Today I’m going to talk about so called fat burners as they are often perceived as a miracle working solution replacing genuine effort and healthy diet. What are fat burners? Well, the name may be a bit misleading. Hearing “fat burner” we expect a wonder pill that will start burning our fat and get us lean. Meaning, we can just watch TV and do nothing and those amazing pills will work miracles.
I have a surprise for you… and it’s not a good one! Those days of miracles are over. In the past there were such pills on the market. Pills with amphetamine or even worse, with tapeworm eggs. Luckily, especially those latter ones, are no longer available. Mostly. They were working miracles but who in a right mind invites worms into his or her body??? People are crazy!
Back to fat burners. First of all, they can be effective as a weight-loss aid… but obviously only if used properly! They are not magic pills!!! People see “fat burner” and think: well, that’s all I need. I just need to take one… maybe two to speed things up… and the fat will… well, burn. Melt away. Disappear.
Weeks later the weight is still the same and you just give up. If the miracle pills don’t work, why bother. Isn’t that correct?
The name “fat burner” is somewhat misleading. The ingredients of so called fat burners are to facilitate weight loss, help you with the effort… but not replace it! So, forget miracles and go on diet. A healthy one. And start working out. Fat burner will help, but will never replace the diet and the workout. Fat burner will enhance fat loss but not on its own.
How do they work though? Let’s have a look at an example. There are many fat burners on the market, some called fat burners, others going under a different name but still being fat burners. Let’s try one available on Irish market, from a new player on the market, Obsession Factory. They offer a fat burner under the name Slim Fit Thermo Booster. The description they provide is a typical one (for these types of products): boosts energy, suppresses appetite, reduces body fat. The product is designed to support weight loss. As I said already, this is quite typical and goes down to the ingredients. Typical fat burners contain high dosage of caffeine (in this case 200mg) but you need to be careful as there are fat burners on the market containing even higher dosage! Always check the label! Caffeine is a stimulant of the methylxanthine class. According to Wikipedia (and they are probably right), it’s the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Caffeine is known to reduce fatigue and drowsiness. It also improves athletic performance hence often taken before workout for its energy boost.
Another typical ingredient of fat burners is L Carnitine which is a compound involved in metabolism in most mammals. Carnitine is involved in transporting fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane. Green Tea extract is yet another typical ingredient claiming to boost metabolism. Green Tea has a long tradition of medicinal usage, especially in Chinese tradition. Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to support this claim. There is also not enough evidence to reject it.
Other ingredients (in this particular product) are Citrus Aurantium (Bitter Orange) marked as dietary supplement purported to act as appetite suppressant and weight loss aid; Guarana, which is a climbing plant in the maple family, often used in sweetened or carbonated soft drinks. It’s a common source of caffeine. Cayenne Pepper stimulates digestive tract by increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. Cayenne Pepper also stimulates production of saliva, an important component of digestion. Niacin (vitamin b3 complex) primarily supplements treatment of high blood cholesterol. It’s commonly recommended for prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes.
So… do they work? Thay can. If taken properly. You always need to monitor the progress as different bodies will react differently. And you must treat it as a supplement only, not as a replacement of a healthy diet and exercises. They can help you only if you help yourself.