When it comes to losing weight, fat burners are often considered the “holy grail” for getting shredded.
After all, the whole concept sounds pretty damn appealing doesn’t it?
Who ACTUALLY wants to go through the hassle (and pain) of diet and exercise when you can just pop a pill, am I right?
Well, if you’re under the impression that these things are the secret sauce that will help you finally get that six pack you’ve been dreaming of since you were fifteen, I’ve got some good news and bad news for you.
The GOOD NEWS is that, when used correctly, a quality supplement can help you lose weight, push through plateau’s, and make dieting easier.
The BAD NEWS is that it’s not a magic pill… far from it.
And you ARE still going to have to work for it.
So, with that said, today’s article is all about fat burners – what they are, how they work, when (and if) you should be taking them, and how to find one that ACTUALLY does what it’s suppose to.
How Do Fat Burners Work?
To understand how fat burners work, it’s important to understand the ingredients that are used to accelerate the weight loss process.
This is critical, because not only will you understand if taking one of these supplements is right for you, you’ll also be able to tell the difference between a quality product and a junk product.
So, let’s get right into it. The following is a list of ingredients that actually work, and that you should be looking for.
Caffeine is probably the most common ingredient you’ll find in most fat burning supplements.
And for good reason. Not only has caffeine been shown to have numerous health benefits (in moderation), it’s also been shown to amplify fat burning.
For starters, caffeine has the potential to raise your metabolic rate, as well as help with fat mobilization (interestingly enough, the effects of caffeine on metabolism show the greatest promise in individuals who are already on the lean side).
There’s also been research to suggest that caffeine may act as an appetite suppressant and blunt hunger. And since a big part of losing fat comes down to consuming less calories, anything that diminishes your hunger is a good thing.
Finally, caffeine has been shown to amplify the effects of other compounds commonly found in fat burners (including green tea extract).
Green Tea Extract
Another common ingredient, it turns out that green tea not only comes with health benefits, but it also helps you lose weight.
Green tea extract contains an ingredient called catechin, which has been shown to greatly improve fat loss. One Japanese study in particular found a statistically significant body fat decrease in subjects consuming tea that had a high catechin count.
Another study found that subjects who consumed green tea extract prior to performing cardiovascular exercise saw a 17% higher rate of fat oxidization than those who took a placebo.
Bottom line- green tea extract is powerful stuff, and no good fat burner is complete without it.
L-carnitine is a naturally occurring, nonessential amino acid. When taken in supplement form, it has been shown to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and improve recovery.
It’s also necessary for fat loss. L-carnitine assists in shuttling fat into the cells where it can be used for fuel and burned off. It’s therefore necessary to ensure that your body has enough of this amino acid available, making it a logical choice for a good fat burning supplement.
Common Misconceptions About Fat Burners
Now that we’ve covered how fat burners work and some of the ingredients, let’s talk about the common misconceptions surrounding these supplements.
And make no mistake, with any product that gets as much hype as these do, there are going to be a lot of misconceptions surrounding them.
And unfortunately, this is going to involve debunking a lot of the more spectacular claims being made.
But with that said, we’ll also be covering some of the hate that fat burners get as well, and explain why, when done right, they can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
Misconception #1: Fat Burners Are A “Magic Pill” For Weight Loss
This is by far the biggest misconception.
Here’s the deal – we live in a “magic pill” culture. We’re constantly looking for shortcuts and ways around doing the hard work.
It’s why “get rich quick” pyramid schemes still exist.
It’s why men will spend thousands of dollars on bullshit “male performance enhancers” from dubious vendors.
And at the end of the day, dieting and losing weight is no exception. When it comes right down to it, many people have been led to believe that fat burners are LITERALLY the magic pill that will allow them “lose fat effortlessly”.
So, we’ll expand on why exactly this is misleading, but in the meantime, here’s a quick summary and public service announcement-
Yes, fat burners can certainly help you lose weight.
Yes, fat burners should be added to your routine if dropping fat is a priority.
No, fat burners WILL NOT do all the work for you. You actually have to put some effort in.
Misconception #2: Fat Burners = No Diet Or Exercise
Here’s the truth- losing weight is HARD. It requires the willpower to stick with a diet and workout plan, and the discipline to see it through to the end.
Here’s why – fat loss, when it comes right down to it, is really a matter of calories and energy expenditure, or – as you’ve likely heard 1000 times – calories in, calories out.
Which means that, if you want to lose weight, you’re going to have to eat less and move more… which means you’re going to adopt a sensible, calorie restricted diet and workout plan.
At the end of the day, these two things are going to do 80% of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting shredded.
So, if you haven’t already started, now’s the time to start chipping away at it- get on an intelligent workout plan, start adopting a smart, flexible diet you can stick with, and make it happen.
Misconception #3: Fat Burners Are A Complete Waste Of Money
Not only are these some of the most hyped supplements in the fitness industry, they’re also some of the most polarizing.
Because for every misguided dieter who thinks that fat burners are the second coming of Jesus and the answer to their weight-loss prayers, you’ll find nay-sayers who think that buying these products is a complete waste of money.
Like most things, the reality is somewhere in between. Because despite what many will tell you, these supplements do help with fat loss.
A high quality supplement that uses scientifically-proven ingredients like caffeine and green tea extract- combined with diet and exercise– will help you lose more fat faster.
You just have understand how to use them properly.
Who Should Be Using Fat Burners?
Before we get into the how-to’s and tips for making the most out of your fat burning supplement, let’s talk about who exactly should be using them- and who shouldn’t.
First things first- if you’re a complete beginner, 300 pounds, obese, and have never touched a weight in your life, you shouldn’t even be thinking about fat burners. You should a.) be figuring out how to eat less food, and b.) slowly start easing yourself into a workout routine.
Similarly, if you’re someone who hasn’t paid attention to diet AT ALL, you should get that in check first (whether you’re obese or not). Start balancing your macros, getting enough protein, and counting your calories.
By simply doing this, you’ll buy yourself a good 6 months of uninterrupted fat loss.
You also may want to consult with your doctor before taking them if you’re sensitive to stimulants, since most will likely use caffeine as one of the main ingredients.
So, who should be using fat burners? If you’ve got everything else handled – diet, exercise, cardio, all that good stuff – then you should think about adding one of these bad boys to your repertoire.
You’re also a candidate if you’ve been dieting and exercising for a while now, and you’ve had some success, but feel like you’re stuck or stalling out. While there certainly are diet and exercise tweaks you should probably consider, taking a supplement may be just what you need to get the scale moving again.
Finally, if you’re already quite lean, and you need to get that last 10 pounds off, you should definitely be supplementing with a fat burner.
Often those last 10 pounds are what we call stubborn fat (common areas include obliques, abdominals, lower back and hips), and, like the name implies, they can be quite difficult to shed.
To make things worse, typically trainees who are at this point have “maxed out” their cardio and calorie cutting. For these people, a fat burner can be an absolute godsend, and can really help them push through after they’ve expended all their other options.
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Fat Burners
Now that you’ve determined whether or not these supplements are right for you, let’s go over some general “best practices” for how to use them.
The following are three tips you can start using now to maximize your weight loss efforts.
Tip #1: Combine Fat Burners With Diet And Exercise
This one should be a no-brainer, but apparently some people STILL haven’t gotten the memo.
Remember boys and girls, you’re supplementing your diet and exercises routine with fat burners – NOT the other way around.
Specifically, these should be taken anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour before exercise. Not only will this allow you to optimally burn fat, but you’ll get the added benefit of a caffeine kick that will boost performance in the gym (there’s a reason most pre-workout supplements also contain caffeine).
Tip #2: Set Realistic Goals
Let’s get one thing straight right now- nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is going to make you lose 30 pounds in 30 days without diet and exercise.
You need to make sure you’re going into this with the proper expectation. Even when combined with diet and exercise, you should aim to lose 1-2 (maybe 3) pounds per week (unless you’re extremely overweight).
Tip #3: Make Sure You Cycle Off Your Fat Burners
While caffeine is indeed a phenomenal supplement with a lot of benefits, you want to avoid overdoing it. You also want to make sure you’re giving your body a break when you’re using any kind of stimulant (this is especially true if you also happen to drink coffee everyday)
So, with that said, you should really only be taking fat burners during period where you’re actively trying to cut weight, and should be avoided during period of maintenance or “bulking”.
If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, then consider doing a cycle of four weeks on, two weeks off. That way you’ll avoid the detrimental effects of caffeine overload.
How To Choose A Quality Fat Burner
The single most important thing to look for when choosing a fat burner is its list of ingredients- you want to make sure you’re getting the good stuff.
Thermo Lean Fat Burner was designed specifically with this in mind. Not only does it contain an impressive dose of caffeine, green tea extract and L-carnitine, it also has 11 other ingredients to not only boost fat burning, but to promote overall health.