UPDATE: I am happy to report, as of December 2017, total weight loss so far is 40 pounds!!
Over the past several months, I have lost 20+ pounds using apple cider vinegar. I've posted exactly twice about it on my Facebook wall. I started using the vinegar in March 2017. It is now July 2017. My weight fluctuates, so I speak only in ranges. The scale has read 24 pounds down - but right this minute, only reads 21. See what I mean? Yes, I do weigh myself often. I am on a mission. That's what I do when I have a goal to reach. I check for progress constantly. It's how I roll. lol! You don't have to. See Caveats below.
Food and I have always had a complicated relationship. I have my favorites, but I hate them - because I know they're not good for me... but I love them. I've never claimed perfection. lol! Comfort food is my thing. When I'm upset, I eat. When I'm sad, I eat. When I'm happy, I eat. When I'm content, I eat. But then, I realize what I'm doing and snap out of it... for awhile. You can imagine the yoyo thing going on here, can't you? When I got divorced, I just kind of gave up. In March, I reached a weight I had never seen before, and it scared me - so, I finally decided enough was enough!
I've spent a lot of time responding to private messages from friends and family regarding the method I'm using. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy communicating that way with you all, but sometimes it takes me a while to reply. You know, life and all. :D So, I thought I would write an article about it here on my website for you to peruse whenever you'd like to - answering the most common questions I've received.
First, The Caveats
This is how it worked for ME. I am not you. It might work differently for you. I am a researcher. I like to find out about things before I try them. When I'm satisfied that I have enough information, I will jump in with both feet. That's the kind of gal I am. :D
I checked with my doc. Actually, I had a consultation about a lipo-like laser treatment that he was offering. I was desperate. I got all the info and returned home to think about it. During the appointment, I told him I was considering acv. He agreed that it was a worthwhile endeavor. I took that as his blessing. The treatment was expensive, and the acv was not. I decided to see what I could accomplish while saving my pennies for the treatment. A few months in, I decided the acv would work just fine, and I could spend my money on our upcoming NY trip. More on that in my next article. ;)
Please be sure to check with your doctor, especially if you're not a researcher like me. He/she will know you and your body's physiology. Me, not so much. Okay, me... not at all!
Is It Easy?
Hey, I get it. Believe me, I understand all that you have going on. If this wasn't easy, I wouldn't be able to do it. I am not the person who keeps a food journal. That works for people. I know it does. And I heartily applaud them on their success. It's just not me. Refer to Caveats again if you need to. ;) Weight loss is a very personalized thing. It has to fit your lifestyle. I think that's why so many of us struggle. There are so many different ways to do it. Each method fits a certain personality; and we all have different personalities, right? THIS particular method clicked for me. I've been searching for a long time for the right fit. (Oh, look at that pun! lol!) It takes just a few minutes a day. Mix a drink, drink it, and move on. The acv benefits your body in more ways than just weight loss. See for yourself!
How Do You Use It? Do You Drink It Straight?
The #1 question: Do you just drink it straight?
Short Answer: NO!
Longer Answer: NO! It can burn your esophagus. It is very stringent.
I mix 1 tablespoon of organic, raw apple cider vinegar WITH the mother (good bacteria) with about a cup of warm (not hot) water. It's very important that the water is not too hot. The heat will kill all of the good bacteria and enzymes that do all the work. Yes, bacteria. A topic for a whole other post. Trust me. There is such a thing as GOOD bacteria. I drink this twice a day, about 30 minutes before a meal. (If I forget, I drink it after my meal. It still works.) That's it! That's all there is to it. See? Easy peasy.
What Kind of Vinegar Should I Use?
Okay. Here is where you're going to find out what kind of person I really am. It's not bad; I promise. I am a whole foods/REAL food kind of person. Natural, if you will. Simple. Real. You can go look at another article I wrote on this site regarding that topic here. If I am privy to a conversation about how calories and saturated fat are evil, or low-fat, high fiber is the way to go - you'll probably notice me slinking out of the room, trying to leave the premises, undetected. I want no part of that pow wow. I know me. If you ask my opinion, you're going to get it. And you probably won't like it. Remember the researcher characteristic I told you about? Yeah. If I am able to summon the courage at the moment you ask my opinion, you are going to get my well-informed response. You better believe I've researched it! I've spent the last six years getting to know who I really am, and what my values are. I've discovered I'm kind of opinionated; especially when it comes to something I've researched the daylights out of.
I am a strong proponent of natural remedies. I believe whole-heartedly that this method is safe because it's natural. Yeah, yeah... marijuana is natural. Does that mean it's safe? I'll explain my views on that in another post, at another time. Stay tuned... lol!
Organic, raw apple cider vinegar with the Mother is the only one I will use. There are different brands on the market. I believe any of them will work as long as they're raw, unfiltered, organic. The mother is the key. It is full of pre & probiotics that are good for you. It is responsible for the many, many benefits of this product. Having said that, let's move on to the next question.
Is it Safe? What About Breastfeeding Moms?
I believe it is totally safe. I've included a few links within this article. I intend to include a few more at the end. (Quick note about my research: I consider the source first and foremost. I won't just cite another person's article if I don't consider them an expert, or at least credible. I research THEM too. And, the docs are the ones with the degrees. Even so, I won't use their opinion if it doesn't line up with my findings.) Simple.
I will apologize here to the breastfeeding moms, one of them being my own daughter. I just started digging into this topic last week, and I am not satisfied with the results at this time. My REAL food peeps haven't been publishing their opinions on this issue, and I'm troubled by the findings from the other so-called "experts". They are advocating pasteurization. I believe pasteurization will kill all or most of the benefits. So, I can't recommend this method to breastfeeding moms at this time. I know you're all desperate to slim down. I know. I have given birth five times!
How Do You Get Past the Taste?
I know this will not be a popular answer. I kind of like the taste. I have made kombucha in the past. It sort of tastes like that. I also drink my coffee bold and black... for the taste.
Ok. So if you just can't get past the taste, I've read that adding honey will help. Raw honey. It is also packed full of health benefits. Why contradict everything we've learned here by dumping a spoonful of sugar on it? Maybe add a little more warm water. You're still getting all of the vinegar, but diluted more. Just make sure you drink it all.
How Long Does It Take?
I started to see results immediately, within a few days. I needed this most of all. Just a pound or two gave me the green light. I had to give it a chance, right? But, that's not my nature. I need incentive! One pound. Two pounds. Give it another week. Three pounds, four pounds. Now we're talking! After that, I just kept plugging away.
WARNING: It will slow down. As your body adjusts to this new habit, it'll say, 'Oh, this is what we're doing. Well, if we're in this for the long haul, we better slow down a bit. Let her get used to it.' It's OK! Don't panic. You ARE in this for the long haul. Don't push too hard. Don't wear yourself out. As with everything worthwhile, pace yourself. Remember the fluctuation I talked about back there? It's going to happen. Slow and steady is a good thing. Sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward. Hang in there. I have faith in you!
Is This the Only Thing You're Doing to Lose Weight?
About 2 months in, I added intermittent fasting. I will tell you, it's not for everybody; just depends on your mindset, I guess. You can read about it here if you'd like to know more. Again, I can't stress enough; do some research. Don't just take my word for it.
The basics: I fast for 16 hours, and eat normally for 8. During my 16 fasting hours, I sleep for 8. I always skipped breakfast anyway, so that was not an issue for me. Before you jump on me about breakfast being the most important meal of the day... consider where you learned that. Did someone just tell you that all your life? Or did you do your own research? ;) I go home for lunch every workday at 11:30, so that's when I start my eating hours. I eat NORMALLY during this time. I don't eat everything in sight, and I don't eat lettuce for every meal. I eat what I always ate before. OK, maybe a little less because the vinegar is still working to suppress my appetite. Then, I stop eating at 7:30. Sleep. Wake. Repeat.
When I added this to my daily routine, I saw immediate results again. Lost four pounds in the first week; then, leveled out again. Meaning - I still lost weight but not as fast. There are several different "plans". Find one that works for you. Do the research.
The Downside of Downsizing
If you're like me, you're going to need to see results FAST! Initially, you will. If you stick with it, you will get to a point where your current wardrobe is not going to cut it anymore. My moment of truth came when I realized my previously tight jeans wouldn't stay where they were supposed to anymore. It wasn't just one pair. It was ALL of them! Talk about mixed emotions! WooHoo!!! I've lost weight!! Wait, what? I need to go shopping. Ugghh! I hate shopping! (I know, weird, huh? Pretty sure it has something to do with my practical, miserly nature.) Shopping I went! Bought a few outfits that were a whole size smaller. Great! Perfect! Wait, these pants don't fit either. I got to exchange a pair for an even smaller size. Again, WooHoo!!
That's all I've got for the downside. Upside? You get to spend less money on groceries. Seriously! You can still eat normally, but I experienced a decrease in appetite, so had to start making some (not so tough) decisions. I'll have a hamburger with ketchup, mustard, and pickles. Hold the bun. Carbs are not my friend anyway. Just put it on a plate and eat it with a fork. Same with spaghetti, one of my favorite meals. I used to eat it with a slice (or two) of bread every time. Now, I skip the bread. The spaghetti still has carbs, but you're not adding more with the bread. Eggs. I get mine from a guy at work who has chickens in his yard. I used to eat them over easy with toast. Now, I eat them omelette-style without toast. See the evil carbs running away? lol! If I get hungry at work, we do have a vending machine. Instead of a candy bar, M & M's, or a danish, I get a little bag of trail mix. Just enough to tide me over. Yup, there are M & M's in there, but not many; and sometimes I pick them all out and eat them later. Find what works for you. I know you can, because I did. If I can do this, anybody can!
I'm not done yet. Still have about 20 more pounds to get rid of. Just wanted you all to know - this works! ;D Good luck!
If you think of a question I have not answered here, by all means, shoot me a message!