While fitness is a legitimate business industry driven by a genuine need and demand, it is also a business in which viral trends account for substantial revenue and marketing. Weight loss and fat loss are definitely a primary dimension of that. Especially now, with quarantines coming to an end, many people will be looking to address any weight gain that resulted from weeks and months of lock-down immobility.
The trending hype of calorie deficit may be the go-to for many. However, that is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Many others may turn to fat burners. While fat loss supplements are widely known about, their true nature as supplements are generally mysterious or misunderstood.
Do fat loss supplements work? Are fat burners the fitness industry’s biggest scam?
The simple answer is yes and no, and that’s the simple answer. There are two significant factors that impact whether a fat loss supplement will be effective or not. First and most importantly, we are all unique and there are no universal fix-all solutions for weight and or fat loss. That is one reason why some fat burners are marketed specifically for females. Just because you know someone who says a specific fat burner worked for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Even though all fat loss supplements market themselves as a means to lose weight, it doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the resulting effect for you.
Secondly, the type of supplement you choose can be a pivotal factor as well. Not everyone gains weight the same way or for the same reasons. Likewise, not everyone losses weight identically either. For some people, the driver behind their weight issue is diet; eating too much or the wrong things. For others, it’s not enough activity. In either case, the type of supplement you choose to use could be the determinative for any potential of success or failure.
The most important fact to remember is fat burner supplements are not clinical or medically based solutions. They are unregulated products for which there is no universal or legal standard regarding how to measure the success or efficacy they may have.
Finally, they are called supplements because they are, by design, intended to supplement a lifestyle that includes an appropriate diet and degree of activity. With that in mind, implementing an appropriate diet and activity routine is foundational and first-off. After that has had time to create change and affect your life, you can then consider adding supplements.
Types of Fat Loss Supplements
If you do decide to try a fat loss supplement, it is important to understand how they differ. There are three basic types of fat loss supplements. One type may work for an individual while the others do not. Likewise, it is possible that none of them or all of them may produce some results. If you are going to use a fat loss supplement, you should begin by thinking about which type makes the most sense for you.
Typically, this is one of the safest and most effective methods for losing weight. Appetite suppressants are meant to provide a sense of saturation, or in other words, make you feel full and not hungry. There are several clinically proven appetite suppressants that all require a prescription to obtain. None of those are going to be available at your local supplement store. Simply put though, if you don’t believe that your appetite is the primary root cause for your weight issues, then these supplements could do more harm than good by eliminating the appetite that you have.
One of the most popular fat loss supplement appetite suppressants over the past decade has been CLA, conjugated linoleic acid.; an animal-based trans-fat. There has been some research into CLA efficacy with some promising results. Other common appetite suppressants are Acacia fiber, other natural fibers, and Chromium Picolinate.
Diuretics are a traditional method for reducing weight by forcing your body to diminish the amount of water you retain. You should read that as you will be spending a lot of time on the toilet. While this will present results on the scale, as well as impact the reflection in the mirror, it accomplishes that result in a way that could be very dangerous over the long-term. As with appetite suppressants, there are prescription-grade diuretics, which differ from the supplement kind.
When you see bodybuilders on stage at competitions, and how tight their skin is on their body, that is not from working out, it is dehydration. Water pills/diuretics are commonly utilized by bodybuilders as pre-competition aids to accomplish that look. They call it getting dry or drying out.
One of the most common marketing terms used for diuretics is Detox. Typically, any supplement marketed as having a detoxing effect is usually a diuretic/water pill. Over the past few years, Apple Cider Vinegar has been one of the most talked about.
It is very important to understand, your body has a natural and healthy level of water retention. Eliminating too much water, especially too quickly, is the formula for dehydration. Some common ingredients with diuretic effects used in fat loss supplements are dandelion extract, hibiscus, horsetail, and magnesium.
When you hear the term Fat Burner, these are the supplements that are being described. The term, thermogenic, means heat-producing. Thus, these supplements are intended to increase perspiration, or sweating, by raising your body temperature and increase metabolism. For many, including myself, who have experimented with fat loss supplements, thermogenic supplements have produced the most success.
Having said that, the majority of fat loss supplements which have been recalled over the years for being too dangerous, and even causing deaths, have also been thermogenic.
As with the other two types, there are prescription-grade thermogenetic pills, such as ephedrine/ephedra. The thermogenic fat burners in supplement stores typically rely heavily on caffeine. As such, most fat burners are stimulants as well and tend to also provide a heightened sense of mental alertness and even jittering or anxiety for some users. Other common thermogenic ingredients are cayenne and chili pepper, Bitter Orange, Guarana, Yohimbine, and green tea extract.
Natural Fat Burners
As just illustrated, most of the commercial fat loss supplements have a foundation of proprietary blends which typically include some natural ingredients. The most common natural ingredients that have some researched foundation for weight and or fat loss are caffeine, green tea, capsaicin (chili/cayenne pepper), Garcinia Cambogia, Yohimbine, CLA, and Bitter Orange.
That doesn’t mean if a supplement includes any of these ingredients it can be considered ‘natural’. Nor, does it guarantee any success. Most importantly, just because an ingredient is natural, does not mean there are no side effects to consider. Caffeine especially can produce potentially dangerous side effects in high doses.
The only truly natural ingredients for losing weight and fat is an appropriate degree of activity and diet as core elements of your lifestyle. And, as with any fitness/diet change or any supplement, always begin with a visit to your medical professional to learn whether your body can handle the change or specific supplement and how it may affect you.
Fat loss supplements are a cornerstone product in the fitness and supplement industry. For some, these supplements have produced favorable results. For others, however, they have proven to be nothing more than a waste of good money. There is nothing wrong with looking for a little bit of help in reaching your overall fitness goals. However, to believe that the key to your overall fitness and wellness success can come from a bottle is already being on the road to failure. Supplements are nothing more than reinforcement to an appropriate diet and fitness routine that you have in your life. They complement all the hard work you are already doing; they do not replace it. There are no genie-in-a-bottle solutions. If you don’t want to put in the work, you are better off just saving your money.
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