If you want to know what science has to say about apple cider vinegar and weight loss, then you want to read this article.
- Apple cider vinegar doesn’t burn body fat or reduce fat gain.
- Apple cider vinegar can reduce blood sugar levels and decrease appetite, but the effects are negligible.
- The best way to accelerate weight loss is restricting caloric intake, eating plenty of protein, doing resistance training and HIIT, and taking the right fat loss supplements.
If you’re trying to lose weight faster and are looking for every advantage you can get, I understand.
Getting your calories and macros right is much more than half the battle, of course, but if you can speed up your progress with safe options like fat burners, interval training, or intermittent fasting, why not give them a go?
And that’s why many people take to drinking apple cider vinegar.
According to some experts, just a few tablespoons per day will help you safely lose weight faster by decreasing your appetite, increasing fat burning, and reducing fat storage.
Unfortunately, science says otherwise.
As you’ll see in this article, research shows that apple cider vinegar can slightly reduce your appetite, but not enough to help you meaningfully reduce your caloric intake (and thus accelerate weight loss), and can’t directly burn body fat or otherwise positively influence fat metabolism.
By the end of this article you’re going to know what apple cider vinegar is, why it’s often claimed to increase weight loss, and what the scientific literature has actually demonstrated.
Let’s get to it.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is exactly what it sounds like: vinegar made from fermented apples.
(And in case you’re not familiar with fermentation, it’s a process whereby the sugars in organic matter are converted into alcohol.)
To make apple cider vinegar, apple chunks, water, and sugar are combined and left to ferment for several weeks. The apple chunks are then removed, and the liquid is filtered, pasteurized, and bottled (sometimes after another round of fermentation).
As the apples ferment, several pungent compounds are produced including acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?
According to some people, apple cider vinegar is something of a wonder tonic, capable of improving many facets of your health and body composition as well as warding off various types of disease and dysfunction.
Weight loss is one of the big benefits used to sell “ACV,” and this is supposedly accomplished in various ways, including directly burning body fat, reducing appetite, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and increasing insulin sensitivity.
How true are these claims, though?
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Burn Body Fat?
There’s no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can burn body fat.
One study found that when rats were fed a high-fat diet, including apple cider vinegar helped reduce fat gain, but rats aren’t tiny people and these effects have never been demonstrated in humans. It’s also worth noting that the rats were drinking the human equivalent of over two and a half cups of vinegar a day, which is about 20 times more than most people drink to lose weight faster.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Reduce Appetite?
Research shows that ACV can indeed increase the feeling of fullness and thus discourage overeating, but when you look into the details, you’re quickly underwhelmed.
First, one of the reasons it can reduce appetite in some people is it simply makes them nauseous, and second, the effects are just too slight to matter in the long run.
That’s why this study conducted with 175 obese but otherwise healthy subjects found that after 12 weeks of drinking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day, they lost a paltry 4 pounds on average.
(It’s also very possible that the weight loss observed had nothing to do with the vinegar whatsoever as diets were self-reported, which is a notoriously unreliable way to track caloric intake.)
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Control Your Blood Sugar?
Kind of, but the claim that this will help prevent excess fat storage is very fake news (or fake science, if you like).
To understand why, we need to review how your body processes carbohydrates that you eat.
Simply put, when you eat carbs, your blood sugar levels rise and your body releases insulin into your bloodstream to help shuttle the sugar molecules into your muscles and liver for use.
There are several problems with this theory.
First, this effect only lasts a couple of hours, at which point blood sugar levels rise back to where you’d expect them to be after a high-carb meal. In other words, it doesn’t reduce the spike in blood sugar that follows a high-carb meal per se–it delays it.
(And in case you’re wondering, apple cider vinegar accomplishes this by slowing the rate at which food passes through your stomach. It’s worth noting that the same thing happens when you mix in other foods as well, including plain old dietary fat, fiber, and protein.)
Second, even if ACV did affect blood sugar levels as many people believe, it still wouldn’t help you lose weight faster because these effects don’t reduce hunger or cravings or increase energy expenditure or fat burning.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Improve Insulin Sensitivity?
Does that mean that it can help some people lose weight faster, then?
Unfortunately, no. To understand why, let’s start at the top: what is insulin sensitivity?
Insulin sensitivity refers to how well your body’s cells (and muscles, primarily) respond to the hormone insulin.
The more insulin sensitive your body’s cells are, the better they can absorb and use glucose (blood sugar). Conversely, the less sensitive they are (the more resistant they are to insulin’s signals), the longer glucose remains in your bloodstream, which can lead to fat storage and harm your health.
In other words, insulin sensitivity is a side-effect of losing weight, not a driving factor so even if ACV could make your body more insulin sensitive, it won’t help you lose fat faster.
What Can Help You Lose Weight Faster?
People are always looking for the next fat loss “hack.”
If you want to lose fat quickly, consistently, and efficiently, then here’s what you need to do:
1. Make sure you’re in a large enough calorie deficit.
Yes, calories in vs. calories out matters. A lot.
(The number one reason people stop losing weight is terribly simple: overeating.)
This is also why the obese people in that study you just learned about didn’t lose more weight, despite diligently gulping down apple cider vinegar–they were eating too damn much.
When you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re in a “calorie deficit” because, well, you’re feeding your body fewer calories than it needs.
And if you want to lose stubborn fat as quickly as possible, you need to ensure you’re in a large enough deficit.
Specifically, I recommend that you eat around 25% fewer calories than you burn every day.
That is, a 25% calorie deficit.
This will help you lose fat at a rapid clip without ever feeling starved or deprived.
Want to know how to figure out your calories? Check out this article.
2. Make sure you’re eating enough protein.
If there’s one thing most weight loss “gurus” agree about, it’s that a high-protein diet is best.
And they’re right.
- Keeps you fuller on fewer calories
- Prevents muscle loss
- Increases energy expenditure
- Improves muscle recovery and repair
The bottom line is this:
If you don’t eat protein, you’re going to have a rough time losing weight, and particularly with losing fat and not muscle.
So, what’s enough protein?
Research shows that somewhere between 0.8 and 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day is optimal.
Want to know more about how much protein you need to eat and why? Check out this article.
3. Do heavy compound resistance training.
Your goal shouldn’t be to merely “lose weight.”
It should be to improve your body composition.
And that means that we want your body to burn as much fat and as little muscle as possible. That’s how we’re going to make sure you get lean and muscular, not skinny fat.
Using a proper calorie deficit and eating enough protein help with this, but heavy compound resistance training is the real linchpin.
The reason for this is simple: as far as muscle goes, you either “use it or lose it.”
In other words, if you don’t want to lose your muscle when you diet (and just in general, really), you need to use it, and studies show that resistance training is best.
Want to know how to build an effective resistance training program? Check out this article.
4. Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT is a form of cardio that involves short, maximum effort sprint workouts.
And it’s very good for burning fat.
It accomplishes this in several ways, including…
- Increasing metabolic rate for up to 24 hours.
- Improving insulin sensitivity in your muscles.
- Increasing your muscle’s ability to burn fat for fuel.
- Decreasing appetite.
It’s also better for preserving muscle than regular low-intensity cardio, mainly because you don’t have to do nearly as much to keep the needle moving.
Want to know how to get the most out of your HIIT workouts? Check out this article.
5. Take the right fat loss supplements.
I saved this for last because it’s the least important.
The truth is most fat loss supplements are worthless.
Unfortunately, no amount of weight loss pills and powders are going to make you lean.
Trust me. If you’re trying to lose fat, pill popping, even to excess, isn’t going to be enough, and neither is drinking apple cider vinegar.
Now the good news:
If you know how to drive fat loss with proper dieting and exercise, certain supplements can accelerate the process.
Based on my experience with my own body and with the thousands of people I’ve worked with, I feel comfortable saying that a proper fat loss supplementation routine can safely increase fat loss by about 30 to 50%.
That is, if you can lose 1 pound of fat per week through diet and exercise alone (and you can), you can lose 1.3 to 1.5 pounds of fat per week by adding the right supplements into the mix.
And here are those supplements:
3 to 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight per day.
My preferred source of caffeine is my pre-workout supplement PULSE.
0.1 to 0.2 milligrams of yohimbine per kilogram of bodyweight before exercising.
Yohimbine is a natural substance that accelerates fat loss by making it easier to mobilize and burn “stubborn” fat cells.
There’s a catch, though–research shows it only works when insulin levels are at a low, baseline level.
So that means you can only use it if you exercise in a fasted state.
The easiest way to do this is working out first thing in the morning, before you’ve had anything to eat.
If you do this, you’ll ensure that your insulin levels are low and that the yohimbine (and the other supplements I recommend) will be maximally effective.
Fasted training has other benefits, too.
In terms of a specific yohimbine supplement to take, I recommend you check out my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.
Every serving contains clinically effective doses of yohimbine, HMB, and CDP-choline, which help you burn stubborn fat faster, preserve your muscle, and have better workouts.
Want to learn more about fasted training? Check out this article.
1 serving of PHOENIX per day.
PHOENIX is a fat burner that I developed.
It contains seven natural ingredients proven help you lose fat faster, including synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin.
Naringin and hesperidin work synergistically with synephrine to further increase its effectiveness.
The bottom line is if you want to lose fat faster without taking a bunch of stimulants or harsh chemicals, then you want to try PHOENIX.
The Bottom Line on Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar isn’t going to help you lose weight in any significant way or amount.
It doesn’t burn body fat, and although it may help slightly reduce your average daily caloric intake, the effects will be negligible. The same goes for its blood sugar and insulin sensitivity effects: marginal and meaningless in the context of weight loss.
The good news is there are several strategies that are scientifically proven to help you lose fat (and not muscle!) faster:
- Make sure you’re in a large enough calorie deficit.
- Make sure you’re eating enough protein.
- Do heavy compound resistance training.
- Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
- Take the right fat loss supplements.
Implement these strategies, and you’ll lose weight.
I guarantee it.