Apple Cider Vinegar And Honey Diet

The apple cider vinegar and honey diet is fairly simple to follow, and interestingly, there is some tantalizing research looking at whether the claims can be supported scientifically - i.e. that consuming these ingredients helps with weight loss.  

So, does the apple cider vinegar and honey diet work?  What are the results? 

Here you will find

  • a recipe, and some variations
  • instructions for following the diet,
  • research
  • my suggestions for adaptations, and use of different formats should you wish to try it.

Whether or not the diet will work for you is of course, not guaranteed. 

Different people have their own experiences with diets, and do consider whether or not you should first consult your physician.

However, would I be prepared to try it? 

Actually,  yes!.... but having looked at the evidence, probably in a different format rather than the usual recipes advocated.

The reason I'd be prepared to at least try it is because of the research.  However, I'd like to point out that I try to be balanced - I'm not going to promote it just because it contains a 'bee product'

For instance, I have investigated the claims made about the health benefits of bee pollen, and I have to say, I think it's largely hype, and you may as well eat a portion of kale - it's much cheaper!  But that's just my opinion - each to their own.

Apple cider vinegar and honey diet - drink recipe (with grapefruit)

How to take it:

Drink this mixture of grapefruit, apple cider vinegar and honey.  It's usually taken before meals (sip slowly) as a means to help suppress the appetite:

  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Approximately 230mls or 8oz of unsweetened grapefruit juice

Mix the ingredients together and sip before meals.


  • Instead of grapefruit, use lemon or freshly squeezed orange.
  • Add a cinnamon stick  (- see cinnamon and honey).

Is honey appropriate as a dieting aid?

The fact is, honey is not really an effective dieting aid if you eat a lot of it, because it is high in calories.

So personally, I do not agree that honey is suitable for dieters, other than perhaps as a natural sweetener in very small quantities and as part of an overall calorie controlled diet.

Honey is sometimes promoted for dieters because it has certain characteristics which suggest it might help to stave off hunger pangs slightly better than sugar would.  Honey is mostly fructose, which the body burns more slowly than sucrose (white table sugar).  However, with regard to the apple cider and vinegar recipe outlined above, I'm not convinced the quantities of honey we are talking about are sufficiently significant to make a meaningful difference as an appetite suppressant generally.

Finally, please note, honey is not suitable for people with diabetes.

Does the apple cider vinegar and honey diet really work? - Research and evidence

Looking at the research, it must be said that it is in fact the apple cider vinegar and not the honey, which could hold the real key to weight loss where this recipe is concerned.

1. Apple cider vinegar as a fat burner

The acid in the apple cider vinegar is believed by some to help break down fat. 
So is there scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can burn up fat deposits, or prevent a build up of fat on the body?

  • There is a study from Japan indicating that it may suppress body fat accumulation(1), however, this study was undertaken in mice.  Research has proven there are variations in results between mice and rats, let alone mice and humans, so arguably, this claim needs to be investigated further. That said, I think it's worth considering, especially in light of other evidence below.

  • A further study from Japan in 2009, does involve humans(2).  In this double blind trial involving 3 groups of subjects over a 12 week period, subjects in each trial group drank 500ml daily of a beverage with 15ml of vinegar (acetic acid) for one group, 30ml for another, and the remaining group was the control group (placebo).

At the end of the period, the results were interesting.  Despite the fact that all subjects had a similar food, energy, fats, carbohydrate and protein intake, in both of the vinegar groups, subjects had reduced body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, and waist circumference, than in the placebo group, and serum triglyceride levels were also lower in the vinegar group. 

The researchers concluded that daily intake of  vinegar might help reduce obesity.  They state that their own previous research, as well as that by Yamashita et al, may indicate that the suppression of the body fat by vinegar is due to the inhibition of lipogenesis and possibly stimulation of fatty acid oxidation.

2. Apple cider vinegar as an appetite suppressant

Is there evidence that apple cider vinegar is an appetite suppressant?

  • Some have suggested that apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which could act as an appetite suppressant.  Pectin is a carbohydrate, and is said to help the stomach feel full, hence staving off hunger pangs. This is why it should be taken before meals.

  • In one trial in Sweden(3), 12 subjects were given a meal of bread.  Three levels of vinegar (18, 23 and 28 mmol acetic acid) were served with a portion of white wheat bread containing 50 g of available carbohydrates as breakfast in randomized order after an overnight fast.

    Bread served without vinegar was used as a reference meal. Blood samples were taken during 120 min for analysis of glucose and insulin, but also satiety (the feeling of being ‘full’) was measured with a subjective rating scale.

    Increasing levels of satiety were reported in direct correlation with the amount of vinegar consumed.  In other words, the more vinegar consumed, the greater the declared feeling of fullness.

    It should be noted, that this is a very small trial, and so whether or not the results are reliable is questionnable.  Further research with larger sample sizes and robust methodogy are needed.

    Then again, others have pointed to the taste: perhaps the taste in the mouth from the vinegar simply puts people off eating more than they other wise would?

 (Please see the references below)

Are There Other Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar is thought to have a range of other benefits, it seems to have quite a following, with many recommendations!

A book is available which includes a range of recipes and claims.

If you find it difficult to take, you may be able to get the benefits of the apple cider vinegar and honey diet, without following the recipe.

The first thing you could do, is skip the honey (and the calories that go with it), and opt for an alternative format of the apple cider vinegar.  Instead of drinking it, you could experiment with capsules (below).

I have no idea whether they will work in the same way as the liquid, but the ratings seem good!


Whilst it is suggested that honey has some additional benefits for dieters, personally I do not think these are significant and remember, honey has a lot of calories – check out my pages Honey vs Sugar. Primarily, however, it seems that honey acts as a sweetener, to ensure the taking of the apple cider vinegar is more palatable.


(1) J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 8;57(13):5982-6. doi: 10.1021/jf900470c.  Acetic acid upregulates the expression of genes for fatty acid oxidation enzymes in liver to suppress body fat accumulation. Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, Kaga T.

(2) Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry; 73(8), 1837-1843, 2009: Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects; Kondo et al.

(3) Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Ostman E1, Granfeldt Y, Persson L, Björck I.

So that's the Vinegar And Honey Diet!  To find out more about honey, take a look at one of the following pages:

Honey And Weight Loss
More information about the use of honey in weight loss. I hope this provides a balanced view.

Calories in Honey
A break down of the calorific content of honey.

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