Fat Burners – Yes or No?

January 23rd, 2010 by

Do your clients use fat burners/thermos? If so, which do you recommend? Do you think we should cycle on and off of them so that our bodies don’t get too used to one product? Thanks!

Not as a rule, no. In fact, I never make the recommendation myself. Clients might use them though if they ask my opinion on it first though, but they broach that subject, not me.

Are you talking OTC stuff or ‘other’?

Most of the ‘fat burners’ on the market, do not burn fat – they just don’t. They might provide you with some energy, they might help you control your appetite, etc, but they’re not technically ‘thermogenic’ per se. Of course they also come with some heavy marketing. Remember this blog post? Fat Loss Supplements: The Most Outlandish Claim Ever.

OTC wise – your best bet is still ephedrine and caffeine. Good energy, good anorectic properties and it definitely helps counter the falling activity of the sympathetic nervous system that occurs with lowered calories and dieting. In that sense it can help maintain a better metabolic rate. Even here, the majority of the effect of EC is anorectic (appetite controL).

In terms of cycling, it’s actually the stimulatory effect you’ll adapt to (less kick over time), but according to at least one paper, with EC, the ‘thermogenic effect’ actually magnifies over time. So if you need the kick you get, cycling on and off is a good idea.

Actually, just being off stimulants in general is a good idea, so it’s not something I’d recommend using all the time

Personally, I think fat burners are VERY overrated and very overused by people trying to lose fat. Fat loss is about nutrition first and foremost. You can meet your goals without the use of any ‘fat burning’ supplement. As I said above, the primary benefit is going to be some energy and maybe some appetite control; in that context, I can see a benefit.

However, always make sure that you’re reading the product’s label and checking for any contraindications for use. AND follow the labels directions for use as well.