According to the WHO, in 2014, almost 40% of adults were considered overweight and 13% were considered obese. Most of these adults have tried to lose weight at least at some point in their life. With such a high number of people looking for ways to shed extra pounds, it’s no wonder that the weight-loss industry is booming. In fact, MarketsandMarkets reports that by 2019, the weight-loss market will be worth $206.4 Billion. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of room for fraud in such a large industry so consumers need to be careful of what products they choose to include in their weight-loss journey. This is especially true with products that go into your body such as fat-burning supplements. Fat-burners are the subject of heated discussions among medical experts, fitness communities, and the general public. Some see them as pure bogus, but others swear by them. So, do these magic pills actually work?
What Are Fat Burners?
Fat burners or fat-burning supplements are a class of dietary supplements, usually in pill form, is designed to enhance your body’s ability to burn fat. They belong to the more general group of weight-loss supplements, and the main difference between these products is in their mechanisms of action. As explained in an article from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, all weight-loss supplements fall into four groups depending on their action: products that block the absorption of fat or carbs, stimulants that increase thermogenesis, products that suppress appetite, and products that change the metabolism. And while all this sounds impressive and promising, the same article states that there is really no scientific evidence that any one of these supplements can produce significant weight loss, meaning weight loss of more than 4 pounds.
More about Fat Burners!!
Most fat burners work by boosting thermogenesis which is your body’s heat production. When your body produces heat, it needs to spend calories. So, the more heat your body produces, the more calories you spend. Fat burners help increase thermogenesis by working as stimulants. Examples of popular stimulants in fat burners include caffeine, pyruvate, and carnitine. All three compounds are commonly found in common foods, but they’re usually added in higher concentrations in weight-loss supplements. Studies on these compounds show that they do cause a slight change in metabolism functioning. For instance, a study published in a 2011 issue of The Journal of Physiology found that carnitine had a modest effect on energy output but a significant effect on exercise performance.
Should I Take Fat-Burning Supplements?
Since science shows that weight-loss supplements of any kind don’t really help with weight-loss, does that mean that taking them is a waste of time and money? Well, thing is that things are not all that simple with fat burners and other diet pills. Many studies have looked into the potential benefits of these products when they are combined with a strict diet and exercise regimen. These studies mostly agree that fat burners can be helpful but to a limited extent. Fat burners are supplements, after all, meaning that they are designed to supplement your diet and lifestyle. In other words, fat burners cannot replace a lack of exercising and dieting in your life. And when you really thing about it, it’s obvious that there is no such thing as a magic weight-loss pill, otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many people in the world struggling to lose weight.
The Problem with Some Fat Burners
As we can see fat burners work best when used as an addition to a weight-loss plans that involves exercising and calorie restriction. But that does not mean that you should simply buy the first fat burner you come across online or in supplement stores. The problem with the supplement industry is that there are far too many tainted and adulterated products that could be putting your health at risk. The lack of regulations on dietary supplements also means that you are taking them at your own risk. There were even cases of liver failure caused by fat burners containing banned ingredients. Make sure to choose fat burners from reputable companies that test their products for safety. Also, speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about a certain fat burner.
Weight-loss isn’t easy, and it wouldn’t be fair to tell anyone that by taking a pill, they’ll be able to miraculously shed pounds without moving a finger. While taking weight-loss supplements can help you get that extra boost for faster and easier weight loss, this boost will be quite modest. Don’t expect too much from a fat burner even if you exercise regularly and follow a low-calorie diet. Also, make sure to choose products that were tested for safety or products from companies with a long history in the supplement industry. In this way, you won’t run the risk of ending up with fake products.