While some people drink a mixture of apple cider vinegar, honey and water in the hopes of increasing weight loss, this isn't the best way to achieve your goals. There is some research that points to potential weight-loss benefits for these ingredients, but it's still in the preliminary stages. Including these foods in a balanced reduced-calorie diet while getting plenty of exercise is a more effective and arguably more pleasant way to go about losing weight.
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Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
An animal study published in 2001 in the Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association notes that apple cider vinegar may be helpful for weight loss but cautions that high doses can cause lesions in the stomach, liver and small intestine, probably due to its acidity. A more recent study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005, notes that people who consumed vinegar along with a bread-based meal had smaller increases in blood sugar levels and felt fuller after eating than those who ate the bread without the vinegar.
Honey and Weight Loss
Although the idea of eating a sugary food for weight loss may seem odd, there are some potential benefits to replacing regular table sugar with honey when trying to lose weight. A study published in the Scientific World Journal in 2008 found that people who ate honey instead of sugar for one month lost a small amount of weight and body fat and reduced their cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to the people who ate sugar. An animal study published in Nutrition Research in 2011 had similar results, noting that the increased weight loss from using honey instead of sugar may be due to honey decreasing overall food intake. Using honey instead of sugar may also be helpful for diabetics for controlling weight and blood cholesterol, according to a study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in 2009. Another study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2015, found that honey was even more effective for lowering cholesterol and weight when it was mixed with magnesium, chromium and cinnamon.
Water and Weight Loss
Even just drinking water more often may help you lose weight, especially if you time it right. A study published in Obesity in 2011 noted that drinking water right before meals helped to fill people up so they ate less during the meal. For the most benefits, drink water instead of other beverages that are higher in calories, such as sodas, fruit drinks and energy drinks. This change has the potential to save a lot of calories, making it easier to lose weight without eating a lot less food.
As Part of a Healthy Diet
You can use apple cider vinegar to make salad dressings, marinades, soups, refrigerator pickles or anything else that calls for vinegar. It can also be added to regular milk to make a substitute for buttermilk for use in baking.
Because honey tastes sweeter than sugar, you can often use less of it than you would sugar. Try using a small amount of honey along with some berries to flavor nonfat plain Greek yogurt or stirring it into a bowl of plain oatmeal with some nuts for a filling breakfast.
Not everyone loves the taste of plain water, but there are ways to add flavor to it without a lot of calories. Serve it with a slice of lemon, or squeeze in a small amount of another citrus juice, such as grapefruit, orange or lime. If you're not a fan of citrus, try adding some mint leaves, sliced cucumber or fresh ginger. Another option is to make fruit-infused water by putting fruit in a pitcher of water and letting it sit for at least four hours.
Other Beneficial Dietary Changes
Simply adding honey, water and apple cider vinegar to your diet isn't likely to have a very large effect on your overall weight-loss results. Other dietary changes will help you minimize your overall caloric intake without feeling hungry in between meals. One of these changes is eating more foods that have a high water or fiber content, such as vegetables, fruits, salads and broth-based soups. These foods don't have many calories per gram, so you can eat a lot of them without getting too many calories. Eating these foods at the start of the meal may help you eat less of the foods that are more energy-dense, including meats high in fat, full-fat dairy products and sugary desserts. It isn't a good idea to eat too few calories, however, as this could result in your metabolism slowing down, making it more difficult for you to lose weight. For women, the recommended minimum calories per day is about 1,200, while for men the recommended minimum is about 1,800 calories per day.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association: The Effect of Cider Vinegar on Some Nutritional and Physiological Parameters in Mice
- European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Vinegar Supplementation Lowers Glucose and Insulin Responses and Increases Satiety After a Bread Meal in Healthy Subjects
- Scientific World Journal: Natural Honey and Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Effects on Blood Glucose, Cholesterol, Triacylglycerole, CRP, and Body Weight Compared With Sucrose
- European Journal of Nutrition: The Effect of a Cinnamon-, Chromium- and Magnesium-Formulated Honey on Glycaemic Control, Weight Loss and Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetes: An Open-Label Cross-Over Randomised Controlled Trial
- International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition: Effects of Natural Honey Consumption in Diabetic Patients: An 8-Week Randomized Clinical Trial
- Nutrition Research: Honey Promotes Lower Weight Gain, Adiposity, and Triglycerides Than Sucrose in Rats
- Obesity: Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-Aged and Older Adults
- American College of Sports Medicine: Metabolism Is Modifiable With the Right Lifestyle Changes
- American Council on Exercise: What Are the Guidelines for Percentage of Body Fat Loss?
- Diabetes Forecast: How to Eat More but Lose Weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Finding a Balance