What are Fat Burners?
Fat burners, in simpler terms, are supplements that are purported to do the following:
- Increase fat metabolism or energy expenditure
- Impede with the absorption of fat
- Facilitate weight loss
- Increase the oxidation of fat during the workout
- Cause long term adaptations that lead to fat metabolism
Often, these supplements contain various ingredients, each with its own set of mechanisms of action and it is often claimed that the combination of these substances will have additive effects. Supplements that are claimed to improve fat metabolism are caffeine, L-carnitine, green tea, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), forskolin, chromium, Yohimbe, Glucomannan, and Raspberry Ketones to name a few.
Fat burners are considered as one of the most scandalous supplements in the market. Even though they are endorsed as miracle solutions that can be an answer to your weight problems, but they can also be dangerous and harmful. Moreover, they are not regulated by food regulatory authorities.
Do Fat Burners Work?
Let us first get familiar with the two terms associated with fat burners.
It is a metabolic process during which heat is produced as your body burns calories. Factors like diet, workout and environmental temperature induce thermogenesis in you. It promotes weight loss because it considerably increases your body’s calorie burn.
Lipolysis is the breakdown of lipids and involves hydrolysis of triglycerides into glycerol and free fatty acids. The following hormones induce lipolysis: glucagon, epinephrine, norepinephrine, ghrelin, growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisol. During this process, free fatty acids are passed into the bloodstream and move throughout the body. Lipolysis can be defined as the process in the body of breaking down stored triglycerides into two main components, glycerol, and fatty acids.
Some of the ingredients in fat burners are meant to trigger hormonal reactions in your body and to breakdown fat. The key ingredient in fat burners is caffeine, which helps you reduce your weight by increasing metabolism and enabling the body to use fat for fuel. It also gives you energy for exercise and other calorie burning activities. What happens is that caffeine initiates the breakdown of fatty acids that live in adipose tissue, also known as belly fat. Once the fatty acids are broken down, they creep in the bloodstream and can be burned up by our bodies to create energy.
One thing a fat burner won’t do, however, is mending a broken diet. Diet is important in that if you’re eating for healthy fat loss, then a thermogenic fat burner can help you with the other things like boosting your energy, controlling your appetite, and even increase your metabolism and temperature, what we mentioned as thermogenesis, so you burn more calories throughout the day.
Are Fat Burners Safe?
As long as you take a sensible approach to your overall nutrition and keep a watch on your stimulant intake, fat burners can be a reliable way to increase your results. Here are the biggest rules to keep in mind.
1. Don’t diet forever
To be fair, no, you don’t need to be on a diet for the rest of your life to lose weight. If you’re serious about losing weight, plan on dieting for 10-14 weeks. This will give you sufficient time to fine-tune your diet for your appropriate food preferences and activity level. If you cheat on your plan sometimes, just get back to it and keep moving forward.
After your diet, and once you cycle off of your fat burner, it’s essential to bump your calories back up to or above what is known as “maintenance,” where your calories and calorie burn are approximately equal. One conventional way to do this is what is known as a “reverse diet,” where you slowly and orderly raise calories.
2. Don’t go too low on calories
During your targeted diet phase, the core is to stay in a slight caloric deficit—that means eating fewer calories than you burn. But don’t think that fewer is always better! It’s a popular myth of fat loss, especially among women, that an intense calorie deficit is a good way to get more out of a fat burner.
Plenty of diets cut calories severely low, at least at first, and they get results. But not forever.
Beyond a specific point, reducing calories doesn’t predictably lead to weight loss—and if it does, it’s in ways that aren’t healthful, and it surely won’t feel pleasant or sustainable for you.
Remember, the final goal is feeling good and being healthy, not just looking lean! A real goal to have in mind is to eat the highest amount of calories you can, while still losing some weight.
3. Be careful with stimulants
If you can’t start your day without a cup of coffee and you drink another 3-4 throughout your day, be cautious about adopting a stimulant fat burner. Most fat burners, unless they explicitly say they are stimulant-free, contain caffeine, yohimbine, or other stimulants.
While you will surely love the energizing benefits you’d get from such a high caffeine intake if you’re mixing fat burners with multiple cups of coffee or any other caffeine-containing beverage, there is a higher limit for the effectiveness of stimulants—and it’s distinctive for everyone.
Also, maximum people who have taken fat burners consistently can tell you at least one tale about a time they got more than they negotiated for from a single dose and ended up sweaty, jittery, and feeling a little out of sorts.
So before you even get started on your fat burner, make sure to shop around a bit and find the one that best suits your needs and choices.
Types of Fat Burners that Work
Caffeine can help improve your metabolism and let your body burn more fat. According to one study, caffeine can boost your metabolism to 16% in one to two hours. A lot of studies have shown that caffeine can help your body burn more fat as fuel. However, this impact is more observed in lean people than obese people. However, you do not have to take caffeine as a supplement to extract its benefits. Drinking coffee only is an amazing source of caffeine and can do the needful.
Green tea extract is also rife with caffeine and the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), both of can help you burn fat. These two compounds function in tandem with each other and help you burn fat through thermogenesis. Scientists found out that green tea and caffeine together burned around 65 more calories per day than caffeine alone and 80 more calories than the placebo. Take 250–500 mg per day of green tea extract. This will provide the same benefits as drinking 3–5 cups of green tea every day.
Studies have shown that soluble fiber can help you burn fat by curbing your appetite. This is because soluble fiber can increase the levels of fullness hormones like PYY and GLP-1. It can also decrease levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Soluble fiber decelerates the delivery of nutrients to the gut. When this happens, your body takes more time to digest and absorb nutrients, thereby leaving you full for longer. It also burns fat by reducing the number of calories you absorb from food.
Yohimbine is a substance found in the bark of Pausinystalia yohimbe, a tree found in Central and Western Africa. Besides being used as an aphrodisiac, it also contains properties that may help you burn fat.
Yohimbine operates by blocking receptors called alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. These receptors bind adrenaline to tone down its effects, one of which is enabling the body to burn fat for fuel. Since yohimbine blocks these receptors, it can prolong the effects of adrenaline and promote the breakdown of fat for fuel.
But more information is needed about yohimbine before it can be recommended as a fat-burning supplement. Since yohimbine keeps your adrenaline levels high, it may cause side effects like nausea, anxiety, panic attacks, and high blood pressure.
This caffeine-free acidic fruit extract has become very familiar in recent years. As long as you take it properly, it can offer potent appetitive-control benefits.
This stimulant-free amino acid has been physique athletes hidden weapon for decades. Taken once or twice daily with food, it can also help your body transform stored body fat into energy, leaving you leaner and more defined. It does this by breaking up fatty acids so the body can use them for fuel. It has also been shown in studies to support recovery from workouts, reduce muscle damage, and even reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.
Conjugated linoleic acid
CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid, comparable to an omega-6 fatty acid. Even though CLA is a fat, research shows that consuming 1.4-3.0 grams per day can lead to an overall body-fat loss. It can also help you maintain muscle during periods of weight loss.
5-HTP, Synephrine, Green Coffee Bean Extract are some of the other fat burning supplements.
Who should take Fat Burners?
If you are facing the following issues while trying to lose your weight through exercise, you can try fat burners:
Hunger is the biggest barrier when it comes to weight loss. If you’re hungry, you’re NOT going to abide by a healthy diet. You’ll overeat a meal or making it impossible to lose weight or keep it off. This is where fat burner comes in handy.
Lack of Energy
Weight loss can be exhausting as it takes hard work, work that goes beyond physical effort. It can be emotionally draining as well. As much as it would be nice to have limitless amounts of energy each day to handle these physical and emotional demands, it is next to impossible. Caffeine in fat burners helps you restore every ounce of energy that has been lost and keeps you going.
Even when hunger and energy are under control, a bad mood can still be a major problem when it comes to weight loss. Of course, everyone experiences bad moods, but these feelings can be amplified when we are trying to work on our bodies. Green tea found in fat burners help not in boosting energy but lifts mood as well.
How Do I Know If My Fat Burner Is Working?
Once you find the best fat burner for your goals, give it 2-3 weeks to work before you begin evaluating progress or results.
But after that time, surely track your progress to see how your goals are shaping up! Whether you take progress photos, body-fat measurements, body-part measurements, or just track your weight on a scale, you won’t know if a product is supporting you see results if you don’t know your starting point.
Remember, some people react better to certain ingredients in fat burners, so what works best for one person may not certainly work best for another. After several weeks, if you find that you aren’t seeing the results you had anticipated for, consider using a different product instead.
Keep a close eye on your improvement over time, stick with your nutrition and training, and use fat burners seldom for that final 5 percent of results, and see if you can surprise yourself with what you achieve!
Limitations of Fat Burners
Even though commercial fat-burning supplements are widely available in the market, they do not always live up to their lofty claims and can end up harming your body.
That’s because fat-burning supplements don’t need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they reach the market. The onus lies on the manufacturer to make sure that their supplements are tested for safety and effectiveness and sometimes, they are not.
There have been many cases of fat-burning supplements being pulled out of the market because they contained harmful ingredients.
Moreover, there have been many cases in which supplements led to dangerous side effects like high blood pressure, strokes, seizures and even death.
Thus, it is important to use fat burners carefully by taking into account all of its pros and cons. Some people are better receptive to the ingredients found in fat burners so what works for one person may not be suited for another. Try for yourself. Do not rely on others’ experiences. That said, do not compromise with your nutrition and exercise. Relying completely on fat burners is never a wise choice.