Using Vinegar to Lose Weight

Listening dog

So you’ve heard the rumor: drink vinegar to lose weight! Now you're perhaps wondering if that could possibly be true—can you really drop a bunch of pounds that way? And what might be the drawbacks to such a course?

Could It Be True?
Well, that seems to depend upon the speaker. Dr. Andy Weil pretty much says no—that “there is absolutely no scientific evidence showing that it [vinegar] can aid in weight loss…” (11/12/2009 at

He does, however, discuss a study in which Japanese researchers found that mice fed a high-fat diet with the addition of acetic acid (the main component of vinegar) gained 10 percent less that the control group, which had received the same high-fat diet without also receiving the acetic acid. So, it seems to have kept the mice slimmer…

My own observation suggests that vinegar can keep some people a little slimmer as well. After my parents read D.C. Jarvis's Vermont Folk Medicine, they began drinking vinegar and honey to ease the symptoms of arthritis.
vinegar bottles: vinegar to lose weight
Slimmed Down, As Well
Like some others doing the same, Mom and Dad noticed their clothing gradually growing looser. And, for as long as they took the vinegar and honey—which was at least a couple of decades—weight was never an issue for either of them.

But, in all candor, my folks had rarely experienced the "muffin-top" syndrome, anyway. Still, something pared them down even further during those years, and the vinegar was the only change in their nutritional routine. I, too, drank diluted vinegar at one point in my life, and at the time I thought it helped some with weight loss. But I also think it trashed the enamel on my teeth (more on that later).

If you go to Google, you can find all kinds of anecdotal “evidence” about the benefits of drinking vinegar to lose weight—sometimes from people who appear to have nothing to gain (i.e., they’re not selling vinegar or a product containing acetic acid). To read some of those, click on the link: vinegar "testimonials." Perhaps their stories will help you decide whether to give vinegar a try yourself.

Potential Drawbacks
Vinegar is strong stuff—even its smell can tell you that! So do approach it with care. For example, apple cider vinegar tablets have been known to lodge in people’s throats or esophagi, where they can cause serious and even permanent damage. For that matter, undiluted vinegar itself can cause damage to the esophagus and other areas of the digestive tract. For a few, even diluted vinegar creates discomfort along the digestive tract (notably the end), as I remember all too well myself. Owww!

It can also be quite unkind to tooth enamel, so please be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly—or even brush your teeth—after drinking any vinegar concoction. Also, if you’re taking medication, please speak with your doctor before diving into the vinegar vat; it could possibly interact with certain types of meds.

Finally, just be aware that vinegar doesn’t agree with everybody. Some people do fine with it, others not. So, if you decide to proceed with the use of vinegar to lose weight, please do so gradually and with caution.

mad female scientist: vinegar to lose weight

Dosage and “Mixology”
Suggested dilution ratios vary, ranging from one teaspoon up to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. (My parents did roughly one tablespoon each of vinegar and honey in a cup of hot water.)

Some suggest drinking this before a meal; others suggest drinking it during or after a meal, and as often as three times a day.

Earth Clinic suggests 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 16 ounces of water, to be sipped throughout the day. And they discourage the addition of baking soda to this formula, a modification that is sometimes suggested.

Although some claim that the soda works great for certain people, it apparently causes severe side effects in certain others. Above all, though, if you choose the “sipping” method, rinse your mouth after each sip to protect your teeth. (As already noted, my own teeth can attest to the advisability of that.)

But whether or not you decide to try using vinegar to lose weight, why not take a good long look at an old standby: veggies! They can be as good as just about any diet pill, plus (aside from allergies) they rarely have side-effects. Click here to read the "case" for vegetables.

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Using Vinegar to Lose Weight