If you're forcing yourself to down green tea and apple cider vinegar to lose those excess pounds, rejoice! While many people believe that green tea and apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight, the evidence to support taking them alone, or together, is less than encouraging.
Neither remedy is a silver bullet — even if they do offer a tiny boost, you still need to make changes to your diet and activity level to lose the weight. Consult your doctor to discuss a healthy weight-loss diet specific to your needs and your use of any supplements.
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Safe weight loss only occurs when you burn more than you take in. Unfortunately, green tea and apple cider vinegar aren't silver bullets.
Evidence for Weight Loss
A December 2012 review study published in the Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews investigated the data relating to green tea as an aid to weight loss. The authors concluded that while green tea may help you lose weight, its effect is small and not considered statistically significant.
Apple cider vinegar is also used for weight loss, but there's very little evidence that it produces results. A March 2013 study published in the _Journal of Chiropractic Medicin_e used apple cider vinegar as part of reduced-calorie diet that included a regimented supplement program.
And while the participants lost weight, it's difficult to determine if apple cider vinegar had any influence on the weight loss because the study participants took so many other supplements that could have been responsible for the effect.
Vinegar, Tea and Your Diet
Green tea and apple cider vinegar are both calorie-free, and they can help you reduce your calorie intake if you serve them in place of higher-calorie foods or beverages, such as soda or fancy coffee drinks. Apple cider vinegar adds flavor to food without adding any calories. Use it as a salad dressing, to make pickled vegetables, add flavor to your grain dishes or as the acidic element in your meat marinade.
Drink a cup of plain green tea in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon to help control cravings and unhealthy snacking. The hot beverage takes time to drink, so it may help keep you occupied until your next meal.
Potential Side Effects
There are potential side effects with both green tea and apple cider vinegar. Some people may have a difficult time tolerating the vinegar because it's so acidic, and as a case study published in December 2012 by Dutch Magazine for Dentistry demonstrates, apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel.
Green tea is considered a safe food, but the tannins may cause nausea, and the caffeine may lead to insomnia. You should also discuss the use of green tea with your doctor due to potential herb-drug interactions such as those with anticoagulants, certain types of pain medication and iron supplements.
Lose it the Right Way
While it's not certain if green tea or apple cider vinegar will help you lose weight, making changes to your caloric equation through diet and exercise will help. Creating a daily 500-calorie deficit daily by eating less and moving more may help you lose up to 1 pound a week — a healthy rate of weight loss, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Eat a diet that's filled with low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, and aim to move as much as possible by taking the stairs, parking at the far end of the lot or taking three 10-minute walk breaks throughout the day. Regular exercise that includes cardio and strength training furthers your weight-loss goal.
- Cochrane Database Systematic Review: "Green Tea for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance in Overweight or Obese Adults"
- Journal of Chiropractic Medicine: "Changes in Anthropometric Measurements, Body Composition, Blood Pressure, Lipid Profile, and Testosterone in Patients Participating in a Low-Energy Dietary Intervention"
- Dutch Magazine for Dentistry: "Unhealthy Weight Loss. Erosion by Apple Cider Vinegar"
- American Academy of Family Physicians: "What It Takes to Lose Weight"