Fat-burners are supplement that are a combination of various ingredients with the goal of increased rate of fat loss. The products are formulated to achieve this through increasing the amount of calories burned from fat relative to other energy sources in our bodies. Getting a little scientific on you, it achieves the above accelerated fat loss by increasing the release of fatty acids from our adipose (fat) cells, or acting on fat cells through hormone release like adrenaline (think ‘fight or flight’). Many fat burners tend to be stimulatory, baring exotic names to draw the consumer in.
Taking fat-burning supplements will result in reduced fat mass and decrease overall body weight.
Myth or Fact?
Cautions: Most of the time, the labeling and advertising of these products are unregulated. The use of celebrities, and photo-shopped before/after pictures do NOT tell the truth about the product. Fat burners have a high likelihood to have side effects such as sleep disruption (which can mean higher stress and overeating), cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure, dehydration, and mental effects. With all these side effects, they pose the potential to even cause weight gain, the opposite of what is desired.
Bottom line: Most fat burners are a waste of money, full of things that have zero proof that they work and may actually set you back by disrupting your sleep cycle.
- Diet is always best! It’s important to ensure you focus on dietary strategies first to reach your goals before considering adding supplements
- Some supplements can be beneficial to people who workout regularly, but misinformation can cause wasted money or decreased performance due to possible side effects
- Between different individuals there are variations in terms of how the body responds to different compounds, influencing the effects seen & side effects that occur
- Just because a product is labelled “natural” does not automatically assure safety and may still cause side effects. Safety depends on many different aspects.
National Institute of Health. (2011). Dietary supplements: what you need to know. Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved from http://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx
Examine.com. (2015). Fat burner. Retrieved from http://examine.com/supplements/Fat-Burner/