The good news is there is some truth to the idea that apple cider vinegar can help burn fat. The bad news is that vinegar, like many other so-called super foods, is no miracle worker. Either way, to get the most of vinegar's benefits, you'll need to have it before or during a meal, as opposed to after. And while vinegar possesses certain properties that may help you lose weight, you'll need to maintain healthful diet and stick to a regular exercise routine if you truly want to lose that belly fat for good.
Swedish researchers discovered in 2005 that apple cider vinegar can help reduce a person's appetite when taken before or during a meal. The study, which was published by the "BMC Gastroenterol" journal in 2007, showed that subjects who ate white bread dipped in vinegar tended to eat less during the following meal than those who simply ate white bread. This is because the acetic acid in vinegar delays the progress of food from the stomach to the small intestine, which makes you feel full longer.
The Swedish researchers also discovered that vinegar can suppress the postprandial, or after-meal, spike in blood sugar that leads to dessert cravings. What this means is that after a meal, many people experience a sharp rise in glucose, followed by an equally sharp decline. People then often crave sugary foods to get back to that postprandial high. When they consume vinegar either before or during a meal, they avoid this postprandial blood sugar spike and the sweets cravings it often causes.
Not a 'Magic Bullet'
If downing a bit of apple cider vinegar with every meal to lose belly fat sounds too good to be true, that's because it probably is. While the scientific evidence does show some promise, it's not enough for Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky. Zeratsky says that vinegar isn't a miracle fat burner and may even irritate your throat if you drink too much or cause bad interactions with certain drugs such as diuretics or insulin. She urges those fighting the battle of the belly bulge to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine instead of relying on a nonexistent "magic bullet for weight loss."
Flavorful and Fat Free
Even though apple cider vinegar vinegar isn't a dietary panacea, it can still be a crucial part of a healthy diet. Apple cider vinegar is fat free and contains minimal calories, and it can replace fatty salad dressings and be a key ingredient for marinades and sauces. Little things such as replacing the calorie-heavy mayo in your coleslaw with flavorful and fat-free apple cider vinegar can go a long way in helping to lose weight and stay healthy.
- Mayo Clinic: Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss: Effective?; Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
- Good Housekeeping: 15 Foods to Help You Lose Weight; Denise Foley
- BMC Gastroenterol; Effect of Apple Cider Vinegar on Delayed Gastric Emptying ...; Hlebowicz, Joanna et. al.; 2007
- Versatile Vinegar: Research News
- Versatile Vinegar: FAQs