While there is no official vinegar and salt diet endorsed by a health or fitness professional, this detox-style diet often appears online in forums and advice columns. It’s a two-part approach to cleansing, including Epsom salt baths and vinegar-spiked water. Celebrity fashion designer Victoria Beckham reportedly used this trick to shed extra pounds in 2009.
According to the Epsom Salt Council, Epsom salt is simply magnesium sulfate in salt crystal form. Although it looks like table salt, it’s very different chemically. When added to bathwater, the council claims Epsom salts leave your skin soft and smooth, unlike sea salt. Your skin absorbs the magnesium and sulfates topically, both of which help flush toxins from the body.
Epsom Salt Bath
In “Herbal Medicine, Healing, and Cancer,” authors Donald Yance, Jr. and Arlene Valentine report that hot Epsom salt baths can increase your metabolism, which may help you burn calories faster. They suggest filling a tub with water between 106 and 108 degrees Fahrenheit, then adding 2 cups of Epsom salts. You can also add up to 20 drops of essential oil if you wish, to create a pleasing aromatherapy effect. Keep an eye on your body temperature; the authors suggest you soak for 15 to 20 minutes, or until your body temperature reaches approximately 101 degrees.
Vinegar and Weight Loss
In Cal Orey’s book “The Healing Powers of Vinegar,” he calls on health expert Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman to answer questions on vinegar and weight loss. Gittleman describes apple cider vinegar as a fat-burning food thanks to its rich supply of potassium and acetic acid. The potassium, she claims, keeps your appetite to a minimum and encourages your body to flush away retained water and sodium, often resulting in lost inches and pounds. Vinegar’s acetic acid functions as a metabolism booster, lowers your blood sugar, and helps prevent excess carbs from being stored as fat.
Gittleman suggests ingesting several ounces of vinegar a day. She suggests using apple cider vinegar as a salad dressing or adding 2 tbsp. to a glass of water twice a day -- the latter is her personal choice for incorporating vinegar into her diet. Author Orey mentions other ways to ingest vinegar: drizzled over vegetables, mixed into rice, baked into cookies, or sprinkled over fish and fries.
Cleansing regimes or detox-style diets may be unhealthy. The American Heart Association warns against any diet that encourages consuming a single food or food group and avoiding all others. These diets aren’t going to provide balanced nutrition, which means you’ll probably gain back any weight you lose while on them.