With millions of people at home under lockdown due to COVID-19, thoughts are turning towards how we can keep fit and healthy. Obviously daily exercise is a must, and should continue, but could fat burners be the key to helping you get lean during this extended period of time away from the gym?
Let’s look at exactly what fat burners are and what they do. Fat burner is used as an umbrella description of nutritional supplements that claim to increase the speed at which fat is metabolised, impair its absorption and speed up weight loss. There are thousands of supplements on the market that make these claims, and they contain a number of ingredients each of which claims to have certain functions.
What ingredients to fat burners contain?
Fat burners such as Hourglass Fatburner contain ingredients including caffeine, that speed up fat loss. Other ingredients used in fat burners include L-carnitine, forskolin, Yohimbe, raspberry ketones, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and green tea, among many others.
Terms associated with fat burners include thermogenesis, which is the metabolic process through which your body produces heat by burning calories. Thermogenesis can speed up weight loss as it forces your body to burn more calories and works best in conjunction with regular exercise and a low-calorie diet. Lipolysis is another term associated with fat burners and refers to the breakdown of lipids. This is where the body breaks down triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol.
Fat burner supplements can speed up your weight loss under lockdown and will help you fight the fat coming back. If we consider what you eat as the most important factor in getting lean, exercise the next, and fat burners as the final piece of the puzzle, you have a good idea of how to lose weight as fast as possible. It’s about maximising the loss of fat you’re achieving due to your training plan.
To burn fat efficiently, your diet plays a significant role. Taking fat loss supplements without eating a controlled diet won’t work. But alongside a calorie-controlled eating plan, they will help you get lean. Sticking long term to a calorie counted diet is always the biggest hurdle people face when losing weight, but if you can get over that hurdle then fat burners will push you that bit further.
How do fat burners actually work?
There are a number of ways these supplements effect your weight loss. Many of them boost energy levels, curb your appetite, promote the use of stored fat as energy and can even increase your core temperature and metabolism so that your body burns more calories.
To lose fat and achieve a lean physique, you must eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight. Fat burners are an added tool in the fight to get lean. It’s important to stay realistic and focused when embarking on a fat loss programme, and that includes expectations of fat burners. They don’t – and shouldn’t – melt fat away within a few days or a week. It’s about combining diet, exercise and supplements for best results.
Why fat burners only work alongside a healthy diet and exercise plan
A sustainable, healthy and realistic weight loss goal is between one and three pounds per week for healthy adults. It is possible to push this up per week, but that’s not going to be sustainable on a long-term basis. If you drop fat too fast, whether you’re using fat burning supplements or not, you’re in danger of also losing lean muscle mass. This is absolutely not what to do if you’re looking to achieve a lean, slim, toned physique.
It’s also best not to take too much when it comes to fat burners. They are designed to give you specific, measured doses of the ingredients necessary to boost metabolism and speed up fat loss. It doesn’t mean if you take more, you’ll see results faster. Be careful also to limit your caffeine intake if you’re using a fat burner that contains the additive.
Most fat burners do contain caffeine or other stimulants so it’s important to keep an eye on your daily intake to ensure you don’t have too much. For most people, excess caffeine causes adrenal issues and can lead to exhaustion or fatigue. Here’s a quick look at some of the common ingredients used in fat burners and what they do.
1. Caffeine – research shows that caffeine can speed up fat loss, improve muscle endurance and strength. It makes fat loss faster by increasing the catecholamines in the blood, which are chemicals that mobilise stored fat so that it can be oxidised. This raises the metabolism, causing more energy to be burned, which in turn causes fat to be burned off. It’s worth noticing that it’s easy to become desensitised to the weight loss effects of caffeine, and it can also cause insomnia. Caffeine won’t make you lose weight all on its own, but if it’s taken before aerobic exercise it can increase the speed at which your fat burns.
2. Green tea extract – green tea is often touted as a herb that can help the body lose fat, thanks to its active ingredient called catechins. These are antioxidants that can help the body improve triglyceride levels and lose abdominal fat. It’s a good natural boost to your weight loss.
3. L-carnitine – research suggests that the more L-carnitine ingested, the more fat will be burned. This is because L-carnitine transports fatty acids to the mitochondria where they are oxidised and used for energy. Athletes often use this supplement as it can help to increase aerobic endurance.
4. L-tyrosine – this amino acid is used to create adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. It’s also used by the body to make the two thyroid hormones essential to a working metabolism – t3 and t4. Often when people diet long term, their t3 reduces, so it can be useful to boost this up.
5. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – this is a slightly altered version of linoleic acid, which is an omega 6 fatty acid. It’s essential for good health and works as an antioxidant and immune system booster. We can’t produce it on our own, but it can be ingested in the form of certain foods, including beef, lamb and milk. Some studies suggest that supplementing CLA can improve the ratio of lean mass to fat and help muscle growth.
Different people’s bodies will respond to all kinds of supplements differently, including fat burners. Everyone is unique and the way in which fat burners operate may not suit everyone. A good plan is to try some different fat burners and find the one that suits your body, your health and your fat loss plan.