Your Comprehensive Guide To Weight Loss & Fat Stripping Supplements
If you’ve found your way on to this site, chances are, you’re looking for a fat burner supplement to help you lose weight, but you are having trouble cutting through the fat (forgive the pun).
Trying to sort the supplements that do jack-shit from the ones that will actually help you achieve your goals is a difficult task thanks to modern advertising and content marketing.
All fat burning supplements claim to be the best, but they obviously can’t all be the best.
Some of them will be incredibly effective, and some of them will do you more harm than good.
But how do you find out before you part with your hard earned cash?
This page should help you decide what you actually need from a fat stripping supplement, and what you don’t. Once you know that, you can begin weighing up which supplements represent good value for money according to YOUR needs and desires.
After reading this you should be able to tell which supplements will help get you ripped and lean while staying jacked, and which supplements won’t.
What Makes A Great Fat Burner Supplement?
A great fat burner should have a combination of properties and characteristics. To be truly great, it needs to be:
Completely natural, with no synthetic ingredients and no lab-made stimulants
Devoid of any banned substances, or substances that will look even remotely suspicious on a drugs test
Composed of only the most effective ingredients in sizable dosages
Good value for money
#1. We all want to take good care of our bodies. Professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts know more than anyone how important it is to only put substances into your body that will promote rather than hurt your health.
That’s why we would always recommend that people opt for supplements that are 100% natural. No synthetic chemicals, no man-made stimulants, and no strange additives.
#2. It’s also crucial for professional athletes and servicemen that they avoid supplements that can result in them failing a banned substances test.
You would be really surprised to learn that some widely used fat burners contain substances that would have you failing a pre-contest drugs test.
I have personally heard of this happening to guys who train in my gym; one was disqualified from a boxing match because the fat stripper he was using contained a substance that flags up on a banned substance test.
He was completely unaware, and was in no way attempting to gain an advantage. Worst thing is, the supplement didn’t even really do all that much.
For those of you who are serving in the armed forces (much respect), this can have some pretty bad, potentially career damaging consequences.
#3. It’s also crucial that a supplement contains only those ingredients that are proven to help people lose fat and retain muscle mass.
Too many supplements contain “filler” ingredients. These are usually cheap substances that don’t have many benefits other than helping to pad out an underpowered formula.
Importantly, these dosages should be set at a point where they are maximally effective but with minimal side effects. In the case of things like caffeine, more is not always better.
#4. Last but not least, it’s all well and good having all of the above, but nobody wants to pay $150 for a month’s worth of fat burners.
The best formula of the world will be of no use to use if we can’t afford to buy the stuff. The best fat burners cover everything listed above, but they should still work out at less than $60/month for whatever cycle you’re running (our recommendation for a steady cut is 4 months).
Fat Burner Ingredients – The Good & The Bad
The Fat Burners Digest gang have a huge amount of experience with cutting, dropping weight classes in a short space of time, and using sports supplements.
Between us, we have tried so many different diets, training protocols and supplements that we now instinctively know what works and what doesn’t. We can spot a good fat burner when we see one, and we can smell bull**it from a mile away.
We understand that getting this kind of knowledge takes time, effort, and money.
So, we’ve compiled a list of the best, and the worst, ingredients that you will commonly find in natural fat burners.
Not every ingredient is listed here; just the ones we think are worth mentioning and which we see coming up time and again.
By using this list as a rough guide, we hope you will be able to make better supplementation decisions, and ultimately make better progress. If you think we’ve missed out an important ingredient, just let us know in the comments section and as always we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Here is a list of the most effective, well proven, and safest ingredients that you should look for in a fat burner.
In the right combination, these ingredients will put your body in a prime position to burn through your body fat like never before.
We’ve used supplements containing these ingredients in the past, and we’ve gone from barrel-bellied guys with physiques like ageing powerlifters to being completely shredded in just a few months.
No weight loss supplement can be without some high quality caffeine.
Supplements should never be reliant on caffeine, but they need to contain some of this incredibly effective, safe, and cheap stimulant to help turbocharge your fat-loss progress.
Caffeine does a number of things to help you lose fat more efficiently.
In my opinion, the most important of these properties is its ability to keep you going during intense workouts while dieting.
We all know that caffeine keeps us alert and focused when we’re most fatigued.
It diminishes the perception of fatigue, which helps you stay driven even though your body is actually feeling the strain.
It also actually improves your performance in the gym by boosting your anaerobic capacity AND POWER OUTPUT.
This is invaluable to a lifter on a cut. Hitting the weights hard can be gruelling, even downright soul destroying when you’re on a deficit. Caffeine helps you power through that and still have great session after great session.
Caffeine also has some direct benefits for someone looking to cut body fat. Studies have found that caffeine consumption can significantly increase fat oxidation.
All in all, this is a pretty powerful weapon to have in your fat burning arsenal.
If possible, look out for products that contain caffeine anhydrous as opposed to simple caffeine. Caffeine anhydrous is just caffeine with all the water removed, so you’re getting much more of the good stuff for your money.
With caffeine anhydrous, I’d say that between 100-150mg is a good sized dose. This is enough to keep you pepped up, but not so much that you’ll actually “feel” stimulated.
Glucomannan is another ingredient that I would definitely include in a fat burning supplement if I was designing one from scratch.
I had no idea what Glucomannan was, even when I was taking it; all I knew was that I felt ridiculously full for how little I was eating.
I only learned a few weeks into taking this stuff (as part of a pre-blended supplement) that it was responsible for keeping me so full and satisfied all day.
Glucomannan is a dietary fibre obtained from the root of the Konjac plant.
The reason it is so special is because of what it does once it is in the stomach. Glucomannan basically turns into a thick gel once it is eaten. It expands in the stomach, which makes you feel much fuller than you actually are.
For big eaters like me, this is the most valuable thing a supplement can give me during a serious fat loss cycle.
My biggest problem when cutting has always been food cravings. I get very bad tempered when hungry, and I have a wicked sweet tooth. Couple that with a girlfriend who loves to bake, and you have a recipe for a disastrous diet.
Taking Glucomannan effectively got rid of my hunger cravings, helping me keep my diet totally on point.
Obviously, it’s important not to overdo it with this stuff. You don’t want to feel too full all the time; you need to be able to eat, and you don’t want to feel uncomfortable.
Look for 1-2g of Glucomannan to be safe.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Hold on, didn’t we already go over caffeine?
That’s right, but caffeine isn’t what we’re interested in when it comes to green coffee bean.
Green coffee beans are just coffee beans that haven’t been roasted. They simply are the untreated, naturally occurring form of coffee beans.
The fact that they haven’t been roasted means that they have some special properties not shared by their brown counterparts. The most significant of these is their chlorogenic acid content.
What the hell is chlorogenic acid and why should I care?
Chlorogenic acid is currently thought by many to be able to reduce the rate at which you absorb simple carbohydrates from food. However, I think it is more likely that chlorogenic acid simply inhibits the insulin response to consuming sugars.
So, chlorogenic acid may be able to inhibit the body’s call for storage when we consume simple carbohydrates.
Keeping insulin levels nice and steady will also help your body to properly manage growth hormone levels, which play a huge part in keeping you lean and trim.
In my personal opinion, the more green coffee bean in a fat burner, the better. Some products contain just a few mgs. I would look for at least 50mg, and ideally more. It looks to be a very effective ingredient, it’s completely natural, and seems to have good health promoting properties.
Cayenne pepper is a really simple but massively effective ingredient.
You’re actually probably already familiar with cayenne pepper’s fat burning mechanism; you just mightn’t know it yet.
Cayenne pepper is incredibly efficient at increasing thermogenesis, or bodily heat release.
I’m sure you’ve eaten something far too spicy for you and felt the pulsing chili heat wave, where your face begins to sweat and you suddenly wish you weren’t wearing so many layers. That’s thermogenesis.
The oil in cayenne peppers, capsaicin, is essentially just an irritant, and it makes bodily tissues feel hot when it comes into contact with them.
When we get this hot, our body goes into overdrive trying to keep us cool. And all that extra work uses up calories at a fairly sizable rate.
If you can elevate your body temperature all day long, then your body will have to be constantly working overtime to regulate your temperature. That means you’ll burn through your consumed calories at a faster rate, and begin lipolysis (using fat stores for energy) much sooner.
Regular doses of cayenne pepper can therefore help you raise your caloric requirements without you having to eat crazy spicy food at every meal.
Taking regular doses of cayenne pepper in capsule form also seems to be much easier on the gut than eating a lot of pepper with your food on a consistent basis.
However, cayenne pepper’s fat burning properties go beyond thermogenesis.
Clinical trials have actually found a direct link between cayenne pepper consumption and fat storage, or adipogenesis, to give it its proper name.
Pretty impressive stuff for a humble spice extract.
Green Tea Extract
People often roll their eyes when they hear “green tea”, but this is such a beast of a fat burner it’s difficult to really know where to begin.
Green tea helps you reduce your body fat percentage without hindering your muscle gains in a number of ways. I don’t think any of these are more important than the others; they all play a part.
One of its primary fat burning mechanisms is the delivery of EGCG; a type of catechin, which itself is a type of polyphenol.
Health enthusiasts will be well-versed in the supposed health benefits of green tea-derived catechins. They are thought to help with everything from serious metabolic diseases to general health and well-being.
Luckily for us, EGCG also seems to be effective at encouraging lipolysis.
In fact, let me make this as clear as possible: green tea catechins have been shown in numerous and independent clinical trials to be highly effective at increasing fat oxidation and at reducing existing fat mass.
Not only can EGCG seemingly increase the rate that you burn through fat, but it also seems to have a huge impact on overall weight loss and weight maintenance.
The most useful type of study for us to look at here is a meta-analysis.
If a large meta analysis finds a strong positive correlation, we’re probably on to something.
Even when taking green tea extract, I would advise everyone looking to lose some belly fat and get into shape to start drinking more green tea and less soft drinks.
The above ingredients all have a slew of scientific evidence showing that they work, that they are reliable, and that they are safe.
Unfortunately, plenty of fat burners on the market today use over-hyped, under-performing ingredients which don’t share such a substantial scientific pedigree.
There are numerous substances we see coming up time and again in fat burning supplements which are largely un-proven. Manufacturers make great claims for many of these substances, but in most cases there isn’t a shred of evidence that they can actually deliver on these claims.
Sure, there are plenty of fitness bloggers talking about how amazing these ingredients are; how they are the fitness industry’s “best kept secret”, and so on. But this is usually because they are paid to say that or because they are simply useful idiots for the supplement manufacturers in question.
In other cases, the manufacturers themselves believe wholeheartedly in the effectiveness of these ingredients. There are always studies which can be interpreted as showing a substance has certain properties. But that does not always mean that it will work for humans in the way it is being advertised.
Navigating your way through this mine field can be tricky. That’s why we’ve compiled this list.
Listed below are ingredients commonly found in modern fat burners which we think are more hype than substance. If a supplement relies mainly on these ingredients, it is probably best to do some extra research before buying.
Garcinia cambogia is one of the most hyped “weight loss” substances on the market today.
It isn’t difficult to find online articles about garcinia cambogia’s amazing fat burning properties.
According to the biggest proponents of GC’s efficacy as a weight loss aid, this extract works by controlling appetite. Supplementing with GC, so the argument goes, increases satiety, which reduces over-eating and food cravings.
In reality, there is more evidence suggesting that garcinia cambogia doesn’t work than there is suggesting it does work.
Take this meta-analysis for example.
This systematic review looked at 12 clinical trials involving over 700 participants. The researchers concluded:
“The evidence from RCTs suggests that Garcinia extracts/HCA generate weight loss on the short term. However, the magnitude of this effect is small, is no longer statistically significant when only rigorous RCTs are considered, and its clinical relevance seems questionable. Future trials should be more rigorous, longer in duration, and better reported.”
Another study, published in 2012, concluded that ” there is still little evidence to support the potential effectiveness and long-term benefits of G. cambogia extracts”.
Until we see some solid clinical trials, using humans as participants, which say otherwise, we have to go with the conclusions of the researchers in the above cited studies. Garcinia cambogia is largely un-proven; observed effects in trials are statistically insignificant.
Like Garcinia Cambogia, Synephrine as had a surge of interest in the last couple of years. This is no doubt the copy-cat effect; more manufacturers are including it in their formulas, so other manufacturers assume it must be a great ingredient and they include it in their next product too.
Also like Garcinia, there is no shortage of ardent Synephrine proponents. Just search for “synephrine and fat loss” and you’ll find a heap of amateur bodybuilding bloggers raving about Synephrine’s magical powers. Some will make clearly ludicrous claims about Synephrine, such as that it can burn 42g of fat in an hour (we’re being serious).
But is any of this backed up by science?
We’re sorry to say that the answer is no.
There aren’t many studies looking at Synephrine’s usefulness as a fat burner at all. Most of the claims made on its behalf rely on a comparison drawn between Synephrine and Ephedrine; an immensely powerful but highly unstable and dangerous metabolism booster. The problem is that Synephrine is nowhere near as strong as Ephedrine, and its action is not identical.
Studies looking at Synephrine rarely look at the substance alone. Many studies examining its efficacy as a fat burner have looked at it in combination with other compounds; in at least one case, synephrine has been found to be of minor importance compared to other compounds.
We did manage to find one study looking at Synephrine alone. Yet here, the researchers concluded that “larger and more rigorous clinical trials are necessary to draw adequate conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of C. aurantium and synephrine alkaloids for promoting weight loss.” Hardly ground-breaking stuff. This is certainly a far cry from the kind of claims made by many manufacturers.
Ideal Fat Burner Dosing
Fat burners really need to be dosed right for them to be truly effective.
The best formula in the world can be hurt with poor dosing.
Conversely, a solid formula can be made superb with intelligent dosing.
So, what do we look for when we look at a fat burner’s dosing split?
Well, while this is partly dependent on ingredient serving sizes, we want a supplement that is broken down evenly over the course of an entire day.
We should be looking for a supplement that will help keep us in a state of elevated calorie burning throughout the entire day, whether we’re at work, watching TV, or at the gym.
When you’re cutting, there is no time when you don’t want to be shedding pounds thanks to thermogenesis, and you’ll pretty much always want your appetite suppressed to some degree.
That amounts to 3-4 equal doses per day, making up one single serving.
Fat burners don’t work like weight gainer supplements or pre-workouts, where you really want one, maybe two big hits in your day.
Instead, fat burners are best when they are taken in smaller servings over the course of the 16-18 hours that you’re awake.
Fat Burner Supplement Guide – Summary
Choosing a fat burner supplement can be pretty daunting.
Many supplements are filled with ingredients that you’ve never heard of, and you won’t know how many of them work.
Our advice is to keep things simple. Go for a supplement that contains natural, proven ingredients, in decent doses, split up into 3-4 servings per day.
There’s no need to opt for synthetic stimulants, complicated formulas, or second-rate ingredients.
Make sure your chosen supplement contains the following ingredients:
- Green tea extract
- Green coffee bean
- Cayenne chilli
Just find a supplement with well-tested, proven ingredients, from a reputable manufacturer, and start losing fat today.