Although many fad diets that create rapid weight loss have come and gone over the years, it is encouraging to note that the apple cider vinegar diet leads to gradual weight loss. It would be nice if we could shed pounds quickly and never see them again, but experience has shown that weight that leaves easily comes back easily. If you lose weight quickly, your body will oblige you by kicking in mechanisms to make it more likely this weight will slip back on in no time. But if you can be patient and do not expect instant results, your fat cells will adjust to their new size more willingly and not insist on contributing on your waistline.
When you give it some thought, it makes good sense that drinking apple cider vinegar before meals would help with weight loss. Apples are a good source of pectin, and including pectin in your diet can make you feel fuller and more satisfied. Since apple cider vinegar contains the same amount of pectin as apples (one apple has about 1.5 grams pectin), it can suppress your appetite in a similar way.
There is also good science behind why apple cider vinegar would encourage weight loss even more effectively than eating raw apples. In general, acids help with the digestion of protein, the building blocks for some of our hormones, especially growth hormone. We’ve seen how this hormone is instrumental in breaking down fat cells. By increasing the acid present in your stomach before a meal, you’ll ensure the chances for thorough digestion and increase the availability of protein for hormone synthesis.Greater protein utilization helps the formation of growth hormone, the substance that keeps the body’s metabolism going while we’re at rest. This is why it is important to drink apple cider vinegar before or with your evening meal.
Because apple cider vinegar stimulates digestion, it also reduces the amount of time that fats remains in the digestive tract. It’s important that your body gets a chance to remove key nutrients from your food, and conditions that contribute to diarrhea can be life-threatening. But at the same time, it can be unhealthful to have food remain in the intestines for too long. If fats present longer than necessary during digestion, more fats will be absorbed.
Apple cider vinegar can improve the body’s utilization of iron, a nutrient that acts like firestarter for fuel. Iron is a key component in substances that carry oxygen to the cells and hold it there. Acids (like the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar) help release iron in the food you eat and make it more available to be a building block for oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and oxygen-attracting myoglobin. Oxygen is as essential for burning energy in the body as it is for a fire to burn in a fireplace. It’s the ability of apple cider vinegar to increase iron utilization and energy consumption in the body that makes it such a supportive food for weight loss.
Apple cider vinegar works at the very beginning of the digestive process to stimulate your appetite and increase your interest in food. Normally, you wouldn’t think of this as being the direction you want to go in if you’re trying to lose weight. But apple cider vinegar works positively to support your efforts by increasing your interest in whole foods. Vinegar is well known as a stimulator for the taste buds. It’s the secret ingredient in ketchup, salad dressings, and other condiments that keeps you coming back for more. If your taste buds are working well, it’s easier to appreciate the wonderful, complex flavors of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans—all foods which will help regulate your blood sugar level and improve metabolism. You won’t fall prey as easily to the tandem diet busters: salt and fat.
Apples are a great source of potassium, and likewise, apple cider vinegar, taken on a regular basis, will contribute the potassium you need to help balance the sodium in your diet. In fact, try replacing salt in your diet with apple cider vinegar. Use it to top foods you might be tempted to salt, such as vegetables or protein foods. (A little vinegar over a plate of beans is a regional favorite in many parts of America.) Salt is often present in the foods you eat as a flavor enhancer for fat. So besides increasing the amount of water weight you carry, salt can tempt you to eat more of those fatty foods—French fries, pastries, high-fat meats or meat substitutes, etc.—than you might consume otherwise.
Here is my recommendation for taking apple cider vinegar to lose weight, based on the work of Dr. Jarvis and others:
- 1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar + 1 glass of water
- Drink before meals 3 times a day
Excerpted from Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss & Good Health* by Cynthia Holzapfel (Book Publishing Co.), reprinted by permission.
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