Do Fat Burners Actually Work?

Have you heard of Garcinia Cambogia? How about raspberry ketones? Or African green mango?

What are they and how can they possibly burn excess fat from your body? It seems too good to be true if you ask us.

As you can tell, many of these alleged fat burners are naturally occurring substances. Many are far more common, as well, like caffeine.

So, what are they and how do they work? First, let’s examine some “fat burners” that have proven to be effective.

Supplements and Ingredients that really do burn fat

First of all, “burn fat” makes it sound like there are no other factors at work here… which is simply untrue. All of these ingredients work best when combined with a proper diet and regular exercise. Not when you’re sitting on the couch eating Pringles.

Additionally, there is no evidence or study that proves fat burning pills do just that.

Some of the ingredients are effective at improving your metabolism when consumed naturally, though.

In fact, there are five popular science-based fat burners that are available naturally:

  1. Caffeine
  2. Green tea extract
  3. Protein powder
  4. Fiber
  5. Yohimbine

Let’s take a look at how they work to burn fat.

1. Caffeine

You’ve probably heard of this one. It’s in your tea, coffee, pre-workout, and even in your pain relievers.

Those who are sensitive to caffeine know that it can be dangerous in high doses, but in moderation, it can be beneficial to your health.

Coffee contains natural antioxidants and caffeine can help boost your metabolism by up to 11%. However, coffee also increases the production of estrogen (which can cause hormonal imbalances) so either watch your coffee intake or get your caffeine elsewhere.

2. Green tea extract

You could get your caffeine here, for example!

While green tea does have some caffeine that can help you lose weight naturally, it also contains catechin. Catechin enhances both your metabolism and thermogenesis (the process allowing your body to burn fat to produce energy).

Pretty sweet if you ask us!

3. Protein powder

Protein powder is one of the most underrated weight loss supplements. Maybe people think that there are not “tasty” options available, but protein is a powerhouse. It helps to suppress your appetite by reducing ghrelin (the hunger hormone).

There are plenty of protein powder options that are low in carbs, low in artificial ingredients, and are vegan/vegetarian friendly.

Adding a supplement to increase your protein intake while focusing on a healthy diet and regular exercise can work wonders for fat loss. But remember, your body can only process about 30 grams of protein at a time, so don’t overdo it.

4. Fiber

You want the soluble fiber, in this case! Soluble fiber creates a gel in your gut when combined with your stomach acid. This gel absorbs water and increases GLP-1 hormones (the ones that make you feel full) and suppresses ghrelin, much like protein powder does.

Increasing natural fiber in your diet helps you to take in less fat and calories. The less you take in, the more you are able to burn.

5. Yohimbine

Finally, something you may not have heard of.

Yohimbine is actually a type of tree bark (from a tree called pausinystalia Yohimbe).

This supplement blocks alpha-2 adrenergic receptors which let adrenaline stay in your body longer to burn fat, creating energy.


Like any substance, too much of these natural fat burners can be a bad thing.

There are a few precautions and considerations to take into account here:

  • Caffeine becomes less effective over time so it is good to take it sparingly
  • Don’t take too much caffeine. The side effects are anxious feelings, jitters, or exhaustion
  • Protein powder can contribute to weight gain if you do not exercise regularly and do not modify your current diet
  • Ingesting too many fat burners can lead to acute liver failure

Always use supplements in moderation and at the discretion of a doctor.

And of course, the most effective way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit. This means consuming less calories than you burn off. It takes 3500 burned calories to lose one pound.

So, the take-home piece of information here is that fat burners are far less effective than they’re made out to be. And they should all be used sparingly and always in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Always consume “fat burners” in their natural form (not in supplements) for the highest effectiveness.

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