Can Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

What gets me excited about apple cider vinegar (ACV) is all the rave reviews online about people using ACV to achieve crazy levels of weight loss.

One place that I like to go to see what kind of natural remedies are working for people with various conditions like weight gain, is

When you go on their weight loss page, you’ll see hundreds of comments from REAL PEOPLE chiming in with what worked for them.

I much prefer the old version of their website, where you could see a list of “Most Popular Remedies”. You can check the old version of their weight loss page here:

Apple cider vinegar is voted the #1 weight loss remedy at Earth Clinic

You’ll notice that Apple Cider Vinegar is the #1 most popular weight loss remedy, followed by coconut oil.

Here are some of the many rave reviews about ACV for weight loss:

“I started drinking 2 TBSP of ACV in 4 ounces of water, three times a day. Immediately the pounds started melting away faster with the program I was on. I went from 259 lbs down to 197 lbs in six months. Even my blood pressure dropped to normal, my cholesterol levels were normal, and the inflammation in my joints were gone. If not for weight loss….do it for your health. It's worth it!!”

…Janet, California, 2nd November 2017

“I have been taking apple cider vinegar for the past month to lose weight. It's working and I feel awesome. I take a teaspoon of ac vinegar in hot water with lemon when I wake up, then a tablespoon of it in my sports water bottle, which I sip all day. I have lost 4 pounds so far.”

…Esther, Greenwich, London, 10th August 2017

“I am a hypo thyroid patient and was finding it difficult to lose weight how much ever I worked out or I had a strict diet. And I came across this B—-s ACV . And I wanted to give it a try and it is a magic bullet . And in just a week my fat started melting like butter. Lot of energy and feeling content all the time and the craving for eating started disappearing. I sip it through out the day – 1tsp whenever I drink water.”

…Rajula, UAE, 31st July 2015

“I’ve been taking 2 tablespoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar diluted in 8oz of water and sweetened with 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey at night before bed. I’ll be honest, I was extremely skeptical when I started this one week ago along with exercise and healthy eating. I’ve lost 8lbs and 2 inches from my waist in only 1 week!! I am amazed at the results. I’ve NEVER lost weight this quickly using diet and exercise alone. I’m now a believer in ACV. My skin is glowing and my energy levels are thru the roof! No more bloating and I just have an overall sense of well-being. Try it! It works!!”

…Nursejane, Texas, 3rd June 2010

Now, I know the internet is a place full of fake reviews, and you have to be careful what you believe. But these people aren’t promoting anything. You can tell from the way they write that these are normal everyday people writing in about their experiences with ACV.

But it’s not just stories online. The few scientific studies that have been done on the effects of ACV and other types of vinegar on weight loss, show promising results.

2009 Study Shows ACV Does Reduce Body Fat

In this study, published in the journal, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, researchers took 155 obese men and split them into 3 groups. For 12 weeks, one group received 1 tablespoon of ACV in 500 ml water, another received 2 tablespoons of ACV in 500 ml water, and the third group acted as a control (placebo group), receiving 500 ml water with lactate.

By the end of the study, the placebo group gained 0.7 lb. of bodyweight, the 1 tablespoon ACV group lost 2.6 lb., and the 2 tablespoon ACV group lost 4.2 lb.

The ACV groups also saw a greater reduction in their BMI, body fat levels, and hip and waist circumferences than the control group. The 2 tablespoon ACV group experienced greater reductions in these measurements than the 1 tablespoon ACV group.

The 1 tablespoon ACV group started to see their waists and hips get smaller after 8 weeks, while the 2 tablespoon ACV group started seeing their waists and hips get smaller a lot sooner, after 4 weeks.

So this study shows that drinking ACV helps you burn fat, and that a higher dose of ACV will get you better results faster.

What’s really cool about these results is the subjects were not dieting, and they were forbidden to do any strenuous exercise. So ACV in this experiment, resulted in body fat reduction with no diet and no exercise!

Imagine what you could achieve if you added a good diet and exercise regimen to the mix.

Another thing that’s really cool about the results of this study, is that the vinegar groups lost just as much visceral fat as they did subcutaneous fat.

Why is this so cool?

See, visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs. Losing visceral fat is good for you, it will prolong your life, but it won’t make you LOOK any better.

If you want to look better with a manlier chest and abs, then you want to lose subcutaneous fat.

One reason why people have such a hard time changing their look with diet and exercise, is because studies show diet and exercise reduce more visceral (hidden) fat, they're not very good at removing subcutaneous fat (the fat you can see).

So by adding apple cider vinegar to your regimen, not only do you burn more fat, but you burn more of the fat that makes a difference to the way you look.

The bad news however, is at week 12, everyone stopped taking ACV, and 4 weeks after this, all of the ACV subjects who lost fat on ACV, gained back all the fat they lost.

So if you want to keep benefiting from the fat busting effects of ACV, you’ll have to carry on taking it.

But that’s no surprise.

If you lose weight through exercise, then you stop exercising and go back to your old lazy ways, you’ll gain back the weight you lost. 

If you lose weight through diet, then you stop dieting and go back to eating the way you used to, then you’ll gain back the weight you lost.

There’s no reason why vinegar, or any other weight loss method/substance should be any different.

So What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do In Your Body That Allows It To Help You Lose Weight?

ACV helps you lose weight via multiple different mechanisms:

Improves insulin sensitivity

Insulin is the most important fat storage hormone in your body.

The more insulin you have floating around in your blood, the more fat you will store, and the more difficult it will be for you to BURN fat (because insulin inhibits the enzymes your body needs to burn fat).

When you are highly insulin sensitive, your body only needs a small amount of insulin to do insulin’s crucial job of moving sugar out of your blood and into your liver and muscles.

So the more insulin sensitive you are, the less insulin your body creates, and the easier it is for you to burn fat.

In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research, diabetic patients were given a vinegar drink (vinegar + water) or placebo (just water). They were then given a meal and had blood samples taken at regular intervals after the meal.

Compared to the placebo group, the group given vinegar were found to have significantly smaller spikes in both glucose and insulin levels. The vinegar group was also found to have higher levels of glucose uptake by their muscles. All of these changes indicate improved insulin sensitivity.

Boosts metabolism & increases fat burning (fatty acid oxidation)

Studies show that acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, activates an enzyme called AMPK, which boosts your metabolism and breaks down fat to produce energy.

Exercise and glucose deprivation (as you would get from low carb dieting and intermittent fasting), also activate AMPK.

This means that vinegar will help BOOST the fat burning results you get from exercise, low carb dieting, and intermittent fasting.

Prevents fat storage (lipogenesis)

Acetic acid from vinegar blocks multiple fat storage genes.

In a 2016 study, acetic acid was found to protect diabetic rats from obesity, by reducing lipid accumulation in the liver and in abdominal fat.

Suppresses appetite & makes you feel full for longer

Studies have found that acetate from vinegar makes its way from your bowls to your brain, specifically to the appetite control center in the hypothalamus of your brain, where it increases lactate and GABA production, which results in appetite suppression.

So figure that – ACV can suppress your appetite at the level of your brain!

In one small study of 11 people, those who took vinegar with a high-carb meal ended up consuming 200–275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.

In another small study, taking vinegar with a starchy meal was found to slow down stomach emptying. This led to increased feelings of fullness and lowered blood sugar and insulin levels.

What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar Better Than Other Vinegars?

What makes apple cider vinegar better than refined distilled white vinegar and other vinegars?

As far as I am aware, there is no study comparing apple cider vinegar head to head with another vinegar, to see which is better at reducing body fat.

What I can say however, is that it matters what the vinegar is derived from.

Acetic acid, which is the major component of vinegar, has been shown to produce lots of health benefits on its own. But if acetic acid was the only thing that was important, then all vinegars would have the same effect on your body, but we know this isn’t true.

In a 2017 study, researchers compared the effect of a synthetic acetic acid vinegar with Nipa vinegar, which is a traditional Filipino vinegar made from the sap of the Nipa palm tree.

By the end of the 10 week study, mice treated with the synthetic acetic acid vinegar lost an average of 10 grams of body weight per mouse, while mice treated with Nipa vinegar lost an average of 19 grams of body weight per mouse.

So the mice treated with Nipa vinegar lost significantly more weight than the mice treated with the synthetic acetic acid vinegar.

The researchers concluded that it was “the active ingredients present in Nipa vinegar, particularly the polyphenols,” that were responsible for the extra weight loss caused by Nipa vinegar compared to synthetic acetic acid vinegar.

Vinegars derived from fruit, like apple cider vinegar, are good sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like polyphenols, which give you added health and weight loss benefits beyond that of standard distilled white vinegars.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – ACV is more than just vinegar, it also contains the goodness of apples.

ACV also contains pectin, which is naturally found in apples. Pectin is known to increase satiety, so it’s likely that ACV makes you feel more full after your meals than do other vinegars.

Pectin also acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your gut, and we know that a healthy gut microbiome can help you lose weight.

Vinegar can be made from just about any food that contains natural sugars. I would easily root for a naturally produced, slow fermented vinegar made from a healthy starter food like apples, than something that’s synthetically created in a lab, or made from a nutritionally deficient starter food like rice or potatoes.

Without scientific studies comparing vinegars from different starter foods head to head with one another, there’s no way to know whether apple cider vinegar is better for weight loss than other healthy vinegars like coconut vinegar, raisin vinegar, Nipa vinegar, and wine vinegar.

What I do know however, is that apple cider vinegar is by far the most raved-about weight loss vinegar online, and if I could try any one vinegar on myself, it would be this one.

What’s The Best Way To Take Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss?

In the above study of 155 participants, the most successful group were given 500 ml of water with 30 ml ACV a day in 2 divided doses: one after breakfast and the other after dinner.

500 ml is the equivalent of 2 glasses of water.

30 ml is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons.

So basically, you take one glass of water, add one tablespoon of ACV, and drink this once in the morning and once at night.

For better results, I would drink the ACV-water mixture 20-30 minutes before your meal, so the appetite-suppressing, insulin-sensitizing, and other fat reduction properties come into play for that particular meal.

If you’re super-dedicated, you can also add in an extra dose at lunch time, so you’re having 3 tablespoons of ACV a day instead of 2.

Here’s my favorite brand of ACV, that a lot of people are having success with:

The trouble with ACV however, is most people can’t stand the sour taste, it’s a lot of hassle mixing it up with water, and it's a struggle to drink it down 2 or 3 times a day. 

Thankfully, there’s a much better way to take ACV.

Nowadays you can take ACV in capsule form, where you don’t have to waste time mixing ACV with water, and you don’t have to put up with the sour taste of ACV.

The all-natural capsule shell conveniently dissolves in your stomach, where the ACV is released and exerts its beneficial weight-loss and health promoting effects.

Before ACV capsules were available, I struggled to get my clients to drink ACV with water for more than a few days. Nowadays with the capsules, my clients are happily swallowing 2 capsules a day indefinitely.

Here’s a good ACV capsule that is working well for me and for my clients:

What I like about this capsule is it's all-natural, there are no artificial additives, no additives at all actually, and most importantly, the ACV itself is the best form I could find, and it actually works.


So to summarize, a lot of people are raving online about how apple cider vinegar has helped them to lose weight.

ACV can help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite and activating your metabolism so you burn more fat.

In a study of 155 obese men, taking 2 tablespoons of ACV a day for 12 weeks with no exercise and no diet, lead to an average loss of 4.2 lb. of bodyweight per person.

Though all vinegars contain fat loss promoting acetic acid, apple cider vinegar contains extra fat reducing components from the apple itself, making it better than standard store-bought distilled white vinegar at helping you to lose weight.

We don’t know if ACV is better than all other vinegars at helping you to lose weight, but it’s by far the most raved-about vinegar for weight loss online, and if you’re gonna start with any one vinegar, it should be ACV.

You can either take liquid ACV with water, or you can take ACV capsules. 

Liquid ACV works out cheaper, but capsules are more convenient and with capsules you don’t have to put up with the awful sour taste of ACV.

Here’s my favorite liquid ACV:

Here’s my favorite ACV in capsule form:

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