Fat burners are supplements designed to help you lose weight, with “help” being the operative word. Utilizing a range of ingredients and methods, fat burners claim to increase the amount of weight loss compared to what you would ordinarily lose through a healthy diet and regular exercise. They are not a substitute for these things.
This is a very broad category of supplements. Within the fat burner marketplace are hundreds – maybe even thousands – of products, each making slightly different claims about how they will help you to lose weight.
So how do you know which one to choose? This article will give you some clarity to the fat burners on the market and will empower you with the information you need to decide which product is right for you.
- Fat burners are supplements designed to help boost the results of weight loss.
- Taken alongside a lifestyle with a healthy diet and good exercise, they can boost weight loss. They are not designed to be a magic pill that will help you lose weight with no other effort.
- The various products in this category contain many ingredients, ranging in popularity and effectiveness. Choosing the right fat burner requires an understanding of the ingredients they contain.
- The marketplace contains some products which aren’t effective and others which can be dangerous. Understanding these risks is important.
- Knowing what to look for and what to avoid can make all the difference in choosing an effective fat burner.
Weight Loss Supplements
A pill designed to help you lose weight. It sounds great, doesn’t it?
While many supplement manufacturers put a lot of effort into designing products that work, some of the less scrupulous companies are quite happy to sell fat burners with ingredients that are questionable, to say the least.
And because of their designation as dietary supplements rather than drugs, the claims and effective weight loss products are not subject to review or approval by any regulatory bodies before they go to market. This means that the responsibility falls to consumers to research the products available to make sure they get something safe and effective.
Thankfully, in the age of internet shopping and customer reviews, this is easier than ever. Supplement shoppers can browse hundreds of reviews from real people with similar needs to their own, allowing them to crowdsource opinion on which fat burners are most effective.
Backed up with an understanding of the ingredients used in each fat burner – what they are, where they come from, and how they work – consumers have an incredible amount of power.
To ensure the fat burner you’re taking is reputable and safe, check product reviews, testimonials from customers, and opinions from your doctor or another medical professional.
The benefits of supplements in this category are plenty when a good product is taken as intended. If you’re asking yourself the question “do fat burners work?”, then this guide has lots of information on their potential benefits.
When researching products, drilling deeper into the science behind the ingredients is important too.
Prioritize ingredients whose effectiveness is backed up by scientific research and published opinions from health safety agencies. Things like:
- Glucomannan: An appetite suppressant identified by European health authorities to be effective in the context of weight loss.
- Choline: A nutrient known to contribute to normal fat metabolism and homocysteine metabolism.
- Natural caffeine: A popular ingredient known to provide a stimulant hit to power up workouts.
Notice that each of these ingredients has been approved by the EU regulators in relation to specific health claims. However, to fully understand fat burners, you first have to understand the ways your body can shed weight. These are outlined below:
Boosting Metabolism to Burn Calories Faster
Your metabolism determines how many calories you’ll need to fuel your body. This includes everything from digestion, to energy, to respiration, and so on. Your body is a machine that needs a lot of fuel, and the energy from calories is the fuel source.
By storing what it doesn’t use, your body can ensure it has reserves available if food runs scarce. This is great, to a point. The problem arises when you put too much fuel in and don’t do enough exercise to burn it off. When this happens, you get fat deposits.
Increasing the efficiency of your metabolism means your body will burn more calories and will need to store less fat and sugar away as a result.
Some fat burners like Powher Cut claim thermogenic effects. This raises your internal body temperature ever so slightly (within safe means), theoretically increasing the number of calories burned at rest.
More calories burned means yet less fat stored away.
Reducing Caloric Intake
As we’ve seen, weight is gained when you ingest more calories than the body needs. Increasing metabolism is one way to burn extra calories, but for effective weight loss, you should be running a caloric deficit.
This means you eat fewer calories than your body needs, within a safe range. Many fat burners use ingredients that suppress your appetite, meaning you feel the need to eat less. When done safely (your doctor can advise on this), a caloric deficit is a key part of weight loss.
Boosting Energy Levels
To work out, you need to feel energized. Many fat burners use caffeine and other stimulants (natural or otherwise) to pump you up and give you the energy you need to work out harder and for longer.
Exercise is a great way to burn more calories, which can help in establishing a caloric deficit. Again, this must be done safely.
Types of Fat Burners
Weight loss supplements come in various formats. Depending on your preferences, you can choose from the following:
Powders: Some types of protein – like whey – are associated with weight loss. Each day you make up a shake by stirring some powder into liquid, then you drink it.
Shakes: Like the above, except the shake is premade. You just crack the bottle (or can), and drink.
Capsules: Here the daily dose is split out into one or more capsules which you swallow with a glass of water, usually shortly before a meal. This is great for people who want something quick and easy, without the hassle of making a shake.
Side Effects of Fat Burners
As we’ve said, it’s important to understand the supplement you are planning to take in as much detail as possible. Look beyond the marketing and messaging of the company who makes the supplement, to the risks associated with each ingredient.
With the vast majority of fat burners, ingredients are included in quantities that are far below what is required to cause negative side effects. This means that as long as you take the supplement as directed, you are unlikely to experience any problems.
It’s best to be equipped with information nonetheless, and sites like the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) publish detailed factsheets outlining the effects – good and bad – of almost every ingredient you’ll come across.
Keep an eye out for caffeine levels. Some fat burners use large amounts of caffeine that may cause jitters or other discomforts in combination with coffee or energy drinks.
As a rule, if you’re going to be taking fat burners with other supplements, you’ll want to check that the combined dosage of any ingredients does not surpass the recommended daily allowance (RDA). And if you’re not sure what the RDA is, the ODS can help with that too.
Some of the more negative side effects of fat burners arise when they’re taken incorrectly, or for the wrong reasons. As we said earlier: fat burners are not a magic pill for weight loss. They are a way to boost weight loss resulting from a healthy lifestyle.
Fat burners are supplements designed to serve a specific purpose, and when used in the right way, can help you to lose weight.
By understanding the product, the ingredients, and the risks involved, you empower yourself to choose the right fat burner for your needs. This research process is an important part of choosing the right supplement.
Understanding your motivations for wanting to take a supplement is important in deciding whether you should take one as well. If you want to boost the results of weight loss from a healthy lifestyle, they may be a good fit. If you want a magic pill that will burn fat with no input required from you, you need to adjust your expectations.
Due to some unscrupulous players in the marketplace, there is a small level of risk involved when choosing a fat burner, but by being diligent and choosing a company with good reviews and strong credentials, you are setting yourself up for success.