The pursuit of weight loss is the most common avenue into the land of fitness. Whether one is looking to shed a few pounds for beach season, get in shape to fit their wedding dress or completely change their life and take their health and longevity into their own hands, losing weight can positively affect a person’s life in many, many ways.
Unfortunately, this desire can turn people to desperation, which has created a market for products making bold, false claims of miracle weight loss and how 1 pill a day for these 3 easy payments will make the weight just fly right off of you. Fitness professionals and anyone who has ever tried these supplements will tell you, it doesn’t work that way. With that said, there are supplements that you can take that will give you a helping hand on your weight loss journey.
Dramatic weight loss isn’t something you can take a pill for – it’s a change in lifestyle, and how you view food and your body and exercise. Diet and exercise are what are going to really make the pounds fly off, so learning how to get your heart rate into fat-burning mode will help you do so more efficiently. Cardio, high-intensity interval training, circuit training and even regular weightlifting burn calories and can help you to lose weight.
However, when you want a boost to help speed up your metabolism and either slightly accelerate the rate of fat loss, or to help burn off that last bit of fat if you already have a relatively low body fat percentage to get ripped and vascular to show off the muscles you’ve worked so hard for, there are supplements that work.
How Fat Burners Work
Fat burners, also known as thermogenics-inducers, are supplements that increase mental alertness and adrenaline during workouts and also increase your body’s lipolysis, or burning fat for energy. Most of these supplements contain the same ingredients, with slight variations of dosage.
The main two ingredients in most of these fat-burners are ephedrine and caffeine. This 1-2 punch, which has also named the fat burner the nickname “e/c stack”, has proven effective for increasing lipolysis and spiking energy and alertness levels so you can get the most out of your workouts and fatigue more slowly. These have been solid additions to bodybuilding cutting stacks for years!
Fat burners aren’t something you can supplement with constantly, as your body becomes accustomed to the intake of ephedrine and caffeine and adapts. There is a common misconception here that when you reach this plateau, you increase the dosage. Increasing the dosage on fat burners can be harmful, as they can contain quite a bit of caffeine and negatively impact your health.
When a plateau is reached on fat burners, the best and safest practice is to cycle off of the fat burners for a week or two. Depending on your tolerance, a 2 weeks on/2 weeks off or 3 weeks on/1 week off approach should be taken to thermogenic cycling.
Because of the spike of adrenaline and mental alertness fat burners give you during your workouts, you will be more fatigued at the end of your workout. Having that extra bit of energy in the tank while you’re moving will feel great when you’re working out, but the fatigue can hit pretty hard afterward.
Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep when on fat burners, or your body will start producing cortisol and eating up all of your hard-earned muscle.
Another thing to take into consideration with thermogenic supplementation is hydration. Thermogenics not only allow you to work harder in the gym, but they have a mild diuretic effect on the body. This diuretic effect will flush out your fluids, and the boost of energy will have you sweating more in the gym.
This is double the trouble for your hydration levels and you need to make sure that you’re supplementing the ingestion of these fat burners with an adequate amount of water.
So, When Should I Take Fat Burners?
If you are overweight and have a large weight loss goal, fat burners are not going to be the miracle pill that takes you from flabby to fit like the transformation in the image below.
A long road of diet and exercise adjustments to your lifestyle will help you to reach your goals and start jumping over those nutritional and fitness hurdles.
Taking fat burners while substantially overweight can leave you frustrated and broke. However, if you need some help shedding those last few pounds before beach season or you’ve noticed your fat loss slowing down from regular diet and exercise, fat burners can be of some benefit to you.
Remember, fat burners should be taken in combination with diet and exercise, they’re not a substitution for them.
If fat burners truly melted the fat off of people without them having to do anything, everyone would look like fitness models. Most products that claim to do this are just snake oil; however, supplementing fat burners into your diet in conjunction with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can give your body a boost into shredding fat and getting lean and vascular. Even eating naturally thermogenic foods can play a role.
Remember to cycle your fat burners every few weeks, get plenty of sleep and plenty of water while supplementing. While thermogenic supplements won’t take you from overweight to shredded, they can be an effective aid in helping you reach your fitness goals.
If you have any doubts or concerns about fat burners, be sure to consult your physician to get the green light. If you determine fat burners are for you, go pick some up, hit the weights and cardio and start melting that fat!