What Is An Apple Cider Vinegar Diet? - ACV and weight Loss

We’re always looking for easy tricks and cheats to help burn off the pounds with minimum effort right? Well the apple cider vinegar diet is exactly that; it’s easy to do, cheap, and takes minimum effort – just what we’re all looking for.

Apple cider vinegar has been around for centuries and used for quite literally all manner of things, from killing viruses, to a shine tonic for hair. There’s no doubt it’s versatile, and recent studies are proving some great facts about apple cider vinegar (ACV) mainly in regards to it’s weight loss properties.



Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing cider apples and squeezing out the liquid, after which bacteria and yeast are added to the juice thus triggering the fermentation process. It is this fermentation process that turns the sugars from the apple juice into alcohol. There is then a secondary fermentation process where an acetic acid-forming bacterium will convert that alcohol into vinegar.

This is a process that can be done in your own home with just a few ingredients (if you’re inclined to making homemade things), OR as apple cider vinegar is relatively cheap to buy it may be a good idea to purchase a bottle and try it out first.


How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Weight Loss?

This is the $64,0000 question: well in short, apple cider vinegar works on different levels as a weight loss aid, and can very easily be added into your diet with a little know how. But first let’s take a look at how some of the latest research and evidence adds up.


flat belly

It is the compound acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar that is said to have these weight loss benefits. A study on mice from Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that apple cider vinegar suppresses body fat mass and increases energy expenditure, therefore resulting in weight loss.

A similar study involving 155 obese patients discovered that over 12 weeks those in the group that consumed 15-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar had lower body weight, lower body fat, and fewer inches on their waist than those who didn’t. This was without making any other changes to their lifestyle or diet.



And yet another study found that in a 12-week period, the participants taking between 12-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar before a high carbohydrate meal had feelings of satiety, and this led to an overall reduction of 200-275 calorie intake over the rest of the day.

You can imagine how this adds up over the weeks and months. In fact, those taking a 15ml dosage 1xdaily before a high GI meal lost 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg) over the 12-week period; and those taking a double dose of 30ml 1xdaily before a high GI meal lost 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg).


Give ACV a shot!

glass of apple cider vinegar

This is awesome news and definitely warrants giving apple cider vinegar a shot to see if it works for you. Try it with your main, or highest GI meal of the day for best results; ideally your highest GI meal should be at breakfast or lunch, which is when you need the energy for the day ahead.

These effects of satiety can help you to eat less food for the rest of the day.Eating high protein meals will also help with this, especially in the evening when your body needs less energy.


Satisfaction after a meal is the key to weight loss:

Satisfaction and fullness were the two key points of the study as these are the two most important components to long term weight loss. Nothing is worse than eating a paltry ‘diet meal’ and still feeling hungry afterwards. This not only hinders our weight loss efforts, making us more likely to ‘cave’ at the mere whiff of a cream horn, but also makes our lives miserable. As boring as it sounds balance and moderation in everything are always the key, especially when it comes to weight loss!



kitchen scales

So anything that we can add into our every day diets that may give us an extra edge is well worth the effort. You may not lose huge amounts of weight on apple cider vinegar alone in the short term, but look at the long term benefits. You could also just use it for weight maintainence, as every little helps.



Lowering a meals GI really is the cornerstone to losing weight – and belly fat specifically. GI (glycemic index) is the rate in which a foods sugar hits the bloodstream; the higher the GI, the quicker the sugars are released (high GI foods are considered fast sugars), and this is bad in terms of weight loss and health in general.


Excess sugar is stored as fat:

When sugar is released quickly into the blood like, it is with high GI foods, this prompts the body have a rapid and big insulin response in order to clear those sugars out of the bloodstream. This sugar is then sent into the liver and muscles where it is metabolised, and either used for energy or stored as FAT.

The problem is these ‘fast’ sugars don’t all get used up for energy (unless you’re about to run a marathon, or do something that involves vast amounts of energy) and so they are stored as fat. And worse still they are stored as the dangerous abdominal fat that is much more of a health risk, especially in terms of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

This is where having the GI of your meal lessened by apple cider vinegar may be of benefit, not only in terms of weight loss but also for the general health benefits of keeping blood sugar stable.



How to use apple cider vinegar for weight loss purposes:-

bowl of fresh salad

Firstly, there are many ways you can add apple cider vinegar to your diet; it’s pretty versatile and can easily be added to your meals in various ways, such as a fresh salad or dressing. But if you are using it for weight loss purposes like the participants in the study, then I suggest you do what they did and have 15-30 ml in water with a squeeze of lemon, and maybe a little raw honey before your highest carb meal of the day.

Or you could take 15 ml twice a day; one before breakfast and one before lunch, if this fits in better with your life style. Either way you should take up to 30 ml a day, but no more than that in case of stomach issues.



If you’re just going for weight maintenance then you could just try adding apple cider vinegar to your every day diet in other ways, such as:-

  • In a salad dressing.
  • In a hot drink with lemon, honey, cinnamon sticks, sliced fresh ginger and cloves (great for colds but also a tasty drink just for a cold winters day).
  • Replace with your usual vinegar on fish and chips.
  • Can be added to soups and stews.


Other ways of weight management:

exercise sign post

Do not rely on apple cider vinegar alone; boost your fat burning efforts even more by incorporating these other fat burning foods into your diet. Using lots of different methods of boosting metabolism will have a cumulative effect, making it easy for you to stay trim without having to bat an eyelid. All you need to do is to make sure you do add them into your diet as much as possible!




stop diabetes sign

Apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity, and can significantly lower blood sugar levels and insulin response. 2 tablespoons taken before bed can reduce your fasting blood sugars by 4%, making this vinegar useful for diabetics, pre-diabetes and, EVERYBODY in general.

We can all benefit from stable blood sugar – indeed it is vital if we are to avoid many potential health issues in the long term; and let’s not forget, stable blood sugar helps keep us slim!

Important Note: You may need to consult your doctor before using apple cider vinegar if you are on other blood sugar lowering medications.



bacteria cells

Apple cider vinegar’s compound acetic acid can kill pathogens including bacteria, and prevent them from multiplying to harmful levels – although not all of these uses have been tested scientifically as of yet.

Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of wound healing; disinfecting; treating fungal infections; warts; lice; and ear infections.



The biggest killer of our time is now cardiovascular disease; and both heart disease and stroke come under this term.

Some studies in rats have shown that apple cider vinegar may help negate some of the risk factors that are precursers to cardiovascular disease. This is because ACV may help lower triglyceride levels and blood pressure, and also protect LDL particles from becoming oxidised (oxidation is a crucial step in the heart disease process).

It must be noted here that these studies have only so far been trialed in rats, and more research is needed before anything is confirmed. But as apple cider vinegar has so many other benefits with no nasty side effects, you have nothing to lose by trying it.



bacteria diagram

Raw, unpasturised apple cider vinegar, like other fermented foods, acts as a probiotic for the gut and contains trace minerals; pectin; beneficial bacteria; and enzymes.

Keeping the gut in balance by eating lots of probiotic and prebiotic foods keeps the immune system strong, weight under control, balances hormones, AND can even treat depression and anxiety. Yes, everything starts in your gut, so it’s crucial to keep it ticking over nicely.


Important Note:  As with most things in life, you really must source out good quality if you want to reap the most benefits. When it comes to apple cider vinegar you really should purchase Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the ‘MOTHER’. I know this may sound strange, but this term means ‘unfiltered’, ‘unrefined’ and ‘unpasturised’.

apple cider vinegar with the mother

The ‘Mother’ in apple cider vinegar is the colony of beneficial bacteria that is similar to a Kombucha ‘SCOBY’. This is what helps make the vinegar through its secondary fermentation process. It’s not as complicated as it sounds to find this as most apple cider vinegar already contains the ‘Mother’, and this will be labelled on the packaging.


Extra Weight Loss Tips:

For long term weight loss and management I believe it is far better to make a number of different weight control tactics a habit. Don’t rely on any one thing as there is so much more you can do to get your body in to its best shape ever, such as adding lots of specific fat burning plant based foods into your diet. These will really help to boost your metabolism, and will also fill you up so you can start to lose fat fast. 




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Stefanie Taylor

I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.


sarah · 15/02/2018 at 11:53 pm

HI, thank you so much for sharing such a useful article about apple cider vinegar, This is such a useful thing to include in our everyday life, it is not only good for loosing weight and digestion but also has countless health benefits and many of my family menders use apple cider vinegar regularly.

    Stefanie Taylor · 16/02/2018 at 11:36 am

    That’s great Sarah, it really is awesome stuff. I’ve taken to having a shot of it in the morning and I do feel it gives me energy and definitely has beneficial effects. I’m glad you like it too.

Sarah · 16/02/2018 at 12:35 am

I like how you mentioned putting apple cider vinegar in salad dressing and in a tonic to drink. I’ll have to give those a try. Even though I love the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, I’ve never enjoyed consuming it raw by itself. Thanks for the alternate ways of incorporating it into your diet!

    Stefanie Taylor · 16/02/2018 at 11:34 am

    No problem! I know what you mean about the taste but it is something that you get used to and it can be masked in dressings and drinks. You will definitely notice the difference is my you do start incorporating into your diet. Good luck.

Philip, · 16/02/2018 at 1:19 am

Hi Zest for Life,

A great read! I am shocked Apple Cider Vinegar suppresses body fat. I know a lady right now going mad to lose weight using what she calls the ‘cereal diet’.

I will be sure to share this article with her. So you say only 30 mls a day is the max we can consume?

I do have a bottle n the cupboard but not a big fan on the taste, however, I will certainly bear it for the benefits. I have never even heard of the apple cider vinegar diet before and was looking for info on if it was any good at removing stains when I found your article.

Thank you for this very useful information and I will definitely be using the bottle in my cupboard in the future.



    Stefanie Taylor · 16/02/2018 at 11:32 am

    Hi Philip, yes you should definitely refer this post to your friend as it also has links in it or further reading into weight loss and fat burning foods etc. She could really benefit from it I’m sure as I have never heard of the cereal diet, but it sounds high carb which is not good for long term weight loss. She needs to be eating low GI foods and lots of protein to keep her muscle mass up. And muscle mass burn fat! If you refer her to my website she will find all the information she needs on this matter.

    As for the amounts of cider vinegar you can take, I have said 30 mls because that is the amount used in the weight loss trials. Also, more than this could possibly cause side effects as in gastric problems, stomach upset etc. But I’m sure it’s fine to find your own gut tolerance levels.

    If you have some in your cupboards I would most certainly use it up in salad dressings or hot drinks. You do actually feel the benefits of it.
    Thanks for reading.

Gomer Magtibay · 16/02/2018 at 11:45 am

We have here a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar that has been opened for more than a year now, but not yet emptied. There’s still approximately 10 tablespoon of the vinegar remaining. I’d like to ask if it is still safe to finish them off? Or, should I open a new one? Does this product contain preservatives making it invulnerable to spoils even at that time frame of one year sitting idly in our kitchen?

    Stefanie Taylor · 16/02/2018 at 1:31 pm

    Hi there, I don’t use Braggs cider vinegar so I’m not sure of their time frame of when their products need to be used by. However, a good apple cider vinegar should be unprocessed and raw which means obviously no preservatives etc. Mine do go off after a couple of months, especially if not kept in the fridge. If I were you I would buy a fresh one to be on the safe side. Or you could open it and smell it and you will soon find out as it smells bad when off.

Denis · 16/02/2018 at 7:14 pm

Who knew that apple cider vinegar had so many beneficial properties. Being a diabetic type 2 myself, I will definitely check it out with my doctor if apple cider vinegar could be a substitute for one of the many pills I take for my diabetes. I’m also interested in the probiotic properties of it. Do you think it’s the probiotics equivalent of having a cup of yogurt?

    Stefanie Taylor · 16/02/2018 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Denis, I’m sorry to hear you are diabetic, it’s just so common these days isn’t it? You should definitely ask your doctor about this, providing you’ve got one that knows about alternative medicines. (my doc hasn’t a clue so just says no to everything except pharmaceutical drugs ), but some are great and at the very least he may be able to tell you if there are any reasons why you shouldn’t try it.

    As for the probiotic effects, as it is a vinegar I think it would have a different kind of strain than a dairy based yogurt. I think it’s probably good to diversify and go for lots of different types of probiotic foods to give yourself a good over all spectrum. 

    Also, I think you should read my post on avocados which I think you will find interesting as they are a great low GI food for diabetics and are great for keeping blood sugar stable. Hope this helps and please feel free to contact me again if you have any further questions. Are Avocados Good For You? – 8 Little Known Facts

Dr. Doug · 16/02/2018 at 7:17 pm

Thank you for this reminder of how beneficial apple cider vinegar is for you. I usually make a hot drink of it by boiling water, adding a bit of raw honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. A question I have is that I just had surgery and am in the recovery period, which is dragging on forever. Apple cider vinegar helps in wound recovery so do you think it would it help post-surgery?

    Stefanie Taylor · 16/02/2018 at 8:19 pm

    Hi there, yes cider vinegar is really great, and I’m sure if you take it post surgery it can only do good things for you. Another great supplement to take post surgery is super food. Check it out here Super Supplements – Green Super Food Powder. This stuff truly is awesome for helping your body recover, boosting immune system and detoxifying. The medical herbalist I work for recommends this all the time. It’s worth you having a look to see what you think. 

    And the single best thing you can do to help you heal is to eat a healthy alkaline, anti inflammatory diet as this will ease pain and inflammation. Basically a plant based diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and lentils will be the best while you are healing, and in the long term if you like it. Hope you get better soon.

penelope · 16/02/2018 at 10:00 pm

I go through periods where I remember to drink ACV but then forget about it for long stretches….I’m currently in one of the “forget” stretches but I’m also working out a lot, and I think adding this back in could provide a lot of support for my weight loss efforts. Thanks for explaining why!

    Stefanie Taylor · 17/02/2018 at 2:19 pm

    Yes. I’m in and out of the apple cider vinegar thing too, but since writing this post and reaffirming to myself just how great it is I’ve got into it again. I’m having it first thing every morning with warm water, lemon juice and cinnamon to flush the system out and act as a detoxifyer. It’s working brilliantly and I see the difference in my face and skin within about half an hour. It also gives my energy levels a boost. Great stuff!

    Glad to hear you are starting to use it again too as I’m sure it will most definitely help with weight loss, good luck.

Christina · 25/02/2018 at 4:33 pm

I never knew how apple cider vinegar was made, and that it’s fairly easy to make yourself! (Although, I’ll probably still take the lazy way out and just buy it at the store.) I love this article so much because I have awesome apple cider vinegar, but I never seem to remember to use it! Except on potatoes. I love it on potatoes. Try it, it’s good I swear! I love using it as a probiotic, so again, I thank you for reminding me about all of the benefits of ACV!

    Stefanie Taylor · 25/02/2018 at 6:37 pm

    Wow, yes I must try it on potatoes, what a great idea. Being British I love chips and salt and vinegar, but I do make my own homemade healthy oven baked version of course! In fact, I’m going to make them for dinner tonight now you have put the idea in my head. You know what, I have been doing what it says in the research on my post and having 30ml of ACV in some warm water with lemon juice before my breakfast and it really is making me eat less for the rest of the day…honestly. I notice these things because I’m an avid calories counter, just a throwback from my dieting days, I can’t help myself – but I really have noticed I am eating less.

    This is exiting news because I would lie to lose a few pounds, and if I can do this and not feel like I’m missing out on anything then that would be great. Thanks for your comment.

Kathleen · 09/03/2018 at 9:53 pm

This is a great article. The research is very complete and very good to know. I am a big fan of ACV and have a regular stock for all sorts of purposes, from dressings, tonics, hair conditioner and household cleaning. I am happy to learn how healthy it is in more ways than I knew!

    Stefanie Taylor · 10/03/2018 at 11:31 am

    Hi Kathleen, yes I use apple cider vinegar every day since I researched this article. In fact I’m on a mission to find out whether it can help me lose weight as it says in the study. So every day before breakfast I have 30ml AVC with half a squeezed lemon and half teaspoon of cinnamon. I have been doing this about a week and can definitely say thatI don’t feel as hungry as I used to. This is how it makes you lose weight, by curbing your appetite so it obviously does work over time.
    What a brilliant thing! But I do think that you need to have the full 30ml for it to work.

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