Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic for Weight Management
You know those times when you stumble across those liver detox tonics, discipline yourself to try it consistently for one week, and then experience the unintended consequence of losing weight without even trying? It's glorious, isn't it?
It sounds dramatic and sensational, but I'm telling the truth: this drink keeps the extra inches off when I'm unable to exercise or when I take a break from my regular healthy eating routines. (A short break, of course.) If you're a skeptic, scroll down to the bottom and I'll explain some of the science.
This tonic was designed to help our toxin-burdened livers do what they need to do: break down fat, absorb nutrients, and detoxify our bloodstream, among other things. There are lots of ways to do a liver cleanse, but however you do it -it's an important task to perform on the regular. But a weight loss benefit? Heck - I'll do it just for fun! Who's with me?
Now for the disclaimer: for those of you who believe you're the exception to the rule that all health protocols MUST begin with proper diet and consistent exercise... I make no guarantees that this "trick" will shed very many inches. Though it may shed a few, help you get started detoxing, and hopefully rev your metabolism and curb some sugar cravings, this tonic can't be relied upon as a substitute for healthy eating and exercise.
(Pardon me as I climb on the soapbox for a minute.) If you want to survive (let alone, beat) any health issue, no matter what it is, you need to at least get 5 whole fruits and vegetables a day, limit your boxed/canned/processed foods, cut back big time on wheat products, drink very little sugar (diet drinks aren't a safe alternative!), and get plenty of non-greasy protein. AND - you need to be getting at least an hour of moderate exercise a week, no matter who you are. Your lymph system/circulatory system/digestive system/reproductive system/endocrine system/nervous system (in short, your very life) all depend on these things. The human race was just not meant to survive in the sedentary, fake-food world we currently inhabit! (Soapbox schpiel concluded.)
A Leg Up
That being said, maybe you do eat well and exercise regularly during the average week...but there are just those weeks when you simply cannot do business as usual in the diet or exercise arenas. Maybe you're out of town, or maybe you've got an insanely full work week, or are hosting in-laws. For whatever reason you simply can't make it to the gym for a solid 7 days or more.
OR - maybe you're like me at times, and your body seems to be punishing you for those past 7-14 days of neglect. Never mind that you have been to the gym consistently since that struggle period. Your body is still giving you the silent treatment, refusing to respond to your attempts to bring things back in balance.
OR - maybe you have a wedding/vacation/major event coming up. You're wondering just how exactly you're going to shave those few stubborn inches off your midsection and thighs in order to don that new outfit with confidence when you've only got time for a 30 minute workout or two over the next 2 weeks.
Either way - you're not saying you want to sit on the couch and eat chips all day. You just need a leg up, that's all.
Apple Cider Vinegar to the Rescue
Never fear...apple cider vinegar is here. This brownish fermented liquid is seriously a "cure-all," you guys (though I'm not a doctor and the FDA says that apple cider vinegar can't be used to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any diseases... no matter how many hundreds and thousands of people testify that it did for them).
I've already talked about the wonders of ACV for sunburn and for the sluggish immune system sagas of the winter months. But now - behold - it also comes to the rescue in the weight and digestive arena too!
This tonic is all over Pinterest for detoxing purposes, which is the reason I started doing it 3 years ago. But when I found it was working for me in the weight arena, like, every time I did it - I just had to share.
Detox/Weight Loss Aid Tonic
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 shakes cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (work your way up to a Tbsp)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (work your way up to a Tbsp)
- stevia or a tiny bit of honey (optional!)
Put cinnamon and cayenne in a glass first. Squeeze lemon juice and add ACV, and stir. Fill with water.
Drink every morning about 20 minutes before breakfast. Continue for at least one week.
(For accelerated detoxing/weight loss/blood sugar regulation, drink a glass before dinner as well.)
Um... yeah, it's just as sour as it sounds. It takes getting used to. But it's SO worth it. (If you want to complain about the taste, just be grateful I didn't post my other liver detox/weight-loss tonic of Daikon radish and Chinese black mushroom broth...)
A few things to consider before trying this:
- Don't just dump a 1/4 c of honey in there because you don't like how it tastes. Sugar defeats the purpose. Be an adult about it. ;)
- I use cold water because it goes down easier for me. But try it warm (not hot - don't kill the ACV probiotics!) if you want.
- ACV and lemon juice are highly acidic!! Rinse your mouth well after drinking!
- Wait at least 10 minutes before eating anything. The vinegar is strong, and in my mind, vinegar might just curdle whatever you put in there next if you don't give it some time to get through you.
- I HAVE to eat a decent breakfast after drinking this. Why? Because it lowers my blood sugar (i.e., the GOAL) like crazy if I'm on an empty stomach, and I get a little nauseous feeling if I drink it and just don't eat anything. I feel perfectly fine once I eat though. And, I don't slump afterwards (confirmation that it balances blood sugar post-meals!)
- I find I am fuller with smaller meals, but that it revs my metabolism and I get hungry for snacks between meals. (Note: I haven't seen anyone else have this result- most say it actually curbs their hunger completely.) It definitely curbs my cravings for junk food, and I try to keep snacks healthy (nuts, jerky, vegetables, vegetable chips) and not reach for junk, otherwise I'm defeating the purpose!
Apple cider vinegar boasts a ton of health superpowers. All fermented foods do. Most civilizations used to get their probiotic-full foods on a regular basis via their food-preservation method of fermentation. They had such happy guts. But today... the only fermented things our society consumes on a regular basis are wine and beer (often a trigger for all sorts of gastrointestinal distress, blood sugar and fat cell issues). Alcohol simply lacks the rich array of probiotics that kombucha, kefir, kimchi, and other "artisan" and ancient foods have. Is it any wonder our digestive systems are so challenged?
Here are a few ways ACV can help us take care of our bodies:
- High in probiotics: drinking a tablespoon in water can alleviate digestive issues
- Iron absorption: ACV contains acetic acid, which helps you better absorb iron
- Cholesterol levels and blood pressure: both lowered with ACV in animal studies
- Antibacterial properties: due to the high levels of probiotics and pH of the ACV
- Mucus thinner: great for immune boosting in the winter
- Acid/indigestion conditions: (often resulting from too little acid in your stomach) can often be alleviated by a tablespoon in water before meals
Why this Tonic Works for Weight Loss
People who have recurring high blood sugar often struggle with weight.
And, people with recurring weight issues often struggle with high blood sugar. Whether one has been diagnosed with a certain disease or not...high blood sugar is often the culprit in weight challenges.
Stabilizing the Roller Coaster
The body's ability to stabilize blood sugar/glucose after eating is very important. After consuming starch/carbs or sugar, the glucose in our blood spikes, and then our insulin spikes with it in order to transport that sugar out of the blood. Then, our blood sugar level plummets.
This roller coaster not only makes us feel exhausted by the final glucose drop, but it stores energy in our fat instead of using it productively for actual energy. Not only that, but it makes most of us reach for another round of sweet or starchy/crunchy foods when we feel the slump. Though we think it will give us an energy boost, it starts the whole vicious cycle over again!
Why Excess Insulin Leads to Weight Gain and Un-health
We need balance in our blood sugar levels, because if this process happens too often, we get excessive amounts of insulin in our bloodstream. Insulin inhibits the breakdown of fat, and actually stores glucose in our fat cells - stimulating creation of body fat.
The more often we get insulin spikes from our wheat and sugar addictions, the less receptive our cells are to insulin. Then our body has to pump out even more insulin to lower our blood sugar. The more insulin floating around, the more fat, inflammation, and high blood pressure we experience.
The four ingredients in this tonic are useful for tons of health-supporting purposes, but here are the functions that pertain to weight-loss:
- Cinnamon - studies suggest it reduces blood sugar levels, decreases fat cell size and increases muscle mass
- Cayenne pepper - studies suggest it revs your metabolism, helps you feel full, and aids against insulin resistance (so your blood sugar doesn't stay too high, leading to eventual weight gain)
- Lemon juice - has an alkalizing effect on the body. Having a pH that is too acidic makes you prone to all sorts of inflammation, infections, fatigue, and other ills. Not to mention - it's more difficult to lose weight when you're acidic because your body just doesn't function the way it's supposed to!
- Apple cider vinegar - according to one study, when taken before meals ACV had the effects of both lowering blood sugar and the unexpected benefit of weight loss in all the subjects studied!
So drink up! Soon - I'll post about some essential oils like lemon and cinnamon that you can add to your water, and Young Living's weight loss products (which are FAR more tasty than this) which are helpful in maintaining a healthy weight.
But for now - this is by far the quickest, most effective, holistic, and relatively painless way to get your system back on track after the holidays! Here's to a trimmer 2018!