Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss: Explore the science behind ACV's potential to support your weight loss journey. Learn safe and effective usage tips.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a fermented liquid made from apple juice, Cording says. To make it, you ferment the sugar from apples, creating acetic acid—the main ingredient in vinegar. Taste-wise, apple cider vinegar has a strong, tart flavour with a hint of apples.
The science behind apple cider vinegar for weight loss
The only scientifically sound, proven way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories than you burn (or entering a calorie deficit) and exercising regularly to burn off any extra.
ACV seems to have properties that could potentially support your weight-loss efforts. For instance, a 2013 study from the Journal of Functional Foods suggests that drinking apple cider vinegar before eating is linked to smaller blood sugar spikes. Another 2010 study from the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism shows that having two teaspoons of ACV during meal time could help reduce sugar crashes and keep blood sugar levels stabilized.
“So, if apple cider vinegar can help control blood sugar, this could help manage cravings and portion control, potentially leading to fewer calories consumed, It’s also possible that ACV might directly make you want to eat less.
How do you use apple cider vinegar for weight loss?
Drinking ACV alone isn’t going to help you shed excess pounds, but it could support the efforts that we know work for weight loss (like eating a healthy diet and exercising more). And it won’t likely hurt you, according to Goodson and Palinski-Wade—as long as you don’t overdo it.
Like all vinegars, ACV’s high acidity can irritate your throat and strip tooth enamel, Johnston says. Plus, “the acidity could bother you if you experience reflux,” adds Rissetto. Stick with a tablespoon no more than twice daily, and always dilute it in eight ounces of water, recommends Palinski-Wade, which may increase the chances that the ACV will boost your satiety and help keep your blood sugar steady.
If you can’t stomach the idea of drinking vinegar, think about working it into your meals instead. Try drizzling ACV and olive oil over a salad or steamed veggies, says Palinski-Wade. Or add a tablespoon of ACV to a smoothie.
If you use ACV to replace more calorie-dense salad dressings and marinades, and you had enough of them in the past, it could help you lose weight by cutting calories, Cording points out.
To maximize the health benefits, choose an ACV that’s labeled raw and unfiltered. “