    Aneuk

  28. Nava

    Aneuk, I’m glad this method is working for you. Bragg’s, because it’s naturally fermented, has other health benefits, so you might want to seek it out at some point. Amazon.com even sells it!

  29. Terry

    I add a few drops of angostura bitters – it improves the taste, and makes it taste less of vinegar I think. And I drink it through a straw because it really can remove enamel from your teeth.

  30. Nena

    Does drinking acv helps cleaning your liver, improving liver enzimes and eliminating? I’ve been drinking it and it really helps with going for elimination.

  31. Lulu

    Hey. I am now using the Heinz ACV with ultra-filtered. I have just started it a week ago. Can it still help me to lose some weight? I am now drinking the acv 2tablespoon before each meal + some dancing(I’ve heard dancing help to lose weight too). But yeah, can the ultra-filtered acv still help me lose some weight?

  32. Nava

    Lulu, the dancing is much more likely to help you lose weight than the Heinz ACV. I think the Bragg’s Organic ACV, since it is naturally fermented, is essential to this. Two tablespoons might be a bit much. And you need to water it down, and then brush your teeth afterwards, as that amount of ACV will wear away at the enamel on your teeth.

  33. fifi

    I want to loose weight 6_7kg….can ACV help me???because I don’t have time to exercise…I m 17yrs nd my height is 5.5 nd my weight is 60…..plz z thr any way to loose weight….help me plzzz….

  34. steph

    I used Braggs organic ACV (mother) and it works first you lose the inches and the dancing and walking helps. I also start eating smaller meals and much more vegetables and blueberries. The weight is coming down as it should in a healthy way.

  35. Nava

    Steph, that is fabulous, and you’re right, the good way for weight to come off, by eating lots of fruits and veggies and moving more! The ACV doesn’t hurt, I’m sure, but is more effective if combined with the lifestyle changes you describe.

  36. Jess

    I have a 5 month old that I am Breastfeeding can I still use this technique of water and acv to help with weight loss while Breastfeeding ?

  37. Nava

    Jess, I’m not comfortable with giving such specific advice; but the breastfeeding itself should help in weight loss! I can’t imagine that the ACV would hurt, as, after all, it’s a food, but certain foods affect how the breast milk tastes and/or how it agrees with the baby. Perhaps a Registered Dietician can address your concern with more credibility!

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