Fat burners have gained in popularity in recent years. As the average body weight in Western countries continues to rise, more people than ever are looking for solutions to the problem. Fat burners have proved their worth in clinical trials as a weight loss aid, so they provide an obvious destination for the health-conscious.
A huge variety of fat burners are available on the market, but fat burners remain a misunderstood supplement. Many mistakenly view them as a quick-fix solution that can replace the need for a better diet or exercise. The truth is that fat burners are best as a strong companion to other lifestyle changes, allowing you to experience the best results possible.
Choosing the right fat burners isn’t easy. In this guide, we take a look at how fat burners work, how you can choose the right ones for you, and our top picks for the best fat burners available.
Our Top Picks:
The Best Fat Burners: Our Top Picks
Best Overall: LeanBean: The Female Fat Burner
A complex recipe with real punch.
Why We Picked It
The LeanBean Female Fat Burner is a supplement specially formulated for women aiming to lose weight through an active lifestyle. It comes in tablet form, with 180 capsules per bottle.
LeanBean’s formula consists of 12 ingredients, using a combination of superfoods, minerals, and vitamins. Unlike other fat burners, it’s not centered on a single active ingredient. While it does contain green coffee, it substitutes a main caffeine-based stimulant for tumeric, which limits the potential for side effects. Glucomannan packs most of the weight loss punch, as it’s an appetite suppressant, making this a relatively gentle fat burner.
Other ingredients include zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12.
LeanBean’s complex balance of ingredients and its low reliance on stimulant-based fat burning allow it to work in a gentler way than many alternatives. In an industry that often masks ingredients, the product website breaks down each ingredient, the reason for its inclusion, and its benefits — a level of transparency that we appreciate.
Keep in Mind
A reduced amount of caffeine may mean LeanBean doesn’t feel as potent as other alternatives.
In a Nutshell
- High in appetite suppressant glucomannan
- 11 other ingredients balanced to promote weight loss
- 180 tablets per bottle
Runner Up: Powher Cut
Packed with fat-burning ingredients.
Why We Picked It
Powher is a new fat burner product just for women. Its formula focuses on appetite suppression, healthy metabolism, and a stimulant hit. Powher Cut’s active ingredient is 100mg of caffeine (about the same as a cup of coffee), so it should provide maximum energy without giving you jitters. It doesn’t rely solely on caffeine for its weight-loss properties — it includes a large, 3g dose of Konjac fiber, which is a recognized appetite suppressant.
We chose Powher Cut as best runner up thanks to its balance of ingredients. Like LeanBean, it doesn’t rely solely on a stimulant to deliver weight loss. There’s no filler, and all ingredients are natural. It’s also packed with a range of vitamins and minerals for healthy metabolism and greater stamina during exercise. It has a simpler formula with seven ingredients, but these all work together to form a powerful fat burner package.
Keep in Mind
Powher contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as the average cup of coffee. While not intense, it could be too much for the caffeine-sensitive.
In a Nutshell
- Glucomannan helps with weight loss by suppressing your appetite, and promoting feelings of fullness
- Caffeine to boost energy and metabolism
- Formulated with natural ingredients and specifically for women
- 180 capsules per bottle
Best Fat Burner for Men: Modern Man V3
Modern Man V3
A male-focused stimulant punch to boost metabolism.
Why We Picked It
Modern Man V3 is a testosterone booster and fat burner designed specifically for men. Modern Man V3 is the best fat burner for men thanks to its male-focused balance of ingredients, packing a stimulant punch that will keep the male metabolism ticking without overdoing it.
Modern Man V3 is one of the most consistently popular fat burners in its category on Amazon and is rated 4.5 stars by over 1,000 reviewers at the time of writing. It’s a caffeine-based fat burner featuring 150mg of caffeine per serving. Each box contains 60 pills and the recommended intake is two per day.
Other ingredients in Modern Man V3 include theobroma cacao seed, methyliberine, ashwagandha, coleus forskohlii, and eurycoma longifolia, all designed to increase testosterone and help you focus.
Keep in Mind
Modern Man V3 is designed to help you focus and lose weight, so it’s not ideal for building muscle mass.
In a Nutshell
- Active ingredient: caffeine
- 60 pills per box
- Designed to provide both energy and improved focus
Best Oil: Nuton MCT Oil
Nuton MCT Oil
100% pure C8 oil, no additives.
Why We Picked It
Nuton MCT oil is a ketogenic oil derived from coconut oil. As an oil, it can be added to drinks like coffee and shakes. We chose Nuton MCT oil as the best oil for its purity. The supplement uses no other ingredients, which keeps the C8 oil — the shortest chain of MCT — at the forefront.
Nuton MCT oil is straightforward, containing no other ingredients — it’s 100% C8 caprylic acid. A blended variant containing C10 is also available. Nuton MCT oil also offers convenience. Where many supplement oils are sold in containers with wide openings, Nuton’s supplement comes in a shampoo-style bottle, which limits spillage and helps to deliver a consistent dosage. The oil comes in a 33.8 oz bottle, which makes for 67 servings per container.
Keep in Mind
There are no other sizes available for people who like to buy in bulk, so regular use could become costly.
In a Nutshell
- 100% C8 MCT oil
- Shampoo-style, no-spill bottle
- Suitable for adding to drinks and smoothies
- 33.8 oz per bottle
Best Powder: AMRAP Nutrition MCT Powder
AMRAP Nutrition MCT Powder
Powerful powder with a 90-day guarantee.
Why We Picked It
We chose AMRAP’s powder for its purity, as it lacks any additives and gives a hefty 2000mg dose of MCT per serving. Another stand-out feature of AMRAP’s powder is the 90-day guarantee, which offers a full refund to any customers who aren’t satisfied at that time. That gives you the opportunity to find out whether AMRAP’s supplement works for you.
AMRAP Nutrition MCT Powder is 100% coconut-derived MCT, with 2000mg of MCT per serving. As a powder, AMRAP’s supplement can be added to food and drinks. AMRAP advises taking two scoops of the powder prior to training. MCT in powder form may be easier on the system than oil, and some users put off by oily textures may find AMRAP’s powder is an ideal alternative.
Keep in Mind
Powders can prove too grainy for some users, but it does make it easier to add to shakes and smoothies.
In a Nutshell
- Great pre-workout for men and women
- Produces ketone bodies in the blood, serving as an alternative fuel source
- Curbs appetite
- Third-party tested for safety, purity, and nutritional value
- 90-day refund guarantee
How We Chose the Best Fat Burners
There’s a lot of competition in the fat burner market and it’s often hard to separate claims from results. We look at some key categories to give you an idea of what’s in the supplement and how it’s likely to affect you.
As you’ll see in the following section, there are a wide variety of ingredients that can go into a fat burner supplement. Each of these ingredients has different effects, and some aren’t even “fat burners” in a technical sense, though they all serve the same purpose as weight-loss supplements. The main active ingredients, such as caffeine or yohimbine, are usually combined with other ingredients to create a multi-functional path to shedding fat. Many fat burners use a stimulant as their active ingredient. We looked at the ingredients of each fat burner to give you an idea how it works, what the benefits are, and to make you aware of any potential side-effects.
Testimonials and Reviews
No reviews are guaranteed to describe a product accurately, particularly in the health world. It’s notoriously hard to be sure that cause and effect are actually linked in products like these. That’s why we look at the supplement’s reviews in relation to its popularity, so we can help to build a consensus view. Some products may also have testimonials from personalities that may help to give them some more credit, such as athletes or medical professionals.
Format and Supply
Fat burners come in a variety of formats, including powders, oils, and tablets. These appeal to different types of people. For those who are constantly on the go or away from home, tablets provide a convenient pop-and-go option. Those who want to have more control over their dose can stir powders and oils into drinks. We take a look at the format of the supplement along with the supply contained in each package to give you an idea which is right for you — and how long you can expect it to last.
How Do Fat Burners Work?
You can think of fat burners as a kind of false pressure on the body. Our body converts fat when under certain environmental pressures, like strenuous exercise or a cold environment. Fat burners trick the body into thinking it needs to release energy from fat in the same way, which causes it to burn up reserves that would otherwise sit idle.
There are a variety of primary ingredients used for fat burners. Let’s take a look at some of the most common:
- Caffeine – Yes, one of the most popular fat-burning ingredients is the same oneyou can find in your cup of coffee. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can help boost your metabolism and perceived energy level, giving your body a kick and allowing you to exercise for longer. Caffeine achieves this by stimulating the nervous system, skeletal muscles, and heart, all of which increase the body’s energy expenditure. Caffeine also suppresses the appetite, so caffeine fat burners work through a variety of different mechanisms. It’s this combination of fat-burning traits that lead to caffeine’s popularity as an active ingredient in supplements. In terms of side effects, caffeine can lead to unpleasant jittery sensations in large doses and may also have abnormal effects on your digestion.
- Green Coffee – Like other caffeine-based supplements, fat burners using green coffee rely on caffeine for some of their fat-burning juice. Green coffee also appears to inhibit the accumulation of fat and may reduce glucose absorption in the gut. Most of the notes about caffeine also apply to green coffee, including its stimulating effect on the nervous system. As with caffeine, side effects are often along the lines of jitters and energy spikes.
- Green Tea Extract – Green tea extract is another popular source of caffeine in supplements. Like other stimulants, green tea extract may help to promote weight loss by increasing the body’s energy expenditure and fat oxidation. It may also reduce fat-building lipogenesis and reduce fat absorption. As with other caffeine ingredients, green tea may produce noticeable stimulating effects including jitters.
- MCT – MCT is a popular liquid-based supplement, with MCT oils providing an alternative that can be included in a smoothie or added to a meal. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, which is a type of fat that the body is able to absorb easily. It’s usually extracted from coconut oil. While a fat that’s easy to absorb may seem contrary to the purpose of a fat burner, MCT may help weight loss in several ways. It promotes the release of hormones associated with a sense of fullness, for example, and studies show a rise in fat oxidation with MCT relative to other triglycerides.
- Garcinia Cambogia – Garcinia Cambogia is a tree found across eastern and southern Eurasia and the Polynesian Islands. The ingredient used for supplements comes from the pulp and rind of the tree’s fruit, and there’s a possibility that it can reduce lipogenesis, suppress appetite, and reduce weight gain. However, its effects aren’t as conclusive as some more prominent fat burner active ingredients. While it has been shown to reduce weight gain in rats, studies in humans have proved inconclusive.
- Yohimbine – Derived from the bark of a West African evergreen species, yohimbine is a hyperadrenergic (adrenaline producer) with powerful physiological effects. Some fat burners include it for these properties. However, yohimbine can be quite potent, so it may cause noticeable side effects, particularly at higher doses. One of the traditional uses of yohimbine is to cure male sexual dysfunction, so the standard advice to consult with a medical professional is even more applicable in yohimbine’s case.
- Raspberry Ketones – Derived from the common red raspberry, raspberry ketones are a popular flavoring ingredient and are used in some fat burners. Calling raspberry ketones a fat-burner is something of a misnomer, as the weight-loss mechanism in these ketones instead relies on increasing fatty acid oxidation and suppressing lipid accumulation. Likely due to their gentle, non-stimulant nature, raspberry ketones seem to have minimal, if any, side effects.
What to Look for in a Fat Burner
Choosing a fat burner can be a complex process. There’s a lot of information to sift through. Below, we’ve put together some of the key considerations you’ll want to bear in mind as you make an informed choice.
- Main Ingredients – Fat burners are composed of a wide assortment of ingredients, so each fat burner has its own list. Understanding these ingredient lists and comparing them to other fat burners can often be a challenge. You may want to start by choosing a primary active component (such as caffeine or yohimbine) to narrow down your selection. From there, you can choose from the available supplements based on your personal dietary requirements. If you have any other ingredients you prefer to avoid, such as additives, you can also use them to narrow down this selection.
- Format – Fat burners come in a variety of formats that you can select from based on your lifestyle. Powders and drops, for example, can suit the person who’d rather take them as part of their daily nutrition — such as in a smoothie or with a meal. For fat burners on the go, tablets are often the preferred choice, as they’re easy to take to the workplace or on a day trip. Non-tablet varieties are best for those who struggle with taking oral medicines due to medical issues or psychological barriers, or for those who would rather take their supplement with some accompanying nutrition.
- Dose Size – Choosing the right dose of supplements can be tricky – especially when it comes to caffeine – as everybody’s metabolism is different. As a general rule, larger bodies will require a larger dose, but you should always seek the advice of a medical professional before you begin a course of fat burners. Taking too many fat burners for your body can have significant side effects. As many fat burners contain caffeine, one of the most obvious effects is that they can leave you bouncing off the walls! They may also cause palpitations and disrupt your digestion. Over a longer timeline, excessive use of fat burners could also do more harm than good, leading to heart or liver problems.
- Customer Reviews – Customer reviews on health products can often be hard to parse for a few reasons. Customers are often passionate about losing weight, but this can cause them to ascribe traits to supplements when there’s no direct cause-and-effect relationship. Additionally, it’s impossible to know whether that person is experiencing most of the “benefits” from other lifestyle changes. Looking for fat burners with a large number of reviews can help to create a more complete picture, or you can cross-reference them with reviews from trusted sources.
How to Get the Best Results from Fat Burners
One of the most common misconceptions about fat burners (and many other things to do with weight loss) is that they’re a miracle solution. There are no simple quick-fixes for the body. All weight-loss solutions work best when used in balance and along with other health-conscious habits, like diet and exercise.
Fat burners can be quite taxing on the body, so you should always consult with a medical professional before taking them. As you add the supplement into your diet, you should also keep a few key considerations in mind to maintain a realistic view of your fat burner’s likely effects and to remind yourself that there’s much more to losing fat than taking a supplement.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Maintaining or instituting a healthy diet is key to finding a weight and body fat percentage that’s right for you. Fat burners are not a replacement for healthy meals or a substitute for the kind of dietary changes needed to promote weight loss and cut body fat. All fat burners can do is potentially make your weight loss more efficient as positive changes to your habits begin to take effect.
To gain the maximum possible benefit from fat burners, you need to evaluate your caloric intake. You may also need to modify the foods you’re eating, reducing your saturated fat intake and increasing your intake of fresh, non-processed ingredients and unsaturated fats. Fats aren’t the enemy per se, but we end up with a lot of fat we can’t shift thanks to our modern diets.
The misconceptions around fat burners are widespread, and many people take them thinking they’ll be a “quick fix” solution to dietary problems. By taking a larger view, you can gain their benefits and avoid disappointment.
Maintain an Exercise Routine
For some reason, many people still hold the misconception that they can experience significant weight loss and health improvements without exercise. Dietary changes can only go so far because body fat is essentially a measure of how much energy your body feels it doesn’t need immediately. If you don’t exercise often, the energy you need goes down and more of what you eat becomes fat.
Exercise also has larger health implications. Our bodies evolved to move, so a body without regular exercise is like a car left to rust in a garage. Taking supplements can’t make up for that and cardiovascular and muscle exercises remain an essential part of a balanced lifestyle.
When paired with a holistic package of diet and exercise, fat burners can help to intensify your results and help you to shift fat faster. However, they aren’t likely to lead to significant changes when taken in isolation.
Consult Your Doctor and Listen to Your Body
As you make health-related tweaks to your life, you’ll also learn to listen more to what your body is telling you. To use fat burners effectively, it helps to pay attention to these messages. For instance, if fat burners leave you jittery with a palpitating heart, you’re either taking too much or not taking them with the right nutritional accompaniment.
If you have any adverse reactions to fat burners, it’s vital you stop taking them immediately and consult with a medical professional before resuming. If you’re experiencing unexplained health problems and you’re not sure of their source, you should cease taking supplements while you narrow it down.
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