While proper diet and diligent exercise are essential for wellness and longevity, dietary supplements can be a great addition to your healthy lifestyle.
Natural fat burners are an effective way to boost your metabolism, burn fat, and promote weight loss. In conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, natural fat burners can take your weight loss to the next level.
That being said, with so many options, it's crucial to know how to choose the best fat burner for you. This can make or break your weight-loss journey.
In this article, we'll explore what natural fat burners are, the different types of thermogenic ingredients, and the best ingredients you should look for when selecting a weight-loss supplement.
Natural fat burners are extracts of natural substances (e.g. herbs and plants) that selectively stimulate or suppress your body's intrinsic metabolic processes to support weight management. They're known for boosting your metabolism, increasing your energy production, and reducing hunger and cravings.
In other words, they are natural supplements that help you reduce your body weight by either burning extra calories or by reducing your appetite.
The benefit of natural fat burners is they are not as harmful to you as the chemical compounds found in synthetic fat burners. The stimulants found in synthetic fat burners typically come with a range of harsh side effects and health risks.
In fact, in a study published in the Diabetes Care Journal, sibutramine — a now banned ingredient found in many unnatural fat-burning supplements — was shown to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack on those who took it frequently.
Keep in mind that commercial fat burners, whether natural or not, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Therefore, picking a thermogenic supplement from an established company that uses natural ingredients — such as Transparent Labs — is the best way to ensure you get a quality product that’s effective.
Making a conscious choice about which natural fat burner you use will be safer, and you'll still reap all the health benefits of these supplements.
Before selecting the fat-burning supplement that best complements your needs and goals, it's important to learn about the different ingredients you can find in natural supplements. And, most importantly, how they act on your body.
There are three main types of actions when it comes to fat burners:
As you continue reading, you'll learn that certain ingredients fall into more than one category, making them versatile substances that may be worth adding to your healthy lifestyle.
To make sure you're picking the right natural fat burner, it's crucial to assess your goals and needs thoroughly.
Before we deep-dive into the best natural fat burners, consider these three factors:
Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is simply an estimate of how many calories you burn per day. Using a TDEE calculator can help you determine how many calories to consume for weight loss. It will first use your gender, age, weight, and height to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Then, your BMR is multiplied by an activity factor.
Because a large part of calculating TDEE is measuring your level of physical activity, the calculations will only be effective—and your progress will only be noticeable—when exercise is taken into account.
Determining your TDEE — and checking it regularly — is vital to anyone's weight loss journey. It's also essential when you're looking for a fat burner supplement.
If you're eating too many calories or are having a hard time controlling your food cravings, try to pick a product that includes appetite suppressants.
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the number of calories your body expends by performing essential functions, such as breathing and maintaining a pulse. Calculating BMR does not take into account any physical activity — it’s basically how many calories you burn if you lay in bed all day. Hence, its alternate name, resting metabolic rate (RMR).
Weight gain and weight loss occur when you consume more or fewer calories than your body burns, respectively. When you know your BMR, you can reduce your daily caloric intake as needed to lose weight.
The majority of your weight loss will come from dietary changes. Lowering your caloric intake is crucial to burning fat. If you're trying to lose weight, a healthy diet should be your top priority. Exercise and fat burners will give you an extra boost to shed fat, but using fat burners in place of a healthy lifestyle will not produce any significant results.
When taken correctly, fat burners can help increase your BMR significantly.
A recent study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that a single dose of a thermogenic fat loss supplement significantly increased participants' basal metabolic rate compared to baseline measurements.
Fat burners increase the number of calories your body burns at rest by promoting the processes of thermogenesis — burning calories to produce heat — and lipolysis — breaking down lipids.
It is important to note that for optimal results, fat burners should be taken in the proper dosages to avoid adverse effects. Always refer to the product labels for the correct dosage.
Macronutrients (macros) are energy-containing molecules: fats, protein, and carbohydrates. While they are found in all foods, the amount of each macronutrient across food types differ.
When following a weight loss diet, counting both calories and macros is equally important. Monitoring calorie intake will help you know how much to eat, while tracking macros will help you know what to eat.
For example, consuming 100 calories from a serving of cake and 100 calories from a protein shake will not have similar effects on your body. Use our calorie and macro calculator to find personalized recommendations that will help you hit your healthy weight goals.
Keep in mind that fat burners should not be seen as a "magic diet pill" but are instead additions to a balanced diet; they will not work as desired if you simply take them without making adjustments to your lifestyle.
The ingredients in a natural fat burner supplement are the most critical factor you should consider before buying one.
These substances will determine whether the product will help you lose that stubborn body fat you're working so hard to get rid of.
Nowadays, you can find natural fat burners in all shapes and sizes, from teas to powders and capsules. Which form you choose should depend on what’s most convenient for you.
Capsules may be the best option for those who are often on-the-go. Or if you love your post-workout protein powders, then powder form may be a convenient option.
Now that we've covered the basics of natural fat burners, let's explore the best options out there and how they can support your wellness goals.
Green tea extract contains a variety of components that assist in boosting metabolism. Possibly the most effective of these is epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG decreases fat synthesis, increases the breakdown of fat, and maximizes your body's glucose utilization.
Green tea also contains antioxidants known as catechins.
According to research published in Advances in Nutrition Journal, catechins help block an enzyme that breaks down adrenaline and noradrenaline, liberate fat stores, and accelerate your metabolism.
This is because the higher your adrenaline and noradrenaline, the higher your heart rate and body temperature. In turn, your body burns calories faster and increases fat metabolism.
Not only that, but green tea has also been shown to help shed belly fat and balance triglyceride levels by a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
Caffeine is perhaps the most well-known and effective thermogenic fat burner.
Another study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that, when taken daily, thermogenic fat-loss supplements increase the body's overall energy expenditure.
Additionally, they found that the combination of caffeine and green tea extract provides particularly impressive results. Caffeine anhydrous — the pure form of caffeine — is a powerful fat burner.
As a matter of fact, caffeine works to burn fat in multiple ways. First, caffeine boosts your metabolism. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that caffeine can increase your caloric burn by as much as 150 calories per day.
Caffeine also provides a burst of energy, which is particularly useful before a workout. The more energy you burn throughout your workout, the more fat you will lose.
Finally, according to the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, caffeine decreases the rate at which glucose is metabolized during an aerobic workout. This means that it will take longer for your body to get tired, and you will have increased stamina to burn more fat.
The downside of using caffeine as a fat burner is that, if it's overused, your body may become accustomed to it and it could therefore lose its effectiveness. It is essential to take breaks every other week to achieve optimal results.
Forskolin is a natural compound extracted from the roots of the Coleus forskohlii plant.
It has been used in Ayurveda — an alternative holistic therapy — for thousands of years. And while forskolin is still relatively new to the Western world, initial studies show positive results.
According to a study in the Obesity Research Journal, it was found that forskolin caused "favorable changes in body composition by significantly decreasing body fat percentage" while increasing lean body mass.
The study also found that forskolin increased bone mass and testosterone levels in overweight men. This is significant because testosterone is vital for maintaining muscle mass and increasing your caloric burn.
Forskolin is a great natural fat burner because it activates two fat-burning enzymes called lipase and adenylate cyclase. In simple terms, forskolin encourages the use of body fat for energy.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid derivative naturally produced by your body and produces neurotransmitters responsible for your health on many levels, notably serotonin.
In fact, a study found in Integrative Medicine: A Clinical Journal shows that this substance can directly assist with weight loss by increasing serotonin levels and melatonin production.
On the one hand, increased serotonin reduces the risk of anxiety and depression, which may lead to overeating. On the other hand, increased melatonin production leads to a healthier sleep schedule, allowing your body to function correctly.
5-HTP is also one of the best natural fat burners for suppressing your appetite.
The International Journal of Obesity published a study in which 27 overweight women were divided randomly into two groups.
The first group was given natural plant sources of 5-HTP, while the second group was given a placebo. The study showed a significant increase in the satiety of the participants who received 5-HTP over an 8-week period.
Garcinia cambogia is the ultimate triple threat when it comes to natural fat burners.
Its peel is extremely rich in hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a compound that blocks the body's enzymes responsible for fat accumulation.
According to a study in the Current Therapeutic Research Journal, Garcinia cambogia effectively reduces abdominal fat accumulation in overweight people.
Further research published in the Journal of Obesity suggests that this fruit extract can cause weight loss of about two pounds more than a placebo over several weeks.
And to top it off, a study issued in the Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Journal found that the HCA present in Garcinia cambogia may also suppress your appetite.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid responsible for creating catecholamines like dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline — which, as previously mentioned, boost your metabolism and mobilize fat stores.
Similar to green tea and caffeine, L-tyrosine has been shown to increase thermogenesis. Recall that thermogenesis is the process of burning calories from fat and other substrates to generate heat, which leads to weight loss.
According to a study published in the Annals of Neurosciences, scientists found a correlation between L-tyrosine and increased dopamine, leading to a reduction of anxiety and weight gain prevention.
Now that you've learned all about the best natural fat burners and how to pick the right one for you, it's time to add them to your lifestyle.
Keep in mind that each of these ingredients is only effective when all the three weight loss methods are in play — increasing your metabolism, curbing hunger cravings, and living a weight-loss lifestyle.
It's important to note that while fat burners work effectively, they aren't a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise. They can't burn fat on their own.
To stay dedicated to your weight loss goals, it's vital to regularly calculate your TDEE and eat a diet containing your optimal calories and macros. The better you know your body, the more you can do to get it where it needs to be.
If you're looking for a specific diet to combine with your natural fat burner of choice, then consider giving low-carb or keto a try. Compare these two diet types to find out which one might best suit your healthy lifestyle.