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What are fat burners & what do they do?

When people refer to a 'fat burner' they are describing nutritional supplements that work to increase fat metabolism or increase energy expenditure, increase weight loss, increase fat oxidation while exercising. These supplements usually contain a mixture of the ingredients such as caffeine, CLA - (conjugated linoleic acid), green tea, l-carnitine, raspberry ketones, chromium and glucomannon to mention just a small selection.

There are 2 main processes that are associated with weight or fat loss and these are highlighted below:


This is a metabolic process where your body burns calories to produce heat in the body. There are several ways to induce thermogenesis in your body such as your diet, exercise or the temperature of the environment that you are in. Thermogenesis will aid weight loss because it increases your body's calorie burning ability which means you will be converting more calories into fuel.


Lipolysis is when there is a breakdown of lipids which then involves hydrolysis of triglycerides into glycerol and free fatty acids. The free fatty acids are then released into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. Lipolysis is where the body is breaking down stored triglycerides into two main products glycerol and fatty acids for use by the body while fasting or exercising.

Although there are various different studies into fat burners and how successful they actually are let’s just say that they are only part of a bigger puzzle which should always comprise of the following, a good diet is 70%, exercise is another 15% and fat burners are the final 15% of the puzzle.

Fat burners will not be effective and work efficiently if people do not take into account the key principles listed above because fat burners will only help and aid weight loss it cannot override a bad diet or excessive eating.

Fat burners can work and affect the body in several different ways. They can help boost energy levels, promote fat to be converted into energy, and also increase the metabolism and core temperature of your body so you burn more calories throughout the day due to the thermogenesis.

Fat burners are often seen as the final push when it comes to the struggle against fat, they can help overcome sticking points, help attack the stubborn fat stores that never seem to disappear and help speed up the fat burning effects of any diet and exercise routine.

While the rate at which you can lose fat can be enhanced, it’s not reasonable or realistic to expect to lose 10 pounds in a week simply because you're using supplements. A more realistic and sustainable rate to lose fat is 1 to 3 pounds per week, but you could push this rate up to 4 or 5 pounds per week, but would not be sustainable to a long period of time as the body will adapt and adjust which will slow the results down over time.

When dropping weight too quickly by using fat burners it may mean that you are not actually only losing fat, you could be losing lean muscle mass. If you are losing muscle mass this could make you look shapeless and skinny with no real healthy shape to your body. To avoid this happening you could look to add additional protein into your diet or look to include protein shakes which will help to feed the muscles and reduce the risk of losing any muscle mass.

So just to recap the above in order to make the most out of using fat burner supplements you need to ensure you are having a good well balanced diet and if possible increase your level of activity or exercise which will put you in the best possible position to benefit from the fat burning effects of taking these supplements.

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