Comprehensive Guide to Fat Burners: The Best Fat Burners, How to Use Fat Burners, and How to Choose the Right Fat Burner
You’ve probably heard of fat burners—those medicines that make fat on your body melt off like ice cream on a hot summer day. I’m sorry to bust your fantasy, but even the most effective fat burners can’t work miracles. They just serve as supplements. This means that even though they’re made with substances that can help you burn fat more effectively, they can’t take the place of a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Yet fat burners can undoubtedly be a useful component of a comprehensive, healthy weight-loss strategy. Use this guide to help you understand what a fat burner can and cannot accomplish for you and to equip yourself with the skills necessary to maximize its efficiency.
What Do Fat Burners Do?
Think of fat burners as a hunting rifle’s scope, only instead of hunting animals, you’re hunting fat cells.
Your diet serves as the rifle in this analogy, while exercise serves as the ammunition. You might improve your aim and target fat more effectively with the aid of fat burners. But without the heavy armament of your diet and a few rounds in the chamber, a scope is only useful for peeping around corners; it won’t help you get any closer to the truth!
A fat burner is what, then? The term “fat burner” is used to describe nutritional supplements that are asserted to acutely increase fat metabolism or energy expenditure, impair fat absorption, increase weight loss, increase fat oxidation during exercise, or cause long-term adaptations that promote fat metabolism, according to an explanation in the journal Obesity Reviews.  That’s a broad spectrum of functions, though, and especially in pill form, it can mean a lot of different things! So, let’s investigate a little more.
How do fat burners function? Some of the main components found in fat burners are intended to activate the body’s hormonal processes, which will cause fat to start breaking down and being used as fuel.
Caffeine, which is a primary component of most fat burners, aids in weight loss by speeding up metabolism and encouraging the body to utilize fat as fuel. It also aids in supplying energy for physical activity and other calorie-burning pursuits. Caffeine promotes the breakdown of fatty acids found in adipose tissue, or belly fat, in the body. Fatty acids can be used by our bodies to provide energy after they are broken down and enter the bloodstream.
But, a fat burner won’t make a bad diet better. A thermogenic fat burner can help with the other stuff if you’re eating for healthy fat loss, as Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., explains in the comprehensive guide “How to Lose Weight”: boosting energy, assisting with appetite control, encouraging fat to be used for energy, and even increasing your metabolism and core temperature (known as “thermogenesis”) so you burn more calories throughout the day.
Do Fat Burners Work?
They do, if you have realistic expectations of what “functioning” for a fat burner entails.
Some people think that if they use a fat burner, they ought to be able to lose a significant quantity of fat per week. Not going to occur! Yet, there are a few methods you can assist a fat burner in doing its job.
Establish acceptable standards: While supplements can speed up your fat loss, you won’t start losing weight quickly just because you’re using a thermogenic supplement. Sorry!
Keep this number in mind: For ordinary, healthy persons, a safe pace of fat reduction is between one and three pounds per week. In rare circumstances, you can increase this rate to 4 pounds each week, but it is unsustainable. Your body will eventually reach a plateau, and fat loss will stall.
Whether you’re using a fat burner or not, if you lose weight too quickly, you risk losing a lot of lean muscle mass. You should reconsider your fat-loss strategy unless you want to appear like a shapeless coat hanger and feel as healthy and athletic as one.
Create attainable goals: Instead of setting daily objectives, plan your weight reduction over the course of a week and a month. You’ll stay more motivated and experience amazing program effects if you achieve gradual targets. You may not notice any results every week, but that is to be expected. But, your fat reduction will continue over time with the aid of a fat burner.
Cycle your fat burner: Even the most effective thermogenic fat burner will eventually stop producing benefits. Sorry!
“Thermogenics are widely used by people since they can speed up the process of weight loss. At the gym, they might increase energy levels. In the article “What Supplements Should I Be Cycling?,” Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., notes that prolonged use can raise your tolerance.”
“I recommend that folks cycle their fat burners,” says Kendall. “Usually, people use fat burners for 4-6 weeks. You won’t see the same rise in fat oxidation or increase in metabolic rates after your body adjusts to it. You may ensure that your fat burner will continue to assist you in losing abdominal fat by occasionally ceasing to use it.”
The main issue, according to her, is that since caffeine is regarded as a medication, stopping it can cause withdrawal symptoms.
The withdrawal symptoms are most severe the first two to three days without it and last for approximately seven days, according to Kendall. Nevertheless, most people agree that after about a week without it, your body begins to adjust to living without it.
Kendall advises stopping your fat burner for a couple of weeks, then restarting it—ideally at a lower dose than what you were taking before you stopped—as soon as possible.
Start with a modest dose: Fat burners are made to deliver the right amounts of several substances to help fat loss. But that doesn’t necessarily imply that the more of the ingredients you consume, the better the results. Manufacturers of dietary supplements provide serving sizes and instructions so that you can determine the dosage that is most effective for you.
Putting Muscle First: Taking a thermogenic, getting on the closest cardio machine, and daydreaming about getting smaller is a frequent strategy. Your body, however, deserves better than this method!
You should follow a thorough exercise regimen that maximizes fat reduction while limiting muscle loss in addition to your diet and supplements. Muscle is your buddy when weight loss that is sustained is your objective! It helps you lose weight, gives your body shape, keeps you active, and makes you feel good.
Are Fat Burners Safe?
Do not diet indefinitely: To be clear, losing weight does not require a lifetime of dieting. In the article “The No-BS Guide to Successful Weight Reduction,” registered nutritionist Paul Salter discusses that setting a short timeline is the best way to achieve results.
If you’re serious about losing weight, Salter advises planning a 10- to 14-week diet. “You will have ample time to adjust your diet to fit your unique food choices and level of activity. If you periodically stray from your goal, simply get back on track and carry on.”
It’s critical to increase your calories back to or above “maintenance,” where your intake and expenditure of calories are nearly equal, after your diet and after you cycle off of your fat burner. A common method for achieving this is a “reverse diet,” which involves gradually and methodically increasing calories. In her article “The Complete Guide to Reverse Dieting,” registered dietitian Katie Coles explains how.
Avoid cutting calories too drastically: Maintaining a small caloric deficit during your planned diet phase involves eating fewer calories than you expend. But don’t assume that less is always better! It’s a widespread misconception that a fat burner works best when there is a severe calorie deficit, especially among women. “Numerous diets drastically reduce calories, at least initially, and they are effective. But not always, “explains Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., RD, in the Foundations of Fitness Nutrition course on Bodybuilding.com. “At a certain point, reducing calories doesn’t typically lead to weight loss—and if it does, it’ll likely be done in ways that aren’t healthy, and it won’t likely feel good or be sustainable for you.”
Always keep in mind that feeling good and being healthy are more important than simply looking nice! Eating as many calories as you can while still losing weight is an excellent objective to have in mind.
Be Cautious With Stimulants: you must have a cup of coffee to start your day and have an additional 3–4 cups throughout the day. Unless they clearly state they are stimulant-free, the majority of fat burners contain caffeine, yohimbine, or other stimulants. There are plenty of stimulant-free fat burners available. These keto fat burners tend to create more sustainable results when used the right way.
There is an upper limit to how effective stimulants can be, and it varies from person to person. While you will undoubtedly enjoy the energizing effects of such a high caffeine intake, you should be aware of this if you combine fat burners with multiple cups of coffee or any other caffeinated beverage.
Cutting into the quality of your sleep—which excessive stimulants may do, as nutritionist Alan Flanagan describes in the article “Why Less Sleep Equals More Body Fat”—can directly result in additional fat growth.
Thus, do some research and select the fat burner that best suits your needs and preferences before you ever begin using one. Don’t just choose the first fat burner you see; instead, read evaluations of the most well-liked ones.
What Ingredients Are In The Best Fat Burners?
There are primarily two categories of fat burners: those that contain stimulants and those that don’t.
Thermogenic fat burners typically contain stimulants, most commonly caffeine, but not always. For persons who find it difficult to muster the stamina to complete a strenuous workout or prolonged cardio session, caffeinated fat burners are beneficial.
In the article “Boost Your Exercise with Coffee,” Robert Wildman, Ph.D., RD, claims that caffeine “helps burn fat, and helps athletes accomplish more work for longer periods in the gym and in sport.”
For those whose insatiable desires stand in the way of their results, caffeine is also a strong appetite reducer. The fact that it’s a common element in fat-burning pills is therefore for a particularly good reason.
Despite how powerful caffeine is, it is not the only component of widely used fat burners. When paired with some of the others, it becomes even more efficient.
To be clear, a fat burner does not automatically become better simply because it has additional chemicals. Concentrating on a few crucial elements, like these, is a fantastic place to start, particularly if you’re new to fat burners.
Green tea has been demonstrated to stimulate the body’s thermogenic fat-burning capacity, as have green tea extracts. Men who consumed catechins, the main compound in green tea, dramatically reduced their total fat area, waist circumference, skinfold thickness, and subcutaneous fat area, according to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  In the article “Your Expert Guide to Green Tea,” exercise physiologist Nick Coker notes that combining this component with caffeine has been demonstrated to increase its effectiveness.
Green tea L-carnitine: For years, bodybuilders have kept this stimulant-free amino acid a secret. It can also assist your body in converting stored body fat into energy, making you leaner and more defined, when taken once or twice day with food. It accomplishes this by dissolving fatty acids so that the body may utilize them as fuel. As Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., says in “Your Expert Guide to L-Carnitine,” it has also been demonstrated in studies to enhance recovery from workouts, prevent muscle damage, and even lessen exercise-induced muscular pain.
Conjugated linoleic acid: Also known as CLA, is an omega-6-like naturally occurring fatty acid. Despite the fact that CLA is a fat, studies have shown that ingesting 1.4–3.0 grams daily can result in a reduction in overall body fat. [3,4] In the article “Your Expert Guide to CLA,” kinesiologist Ciaran Fairman, Ph.D., notes that it can also aid in maintaining muscle mass when you are losing weight. Keep in mind that muscle is your ally for sustained success!
Yohimbine: Yohimbe is a common stimulant found in fat burners and is derived from the bark of the yohimbe tree. For skilled soccer players, it has been demonstrated in a well-known study to yield noticeably superior fat loss results than a placebo.  Yet more study is unquestionably required, and yohimbine isn’t suitable for everyone. When using yohimbine, exercise caution if you are prone to anxiety or are highly sensitive to stimulants. Several people report feeling extremely nervous or anxious as a result.
Garcinia cambogia: This acidic fruit extract has gained a lot of attention recently, as nutritionist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., explains in the article “Fat-Loss Hope Or Hype: The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia.” It is a fruit without caffeine. He argues that if taken correctly, it can have significant appetitive-control advantages.
When And How Can You Tell If The Fat Burner Is Working?
Give the fat burner you’ve chosen two to three weeks to start working before evaluating your progress or outcomes.
Nevertheless, after that, you should track your development to observe how your objectives are progressing. You won’t be able to tell if a product is assisting you in seeing results if you don’t know your beginning point, regardless of whether you track your weight on a scale, take progress photos, body-part measurements, or body-fat measures.
Yet, unlike what you might believe, Paul Salter argues in the article “How Frequently Should I Weigh Myself?” that measuring yourself more frequently doesn’t always result in better weight-loss results. Don’t focus too much on your weight because it’s not the only aspect of the situation. It’s also really vital to pay attention to how you’re doing with your workouts, how you feel, and how you look.
Remember that different components in fat burners affect people differently, so what works best for one person may not necessarily work best for another. If, after a few weeks, you still don’t notice the results you were hoping for, think about switching to a new product.
See if you can surprise yourself with your progress if you keep a tight check on it over time, adhere to your diet and exercise routine, and periodically utilize fat burners for the last 5% of results. For more information on fat burners and supplements in general, head over to Simply Supplements.
- Jeukendrup, A. E., & Randell, R. (2011). Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obesity Reviews, 12(10), 841-851.
- Nagao, T., Komine, Y., Soga, S., Meguro, S., Hase, T., Tanaka, Y., & Tokimitsu, I. (2005). Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men–. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(1), 122-129.
- Mougios, V., Matsakas, A., Petridou, A., Ring, S., Sagredos, A., Melissopoulou, A., … & Nikolaidis, M. (2001). Effect of supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid on human serum lipids and body fat. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 12(10), 585-594.
- Blankson, H., Stakkestad, J. A., Fagertun, H., Thom, E., Wadstein, J., & Gudmundsen, O. (2000). Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. The Journal of Nutrition, 130(12), 2943-2948.
- Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Ostojic, S. M. (2006). Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Research in Sports Medicine, 14(4), 289-299.