One of the most common goals in fitness is fat loss.
No matter whom you ask, if they go to the gym, they want to look great – and a big part of that is shedding all of the unnecessary fat. That’s exactly where fat burners come in!
You might have heard of them; they are the supplements you can take that help increase your metabolism, curb hunger and burn extra calories in the gym.
But do fat burners actually work?
What are their benefits?
How much and when should you take them?
If you want to learn the answers to all of these questions, and especially how to lose weight quickly and efficiently – you’re in luck!
We have prepared an article with all the necessary information that you need to know about fat burners: what they are, what they do, along with their benefits and side effects. We also help you decide which fat burner supplement will suit your unique needs and body best.
We shall even provide you with a list of some natural fat burners that you can use instead of supplements.
So if effective weight loss is one of your long-term fitness goals – read on!
Fat Burner: What is it?
A Fat Burner is a supplement that helps you to lose weight.
There are many types of fat burners on the market – it can be a pill, a natural herbal mix that you drink, a homemade and healthy meal that promotes weight-loss, as well as some other types.
The key to a good Fat Burners is in the ingredients. However, don’t think that fat burning pills are magic and that they will instantly help you get lean. If you think that you can just pop a pill and continue eating pizzas, hamburgers, pies and cakes all day – you are in for a big surprise because you’re still going to get fat!
You still have to have a proper diet to achieve your weight loss goals – a good supplement is just something that helps you reach that goal faster!
The Explanation: What Fat Burners Do
The first and most important question that many people ask is: “What do fat burners do?”
They help you lose weight by making certain changes in your body chemistry.
There are six main types of fat burners:
• Appetite Suppressant – Just like the name implies, it helps you suppress your appetite so that you want to eat less during the day, ultimately affecting the number of calories you consume.
• Fat Blocker – Ingredients such as Chitosan, a fat absorber, help with moving small amounts of fat through the colon without the body having a chance to absorb some of it.
• Carbohydrate Blocker – These types of fat burners contain certain enzymes that help prevent your body from digesting all of the carbohydrates, making you consume fewer calories as a result.
• Thermogenics – As the definition states, a thermogenic helps your body raise its temperature, thus expending more calories and increasing your body’s metabolic rate.
• Thyroid Regulators – The Thyroid is a large endocrine gland that regulates your metabolism. This type of fat burner stimulates your thyroid gland, effectively increasing your metabolism.
• Cortisol Blocker – Cortisol is a stress hormone. It influences how your body stores fat. This type of fat burner helps prevent some of the adverse effects that cortisol has on your body.
Each type is great in and of itself, but for best effect, you need a supplement that combines many or all of these in clinically tested doses that actually matter.
The Benefits of Taking Them
There are many benefits to fat burners – the main one being convenience and saved time.
Let’s say two people of similar weight go to the gym. They both have the same diet, both have the exact same exercise plan, but one of them uses a belly fat burner while the other one doesn’t.
They are both going to lose weight, but the one who is using fat-burning supplements will lose more and that weight will come off significantly faster. It will save that person a lot of time and energy – which is exactly the purpose of these types of fat loss products.
They help you achieve your goals and get results faster.
Additional benefits of taking fat burner are:
- Increases Energy
- Increases Focus
- Improves Metabolism
- Provides Better Performance in the Gym
If you want to learn further information about this, refer to our What Fat Burners Are and 5 Reasons to Take Them article.
The Long-Term Side Effects
Long Term Use is Bad:
The most important thing you need to know about taking these types of supplements that reduce fat is that you should never use them for extended periods of time.
Over time, your body creates a natural tolerance to the ingredients that they contain, so they will gradually start to be less and less effective. When that happens, one of the most common mistakes is to increase the dosage to try and get similar results.
Do not do that under any circumstances! These supplements rely on stimulants and other sensitive ingredients.
Over-Consumption is Dangerous:
If taken above the recommended dosage, they can and will overload your body and make you sick.
Also, people with high blood pressure, sleep disorders, various heart conditions and those sensitive to some of the ingredients should steer clear of these supplements.
Short Term Side Effects:
The Side Effects of fat burners can range from mild headaches, anxiety and nausea to something as severe as heart palpitations, dizziness, and vomiting. However, they only tend to happen if someone is very sensitive to the ingredients or takes a much larger dose than what is recommended on the label.
You also need to know when to take fat burners to prevent possible sleep disorders. Read about it in one of the following chapters.
Fat loss burners were never meant to be a permanent part of your diet, so do not take them indefinitely.
Your body needs to maintain a balance, and if you use these types of products too much, your natural metabolism will eventually slow down while trying to compensate the stimulants that you take.
Consequently, after you finish using them, your resting metabolic rate might become very low and you will even gain unnecessary weight as a result.
So remember – do not abuse these supplements and don’t use them for more than a couple of months at a time!
Yes – fat burners are clinically proven to work because of the ingredients contained in them.
Here are the main ones:
- Caffeine – It speeds up your metabolism due to its thermogenic effect.
- Green Tea Extract – Contains catechins which provide many different benefits, like improved metabolism.
- L-Tyrosine – an amino acid that is used to produce noradrenaline and dopamine. Improves mood and reduces stress.
- L-Theanine – neutralizes the bad effects of caffeine without removing its benefits.
- L-Carnitine – this amino acid’s involved in energy metabolism and mitochondrial protection.
- Forskolin – a great weight loss catalyst.
- Capsaicin – an active component of chili peppers that improves metabolism.
- 5-HTP – 5-Hydroxytryptophan boosts mental health and immune system.
- Synephrine HCl – is a common weight loss catalyst and metabolism booster.
- Yohimbine – an effective yet potentially harmful fat burning compound.
- Yerba Mate – provides mental stimulation and energy boosting benefits.
- Phosphatidylserine – improves brain function, memory, mood, etc.
- Vitamin B (B6 and B12) – plays a vital role in many of the body’s processes, including metabolism.
There are a few others, but these are the main ones that the best fat loss supplements on the market contain.
If you want to learn more about the ingredients and how fat burners work, you should read our article at Do Fat Burners Really Work? Studies and Ingredient Analysis.
What Makes Fat Burner Supplements Efficient:
• Natural Ingredients and Correct Quantities:
A good fat burner relies on 100% natural components that increase your metabolism, boost your energy levels and curb your hunger at the same time.
Natural ingredients are for example Caffeine, Green Tea Extract, Capsaicin, certain sources of Vitamin B and so on. The things that make such supplements efficient are the carefully chosen quantities of the elements contained in them.
If a supplement lists an ingredient, it has to provide the quantity of it, because they are only effective if present in doses that are clinically tested and proven to work.
If you find a fat burner that doesn’t have a clearly labeled list with the names and quantities of each component, or one that hides the quantities behind a so-called “proprietary blend” – steer clear of it!
• The Tolerance:
Finally, you should also try and cycle your supplement for best effect. Just like with a calorie-deficient diet, if your body gets used to it, you need to switch it up from time to time to get the full effect.
The same thing applies to these burners too. When your body gets used to them and you feel like you are not getting the full and intended effect, take a little break and let your body settle back down.
Natural Fat Burners that Improve Your Progress
There are many different types of natural products that help you reduce fat.
Here are some that increase your metabolism:
Blackcurrants, blueberries, oatmeal, cruciferous vegetables, celery, coconut, cucumbers, ginger, lemons, limes, avocados, grapefruit, high Scoville peppers, asparagus, pears, beans, almonds, spinach, egg whites, water and so on.
These are just the most common ones; there are many other natural alternatives.
You may have noticed a particular trend – all of them are nutrition powerhouses (except water) that naturally promote your metabolism while keeping you feeling full for longer.
Many of them contain lots of fiber, which naturally promotes proper digestion and makes you less hungry throughout your day.
For more in-depth information about fat-blasting foods, read our guide at 17 Powerful Fat Burning Foods That Will Improve Your Body.
We mention water because it is of utmost importance. People know all too well that to lose weight and increase your metabolism; you have to stay well hydrated.
If you have a proper diet that includes many of these listed ingredients, as well as use a carefully picked supplement for burning fat – you will lose weight quite quickly, all while preserving your muscle mass.
Timing: When to Take Them
When to Take Them:
You should avoid taking fat burners in the second half of your day because they contain many stimulants and can impact and disturb your sleep patterns.
For best effect, take fat burner supplements early in the day, preferably before breakfast, and then before lunch.
In this way, you will be energized for the whole day without ruining your sleep.
You can also plan certain burners around the time of your meals, especially those without stimulants.
Since many of them suppress your appetite, you will consequently be consuming fewer calories throughout your day, helping you keep your calorie deficient diet for maximum weight loss.
How Much to Take:
Since these supplements contain various stimulants and other ingredients that are potentially dangerous at high doses, we strongly recommend you to always follow the serving size that’s on the manufacturer’s label and never exceed it!
Should you take a Fat Burner?
It all depends on your goals. If your goal is to look lean and shed some unwanted fat faster – then that’s an absolute yes – you should take one.
If your goal, however, is to gain a lot of muscle mass to look incredibly ripped – you should take a pre-workout supplement instead.
You can find more information about these pre-workout supplements and what they do by checking out our top 10 list for men at 10 Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Men, and for women at The 10 Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women.
Many people believe that a fat burner will solve all of their problems in the gym and that they’ll have a well-built and wonderfully ripped body in no time. We urge you not to forget that there are no shortcuts when it comes to having a great body and that you’ll still have to train hard, eat well and get plenty of sleep.
Fat burners are going to greatly boost your results if they’re used in conjunction with a proper exercise plan and diet, but they’re not going to do anything for you if you don’t put in the work.
Tip: A Proper Diet combined with Cardio Sessions Will Improve Your Progress
You also need to consider adding additional cardio sessions to your training routine, because they will significantly help when it comes to burning fat.
Taking cardio on an empty stomach (fasting cardio) will also be of tremendous help. And since you’re already taking a fat-burning supplement, it will provide you with all the energy that you need to last through your cardio session and get maximum results.
Just don’t forget that when it comes to fat loss, longer sessions aren’t necessarily better, so when you’re trying to shred fat, aim for shorter sessions with higher intensity, instead of marathon sessions.
Incorporating a few 15-20 minute high-intensity cardio workouts into your week will drastically improve your fat loss results compared to introducing a couple of 40-80 minute low intensity jogging sessions.
Figuring out the best fat burner for fat loss is not as tough as it sounds.
Just don’t forget to incorporate a clean and healthy diet with a proper calorie deficit, to efficiently and quickly lose weight.
And don’t forget to keep your goals realistic! If a product promises you magical results – don’t believe them! As with anything – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
But if you stick to a proper fat loss diet, exercise regularly, use a fat burner supplement according to directions, measure your progress and don’t take too many other stimulants – you will see that these fat shedding products deliver what they promise.
If you have any thoughts about fat burners or want to suggest a great diet and exercise plan to use in conjunction with them, we welcome your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!
Good luck and stay fit!