Fat burners, those mysterious little supplements that seem to have your dreams of a shredded six-pack bottled up in their little containers. But when you look closer, there’s a whole mess of different active ingredients and combinations, it can be hard to know what they all mean, let alone which one is right for you. Don’t worry, your Supps R Us team is here to help.
What are fat burners?
are a type of supplement designed to help your body burn more fat. They won’t do it for you, 80% of weight loss is still made in the kitchen, but they can be that little push your metabolism just that little bit to get that fat off your body sooner.
What does a fat burner do?
There are two ways to lose fat: Take less in, or use more up. That’s it. Fat burners are made to help you use more fat.
There are several types of fat burners. The most common one is Thermogenic fat burners
. These are designed to raise your body temperature just a little bit. This means your body will be burning a little more fat at all times, especially when exercising. There is another type called Fat mobilisers, these are made to free up more fat from your fat stores and get more of it to your muscles where it can be used as energy.
Which supps are fat burners?
Most good fat burners will include a mixture of thermogenic and mobilising active ingredients. There would be no point being able to burn more fat in your muscles if you can’t get more fat there to be burned!
Some common thermogenic ingredients are:
- Synephrine (bitter orange)
The Fat Mobilising ingredients might include:
- Raspberry Ketones
- CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid)
- Green Tea Extract
These are just a few examples, there are loads more, with more being promoted all the time. These ones have been around a while though, and many people swear by their effectiveness.
Which one should I choose?
A lot of this will come down to opinion, but there are a few things to think about when narrowing down your choice.
As you age, your body will process fat less efficiently. This means you’ll store more of it, and be able to transport less of it, and is one of the reasons why it’s harder to lose weight once you get on the other side of 30. If you’re someone who gains weight easily, you might have naturally low levels of these too. In this case, you should definitely look at something that includes fat mobilisers.
If you’re finding your progress has stopped, and you can’t move those few stubborn kilograms, then the thermogenic fat burners can really help.
When should I take it?
Different fat burners will have different times, it’s best to check the label and follow those instructions. Usually they’ll recommend you take them around half an hour before exercise, but some may tell you to have them again in the morning.
Just check if the fat burner you’ve chosen has caffeine or other stimulants in it. If it does, try to avoid taking it too close to bedtime, especially if you’re particularly sensitive.
What are the side effects?
Fat burners are fairly intense supplements. You want to treat them with a bit of caution. If you take too much, you WILL run the risk of damaging yourself.
Taking too much of the thermogenic ingredients can dehydrate you, and boosting your body temperature too high can lead to a lot of negative health effects.
You can lower the risk by using only the minimum recommended dose at first, and then increasing it once you get used to the fat burner.
Taking extra of the mobilisers like Carnitine won’t generally hurt you, but it won’t help you either. Your body will just purge the extra and you are just flushing the supplements away. Literally.
Keep in mind that you will not drop more fat by taking a lot of the fat burner. In fact, you may do yourself some damage. As always, listen to your body. If you’ve got any concerns, consult with a health professional.
What can they stack with?
They stack well with most supplements, but there are a couple of interactions to be aware of:
Creatine: When stacking a fat burner and creatine, be aware that both will dehydrate you. They will work fine together if you drink enough water though, so try to keep your fluids up.
Pre-workout: Because a lot of fat burners have caffeine, and so do pre-workout supplements
, you need to make sure you’re not taking too many stimulants. If you’re feeling jittery, having trouble sleeping or having mood swings, stop taking one of them and switch to something without so many stimulants. Update
: There's already caffeine free pre-workouts
What if I don’t have time to exercise, but I still want to lose weight?
Fat burners cannot replace exercise. If you don’t have time to exercise, but want to lose weight, the only way that is effective in the long term is to change your diet. If you’re eating fewer kilojoules than you’re using, you’ll lose weight. Adding exercise just speeds the process up, and also makes it easier to keep the gains you make.
Is it safe for women too?
Fat burners for women
are fine, and really popular too, as long as you’re sensible with them you’ll have no problems at all.
Fat burners can offer a fairly wide variety of ways to increase the amount of energy your body uses, picking the right one can mean you get to your health goals just that little bit quicker, but they won’t do it on their own. The biggest fat burning supplement you can get is always going to be willpower.