What Is A Fat Burner?
Fat burners (or thermogenics) are dietary supplements that contain herbal extracts and stimulants that use the process of thermogenesis to encourage weight loss.
Thermogenesis is where the core body temperature is increased, in turn giving a boost to the metabolic rate, helping the body to burn off unwanted fat and calories. Fat burners can help to kick-start this process even if you are not exercising which make them a very attractive option for people with a more sedentary lifestyle.
The Chinese herb ephedra (Ephedrine) used to be a common component in many natural fat burners but due to its harmful and unpleasant side effects was withdrawn from general sale. Today it is only available in cases of extreme obesity, under prescription and strict supervision by a doctor.
How Can Fat Burners (thermogenics) Help Me Lose Weight?
Fat burners work in a couple of ways; some can help to burn calories as heat or energy and others can help to promote the release of adrenaline. These raise your metabolism and body temperature to aid in weight loss.
Some fat burner supplements available on the market have the added benefit of suppressing appetite, helping to lower your overall calorie intake even further.
They are generally taken between 1-3 times per day, though this depends on the kind of fat burner you’re taking. Natural fat burners within reason can be taken as long as you need, prescription only varieties are generally only recommended for use on a short-term basis.
Who Shouldn’t Take Fat Burners?
The majority of natural fat burners are well tolerated by most, but if you suffer from anxiety it is best to consult your doctor first, as they raise the level of the stress hormone Cortisol.
If you have a medical condition relating to your heart, or another serious medical condition you should also consult your doctor before taking fat burner supplements. Women who are nursing or pregnant should not take them.
People sensitive to caffeine may want to choose carefully as a main ingredient in many fat burners is caffeine due to its natural stimulant effect. There are low caffeine options available though.
Natural Fat Burning Foods
Fibre rich foods such as Whole grains, brown rice and oatmeal are harder for the body to process so the body burns twice as many calories breaking it down.
Hot peppers (Capsaicin) raise the body’s temperature boosting metabolism and fat burning. Lean meats such as chicken breast are high in protein and protein rich food burns at least 30% of calories during digestion.
These foods are all certainly worthwhile to add to your diet if you’re trying to burn fat from your body.
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References & External links
- Thermogenic means tending to produce heat, and the term is commonly applied to drugs which increase heat through metabolic stimulation or to microorganisms which create heat within organic waste. In bodybuilding, athletes wishing to lose fat purportedly use thermogenics to increase their basal metabolic rate, thereby increasing their energy expenditure. Caffeine and ephedrine are commonly used for this purpose. 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) is a very dangerous thermogenic drug used for fat loss; it will give a dose-dependant increase in body temperature, to the point where it can induce death by hyperthermia. It works as a mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation uncoupler, disrupting the mitochondrial electron transport chain. This stops the mitochondria from producing adenosine triphosphate, releasing energy as heat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermogenics.
- Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in organisms. It occurs in all warm-blooded animals, and also in a few species of thermogenic plants such as the Eastern skunk cabbage, the Voodoo lily, and the giant water lilies of the genus Victoria. The lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium americanum disperses its seeds explosively through thermogenesis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermogenesis.
- Clapham, J. C., and J. R. S. Arch. “Thermogenic and metabolic antiobesity drugs: rationale and opportunities.” Diabetes, obesity and metabolism 9.3 (2007): 259-275. “Antiobesity drugs that target peripheral metabolism may avoid some of the problems that have been encountered with centrally acting anorectic drugs. Moreover, if they cause weight loss by increasing fat oxidation, they not only address a cause of obesity but also should promote loss of fat rather than lean tissue and improve insulin sensitivity. Weight loss may be slow but more sustained than with anorectic drugs, and thermogenesis may be insufficient to cause any discomfort.“
- Tseng, Yu-Hua, Aaron M. Cypess, and C. Ronald Kahn. “Cellular bioenergetics as a target for obesity therapy.” Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 9.6 (2010): 465-482. “Obesity develops when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. Although most current obesity therapies are focused on reducing calorific intake, recent data suggest that increasing cellular energy expenditure (bioenergetics) may be an attractive alternative approach. This is especially true for adaptive thermogenesis — the physiological process whereby energy is dissipated in mitochondria of brown fat and skeletal muscle in the form of heat in response to external stimuli.“
- Gosselin, Chantal, and François Haman. “Effects of green tea extracts on non-shivering thermogenesis during mild cold exposure in young men.” British Journal of Nutrition 110.02 (2013): 282-288.
- Hastings, Carl W., and David J. Barnes. “Weight loss composition for burning and reducing synthesis of fats.” U.S. Patent No. 5,626,849. 6 May 1997.
- Dente, Gerard. “Dietary supplement containing a thermogenic substance and an adrenal support substance.” U.S. Patent No. 6,277,396. 21 Aug. 2001.
- Jeukendrup, A. E., and R. Randell. “Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism.” Obesity reviews 12.10 (2011): 841-851. “The term ‘fat burner’ is used to describe nutrition supplements that are claimed to acutely increase fat metabolism or energy expenditure, impair fat absorption, increase weight loss, increase fat oxidation during exercise, or somehow cause long-term adaptations that promote fat metabolism. Often, these supplements contain a number of ingredients, each with its own proposed mechanism of action and it is often claimed that the combination of these substances will have additive effects. The list of supplements that are claimed to increase or improve fat metabolism is long; the most popular supplements include caffeine, carnitine, green tea, conjugated linoleic acid, forskolin, chromium, kelp and fucoxanthin. In this review the evidence for some of these supplements is briefly summarized. Based on the available literature, caffeine and green tea have data to back up its fat metabolism-enhancing properties.“
- Belza, Anita, E. Frandsen, and Jens Kondrup. “Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects.” International journal of obesity 31.1 (2007): 121-130. “The bioactive supplement increased 4-h thermogenesis by 90 kJ more than placebo, and the effect was maintained after 8 weeks. … These bioactive components may support weight maintenance after a hypocaloric diet.“
- Levine, James A., Norman L. Eberhardt, and Michael D. Jensen. “Role of nonexercise activity thermogenesis in resistance to fat gain in humans.” Science 283.5399 (1999): 212-214. “These results suggest that as humans overeat, activation of NEAT dissipates excess energy to preserve leanness and that failure to activate NEAT may result in ready fat gain.“
- Astrup, Arne, et al. “Pharmacology of thermogenic drugs.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 55.1 (1992): 246S-248S.
- Astrup, A., and S. Toubro. “Thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular responses to ephedrine and caffeine in man.” International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders: journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity 17 (1993): S41-3.
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