What is a Fat Burner?
Fat burners are formulated to provide you with the extra energy you need to start seeing results, quickly.
While diet and exercise are the most important factors in weight loss, supplementation can also sometimes be beneficial.
In essence, fat burners are supplements developed to aid in fat loss.
Usually found in pill or capsule form, fat burners are generally taken in intervals throughout the day. They provide an array of benefits, and are designed to help increase your body’s fat burning potential.
The highest quality fat burners will target various aspects of weight loss.
First, they aim to increase your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories during both exercise and typical daily activities Source
Second, they aim to increase your energy levels, which helps you increase the intensity and duration of your workouts, leading to greater results.
Lastly, many fat burners that work well include ingredients meant to help you control cravings, which keeps calorie-dense, fattening foods out of your diet.
Remember, while these supplements have the potential to help you lose some weight, they’re meant to be used in combination with regular exercise and proper nutrition.
How Does a Fat Burner Work?
Most fat burning supplements use a combination of ingredients to create potent blends to help battle fat.
There are many ingredients used, and each product will vary slightly in contents and dosages, but here are some of the more common types of ingredients that may help your weight loss goals:
Stimulants are usually a main element of weight loss supplements and pre-workout supplements.
Green tea extract, green coffee extract, guarana and caffeine anhydrous are the most common.
Ingredients like yerba mate, glucomannan, hoodia gordonii and other herbs are often added to act as appetite suppressants.
Depending on your snacking habits and daily diet, these ingredients may or may not be necessary for you.
Some fat burners include added dietary fiber. It helps to normalize bowel movements, help bowel health, and more Source
Fat burning herbs and extracts
Ingredients like cayenne pepper, coleus forskohlii and capsaicin are added to help increase thermogenesis, which helps burns more calories.
Vitamins, zinc, yohimbe, and more are sometimes added to increase energy and promote overall well-being.
There are, of course, other ingredients included in the various weight loss products out there. The ingredients above are the most common, and often the most studied.
What Are the Benefits of a Fat Burner?
Fat burners are designed to help aid weight loss efforts and increase fat burning.
In general, many claims by fat burner marketers are overblown – but, some ingredients used do have legitimate potential to help with weight loss.
Each formula uses different ingredients, but generally speaking these products seek to address the following aspects of weight loss:
Thermogenesis is a basic metabolic process in your body that helps convert calories into heat. It’s a natural process that’s always happening
Some ingredients in fat burners aim to increase thermogenesis – although they are not all proven to do so. There are also some products that are specifically made with thermogensis.
Stimulants including caffeine can also help to increase thermogenesis in healthy individuals Source.
Forskolin is thought to affect thermogenesis by activating cyclic AMP Source
All these ingredients may have a relatively minor effect on thermogenesis, but in theory this could result in more calories burned each day. More research is needed for some ingredients.
The metabolism is our body’s method of converting food into usable energy. There are differences in metabolic rates for men and women Source
Some fat burning ingredients claim to improve the metabolism. Many of these claims are overblown, but some do have clinical evidence.
Stimulants appear to affect the metabolism, with caffeine in particular showing promise in clinical trials Source
Chili peppers (capsaicin/cayenne pepper are often included ingredients) have been shown to boost the metabolic rate – although this study looked specifically at women Source
Dihydrocapsiate, another compound in chili peppers, resulted in 50 extra calories burned each day in one research study, a small thermogenic effect Source
Green tea extract is thought to also have an impact on fat metabolism. Source
Lipolysis is the process of breaking down fats and other lipids to release fatty acids. The process is important to mobilize stored fat tissues. Source
When combined with exercise and/or caloric restriction, lipolysis may help contribute to weight loss and fat burning.
Multiple ingredients included in fat burners aim to effect lipolysis.
Stimulants like caffeine have been found to increase levels of epinephrine in the blood, which is thought to signals the breakdown of fat into the bloodstream into the bloodstream Source
Capsaicin may also play a role in lipolysis. Source
Other ingredients could affect lipolysis as well, but more research is needed.
Energy is essential for our daily tasks. Having more energy can make it easier to exercise more, and therefore burn more fat.
Because of this, many fat burners include ingredients designed to boost energy levels. Most of these ingredients are stimulants.
Caffeine anhydrous, green coffee berry extract, green tea extract and guarana are some of the most common stimulants used.
Caffeine increases the release of dopamine by blocking a neurotransmitter called adenosine, which helps you feel more energized and awake. It can also improve exercise performance and endurance Source
There are also stimulant-free ingredients that claim to boost energy – but these claims are largely unproven.
Regulating your appetite and avoiding empty calories is an important part of the weight loss process.
Some fat burners include ingredients designed to suppress the appetite, theoretically making the dieting process easier.
Gluconnaman is a popular addition. In one study, this soluble fiber resulted in increases in weight loss over diet alone. Source
Caffeine and other stimulants may also have appetite-suppressing properties, although the effect is usually short-lived. Source
A good product will address multiple aspects of the weight loss process. However, these products will not have any benefit if you’re not also eating a healthy diet and exercising frequently. Fat burners are designed to supplement a healthy lifestyle, not replace it.
Note: Results are not guaranteed.
Who Can Benefit From a Fat Burner?
A wide range of people can experience benefits from these supplements, but below you’ll find the groups of people who can benefit the most:
- Men of all ages – Pretty much anyone over 18 who wants to drop a few pounds may benefit from taking a fat burner. These supplements aid your body’s natural abilities to burn fat, so they simply make the process easier for you. Whether you’re looking to lose significant weight or just burn off some holiday fat, adding supplements to your diet may provide some help.
- Weightlifters – Weightlifters, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts can greatly benefit from these products. Because of the higher-than-average calorie and nutrient needs of regular trainers, it can be easy to put on some extra fat while you’re building muscle. By adding a weight loss supplement, you can get that toned definition you’re after, without sacrificing your muscles.
- Trainers during “cut” cycles – If you follow a traditional bulk/cut training schedule, fat burners can be a huge advantage during cutting cycles. The bulk and cut cycle consists of “bulking” or eating more and lifting heavy, followed by “cutting”, where calorie intake is limited in an effort to tone up.
- Aging men – As our bodies age, our metabolism slows down and our testosterone levels start dropping. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it works! If you’ve noticed that you’re putting on weight and you haven’t changed your diet or exercise habits, it may be that your metabolism is slowing down. If so, adding a fat burner or testosterone booster can potentially help you get back on track and stay in shape!
How Do I Use a Fat Burner?
You’ll want to follow the instructions found on the product packaging. Most fat burners are in capsules or pills, and generally require 2 or 3 doses throughout the day.
Also, remember that weight loss supplements are not designed to be taken for long periods of time. They’re meant for short, 1-3 month cycles. If you take a fat burner every day for more than a few months, it will stop working because your body will become used to it and it raises the risk of side effects.
Lastly, any supplement that contains caffeine should be taken earlier in the day. Especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you should leave a solid 5-7 hours before bed to give time for the caffeine in your system to wear off.
Can I Use a Fat Burner With Other Supplements?
Generally, using other supplements in combination with fat burners is okay. There’s no need to worry about adding a weight loss supplement to your regimen, even if you’re already taking a protein powder, multivitamin, etc.
There is always some risk of a supplement having a negative interaction with another product – that’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Also, remember to NOT take more than one fat burner at once, as that can cause negative side effects. It’s also important to take only the recommended dosage, and no more. Taking more of a supplement won’t necessarily increase its effects, and can cause more side effects.
Lastly, remember that since many weight loss pills contain caffeine, you’ll want to keep tabs on how much coffee and caffeinated drinks you consume. You don’t want to consume too much caffeine on a daily basis, as that can cause side effects.
Are There Any Side Effects of a Fat Burner?
Just about every supplement out there has some potential side effects.
Fat burners come in all shapes and sizes – some completely natural, with little or no side effects, and some more experimental that could have more unwanted side effects.
Since every product uses different ingredients, side effects may vary – but here are some of the most common side effects.
The vast majority of weight loss supplements contain caffeine and/or other stimulants. If taken late in the day, these ingredients can cause difficulty falling asleep at night. To combat this side effect, simply treat fat burners like caffeinated beverages – don’t consume them in the late afternoon or evening.
Another common side-effect of stimulant-based fat burners is dehydration. An increase in thermogenesis means an increase in body temperature.
Your body will use more water than usual to cool itself down, which means you need to drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Remember: NEVER take more than the recommended dosage of ANY supplement, including fat burners. Taking more than is recommended can result in more severe side effects.
As with all supplements featured on this site, we recommend you speak with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Video Guide For Fat Burners
Best Fat Burners for Men
How Do I Pick a Good Fat Burner?
Because there are so many options, finding the right fat burner for you can be difficult.
We recommend reading user reviews to help answer your questions about these products, and determine which ones are worth taking.
Here is a list of some of the things you should keep an eye on when choosing a product
- Ingredients – the first thing you should take a close look at is the ingredient label. What ingredients does the product include? Does it contain ingredients that are proven to help you lose weight? Also, keep an eye on the amounts of the various ingredients.
- Brand reputation – have you heard of the brand/company who makes the product? Are they reputable, and known for making quality products? In our list (found above), we only included products from quality companies – but there are certainly low quality products out there. Especially if you’re doing your own research, read through some reviews to determine the quality of the product and the company behind it.
- Value for money – whether you’re on a strict budget or not, it’s always a good idea to compare prices. Because dosage and package size vary, you should always compare the per serving or per day price of each product you’re considering. Steer clear of cheap fat burners, as they are usually lower quality, but find an item within your price range.
- Caffeine content – take a look at the amount of caffeine in each serving. This is especially important if you’re sensitive to stimulants. Keep in mind that a typical cup of coffee has 95-200mg of caffeine, so you can use that figure to compare (21).
- Convenience factor – in order for the product to work, you’ll need to take it as recommended. Most diet supplements require 2 or more servings per day, while others require 3, 4, or even more. Consider the convenience factor when choosing a product – twice a day isn’t bad, but 4x a day can become inconvenient
We think we can all agree that losing weight can sometimes be one of the hardest things to do, especially if you’re a grown man with a busy lifestyle.
Sometimes you simply can’t find the time needed to go through all the necessary steps needed to start shedding pounds fast.
The main aspects of staying fit are maintaining your diet and ensuring you get enough exercise. As for diet, you can read all about the official dietary guidelines to get a better idea of how to keep your diet on track.
But seriously, how do you find the time to meal prep, get to the gym, workout for an hour or two, shower, drive home and still have enough energy for the rest of your responsibilities?
Luckily, there are products that exist that were designed to give men an extra boost in their weight loss journey.
Fat burners sometimes get a bad rap because of extravagant claims by shady companies. But not all fat burning products are the same, and with proper nutrition and exercise they can definitely aid you in your goals. So keep that in mind before purchasing any of the below products.
In order to help you find a good product, we’ve researched & compared the best men’s fat burners on the market right now.