It’s unexpected that something found at nearly every supermarket can be so versatile with its functionality, but apple cider vinegar can be used in so many different ways—as a preservative, in recipes, to help skin conditions like acne and warts, and even as a natural deodorant. The vinegar, which is made from fermented apple juice, can also help you drop a few pounds through its effect on appetite and gut health when it’s consumed before mealtimes.
The best habit to develop with apple cider vinegar in order to result in weight loss is to drink it before mealtimes, according to Trista Best, RD, a registered dietitian at Balance Once Supplements. Best recommends mixing apple cider vinegar into a beverage, like a glass of water, or just drinking it on its own as a daily habit to help result in weight loss.
“This is the quickest way to get in the benefits of ACV without needing to break down capsules or powders,” Best says.
That doesn’t mean that you should be pouring yourself an entire glass of vinegar to drink. A Japanese study found that participants who drank between one and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day for three months saw modest weight loss after taking part in the study.
Registered dietitian Elliott Torsney, CPT, RDN, CDE says that the apple cider vinegar habit of drinking it before eating helps to lose weight because studies show that it works as an appetite suppressant, which can help you eat less at mealtimes. Torsney also said to be sure not to drink the mixture with meals, as it won’t be effective in helping your body to lose weight in that case. Instead, make sure to drink it before you eat a meal.
Best also notes that weight loss can occur after drinking apple cider vinegar because of the improved gut health that happens when the vinegar is regularly consumed.
“Apple cider vinegar may help repair or correct many gastrointestinal issues because of the antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and pre and probiotic characteristics it exhibits,” Best says. “Each of these characteristics works together to improve and protect the gut’s health, which can result in effective weight loss efforts and more.”
This is effective because when the body’s gut isn’t working at its best, it can result in a slower metabolism and it can be more difficult to burn calories.
“When the gut isn’t working as efficiently as it should it can slow the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients, which can result in a slower metabolism and stalled weight loss,” Best says.
Similarly, when the gut is working effectively it helps to burn calories at a higher pace, and increase weight loss efforts, according to Best.
Keep in mind
While apple cider vinegar can result in weight loss, it won’t do the job alone and won’t serve as a substitute for any healthy life changes. A tablespoon or two of apple cider before meal times must be combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise to maintain any consistent weight loss.