When you check into a supplement store or open a health magazine you will notice that you are bombarded with various fat burning “magical” pills which will promise a leaner you in 7 days or get you amazing abs in 4 weeks.
Most of the ‘Fat Burners’ on the market are nothing more than glorified Caffeine, which basically means they are pharmaceutically manufactured caffeine in high doses, mixed with some other odd herbs which most likely do nothing and probably damage your health in the long run. Add to this they are basically a big rip-off as they cost nothing to make and they cost extortionate prices.
Key ingredients in ‘fat burning’ products and this is what they do.
Diet pills that contain herbal ingredients like HCA, Pyruvate, Ephedra and Chitosan are commonly known as fat burners. All of these herbal ingredients play a role in increasing your energy level, suppressing your appetite and stimulating your metabolism.
You’ll hear about this a lot as it’s chemically similar to ephedrine. Unfortunately there’s no significant data to say that it increases fat loss, although we do know it ups your blood pressure and can increase the risk of cardiovascular events.
There’s been tons of research into the fat loss properties of this, but to date there’s been no significant difference between the Green Tea group and the placebo group. If you’re drinking the stuff because you like it then go right ahead as there are other potential health benefits. If you’re only necking it to lose the belly, save your money.
Stimulants such as Kola Nut and Guarana have been shown to increase fat loss when teamed with ephedra, but you can’t get hold of ephedrine so this bunch are effectively ruled out. You’ll still find them teaming up with ephedrine alternatives like synephrine (above) or sida cordifolia to try to make a weak substitute for the ECA stack.
There’s been a little research to back up the fat busting properties of this pro-hormone. Pro-hormones as being marketed as ‘steroid like’ and with prices to match. Four weeks’ worth will set you back around Pounds45 and will give you about 1.5lbs extra fat loss, that’s Pounds28 per pound of fat.
This ingredient is already present in your body. It’s main job is to shift fatty acids into cells to be used as energy and, naturally, this has lead to some bright spark hitting upon a marketing opportunity.
More carnitine means more fat loss, right? Wrong. Tests have thrown up mixed results, but the biggest winners in the fat loss stakes have been those with the least amount of carnitine in their bodies. Having said all that, all of us eat about 300mg of this stuff a day anyway so there’s no need to stuff supplemented versions down your gullet. So, again, save your money.
All research on this ingredient has been restricted to rats and the rest is pure theory. Until there’s more to go on we say steer clear.
This is an appetite suppressant so it obviously makes you eat less. That’s nothing that a structured diet and a bit of willpower won’t do.
You’ll see this pop up now and again for it’s ‘stress reducing properties’. The fat loss benefits? Nil.
Combinations of the above
You’ll often see new mix and match formulas touted around in an attempt to get you to part with more money. Again, just say no.
The companies that sell these products employ savvy at marketing techniques to hook you, with bold print ads and sometimes less than believable before and after pictures.
How do fat burners work ?
It can be difficult explaining how fat burners work because there is a serious doubt about whether these supplements are pure. Fat burners are not standardized like pharmacy medications so you never know if the information on the label is actually what is in the supplement. Researchers conducting experiments on fat burners have been unable to determine the long-term effects of fat burners or how they interact with other drugs. The main objective of a fat burner is to increase metabolism. When metabolism is increased, the body will convert more fat into energy. There are different kinds of fat burners available in the market, so it may be difficult to choose the right kind of fat burner for your body.
Effect of fat burners
If you aren’t eating enough daily calories, your body responds by slowing your metabolism, storing fat, and using muscle for metabolism. This can result in you losing weight, but muscle weight instead of fat. The goal in any weight loss program should be to keep the muscle, lose the fat.
Fat burners might help you lose some weight in the short term, but once you stop taking them you run a high probability of gaining the weight back, especially if you aren’t following a healthy eating plan and moderate exercise program.
Also, as these fat burners carry high doses of caffeine and other stimulating herbs they put unnecessary strain on not only your heart but also your Endocrine and Central Nervous Systems. This is bad news, your body works hard to repair these systems at night and through exercise by flushing them free of toxins so adding the extra stress these stimulants will cause, will likely lead to:
- Central Nervous System Burnout
- Mental Fatigue
- Aggressiveness and Mood swings
- Hamper body’s ability to recover from everyday stress
- And even Psycological problems (Depression, anxiety etc)
Which is really not worth it when you take into account they really don’t make much difference. For e.g. Since 1994 the FDA has received more than 800 reports of adverse effects associated with products containing Ephedra. These include: high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, heart attacks, seizures, strokes and death. What’s scary is that many of these problems occurred in young/middle aged, healthy adults who used it for weight loss. The problem often stems from mixing ephedrine with caffeine, a big no-no.
At the end of the day losing fat comes down to two things which are Diet and Exercise. If your eating good foods when your hungry (Meat, Vegetables, Nuts, Fruit. And you are doing a good amount of Activity each week (Running, Martial Arts, Weight Lifting, Intense Yoga, Surfing etc…) you will lose weight.
Many of these products have been shown to be effective for weight loss, though they may have negative side effects. Be aware these products can cause side effects such as rapid pulse, increased blood pressure, constipation, nervousness, sleeplessness, and lack of appetite.
For the best results, it’s best to mix the proper bodybuilding supplements with a healthy diet and solid exercise routine. A combination of all three of these elements working towards the same goal will ultimately help you achieve the results that you are looking for. Although the results may not seem instantaneous, you’ll have to keep persisting until you reach your goals. With time, you’ll see that all of your hard work was worth the effort.