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7 Methods to Melt Body Fat: Fact or Myths?

Here's what you need to know.

Can you blast belly fat by drinking apple cider vinegar and water, eating lots of fat, or sleeping a lot? According to one expert, the answer is yes. Eric Berg, DC, is a doctor and chiropractor who specializes in keto and intermittent fasting. "In this video, I'm gonna show you the number one best tip for intermittent fasting to help lose your belly fat," he says. However, we consulted with our Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, and she fact-checked some of his methods. 

Do You Have to Lower Insulin?

Diabetic woman measuring normal sugar level

According to Dr. Berg, it all has to do with the "relationship between insulin and fat storage using different size batteries. This big battery represents your fat. This small tiny battery represents how much sugar you have in your liver that's stored," he says. "So how do we transition from the sugar to the fat? Well, we have to lower insulin. So, the intermittent fasting tips I'm gonna show you have one goal: to drop insulin. So you make this transition from sugar burning to fat burning."

RDN Says: "Insulin is not bad. It is necessary to clear glucose from all foods we eat, not just "sugar." How well insulin works depends on many lifestyle and hereditary factors. Each individual has varying degrees of insulin sensitivity."

Should You Drink Water with Apple Cider Vinegar


Dr. Berg recommends drinking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. "Why? Because apple cider vinegar lowers your blood sugars and it lowers insulin. And insulin is the fat making hormone and the barrier to losing weight. And this is so simple, everyone can do it. Just do one, two, or even three of these drinks in a given day," he says.

RDN Says: "There is some evidence that ACV can help with weight loss and blood sugar regulation, but use caution when interacting with medications, as it can erode tooth enamel. It is not a magical solution."

Should You Go on a Low Carb Keto Diet Plus Intermittent Fasting?

Ketogenic low carbs diet concept. Healthy eating and dieting with salmon fish, avocado, eggs and nuts. Top view

According to Dr. Berg, "You wanna combine the low carb ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting. This is a one-two punch. Just by doing intermittent fasting, you're gonna lower insulin. But if you add the low carb with it, you are gonna be very, very successful. Plus going a low carb is gonna allow you to transition into fat burning a lot quicker versus just doing intermittent fasting by itself. And the way that you know you're in fat burning is you have no more appetite," he claims.

RDN Says: "Ketogenic diets should not be followed long term. Your body needs carbohydrates, specifically from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, for overall health, especially digestive health and disease prevention. Intermittent fasting is also not a guarantee of weight loss and often people see plateau and weight gain after a period of time doing intermittent fasting." 

Should You Try a High Fat Diet?

Foods rich in fats. Main food group - macronutrient fats. Top view

His fifth tip, "when we start out, we wanna start out with a high fat diet," he says. "But then as you transition and your appetite is a lot less, you know, several weeks into this, then we'll start reducing the fat. This way we can tap into more of the ketones from our own body fat versus the fat that comes from our diet."

RDN Says: If you follow a keto diet, the nature of that diet is high in fat. When you lower the fat several weeks in, what are you going to add back in? Carbs?  Protein? This is very vague and misleading advice. And again, I don't think you need to get into ketosis or eat a predominantly high fat diet."

Should You Sleep More?

Passed out man drooling in bed

"Tip number four, we wanna enhance your sleep," says Dr. Berg. "But to do that, we have to lower your stress. And what's even better than exercise for stress and sleep is physical work around the house or physical work around your yard outside. Anything you do like that is a lot more productive. So you get something done. You're not just running on a treadmill and physical work does something else for your mind. It gets your attention off the stresses of life."

RDN Says: "Sleep is always a great idea for overall health and weight loss. Physical work around the house is also a great way to boost metabolism and prevent just sitting all day long by getting more activity."

Related: This Is Exactly How to Lose Body Fat This Year

Should You Exercise in a Fasted State?

Citizen in grey sport trousers holding the kettlebell between her legs by the handle with both hands

"Tip number three is exercising in a fasting state versus exercising right after a meal," says Dr. Berg, citing "26 different studies that show that when you exercise in a fasting state, you'll burn more fat. So this is just compounding your results by adding another strategy that can speed things up for you. And as far As the type of exercise, I recommend doing a combination of higher intensity, but not more than twice a week because we don't wanna overtrain on the off days. You wanna do long walks," he says. 

RDN Says: "Exercising in a fasting state might burn more fat at the moment, but depending on how intense and how long your exercise is, you might want to have a snack (not a big meal) before you exercise, especially first thing in the morning. You are still going to burn calories and fat no matter what. I agree with varying your exercise to include some lower intensity longer sessions with some shorter higher intensity sessions."

Should You Add More Sea Salt to Your Diet


Dr. Berg also maintains that you need to add more sea salt to your diet. "And when you lose water weight, you're gonna lose electrolytes, especially salt. And if you're low on salt and you're doing fasting, you're gonna feel weaker, you're gonna feel tired. A lot of people do not realize how much salt they actually need, especially when they're doing fasting. If you're low on salt, you're not gonna sleep that good, especially in the first part of the sleep. So be more mindful of adding a little more salt to your food," he says. 

RDN Says: "I completely disagree. The typical American diet has an abundance of salt/sodium. Even if you are reducing your processed food intake, you will still be getting sodium in your food.  The Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of 200-500 mg of sodium per day, which is very little and is very easy to get in your diet. You don't need to purposely add salt to replace the water weight you are losing when you lose weight."

RELATED: 3 Science-Based Workouts to Boost Your Fitness

Should You Let Your Body Determine the Intermittent Fasting Pattern by Hunger?


The top tip, which "is the most important tip," according to Dr. Berg, "you wanna let your body determine the intermittent fasting pattern by hunger. So here's the rule, don't eat unless you're hungry. This way will allow your body to transition to this at the right pace. Some people can fast longer than others. Once your body gets in this amazing adaptive state and you're burning fat, you should be feeling great mentally and physically. If you don't, it means that you're not ready yet and you have to keep doing it and just take your time."

RDN Says: "The body adapts to the schedule you give it. If you are used to skipping breakfast, it won't ask for breakfast. It won't signal that you are hungry until about the time you normally eat. You can actually fast for days (water only) and not feel very much hunger if you train your body by not feeding it. Yes, this will burn fat, but it will also start to waste away muscle and lower your metabolism, making keeping the weight off difficult and weight regain possible."

💪🔥Body Booster: Tackle household chores for a metabolic boost and an active lifestyle. Ditch the couch and get moving!

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more