If you’ve been on the internet lately, you might have seen this drink circling around. The “Swimsuit Slimdown Drink,” part of television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz’s famous Swimsuit Slimdown Plan. It’s made of a teaspoon of honey, two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and a cup of fruit juice.
Oz claims the blend will help you blast fat and shed pounds like nothing else — all while eating whatever you want, whenever you want. You’re supposed to sip on a glass of this concoction before every meal, and Dr. Oz claims your fat cells will melt away as you eat your food.
Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. We agree with these Reddit users when they say, “I feel sorry for the middle aged women that post this kind of stuff on Facebook.”
When we came across a middle aged woman who had, quite recently in fact, shared this graphic on Facebook, we were a bit skeptical.
A drink that burns fat while you eat? We wanted to get an expert’s opinion before blending brews of our own.
Robyn Nohling, FNP-BC, RD, the registered dietitian behind The Real Life RD, told The Daily Meal, “Unless there is proven literature behind this drink and it’s direct impact on weight, I’m calling it fraud. To muddle down ‘burning fat cells’ to three ingredients is not only ignorant, but highly unethical medical practice that is damaging to the public.” The experts were skeptical, too.
But we still didn’t have our answer: Is there any real evidence behind the drink?
Registered dietitian and nutritionist Jillian Greaves helped clear our confusion.
“The ‘swimsuit slimdown’ drink claiming to help break down fat cells faster is very inaccurate and not supported by any type of research,” Jillian Greaves, MPH, RD, LDN, stated bluntly.
But this claim is actually completely false.
“Apple cider vinegar weight loss drinks have been floating around on Instagram and Facebook and are being touted as these miracle weight loss beverages that can ‘melt away fat’ or ‘break down fat cells faster,’” says Greaves. “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is completely false and inaccurate. There is no research to support apple cider vinegar for fat loss. In fact, there is no one food or beverage alone that will result in weight loss or fat loss.”
If it’s completely fabricated, then where are people getting the idea that apple cider vinegar can make you lose weight? Greaves explained this assumption, as well.
“There is one small study that was done with 175 healthy Japanese subjects looking at vinegar supplementation and body weight among other markers that is often referenced,” said Greaves. “After 12 weeks of vinegar supplementation, a 2- to 4-pound weight loss was seen over the placebo group. This is a very, very modest weight reduction when compared to other comprehensive diet and lifestyle interventions.”
Plus, the study conducted was extremely small. So unlike massive, variable-controlled studies that are typically cited when someone advocates for making a change as significant as drinking a particular thing before every meal, this study was inadequate to prove the vinegar has any real effect.
And we don’t know about all of you, but a 2-pound weight loss over the course of three months of trying to lose weight sounds pretty dismal.
Plus, drinking fruit juice, of all things, in the name of weight loss is a terrible idea. That stuff is loaded with sugar — so you’re spiking your blood glucose right before you sit down to eat. And then once you do eat, you’re pretty much just adding even more glucose to the equation. Not ideal.
So if you’re trying to feel a little healthier, don’t start choking down acidic concoctions before your meal (or looking for any sort of silver-bullet solution). Try focusing instead on actually healthy behaviors, like intuitive eating and exercise, and let misleading “healthy” habits like this one bite the dust for good.