How many times have you seen “fat burners” and the like advertised, in bright gaudy packaging – often with unfathomably optimistic claims on every available space? Answer is, probably far too many times.
These “fat burners” are often a mixture of green tea and caffeine, and they largely claim to do one or some of the following;
– Increase Thermogenesis (basically how many calories your body burns a day)
– Decrease Appetite
– Weight loss without exercising
– Increased Energy
We agree, reading this in an advert or on the side of a product, we’d think “brilliant, buy buy buy”.
Unfortunately, reality and logic steps in. It is sadly nowhere near as simple as the above would suggest. The four claims above can be largely discounted in the following ways;
Most fat burning products will contain green tea, and/or caffeine. The Caffeine in green tea and its ingredients ‘Catechins’ and more specifically EGCG), rev up the body’s use of calories as energy – true. Moreover, the combination of caffeine and green teas ingredients (EGCG) has been shown in the British Journal of Nutrition to significantly increase the resting metabolic rate.
So, what can we draw from the above? Well, these products can raise the calories burnt per day, and your metabolic rate. But, this effect has always only ever been shown to be marginal, and do you need to spend ££’s on pills that contain green tea and caffeine? Not really. These few extra calories can be cut far easier, by small things like avoiding mayonnaise or not having that fizzy drink. No rate.
Firstly, some fat burning products may help the feeling of fullness and suppress your appetite through use of chemicals such as Glucomannan and Seratonin (5 HTP). Our advice would be – these are not long term fixes, and you don’t really need them. We would always advise to do it the natural way, by;
Eating more fibre – said to help as fibre takes up more space in your stomach, for longer, and once in your gut, it is pushed through faster than normal food.
Also look to good quality carbohydrates and clean protein to increase that feeling of satiety – without any excess rubbish that you don’t need.
- Drinking more water – natural, good for you, and will reduce cravings/feeling of being empty. During and between meals. You’ve heard this before, we know, but try it. It works.
Weight loss without Exercising
This is pointless, and rarely advertised on bodybuilding/fitness supplements. If it is, you’re looking at the wrong thing. It encourages losing weight via muscle loss, which is silly. And if your aim is not to exercise and build or maintain muscle – you’re in the wrong place J
Again, as with preworkout energy supplements, these should not be looked to for each workout as the answer to you not feeling up for it. Eating well, decent rest, staying hydrated and reading up on your workout and aims (on LDNMuscle ofcourse) before hitting the gym should be far more motivational than some powder in a pill. Besides, if you are after a one-off burst of energy before a workout – stick to a tried and tested preworkout supplement (preferably without DMAA) or even a simple black coffee shot.
To summarise, we at LDNMuscle are not strongly against “fat burners” – they can work with a marginal degree of success, and there is some science behind them. However none of us have ever had any success with them, and in comparison to a solid training regime and diet – there is no competition.
As a final thought, to those in doubt, and have seen a “fat burning” product work with someone they know, please see the extract below from a very popular fat burning product currently on the market. This (good) advice alone will be enough, if stuck to, to get you more cut – without any intervention from a pill;
“For best fat-loss results, cut down on all sugars in your diet and decrease your intake of starchy carbohydrates (so eat less bread, pastries, potatoes, rice, pasta, corn, etc). Also, eat lean proteins at each meal and snack (like fish, lean meat, chicken, eggs and protein supplements). Keep adjusting your sugar and starchy carbohydrates downward until you are consistently losing weight.”
Thanks for reading and hope this provides some clarity in the slightly muddied waters of so called fat burning products. As always, comment below with your thoughts and experiences or Tweet us @LDN_Muscle.
Never ever lose site of the crucial role diet AND training have in tackling fat loss – it’s a dynamic process that needs to be tackled head on. For fully comprehensive diet and training plans check out our world renowned LDNM Guides.
Please note; We have deliberately not named specific brands and products, as we are not here to slate products – each to their own – all we can do is provide our honest and reasoned approach, combined with our experiences.