A sizable segment of the population has an avid interest in using natural agents, such as apple cider vinegar and honey, to promote health. In regard to weight loss, vinegar isn't likely to be effective, states the Mayo Clinic. More research is needed to more fully ascertain the effects of both honey and water for weight management, but early studies suggest they may help.
Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss
Many people search the internet for information on apple cider vinegar cures, including the beverage's possible value for weight loss, but scientific evidence supporting this use is weak, says Harvard Health Publishing. According to the institution, the most frequently quoted study on the topic is an April 2009 clinical trial featured in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry.
Researchers divided the participants into three groups to compare the effects of consuming 1 or 2 tablespoons of vinegar per day with those of consuming a placebo. Assessments after three months showed the groups who consumed 1 or 2 tablespoons enjoyed a small reduction in weight and a decrease in triglycerides and belly fat. The intake of 1 tablespoon was sufficient to yield positive results.
A later investigation shows apple cider vinegar might facilitate weight loss by reducing the negative consequences of eating a high-fat diet. While the May 2016 study published in the Annals of Cardiology and Angiology involved rats, it's interesting because of what it may promise. Rats that ingested apple cider vinegar showed a decrease in appetite, as well as healthier blood sugar and lipids levels, which mitigated some effects of high-fat food consumption.
Honey and Weight Loss
Many studies show honey has the potential to help control obesity, state the authors of a January 2017 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This first to-date investigation of the weight-loss benefit of Malaysian honey was conducted on obese rats, but it merits mentioning because of the promising results.
The research team found daily honey supplementation in the diet with either Acacia or Gelam honey, two Malaysian varieties, had an anti-obesity effect superior to that of the weight-loss drug orlistat. In addition, Gelam honey had an antioxidant and lipid-lowering effect.
An August 2018 review featured in Nutrients discovered yet more evidence. It examined the body of research that dealt with the effect of honey on metabolic syndrome, a cluster of maladies in which obesity is the central occurrence.
The researchers said honey is beneficial for metabolic syndrome due to its anti-obesity benefit, along with its ability to improve blood glucose, blood pressure and lipids. They concluded that honey has "strong potential" for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.
Water for Weight Loss
Is it possible that the benefits of drinking enough water might include weight loss? Research suggests that it may.
A June 2016 review published in Frontiers in Nutrition evaluated studies that explored the topic. The investigations involved animals, but they provide "considerable evidence" that increasing water intake leads to weight loss.
One likely mechanism of action underlying the benefit might involve water's metabolism-boosting action, the authors theorized. Because weight regulation is a complex process dependent upon many factors, increased water intake is a practice people can employ in their efforts to shed pounds.
A small August 2015 study published in Obesity indicates drinking water before meals may enhance the efficacy of weight-loss programs. The randomized clinical trial involved only 84 obese adults, but it's worth mentioning because of the substantial findings.
Approximately half of the participants drank 500 milliliters of water 30 minutes prior to their main meal, which led to a moderate weight loss. It isn't known if the benefit stemmed from an increase in satiety or if it's due to other factors.
Benefits of Vinegar and Honey
Research doesn't provide convincing evidence of apple cider's value for weight loss, but studies investigating another use of the beverage are more positive.
In a May 2018 review published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, researchers looked at studies dealing with the effect of vinegar on diabetes. They found small but significant improvements in HbA1c, a measure of blood glucose. The authors determined that clinical trials investigating the efficacy on blood glucose control are worthwhile.
Precautions for using apple cider vinegar are few. Don't drink it undiluted because the acid content can damage tooth enamel, warns Harvard. It may cause or worsen low potassium levels, and consumption of large amounts can alter insulin. However, including small amounts in the daily diet, such as in salad dressings, should be safe.
The Mayo Clinic reports that honey has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Moreover, research shows it may lower the risk of heart disease, promote wound healing and alleviate diarrhea associated with gastroenteritis. Studies also indicate honey may suppress coughs and reduce anxiety and depression.
When taking honey, opt for the raw variety to get the maximum amount of nutrients. Don't give honey to babies under the age of 1 year, advises the Mayo Clinic. Cases of bee pollen allergies are rare, but honey may produce a serious reaction in these people.
Read more: The Dangers and Benefits of Raw Honey
Healthy Weight Loss
You can include small amounts of apple cider vinegar and honey in your regimen as part of a nutritious diet for weight management. A healthy eating plan supplies your body with essential nutrition, yet stays within daily calorie limits for weight optimization, says the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
The NHLBI describes this healthy eating plan as one that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. It also includes nuts, eggs, beans, fish, poultry and lean meats. The diet limits trans fat, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar. Portion sizes are sensible.
To lose weight, decrease your calorie intake and increase your physical activity. Set a safe goal of losing 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per week, recommends the NHLBI. In general, a daily intake of 1,200 to 1,500 calories for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories for men will produce the desired weight loss. Don't attempt a daily caloric intake of fewer than 800 calories unless you are monitored by your health care practitioner.
- Mayo Clinic: "Drinking Apple Cider for Weight Loss Seems Fat-Fetched. Does It Work?"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Apple Cider Vinegar Diet: Does It Really Work?"
- Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry: "Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects"
- Annales de Cardiologie et d'Angéiologie: "Anti-Obesogenic Effect of Apple Cider Vinegar in Rats Subjected to a High Fat Diet"
- Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Four-Week Consumption of Malaysian Honey Reduces Excess Weight Gain and Improves Obesity-Related Parameters in High Fat Diet Induced Obese Rats"
- Nutrients: "A Review on the Protective Effects of Honey Against Metabolic Syndrome"
- Frontiers in Medicine: "Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss"
- Obesity: "Efficacy of Water Preloading Before Main Meals as a Strategy for Weight Loss in Primary Care Patients With Obesity: RCT"
- Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine: "Diabetes Control: Is Vinegar a Promising Candidate to Help Achieve Targets?"
- Mayo Clinic: "Honey"
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Healthy Eating Plan"