Fat Burning Supplements 101
Many fat burning supplements induce thermogenesis which burns calories for heat. Active ingredients found in many thermogenic supplements include caffeine, green tea, and capsaicin. Some supplements contain one active ingredient while others use a combination of metabolism boosting ingredients. But, do they really help you burn fat and maintain long term weight loss?
Unfortunately, getting a clear answer is not easy when it comes to thermogenic supplements. Effectiveness really depends on a lot of factors, including:
- Active Ingredients
- Current Diet and Lifestyle
So, let’s look at active ingredients first. Fat burners formulated with caffeine boost adrenaline levels. Adrenaline is a hormone that tells your fat cells to release fatty acids so they can be used for energy. In addition, caffeine helps reduce appetite and boost metabolism levels to burn more calories at rest.
Fat burning supplements formulated with Green Tea contain two compounds that help induce thermogenesis: epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine. EGCG enhances the effectiveness of caffeine by slowing down the breakdown of adrenaline which enhances the impact. In addition, caffeinated green tea supplements can boost overall metabolism by up to 4%. And, some studies indicate they can increase fat burning by up to 16% for up to 24 hours.
Lastly, supplements formulated with capsaicin have also shown promise in clinical studies. Capsaicin is derived from chili powder extract. And, much like caffeine, capsaicin stimulates the release of adrenaline and boosts overall metabolism. Lastly, capsaicin has proven effective in reducing appetite to ingest fewer calories.
Final Analysis of Thermogenic Supplements
Yes, thermogenic supplements burn fat by boosting adrenaline levels and boosting metabolism rate. However, a fat burner alone is not enough and results will inevitably plateau. In fact, the supplements are not thermogenic focused. Instead, the best fat burners actually act on your metabolic hormones.
Metabolic hormones control your metabolism, stimulate cravings, tell your body when it’s full, and even when to store energy as fat. As we grow older, the metabolic hormones tend to be unbalanced. This imbalance is magnified by eating sugary, starchy comfort foods and other unhealthy habits. Until the metabolic hormones are rebalanced, no diet or weight loss efforts will succeed in the long term.
Look for Fat Burning Supplements that Target Leptin
Leptin determines whether your weight loss efforts succeed or fail. Leptin is stored in your fat cells. The more fat you carry, the higher your levels of leptin. Normally, when leptin levels are high, the brain knows it has sufficient energy stores. In response, it should boost metabolism rate and require a lot less food to feel satiated after eating.
However, a tipping point gets reached. When leptin levels increase to a certain point, the brain no longer detects the hormone properly. At that point, leptin resistance sets in. Leptin resistance causes 3 big problems for anyone trying to lose weight:
- You Need to Eat More to Feel Full
- Your Cravings Increase in Both Frequency and Intensity
- Metabolism Rate Slows to Burn Fewer Calories
Essentially, your brain believes it’s starving when it can’t detect leptin. You go into survival mode and ingest more calories while simultaneously burning fewer calories at rest. It’s a complete train wreck for anyone trying to burn fat and lose weight.
Fat burning supplements that target leptin help reverse this condition. Unfortunately, most fat burners suppress appetite and unnaturally boost metabolism. You need a fat burning supplement formulated to rebalance leptin levels. However, you also need to make some lifestyle changes as well to fully reverse leptin resistance.
But first, how do you know if you even have leptin resistance? If there is a bulge around your waist and if you carry any significant level of abdominal fat, then you have leptin resistance to some extent.
To ultimately reverse leptin resistance, you need to burn belly fat and increase metabolism rate. Again, fat burning supplements that target leptin help immensely. But there are a couple of things you can do to help lower leptin levels and burn fat naturally.
Get 25-30% Of Your Calories from Protein
High protein diets like Keto are on to something. Protein is harder for your body to digest than fat or carbohydrates. That means your body needs to burn more calories to break it down and use the nutrients. In fact, just eating more protein naturally burns up to 100 more calories per day by increasing metabolism rate.
Protein also reduces caloric intake naturally. This occurs because protein impacts hormones that determine when we are satiated after eating. Plus, protein also impacts hunger hormones to naturally suppress appetite while reducing cravings. In one study, just eating a high protein breakfast reduced night time cravings by up to 50%. Another study showed that eating a high protein diet naturally reduced caloric intake by 440 calories per day.
Building muscles helps increase your metabolism rate. Muscle cells naturally burn more calories at rest than your fat cells. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Anaerobic exercise helps you quickly build muscles and boost your metabolism rate.
Weight lifting works best. You don’t need to invest in fancy equipment or spend all your free time at the gym. Working out with dumbbells or jumping rope 3 or 4 times per week is sufficient. You can start with 30-minute sessions and build up to an hour. In doing so, you’ll burn 400-600 calories plus build muscles to increase caloric burn when at rest.
Again, fat burning supplements that target leptin help immensely. Without them, it can take months to reverse leptin resistance. But with the right fat burner, you can rebalance leptin in a few weeks.
Once leptin levels are rebalanced and your brain detects the hormone accurately again, losing fat and weight becomes much easier. Your energy levels increase as your metabolism rate elevates again. You don’t need to eat as much to feel satiated so your caloric intake reduces naturally. Cravings disappear so you stop cheating or feeling hungry all the stime. Basically, losing weight becomes easy and natural.
Click here to learn more about metabolic hormones and fat burners that target them!
Mike Dorfman is BS in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Mike’s has worked as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym and helped many clients achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals.
To health first, weight-loss second. Mike and Tetrogen are here to help you make the transition to the healthier, happier, and thinner you!