7 Reasons to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to your Diet
Apple cider vinegar, much like your first shot of tequila, you need to brace yourself. It’s not going to taste great. You’ll need a shot glass and most likely a chaser. However, unlike tequila, apple cider vinegar with work with your innards for a very rewarding affect…I bet tequila never did that for you.
Yes, the taste is pretty brutal. But we’re all adults here. Take a shot, and reap the benefits.
You will need unfiltered and organic apple cider vinegar. Look for one with a label that reads “Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with the ‘Mother’”. The “mother” indicates that your cider has bits of the fermentation of the apples floating around in the bottle (you’ll be able to see it). Seeing that fermentation is a confirmation that your vinegar hasn’t been drained. Draining the mother from your vinegar is basically draining the impactful nutrients out.
Remember, it is still always important to consult with your physician before adding a regime of anything, including apple cider vinegar to your diet. Everything should be done in moderation, including apple cider vinegar.
However, including apple cider vinegar in your diet at least on a weekly basis is your first step in converting into a whole foods, super foods, and clean-living goddess. Before you know it you’ll be joining me and using coconut oil as your moisturizer (it works, I swear!).
So now that you know what to buy, here are just a few reasons to encourage to actually buy apple cider vinegar:
- Better Hair and Skin:
After shampooing and conditioning, a quick rinse of apple cider vinegar (ACV) can leave your hair with more shine and fighting off dandruff. You do not need much. It’s suggested you put about ½ tablespoon with a cup’s worth of water in a bottle (preferably a recycled detangler bottle) and spritz the mixture through your strands.
If you already use a toner, try making ACV its replacement. It evens skin tone and clears up acne scars. Make it a part of your nightly or morning ritual before you apply moisturizer. The reason for this is because ACV has a pH much closer to our skin which protects a delicate layer of skin from being destroyed by chemical-based toners. (That layer just happens to be the one fighting against bacteria.)
- Naturally Heal Your Heart:
Love your heart like apple cider vinegar loves your heart. ACV has acetic acid in it which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases. For people with inherited triglycerides (bad cholesterol), ACV has shown to lower levels as well as blood pressure. In addition to a healthy diet, ACV could be the relief your next bloodwork is waiting for.
- Strengthen Your Allergy Defenses:
Go ahead, breathe in that pollen. Yes, you might actually get through allergy season with hearing a few less “bless you’s”! Use ACV to combat mucus build up and strengthens your immune system because of its Vitamin A, B6, and C. Those vitamins naturally ward your body from allergens while it also helps lymphatic drainage. Lymphatic drainage is the movement of a bodily fluid that helps your body’s immunity. This also pertains to clogged noses caused by the flu, which luckily, ACV is known to also help relieve you of a high temperature from the flu.
- Joint Pain Relief:
You should really JOIN apple cider vinegar and your joints. While there isn’t scientific basis for this, testimony from personal use has suggested that ACV relieves arthritis. Will it cure it? No, but for those who suffer from the joint pain may find relief in knowing there won’t be any harmful reactions with prescribed medications. The acetic acid helps reduce the acidity already in our blood (which cause pain and inflammation). This may seem counterproductive since it’s adding acid to acid. Actually, as most health care providers agree, the acid in the ACV will eventually alkalize and ease the pain. You can soak your joints or choose to ingest ACV.
You can be trendy and detoxify. You don’t need to be Gwyneth Paltrow to detoxify your body. ACV is a very cheap fix for detoxifying your body. Granted, working on its own, ACV isn’t going to do all the detoxification for you; you still need a green smoothie from time to time. You can do detoxify from either soaking in a bath with some ACV and Epson salt or ingesting it. The reason for this is because as it travels through your body, it kills bad bacteria. Killing off intrusions from bacteria or even too much mucus allows your body to function at full optimization. For additional ways to detoxify, mix a bit of ACV with a glass of a water before meals.
- Boost your weight loss efforts:
ACV is safe to consume every day which is good news for those of us wanting to lose a few pounds. A 2005 study showed consumption of ACV either before or during a meal helps lower your appetite for the rest of the day.
In fact some people found that their caloric intake for the rest of the day naturally dropped by “200-275” calories. You can achieve this again by having it diluted in a glass of water, or use it as a dressing for your salad, or add a bit to your soup broths. It will also help relieve bloat!
- Gain relief for diabetes:
Just like arthritis, ACP cannot cure diabetes but it can help relieve some of its pains. Added to a proper diabetic diet, ACV helps prevent a huge spike of blood sugar after a meal for diabetic patients and reduce insulin levels. Try adding a little cinnamon and hot lemon water to your ACV drink; cinnamon will also help reduce blood sugar and lemon is good for cleansing. Many geriatric medicine providers use this trick for older patients who are presenting as pre-diabetic.
So listen, if I’m being honest, I have a near full bottle of apple cider vinegar still sitting on my kitchen counter from about three months ago. I went about two days and two shots in when I called it quits.
However, I have effectively convinced myself to join back on the detoxification bandwagon…besides, Kombucha is way more expensive than a bottle of apple cider vinegar!
We’re already 31 days into the New Year, so chances are that if you are not one of the 8% of people who hold onto their resolutions, you might have already ditched your plans by now.
(I know, I’m having a hard time keeping mine.)
But I also have some good news for you – It’s not too late!
Over 40% of American make New Year’s Resolutions, while only 33% watch the Super Bowl! So, we definitely have the self-improvement game down. We aim high! Setting goals is almost as old of an American past time as putting clothes on dogs or watching fireworks on the 4th of July.
So, why don’t we take it one step further and learn how the 8% make their new year’s goals stick.
Reading this report from Forbes inspired us to dig deep-asking our patients, staff and friends their own secrets to success (We have a pretty high-achieving team here at Solutions Weight Loss).Without further ado, here is what they had to say:
1. Shout your goal from the rooftops.
Sure, it might take a little guts to tell your friends and family about those 10 pounds you want to lose or new workout routine you want to try. But the courage to speak up almost always leads to the courage to act. Once you’ve put it out there, not only do your friends know you’re serious, but you know it too. (And after all, that’s what really matters!) It’s a form of verbal commitment that says “Look at me world, this is who I am. This is who I’m going to be.” So, while we might advise you to avoid telling your hair stylist or postman about your goals, sharing them with people in your inner circle is often your first step to success.
2. Make a schedule.
Remember the adage, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail?” Well, it’s absolutely true. Any time a new patient comes in wanting to try medical weight loss, we always encourage them to write down when they plan to take their appetite suppressants and weight loss supplements, along with a general schedule of the nutritious, real-food meals they plan to eat.
Don’t believe me? A Harvard study shows that people who write down their professional goals earn about 10 times as much as the other 97 percent combined!
After all, that’s why we’re here! To provide the support they need. And while they might not like it at first, they’re always happy with the results.
Not interested in medical weight loss? That’s ok! Just make sure to follow any new diet or exercise plan through in your head first, before you plan to act. Write it on your wall calendar, or save it on your calendar app. Set an alarm. Schedule a notification. Do whatever you have to do today to help yourself reach your goal tomorrow.
3. Keep it Simple.
With the HCG Diet Plan, the procedure is actually much simpler than the name implies. You just limit your caloric intake while taking the natural hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in prescribed doses every day. The results, however, are not simple in the least! Women lose up to half a pound of body fat per day! Men lose an average of 1-pound per day!
And they keep it off!
Another strategy is to match your eating patterns to the cycle of the seasons, which is something a lot of us are already inclined to do. Read this great post from our friend Dr. Cynthia to learn how to “Spring Clean” your diet!
Studies show that the less you have to think about the process of reaching a goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Sometimes a set-it and forget-it mentality is best! (Of course, if you are doing a medically-supervised weight loss plan or HCG Diet Plan, you can only “forget it” once you have the proper medical team and strategies in place).
But if you’re doing something as simple as, say, cutting out carbs and sugars. Then, just do it! It’s as simple (and effective) as that.
4. Track your Progress
“If you can measure it, you can change it.” This fundamental principal of psychology describes the way our mind is connected to our will. It’s also why elementary school children need golden star stickers to know they’re on the right track.
Once we can see small bits of progress towards our goal, we will be sure to take every step needed to reach the finish line. Another key part of tracking progress is to be exact in what you’re tracking.
For example, it is much easier to follow a plan that says “no chips, fries or cookies for six weeks” than something like “achieving a balanced diet of nutrient rich foods for “however long I can do it.”
So turning your goals into something you can actually measure is key.
5. Be Patient
This is the hardest one for most people (but it’s honestly the most important). As humans, we are creatures of habit, and we hardly ever make progress in a straight line. Some people might see rapid gains at first, only to hit a wall months later. Others take more of a boomerang-like path until they reach their goals.
Still others make progress similar to the way an old car turns on. Initial progress may be slow, and even painful, but suddenly they achieve the breakthrough they were waiting for and are off to the races again!
Setting ambitious goals can be fun and exhilarating. But the obstacles and distractions you might meet along the way can take that excitement away very quickly.
Following these easy steps outlined above should help you stay in the “excited” zone and keep you among the top 8% that are still moving towards their goals this December (albeit, possibly sneaking an ice cream or slice or cake in mid-July).
Solutions Weight Loss is on your side!
The remarkably effective HCG diet plan was discovered (not created) in the 1950’s by a British researcher named Dr. Albert T. W. Simeons who observed that pregnant women in India shed fat while they were pregnant while still maintaining their lean muscle mass.
They were malnourished, but they still gave birth to very healthy babies. It was then that he realized right away that pregnant women had something most people don’t.
It turns out that pregnant women carry a hormone (HCG) that would pull calories and fuel from stored fat INSTEAD of lean muscle mass to feed the baby in their womb.
Of course, Dr. Simeons believed that anyone could use that same hormone to reach their weight and fat loss goals safely – while keeping their lean body mass. And (surprise, surprise) he was right!
HCG is a peptide naturally produced in large amounts by the placenta during early pregnancy. It has many functions in utero and is used medically to treat a variety of conditions. HCG was thought by Dr. Simeons to work on the hypothalamus of the brain where it encourages the body to release “fixed” or “abnormal” fat stores for fuel.
The plan is simple: eat a low (500-calorie/day) diet and take HCG hormone supplements – the same hormone pregnant women produce – and shave off pounds and pounds of fat safely, without harming your body’s natural metabolic rate.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, yes and no. The trick is NOT to just eat less calories. If that was all there was to it, you wouldn’t really need to use the hormones would you? (Trust me: I get that question all time time, so I know that’s what you’re thinking).
The trick is actually NOT in the calorie count but in the strict reduction of fat, sugars and carbs from your diet. ONLY when you reduce fat can your body try to use the fat is already has and ONLY when you take HCG injections does your body turn to your stored fat INSTEAD of your lean muscle mass.
Warning: Without the hormones and only the diet, YOU WILL lose lean muscle mass and risk damaging your natural metabolic rate.
Warning: Without the hormones and only the diet, YOU WILL lose lean muscle mass and risk damaging your natural metabolic rate.
Stage 1: The Indulgence
The first step in the HCG Diet Plan is to get your body ready to burn all that fat in the first place. For the first 2-3 days, you should indulge yourself without overdoing it. Take your HCG supplements or injections, but eat as much of your favorite foods as you would like.
Why not just jump right into the diet plan?
It takes about 2-3 days after taking the hormone for your body to access your “abnormal fat stores,” which are key to losing weight long term. You want to keep your normal fat stores well-stocked until that point. After the first 3 days, you should be ready for the 2nd stage.
Stage 2: The Burn
The 2nd stage is the main stage of the HCG diet. Once the 2-3 day indulgence (or “loading”) phase is over, it is time for the real work to begin. The #1 rule is to limit yourself to 500 calories per day of lean meats, vegetables and fruit.
Note: Just following the 500-calorie a day rule and ignoring the rest will NOT get you the results you desire. You can’t eat whatever you want under that limit. Instead, you need to focus on eating lean proteins, fruit and vegetables, while limiting your fat, sugar and carbohydrates. Also, as always, be sure to drink plenty of water.
To learn more about fats, starches and what to avoid, read this guide from Harvard on good fats, bad fats and those confusing “in-between” fats.
Here is what an average Stage 2 Day on the HCG Diet Plan looks like:
According to Dr. Simeon, breakfast should just be liquids, such as coffee or tea.
Lunch and dinner follow this simple formula: one lean protein, one vegetable, one fruit, and one starch.
Proteins (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- chicken breast (no thighs or fatty pieces)
- lean beef
- veal or any white fish
- *Avoid fatty fish, such as eel, herring, salmon or tuna.
Vegetables (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- Beet Greens
- Green Salad
- Red Radishes
Fruits (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- Strawberries (a handful)
- Small-medium sized orange
- One apple
- 1/2 of a grapefruit
Starches (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- One low-fat breadstick
- One Melba Toast
- Two Melba Rounds
Side note: I have had several patients who spread their dinner and lunch menus out during the day to avoid skipping breakfast. This is perfectly fine! As long as you stick to the basic menu items and 500-calorie plan, you will get the results you desire.
Stage 3: Stabilization
In his book, “Pounds and Inches,” Dr. Simeons recommended following a strict protocol for 3 weeks AFTER finishing Stage 2 and stopping your HCG drops or injections.
Here is what he recommends during this stage:
- Weight yourself every day to make sure you remain within 2 pounds of your most recent injection weight
- Avoid ALL sugars and starches (or, realistically, limit your intake greatly)
- Eat AT LEAST 100 grams of cooked, lean protein per day (if you go over your 2 pounds of Stage 2 weight, plan a steak day right away)
Even though you are done with your injections, this stage is 100% crucial to the success of the HCG diet. Why?
From the day you stop your last HCG injection, your body will be very sensitive to high-sugar or high-carbohydrate foods. It is critical that you follow this phase as faithfully as you did Stage 2.
During Stage 3, your hypothalamus will reset, rewiring your metabolism and erasing the effects of yo-yo dieting and poor eating habits. The weight you reach on the morning of your last injection is the weight that you should use as a basis for your maintenance phase. Many call this Last Injection Weight (LIW).
Here are some words from Dr. Simeons himself that illustrates this point:
“It takes about 3 weeks before the weight reached at the end of the treatment becomes stable, i.e. does not show violent fluctuations after an occasional excess. During this period patients must realize that the so-called carbohydrates (that is: sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries), are by far the most dangerous.
If no carbohydrates whatsoever are eaten, fats can be indulged in… But as soon as fats and starch are combined things are very liable to get out of hand. This has to be observed very carefully during the first 3 weeks after the treatment is ended otherwise disappointments are almost sure to occur.”
Ready to try HCG for yourself and melt those extra pounds away? Here are some key reminders and tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid using oil-based cosmetics or skincare products, as added oils can interfere with the hormones and derail your results
- Always plan your meals ahead of time, and set yourself up for success. If you get hungry before lunch, “borrow” a fruit or vegetable from the other meals. As long as you stay under 500 calories, you will still be on target.
- Take the maintenance phase seriously, as outlined above.
Why use medically-supervised weight loss instead of following the HCG plan myself?
After Stages 1 and 2 of the HCG Diet, it is important to make significant dietary and lifestyle changes to support your body and sustain the weight loss. With medical supervision, the HCG Diet also provides a safe and reliable means to treating obesity.
HCG diet programs that provide the best results offer a medically-supervised program that supports the patient before, during, and after weight loss. As with any weight loss program, it is not uncommon for patients to put pounds back on once they go back to eating the standard American diet.
One of our favorite things about the HCG Diet protocol is that our patients lose the majority of their weight from fat mass and not lean mass. However, the HCG Diet is not a “magic wand.” You cannot remove fat stores forever or simply reset the hypothalamus and go back to eating a normal diet. To achieve the best lifelong results and change, consider a medically-supervised plan with a doctor who is experiencing in helping patients gain long-term results.