Does Vinegar Burn Belly Fat?

Different types of vinegar
Bottles in a line, containing different types of vinegar. (Image: Nico Tondini/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)

While a link may exist between vinegar and fat metabolism, you need to do more than add vinegar to your fries to lose belly fat. No one food, special diet or exercise can help your body burn fat in any particular area. To lose fat, including belly fat, become more active and change your entire diet, which may include using vinegar. Consult your doctor to discuss ways to lose belly fat.

Vinegar and Fat Burning

Acetic acid is the component in vinegar responsible for its tart taste. It may also play a role in helping your body burn fat, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This study tested the effects of acetic acid on fat accumulation in mice fed a high-fat diet. The researchers found that the acetic acid helped prevent fat weight gain in the mice and also increased compounds that helped with fat metabolism. While this study may seem to indicate that vinegar does in fact help you burn fat, including belly fat, human trials are necessary before claims can be made.

Vinegar for Weight Loss

While it's unknown whether vinegar burns belly fat, it may help you in your weight loss efforts. Vinegar is full of flavor, but not calories; one tablespoon of apple cider or red wine vinegar has 3 calories, while the same serving of balsamic has 14 calories. To lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories. Using vinegar in place of higher-calorie condiments, such as mayonnaise or full-fat salad dressing, may help you save calories to support your weight loss.

Some evidence exists that vinegar may help you eat less by aiding in hunger control. Two separate studies from 2005, one published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and the other in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that vinegar had a positive impact on meal satiety. However, it's important to point out that these studies were small, and larger studies are necessary.

Tips for Using Vinegar

Add vinegar to your diet to help reduce calories in the food you eat and increase satiety. Use balsamic vinegar on your garden salad instead of a higher-calorie dressing, such as Thousand Island, to save 50 to 60 calories. Make a German potato salad instead of the usual mayo-based potato salad and save 80 to 90 calories per tablespoon by substituting vinegar instead of mayo. Vinegar also makes a good low-cal marinade for meat and poultry and adds flavor to any grain side dish.

Diet and Exercise to Burn Belly Fat

To lose belly fat, eat foods that are low in calories and rich in nutrition, which means more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins such as beans, soy, fish and poultry. Eating these foods may help you reduce your overall caloric intake and help you lose body fat. To keep a lid on calories, make fruits and veggies the focus of your meals.

Getting 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise daily also helps your body burn fat and reduce the size of your belly. Brisk walking, swimming and bike riding all make good options. Additionally, build muscle and bump up your body's calorie burning with strength-training exercises such as weight lifting twice a week.

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