What Are Fat Burners?
While there's no miracle pill that will burn fat, the term "fat burner" refers to a dietary supplement that can speed up the loss of body fat when used along with a healthy, balanced diet and comprehensive exercise program. Although these fat burners don't actually burn body fat, they support the fat-loss process in important ways to make a weight loss program more effective.
Thermogenic Fat Burners
Most of the fat burners available in the marketplace are thermogenics. The term "thermo" means heat creation. Thermogenic weight loss supplements help to increase metabolism which then leads to enhanced heat production and a greater quantity of calories burned. This type of thermogenic fat burner makes use of thermogenic ingredients such as green tea extract and caffeine. Other benefits of thermogenic supplements may include suppressed appetite, healthy insulin metabolism and improved mental focus.
Here is a list of the most commonly used thermogenic ingredients.
- Caffeine, guarana, green tea extract, kola nut: The most popular stimulant that's used in thermogenic fat burners is caffeine. This commonly used substance raises the body's metabolic rate while encouraging thermogenesis and the burning of calories. Caffeine is an effective pre-workout energy booster, giving you the ability to put more into your workout for a longer duration. Caffeine can be found in products labeled as guarana, green tea extract, guaranine, caffeine anhydrous, kola nut, yerba mate or methylxanthine.
- 7 Keto (or 7-Oxo-Dehydroepiandrosterone): 7 keto is a DHEA metabolite that provides the same increased metabolism but with fewer side effects. 7 keto encourages the loss of fat but it doesn't affect the nervous system. It instead increases the body's metabolic rate through the thyroid gland by releasing more thyroid hormones that regulate the metabolic rate. For this reason, 7 keto can be an effective weight loss aid.
- Guggul: Derived from Commiphoro mukul tree resin, guggul dietary supplements have guggulsterone compounds that are believed to reduce fat levels and blood cholesterol. It can also help to normalize thyroid function, possibly having a beneficial effect on metabolism. Prolonged dieting along with continuous stimulant use in fat burners may have an adverse effect on thyroid function.
Pyruvate is another fat burning supplement that is in a separate category. It is a form of pyruvic acid and is manufactured by the body, in addition to being found in limited amounts in certain foods. Pyruvic acid helps produce ATP, a main energy fuel for the body that powers vital functions, work and exercise. Research has shown that pyruvate may significantly enhance fat loss when used with a balanced diet and exercise. It can also heighten endurance while working out, which helps promote fat loss.
Do Fat Burners Work?
Fat burners can't get rid of fat on their own. They improve fat loss when used in combination with a healthy diet and effective exercise program. The more comprehensive the program, the better your results will be. Fat burners can be used by those just starting a diet and exercise regimen or by experienced weight trainers or athletes to break through a plateau of stagnated progress.
You can monitor a fat burner's effectiveness by measuring your body composition before staring and then checking again at regular intervals.
Fat Burners: Dosage and Safety
With any formula that contains stimulants, it is recommended that you start with a small or half dose so that a new user can monitor their tolerance. Most fat burners include fine-print warnings pertaining to blood pressure, heart health and other conditions. Read labels carefully and thoroughly and consult your doctor before starting any weight loss program or taking any fat burner supplements.