Are you struggling to burn fat with your current diet and exercise approach? A supplement might just give you the fat-burning edge you need.
When you hear about using supplements to burn fat, it’s tempting to chalk it up to pseudoscience and money-making schemes. It’s true that there are many so-called “fat burning supplements” that are just scams. However, some ingredients really do help burn fat — and research backs up these claims.
In this guide to fat-burning supplements, we’ll walk you through how they work and which supplements you should try. Keep reading to learn how a supplement can help with your fat-burning goals!
Can Supplements Really Help You Burn Fat?
The short answer is yes. Many supplements test as effective fat burners. However, just because a supplement says “fat burner” on the label doesn’t mean it works — and fat burners aren’t magic.
Fat burners are simply ingredients that boost your body’s natural fat-burning abilities. They don’t magically melt away fat while you do nothing, but they can expand the effects of your diet and exercise plan. They’ll help focus your efforts and push your metabolism over the edge if you reach a plateau.
However, they won’t work well if you don’t use them correctly. So we’ll look at how you can use these supplements to your advantage.
How to Make a Fat-Burning Supplement Work
Although you can’t just take a pill and watch the pounds melt away, the right supplements could be useful if you follow these easy steps.
1. Maintain a healthy diet
Have you ever heard the adage that the food that makes up a person’s diet represents 80 percent of the weight-loss battle? There’s truth in that statement.
Fat burners aren’t miracle workers, and without a good diet, they’ll do absolutely nothing. You need to stay consistent with your healthy, reduced-calorie diet. And with your exercise regime.
A supplement can suppress your appetite, give you energy, and raise your metabolism to promote calorie burning. But a poor diet will quickly counteract all these effects.
You should work with a nutritionist to help determine the right diet for you. However, a good diet for weight loss usually involves some calorie restriction, plenty of protein, and lots of healthy fats, carbs, and produce.
It’s best to start supplements once you’ve already established a diet you’re happy with and able to maintain. Otherwise, your supplements will do little good.
2. Less is more
Fat burning supplements come with recommended doses that you should follow. Taking higher doses doesn’t mean you’ll see greater effects.
Start with whatever the lowest recommended dose is and take it for a couple of weeks. If that doesn’t generate the results you want, take a slightly higher dosage — but don’t exceed what the package recommends. Taking too much could be counterproductive or even dangerous.
3. Keep realistic expectations
No matter what your weight loss strategy is, it’s important not to have expectations that will let you down in the long run. Weight loss requires a considerable commitment, and its process is slow, even with supplements.
It’s not safe to lose too much fat too fast. Healthy weight loss usually ranges from one to three pounds a week. If you push yourself, you might lose more weight for a while, but then you’ll hit a wall.
When you lose weight really fast, you’re often losing muscle mass as well, which goes against your long-term goals. Set small, achievable goals for yourself so you’ll stay healthy and motivated, with or without supplements.
4. Measure your progress
How can you know whether or not you’re hitting your goals if you never measure your progress?
After you start taking a fat-burning supplement, give it a few weeks before you measure the results. The way you measure is up to you. You can do before and after photos, physical measurements, body fat levels, or your total weight. However, make sure you have a starting measurement and consistent measurements throughout the process so you can see what’s working.
You could try using a different supplement ingredient if you don’t achieve the results you want. You might react better to one thing than another.
You can also use your measurements as a chance to reward yourself for success. Even if you’re not seeing the numbers you want, you can reward yourself for having stuck with your plan for a few weeks. Moments of celebration make losing weight much easier!
5. Don’t overstimulate yourself
Caffeine is one of the most popular fat burning ingredients — more on that below. However, if you already drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks, you might want to look for a different supplement.
Combining fat-burning stimulants with other caffeine sources can cause you to burn yourself out. The crashes you’ll experience could make it harder to stick to your exercise plan, even if you get off to a great start. Keep your caffeine intake moderate, and you’ll see better results.
The Best Supplements to Try
With those guidelines in mind, which supplements will really work? The following are a few of the most effective fat burners supported by research. Always read the ingredient labels of the products you try, so you know exactly what you’re taking.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids
Yes, it sounds strange that one of the top ways to burn fat has the word “fatty” in it. However, healthy fat in your diet helps you lose weight — and these supplements can too.
Omega-3s have been found to help turn on the enzymes that cue your cells to burn fat. They’ve also been shown to improve your mood, which can reduce stress eating. Fish oil supplements are a great way to reap these benefits.
Caffeine boosts your metabolism, and its stimulating effects can help give you the energy to get through a rigorous exercise routine. Caffeine also helps signal your nervous system to get your fat cells to break down the fat. As long as you’re consuming fewer calories than you expend, it’ll help you lose fat faster.
3. Vitamin D
This vitamin is crucial to your cell’s ability to respond appropriately to insulin. It’s important for your cells to be sensitive to insulin. If they aren’t sensitive enough, your body will store more calories in the fat cells.
Not having enough vitamin D leads to more fat storage and less fat burning. Take Vitamin D supplements to counteract this effect.
Calcium pairs with Vitamin D to help you shed fat instead of storing it. Your body stores calcium in your fat cells, where it can actually help the fat get released so you can burn it off.
Have you ever heard of the fat burning effects of green tea? It’s not a myth — and polyphenols are the reason.
These antioxidants make green tea an effective, healthy metabolism booster. Green tea improves your metabolism and also raises your body temperature, so you’ll burn off more calories faster.
You can take supplements that contain green tea or polyphenols to reap these effects. However, it doesn’t hurt to drink an actual cup of green tea when you can. Staying hydrated helps you feel full and stay energized, so you’ll eat less.
Are Fat Burners Right For You?
There’s no such thing as a magic weight loss pill. However, there are ingredients that research has shown to help burn fat and calories, along with proper diet and exercise.
It’s a good idea to consult with your doctor and nutritionist before taking fat burning supplements. But the supplements on this list are safe, healthy, and effective for most people. If one supplement ingredient doesn’t work well for you, try another or combine more than one (green tea contains both caffeine and polyphenols, for example).
Will you try one of these fat burning supplements? Leave a comment and let us know.