Do fat burners work?


Let’s talk about a fairly common asked question. Is there a way to make burning fat easier? Let’s be honest now. We all know that excess fat on the body is probably not a good thing to have and we all want a way to get rid of excess fat in the easiest and quickest manner. Right from the very start of trend of health and fitness, people have been looking for the magic formula or magic pill to make it easier to be in great shape and lose excess fat. This magic pill mentality gave birth to an industry of hyped up diets, workouts, routines and machines, pills, potions and lotions but now, we actually have Fat burners available as an over the counter product and are advertised quite heavily, not only within fitness media, but  in mainstream media also.

We’ll stick to the fitness industry related fat burners for now. The legal ones that you can buy from any supplement shop such as GNC. These products are very well marketed and often, people think of them as a one stop solution to fat burning but how do they work?

If you look at the ingredients of fat burners, they’re pretty much all the same with just a few differences here and there. The main ingredients you’ll find in any fat burner are caffiene (in the form of either caffiene, guarana, green tea extract etc), Black pepper extract (bioperine) which has been shown to help in blocking the formation of fat cells and usually, Citrus Aurantium (also called bitter orange extract or synephrine) which is a mild stimulant.

When combined, fat burners work by trying to do the following things:

  • Increase Thermogenesis
  • Suppress Appetite
  • Act as a diuretic
  • Increase heart rate/performance

Thermogenesis is basically increasing the body temperature and aiding in boosting ones metabolic rate. The theory being here is a stimulation in ones metabolic rate means more calories are burned as a result and the more calories burned the more fat burned in the process.

The appetite suppression qualities of a fat burner basically do what they say on the tin. If you’re trying to limit your caloric intake through food, having an appetite suppressant may help you because you won’t feel as hungry.

A diuretic basically helps shed your body of excess water. Taking a fat burner usually leads to sweating more during physical activity and having to go to the toilet more often. Whilst this can help in weight loss, it’s not really fat loss and you’ve got to be careful about dehydration especially if you’re participating in exercise, which I encourage!

Increase in heart rate and performance usually comes from the caffeine and from the stimulants used such as synephrine (a milder form of the now banned epehdrine). If you can work out harder and get your heart rate going higher, you can burn more calories and therefore burn more fat. That’s the theory and whilst over the counter stimulants such as synephrine and caffeine are not dangerous if taken in correct dosages, one should test their tolerance to these ingredients before hand.

Fundamentally then, do they work?

The answer, in my humble opinion is Yes but! Yes, they work to raise ones metabolic rate and assist in fat burning but they should not be seen as the magic pill solution that would see one not have to worry about good nutrition and exercise  A fat burner by itself coupled with poor nutrition and little physical activity will just see you waste your hard earned cash (these things don’t usually come cheap either, a months supply is on average between £30-£40). However, if you’ve got a good diet and training plan in progress and you want to kick up the fat burning up a notch, then a fat burner may be just the thing you need to help you push past plateaus or help you reach your goal of a ripped and chiseled physique faster.

There are of course, stronger and more “under ground” fat burners available if you know where to go looking. Some countries do not have bans on certain fat burning ingredients such as America currently do not have a ban on Yohimbine which is an excellent supplement to help rid of stubborn fat (and it’s been used in Africa as a herbal viagra too!). But it is banned in most other countries. Therefore, most American supplement companies usually have two formulas for their fat burners. An American formula containing Yohimbine and an “International Formula” which doesn’t. Ephedrine is also a potent stimulant in fat burners but is by in large banned now. Whilst i’m not suggesting you go hunting for these products, I thought I’d add them in here as reference material for you.

Hopefully, that’s helped you understand a bit about fat burners.

Until next time!


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About the Author Fahad

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