Weight gain during menopause catches many aging women by surprise. They may feel as if no matter what they do, those extra pounds will not come off, leading them to search for whatever solution possible to get back down to their premenopausal weight. One of the newest trends for weight loss is apple cider vinegar, but is it worth it?
Continue reading to learn more about the apple cider vinegar weight loss phenomenon, including if it actually works, its safety, and much more.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is created from apples that have been smashed, distilled, and then fermented. It is a popular ingredient in vinaigrettes and marinades and is also used for cleaning, washing hair, preserving foods, and more. Its use as a natural supplement is quickly gaining popularity.
Does It Actually Help With Weight Loss?
Apple cider's high acetic acid content is believed to be responsible for its supposed health benefits of suppressing body fat accumulation.
Recently, the apple cider vinegar weight loss trend has been circulating as a quick, easy way for women to shed extra pounds. However, research confirming apple cider vinegar's effectiveness with losing weight is slim.
One Japanese study measured the effects of the daily intake of a beverage containing 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of apple vinegar on the reduction of body fat mass in obese participants. By the end of the 12-week period, end results showed that body weight had reduced by two to four pounds in both vinegar groups. Triglyceride levels, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference were also lower.
However, these results may be inconclusive as there was no clarification as to if the apple vinegar used has the exact same properties as apple cider vinegar. Researchers only claimed it possesses a high acetic acid content, similar to apple cider vinegar.
Aside from this study, no other reputable human studies have yet to be found on the subject of apple cider vinegar and weight loss.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss Safe?
While using apple cider vinegar for weight loss can be considered a natural weight loss remedy, its consumption comes with forewarning.
First, if trying this method, it is best to dilute the apple cider vinegar in a carrier liquid as its high acidity content can damage tooth enamel or irritate your throat. If consuming with food, consider making it into a salad dressing.
Also, its consumption may cause or worsen low potassium levels and interact with certain supplements and drugs, like diuretics and insulin drugs. If on both diuretics and apple cider vinegar, be sure to monitor the mineral's levels.
In general, it would be wise to consult with your doctor over its use before adding it into your diet.
So, How Can I Lose Weight Safely?
For women suffering from menopausal weight gain, the best treatment would be to target the underlying cause of hormonal imbalance.
Menopausal weight gain treatments first start with installing simple lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and an improved diet. Moderate portion sizes and add some phytoestrogenic foods into the mix to help fill the hormonal gap. These include soy, flax, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc. Also, participate in consistent exercise of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Remember that weight loss occurs when the body expends more energy than it is absorbing.
For further success, add in alternative medicines of phytoestrogenic supplements - black cohosh, red clover, St. John's wort, etc. - that introduce estrogens into the body to make up for the deficit. Or, use hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem, that support and stimulate endogenous hormone production. The latter is one of the safest methods in resolving hormonal imbalance since you are not introducing exogenous hormones into your body.
For those suffering from weight gain for other reasons, work with your doctor and a registered dietician simultaneously to come up with the best weight loss plan for your specific situation.
While apple cider vinegar for weight loss is a trending way to shed those extra pounds, relying strictly upon the natural remedy may not bring the desired results you'd like. While one human study has shown vinegar to be effective with reduction of body fat in obese participants, take the outcome with a grain of salt. Consumption of apple cider vinegar for weight loss can damage tooth enamel, irritate your throat, and interact with medications if not taken properly. The safest way to shed those menopausal pounds is to target the root cause of hormonal imbalance with simple lifestyle adjustments and alternative medicine. With a little bit of initiative and persistence, a new, slimmer you is still within sight.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). Apple cider vinegar diet: Does it really work? Retrieved October 30, 2018, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss seems far-fetched. Does it work? Retrieved October 30, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/apple-cider-vinegar-for-weight-loss/faq-20058394
- Tomoo, K. et al. (2009). Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 73(8), 1837-1843. doi: 10.1271/bbb.90231