Everyone wants a quick way to lose weight. There are tons of infomercials on pricey exercise programs, diet plans and fat-fighting pills… but wouldn’t it be great if there was a fast way to lose weight with something you already had just lying around the house?
According to a new-age diet craze, the ticket to weight loss and all-around better living could lie within a box of baking soda.
It sounds crazy… But there’s quite an interesting theory behind it. So let’s examine how to lose weight with baking soda – and if it’s even possible.
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Background: The Alkaline Diet
First, let’s look at where the idea of consuming baking soda for weight loss comes from. Chances are, this method stems from the Alkaline Diet. The theory behind this diet is that foods like meat, wheat, sugar and all processed foods lead to an increased acid production in the body.
When there is too much acid in the body, this creates a pH imbalance in the blood which Alkaline dieters believe may cause weight gain and other serious health problems.
Alkaline is the opposite of acidic. So eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline are thought to create stability in the body, which may lead to weight loss and all-around improved wellness.
Alkaline-promoting foods include most fruits and vegetables, soybeans, seeds, tofu and certain varieties of nuts. On the other hand, foods like dairy, eggs, canned/packaged snacks and other convenience goods are extremely restricted because they are acidic.
Baking Soda for Weight Loss
So where does baking soda come into play in all of this? Baking soda is actually a chemical compound known as sodium bicarbonate. It helps regulate pH and maintain neutrality – a process called buffering.
Sodium bicarbonate acts as an antacid, keeping different substances from becoming too acidic or too alkaline. Its ability to neutralize the pH of nearly anything it interacts with makes baking soda a very versatile, valuable substance. Its used for cleaning, cooking, polishing metal, melting ice and – according to the Alkaline diet – losing weight.
Some people take the Alkaline diet one step further and consume baking soda in order to improve their pH balance and lose weight. But of course… Whether or not baking soda works for weight loss depends on the validity of the Alkaline diet.
Does the Alkaline Diet Actually Work?
There isn’t enough evidence to support the hypothesis that eating alkaline foods to maintain an optimal body pH does any good. Under normal circumstance, the human body actually does this pretty well on its own.
The American Institute for Cancer Research called the idea of a diet’s ability to significantly alter the acidity of the blood a “myth” and stated that goes against “everything we know about the chemistry of the human body.”
There is also no evidence that the Alkaline diet has been proven to result in weight loss either. The key to losing weight isn’t balancing your pH levels, eating baking soda or any other single food; it’s eating a balanced, reduced calorie diet and exercising regularly.
Not only is the Alkaline diet ineffective, it may have adverse effects on your body. Since the diet consists of excluding certain food groups, it could lead to a severely unbalanced diet, resulting in nutrient deficiencies. In fact, that’s the reason that most Alkaline diet websites and books sell additional supplements and foods to use in tandem with the diet: to ensure nourishment.
If you need to invest this much time, money and effort into staying healthy following a depravity diet, it should be a tell-tale sign that it’s simply not worth the risks.
Proven Benefits of Baking Soda
While consuming baking soda to balance your pH level might not directly help you lose weight, it’s not totally worthless. Here are three proven health benefits of baking soda:
1) Improves Athletic Performance
Baking soda actually makes a decent pre-workout supplement. When consumed before exercise, sodium bicarbonate helps to buffer the lactic acid that tends to builds up in muscles. This helps to delay muscle pain and fatigue, enhancing athletic performance and longevity.
2) Aids in Heartburn And Indigestion
If you struggle with heartburn, then you probably take Alka-Seltzer, Rolaids, Tums or some other over-the-counter antacid for relief. Most of these actually contain sodium bicarbonate as the active ingredient.
For a more cost-effective way to relieve painful indigestion, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and drink it about one hour after your meal. This will help neutralize the acid in anything you ate and calm your stomach.
3) Soothes Sore Feet
Heal up after a hard workout. Just stir three tablespoons of baking soda into a warm tub of water to make a rejuvenating foot soak. For some intense exfoliation, scrub the soles of your feet with baking soda paste. You can make your own paste from a mix of three parts baking soda, combined with one part water.
This will help gently remove any calluses, blisters or other sores so you can get back on your feet – and back in the gym tomorrow.
How Does Baking Soda Help You Lose Weight?
The idea that you can lose weight with baking soda has roots in the Alkaline Diet. According to this diet plan, you can improve your pH levels and restore balance to your body by eating less acidic foods and more alkaline-promoting stuff instead.
When your body is in a neutral state, it’s thought to have a stronger ability to fight disease and promote fat loss. Since baking soda helps neutralize acid, some Alkaline dieters consume it on a daily basis to help improve their pH levels.
However, there is really nothing to suggest that the Alkaline diet is legitimate. Health experts have historically dismissed it, stating that the human body works to balance its own pH naturally. Some doctors have even gone a step further to state that the Alkaline diet is dangerous because it encourages so much deprivation of different types of foods.
But even though the Alkaline diet might not work at all… Baking soda still provides a few proven health perks. It can improve athletic performance, relieve indigestion and even make for a relaxing foot soak.
Want to know how to lose weight with baking soda? Your best bet is to incorporate baking soda into your diet as a pre-workout supplement. This will help your muscles from getting fatigued as fast so you can work out longer, better and burn more calories.