Do Fat Burners Work


Do fat burners work? Well, the short answer is yes. They can aid in weight loss by helping you burn more calories. Fat burners give you a boost of energy and help you feel fuller for longer. “Your body needs the energy to handle your activity level, “says Adam Zickerman, RD, co-founder of Boost Nutritional Consulting on Long Island. It’s why high-intensity exercise burns more calories than low-intensity exercise like walking. If you don’t get enough fuel from food or beverages, your body breaks down muscle tissue to create fuel instead. The key is to be physically active while taking a fat burner to reap the rewards.

Do Fat Burners Work

If you’ve been having a hard time losing weight, you may have considered taking a pill that has been advertised as a fat burner. Fat burners are a supplement that contains natural or artificial
compounds. These supplements are supposed to help you slim down.Over-the-counter fat burners appeal to patients who want a way to magically treat obesity and believe that their benefits outweigh the risks. However, fat burner supplements may be neither safe nor effective. Read on to learn more.

What Are Fat Burner Supplements?

Fat burner supplements work by increasing your resting metabolic rate. The active ingredients help get rid of body fat. However, research is still needed on the effects of ingredients like caffeine on your heart rate and blood pressure.

The effectiveness of fat burner supplements is still in question. Though they’re commonly used for weight loss, there’s not a lot of evidence that they work. These supplements claim to block fat or carbohydrate absorption, curb your appetite, or speed up your metabolism. At the same time, some of these supplements can interfere with other medications you are on.

Do Fat Burner Supplements Work?

Fat burners work by elevating your blood pressure and increasing your overall energy expenditure, which may eventually lead to weight loss over time. You should take precautions if you already have high blood pressure, though, because taking these supplements could lead to hypertension.

Studies have shown that fat burner supplements might not work the way you want them to. They don’t make your fat cells magically disappear. Instead, they can work by helping weight loss in other ways. This includes:

  • Increasing your metabolism
  • Reducing the amount of fat your body absorbs
  • Suppressing your appetite
Fat burners work in theory. However, it all depends on the ingredients. Since fat burner supplements aren’t FDA-approved, you can’t always be sure what’s inside. They can make any claim without factual evidence to support the claims.
Do Fat Burners Work

What Are The Ingredients In Fat Burner Supplements?

Fat burner supplements are typically tablets or “burn capsules” taken by mouth. They contain a range of vitamins, minerals, fiber, caffeine, herbs, and other plants.

Caffeine. This is a common ingredient because it stimulates your nervous system and potentially helps burn calories. Supplements may contain more caffeine than your typical coffee, tea, or chocolate.

Green tea extract. This is another common ingredient because green tea helps burn calories and reduce the fat you absorb from food.

Carnitine. This is a compound that boosts your metabolism and gives you energy. It can be found in meat and dairy products, and it’s made naturally by your liver and kidneys. However, its weight-loss benefits are questionable.

Yohimbe. This is another plant compound that comes from the bark of an evergreen tree. It’s common in fat burner supplements but can cause negative effects. Yohimbe can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney failure

Soluble fiber. This ingredient isn’t found in all fat burners, but you can find some with high amounts of fiber. Fiber helps control your appetite, and soluble fiber can help prevent your body from absorbing fat from food.

Most supplements contain a lot of different ingredients, typically more than what’s beneficial for your health. These unknown ingredients can cause fat burners to react unpredictably with your body.

Are Fat Burner Supplements Safe?

Fat burner supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. Because of this, you may be taking a health risk by taking them.

First, you don’t always get a complete picture of what is in the supplement. Some studies on these supplements have found ingredients inside that aren’t listed on the bottle.

Second, just because a supplement calls itself “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s safe. Some fat burner supplements have been linked to problems like liver damage. Some herbs, like ephedra, that were once used in fat burners are now banned by the FDA because they cause high blood pressure, mood change, irregular heart rate, stroke, seizures, and heart attacks.

Before taking these supplements, you should talk to your doctor. Their ingredients may interfere with other medications you are taking. Fat burners can be dangerous and cause severe problems if mixed with the wrong drugs.

If you do want to try a fat burner supplement and have talked to your doctor, you can also check out websites run by the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements to find the best supplements for you.

Do Fat Burners Melt Away Pounds? An Expert Weighs In

Find out the science behind the hype. In our size-obsessed culture, weight loss is big business. Americans spend more than $2 billion a year on weight-loss pills. But do these so-called “fat burner” supplements work? And more importantly — are they safe?

“Proceed with caution,” warns registered dietitian Melissa Matteo, RD. To better understand fat burners, Matteo tells us if they work, what’s in them and some healthier and safer alternatives.

What Are Fat Burners?

What is a fat burner? That’s a really good question. In fact, it’s one of the most popular questions I get from my readers. Fat burners are supplements to increase your metabolism and help you burn off more fat. They seem like a quick and easy way to lose weight — which I should add is not an easy process (but a necessary one!).

Fat burners are dietary supplements that might contain natural or artificial compounds. The products claim to help people lose pounds and get a more sculpted shape.

Do fat burners work?

The answer? Maybe. But don’t expect any miracles.

Despite their name, fat burners don’t actually make fat cells go up in smoke. Instead, they attempt to drive weight loss in other ways. They might:

  • Increase your metabolism, so you burn more calories.
  • Reduce the amount of fat your gut absorbs.
  • Suppress your appetite, so you consume fewer calories.

At least, that’s how they work in theory. Some of the ingredients found in fat burners have been linked to small amounts of weight loss. But most of these supplements haven’t been tested in scientific studies.

More importantly, though, fat burners aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means manufacturers can make all sorts of claims about their products, even if they have no evidence to back them up. “Because the FDA doesn’t regulate them, we don’t really know their effectiveness,” Matteo cautions.

Common ingredients in fat burners

There are dozens of ingredients in weight-loss supplements, including herbal ingredients and other compounds. Some of the more common ingredients are:


Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and might help burn calories. But supplements can contain a lot more caffeine than coffee, tea, chocolate or other natural sources. Too much caffeine can cause nervousness, jitteriness, insomnia — and even a dangerously high heart rate.

Green tea extract

Many fat burners contain extracts made from green tea. This ingredient might help burn calories and may reduce the amount of fat you absorb from food. “But the amount of weight loss isn’t that significant,” Matteo says. “You’d probably burn more calories by taking a brisk walk each day.”


This compound helps with your metabolism and gives you energy. It’s found in many types of meat and dairy products, and your liver and kidneys make it naturally. But research on its weight-loss benefits is mixed. Too much carnitine can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a fishy body odor.


This plant compound comes from the bark of an evergreen tree. It’s found in many weight-loss supplements, but there’s very little research on it. What’s more, it can be dangerous. Yohimbe can cause headaches, anxiety, agitation and increased blood pressure. At high doses, it can even cause heart problems and kidney failure.

Soluble fiber

Some fat burners contain ingredients high in soluble fiber. “Fiber doesn’t increase fat burn but it helps control appetite. And soluble fiber can help prevent your body from absorbing some of the fat from the foods you eat,” Matteo says. Some fiber-rich ingredients common in supplements include:

  • Beta-glucans.
  • Glucomannan.
  • Guar gum.

Other ingredients

Fat burners can contain many other ingredients, too, such as:

  • Capsicum.
  • Chromium.
  • Conjugated linoleic acid.
  • Forskolin.
  • Fucoxanthin.
  • Garcinia cambogia.
  • Kelp.
  • Raspberry ketones.

Many supplements contain dozens of ingredients or more, so it can be hard to say how they might affect your health.

“Weight-loss supplements contain a whole slew of herbals and other ingredients, and the dosage isn’t always listed,” Matteo says. “I would not recommend using any of these over-the-counter fat burners.”

Are fat burners safe?

Fat burners have many strikes against them. They aren’t regulated, contain questionable ingredients and aren’t likely to give you a sculpted shape. And some of them are downright dangerous.

If you’re considering these supplements, talk it over with your doctor or a pharmacist first. “Patients aren’t always forthcoming about what supplements they’re taking. But ingredients in fat burners can interact with medications and cause serious problems, so it’s important to make sure your doctor is aware,” Matteo says.

Burning At The Natural Way

Instead of fat-burning supplements, Matteo recommends looking at your diet instead. “You can take a natural approach, with foods and drinks that contain substances that may promote weight loss,” she says.

Coffee and green tea

To avoid excessive doses and possible side effects, Matteo advises steering clear of supplements containing caffeine or green tea extract. Instead, enjoy a couple of cups of brewed coffee or green tea to reap the possible benefits. “Just avoid adding a lot of cream and sugar, especially if your goal is to lose weight,” she adds.


“Our bodies have to work harder to break down protein than carbohydrates or fats, so increasing protein in your diet can boost your metabolism,” Matteo says. Protein also helps control appetite.

But too much protein can lead to eating a lot more calories than you need — meaning weight gain instead of weight loss. To avoid overdoing it, Matteo suggests getting protein from your food rather than protein shakes or supplements. “Chicken, turkey, eggs and fish are great sources of lean protein,” she says.


Fiber is also a great go-to if you’re looking to lose fat. But supplements aren’t the best way to get it, Matteo says. “We digest dietary fibers best if we get them from food rather than supplements.” Luckily, there are many tasty high-fiber foods to choose from.

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