Weight loss is one of the resolutions on a lot of people’s New Year’s resolution lists. For some, losing weight is a breeze. Some get lucky and automatically shed off the pounds without lifting a finger. Others hit the gym a few times and they’re at their ultimate weight and physical appearance. Some people are just blest with good genes and they never seem to pack on the pounds no matter what they eat while another group will smell cake and get fat. For others, though, the struggle is very real and even after months of gruelling morning runs, the weight just doesn’t budge.
Such people usually need a little boost in their metabolism to get them going and if you search online, you will probably find several alternatives to weight loss and metabolism boosters.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the products that has been touted as great for weight loss. I decided to do a little digging and find out exactly how it works in helping to trim the excess body fat.
Apple cider vinegar is made from apples which are crushed and then fermented and distilled to form a liquid that is rich in acetic acid (vinegar). It has been used for hundreds of years to treat various medical conditions ranging from ear canal infections to altering vaginal PH to being applied to the cervix to screen for cervical cancer.
So, what are some of the benefits?
- Apples and Apple Vinegar are a good source of pectin which suppresses your appetite giving you a feeling of being fuller for longer periods.
- Acetic acid promotes the digestion of protein. This means that having some apple cider vinegar before a meal will allow for the optimal breakdown of protein which in turn forms building blocks for the growth hormone which helps to break down fat cells.
- Apple cider vinegar makes your body utilize iron in the most efficient way to produce oxygen-rich blood. When this happens, your cells work faster. This boost in metabolism means your body breaks down food faster and that no excess fat remains in your digestive tract for too long. It also means that your body makes the most out of the nutrients that you are getting from your meals.
- Apples provide us with a rich source of potassium. Potassium is essential in muscle building. The more muscular your body is, the more effective it is at burning fat even when you are at rest. It also replaces the potassium which we lose during exercise. It also helps to balance the sodium in our diets.
So how do you use it?
If you want to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your dietary plan, dilute two tablespoons of it with a tall glass of water. Drink it through a straw as the vinegar can corrode your tooth enamel over time. Don’t worry about the nasty taste, when diluted with water, it doesn’t taste so bad and after a while you would get used to it.
Never take the vinegar undiluted as it can wreak havoc on your intestines. You should also only use raw and unprocessed apple cider vinegar. Brands that you can look out for that are raw and unprocessed are Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar which is available at most of the HealthyU stores in Nairobi.
The claims of apple cider vinegar’s ability to make you lose weight are not backed by any scientific findings though. It’s only a Japanese study on lab animals that supports these claims but conclusive studies on humans are currently unavailable. So as of now, they’re mostly word-of-mouth tales of people finding it beneficial.
Keeping this in mind, do not use it as a substitute for the tried and tested benefits of safe exercising and clean and healthy eating. It would be best to use it as a complimentary method and watch how your body responds to it. Another option would be to mix it with a little virgin olive oil to form a low-calorie dressing for your salad. You can also look for other creative ways of consuming it if the idea of taking it straight with water doesn’t sit well with you.
If you have previously suffered from frequent acid refluxes, gastritis or if you have ulcers, it would probably be a good idea to stay away from acid cider vinegar as it might aggravate the situation. For some people, though, apple cider vinegar helps to reduce acid refluxes but the science and details surrounding that is a story for another day.
Because there is no scientific backing to apple cider vinegar as a weight loss tool, the amount that one should consume in a day is also not very clear. However, most websites seem to agree on two tablespoons in a tall glass of water a day before your first meal of the day. It should also only be taken once a day.
As with all things concerning your body and health, do thorough research, understand your body and if possible consult with a professional before taking any step.
I would recommend the following two sites for further reading, one that is pro apple cider vinegar and one that leans a little more on the sceptical side.
Featured image via Homeremediesforlife.com.
Health: 15 Proven Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar: My Review After Using It And Why You May Need To Rethink Some Of Its Benefits