We’ve All Heard Of Female Fat Burners
But Does This Supplement Category Mean Anything?
In the course of scouring the market for products to review, we regularly come across fat burners which are sold as specifically for women.
It is worded in many different ways; “for her”, “female fat burner”, “female-friendly”, and so on.
However they are sold, these products are presented as a kind of feminized version of the other fat burners on the market today.
The message is clear: most fat burners on the market today can’t benefit women. They shouldn’t be used by women. They are either too extreme for women, or they will be counter productive for women.
But is this distinction real?
Is there really a difference between a female fat burner and just a regular fat burner beyond the packaging?
Is the difference a creation of marketing teams, or is there a genuine disparity between the needs of a man and a woman when it comes to accelerating fat loss?
In this article, we’re going to discuss our thoughts on female fat burners; why they exist, how they differ from other fat burners, and whether or not we think they deserve their own category.
We’ll discuss how we think the needs of men and women differ, and how they don’t.
In the end, we’ll outline how to go about choosing the right fat burner for you. We’ll talk about how to decide if you need a fat burner as a woman, and how to avoid being sold on marketing hype alone.
If you have any questions or criticisms, let us know in the comments section below; we always like to hear from our readers, good or bad!
Is There A Difference?
So first we need to discuss whether or not we think there is a real difference between female and male fat burners.
Of course, hen we say “male” fat burners, we really men those fat burners not specifically sold as “for women”. It is usually assumed that a fat burner is designed for men unless stated otherwise.
Is the distinction drawn between these categories justified?
Should there be a real difference between a female and male fat burner?
The answer to the first question is yes.
The answer to the second question is a resounding no.
In our opinion, there is absoluely no difference between what a woman should look for in a fat burner and what a man should look for in a fat burner.
If a manufacturer brings out a high quality fat burner able to deliver great benefits for men, then any female variant should be absolutely identical.
That’s because the ingredients used by the best fat loss aids today have just as much efficacy in a female’s body as a male’s.
The differences between male and female body’s are largely hormonal.
So unless you’re talking about hormonal manipulation, perhaps via AAS use, then there isn’t much point changing anything.
Let’s use a concrete example: green coffee bean extract.
We believe that GCBE works primarily by blunting the insulin spike you experience after either breaking a fast, or after ingesting carbohydrates/fast digesting protein.
It has been firmly established that the ideal dose of GCBE to use is around 100mg per day (assuming extract is good quality).
There is no reason for women to use a different ingredient than GCBE; it works just as well for them as it does for men.
Women have insulin too, and it does the same thing to them that it does to men!
There is no reason for women to consume less than 100mg per day.
We could go through every common ingredient in high quality fat burning supplements today, but we think you get the picture now.
So that brings us onto a very intriguing question: why does this supplement category exist? Is it a cynical marketing ploy? Or is there a good reason behind it?
Why Female Fat Burners Exist
The simple answer to this question is: so manufacturers can get more customers.
In many ways manufacturers capitalize on the different physique goals of men and women to differentiate the products.
Male fat burners, or just every other fat burner more accurately, create an image of people getting giant, ripped muscles, intense vascularity, and clearly visible muscle striations from using said product.
Now, we know that fat burners only give you these results if you combine them with a good amount of muscle mass, a good diet, and a very disciplined training regime (along with other factors).
We also know that serious muscle striation and vascularity isn’t going to happen unless you have relatively high testosterone levels.
So it isn’t that the product is specifically designed to amplify muscle striations. It is just that this is what lower body fat levels leads to in men with a reasonably developed physique.
The products aren’t wrong to promise these benefits. If their main audience is men, then they aren’t lying!
But these kind of results aren’t what women want.
They read the label, and they immediately think it can’t be for them.
They don’t want freaky muscle striations.
They don’t want to be vascular and grainy.
They don’t want any of that.
So they look for a product that promises them exactly what they are looking for. This is the rational thing to do, and manufacturers are absolutely right to market their products as delivering those benefits if they really can do so.
This is why female fat burners are sold as helping with “muscle tone”, reducing “thigh fat”, and helping with a “slim waist”.
They don’t mention vascularity.
They don’t mention striation, or muscles looking “grainy”.
They talk about waistline.
They talk about thigh fat, and muscle tone.
That’s because these are the areas most affected by lower body fat levels in women.
When a woman with relatively little muscle mass loses body fat, she doesn’t all of a sudden look like Branch Warren.
She probably just has a smaller waistline, less thigh fat, and her muscles might look a little more toned.
They probably won’t look all knotted and striated like a guy’s simply because she won’t have as much muscle mass to begin with.
It has nothing to do with the product itself.
It has to do with how men and women look at lower levels of body fat.
Does that mean that manufacturers are pulling a fast one?
Well why do these products exist then?
Quite simply, female fat burners exist to make women feel more comfortable using these highly specialized bodybuilding supplements.
As mentioned above, the way most fat burners are sold can be extremely off-putting to women.
But turning down the talk of “shredded abs” and “grainy looking shoulders” wouldn’t necessarily bring in more women customers – it would probably just lose you a few male customers.
It is much easier instead to simply offer the same product but with different stated benefits.
This isn’t a lie, or even a cheap marketing trick necessarily.
Men and women can expect different results from the same product.
Instead of explaining this to them (which would cost a lot of money and take years across a whole market), it’s cheaper and simpler to state what a product can do for them separately.
Generally speaking, it is very difficult to educate people about how the human body works, how to properly create the physique you want, and so on.
It would take an awful lot of time and effort to teach people that there isn’t a difference between “toning” and “reducing body fat levels while maintaining muscular size”.
It is much eaiser to just do right by them while making them feel comfortable with what you’re doing.
The best analogy we can think of is that of training.
Many (terrible) personal trainers will hear that their female clients want to “tone up”, and instead of employing their (admittedly limited) knowledge, they indulge their clients in their preconceived ideas of what “toning” is.
Que 30 sets of 50 cable kickbacks, 100 rep sets doing bodyweight squats, and 300 crunches.
It would be much more productive to get these female clients to do some good solid sets of heavy leg presses, lunges, and back squats.
But that would mean doing the same workout as the men in the gym!
Isn’t it easier to create a “toning” circuit that includes all of these productive movements without explaining that they’re actually doing the same workout as the guys in the gym?
Throw in some variations, add a few reps, and all of a sudden your clients are comfortable doing the most productive workout for them.
This is the same benefit provided by “female fat burners”.
A good fat burner will work well for both men and women.
So a good female fat burner is not a scam, it is just marketed so as to make women comfortable using it.
A “female fat burner” that just doses things too low, however, is a cynical product indeed.
Let’s look at some examples of good female fat burners and terrible ones.
How To Spot A Bad Female Fat Burner
With so many fat burners described as “for women”, it might seem a little hard to tell the good from the bad.
If there are potentially cynical reasons for them marketing their products like this, the temptation is to ignore them all.
But that would very much be to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
As explained above, there are very good reasons why a manufacturer would market a product as a “fat burner for women”.
It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a weak version of their regular fat burner.
It just means they’re trying to make the product seem approachable to women who might otherwise be scared off by all the hyperbole (“GET MASSIVE MUSCLES FREAKY VEINS YEAH BUDDY!” – you know the script).
So how do we tell the good from the bad?
Exactly the same way we always do: by looking at the formula.
If you look at any of our female fat burner reviews, you’ll notice that we start by explainaing the lack of real difference between male and female products, but we don’t then rubbish the product on that point alone.
Instead we examine it how we always do.
If we see ingredients that have been backed by science, at the right doses, with a sensible dosing schedule, then we know we’re on to a winner.
If we see bogus, over-hyped substances and lots of stimulants, then we know to keep looking.
A perfect example of what we would expect to see can be found in our current number 1 rated fat burner: Instant Knockout.
Instant Knockout has 2 merchant sites: one for women and one for men.
The product that these sites sell are exactly the same.
The manufacturer doesn’t skimp on some doses because women can’t handle it.
The doses have been chosen because the science tells them to dose the ingredients that way, so why would they change?
Just look at how these guys explain it on their “for women” section:
That’s exactly what we want to see from the leading manufacturer.
Not crippled formulas in pink packaging.
The same great product but marketed specifically at women.
This is sold as a “female fat burner”, but unlike many products, it doesn’t just take an existing “hardcore supp” and make it weak. It has burst onto the scene with a formula that puts most other products to shame – even the ones supposedly only for “serious male bodybuilders.
This is sold as a “female fat burner”, but unlike many products, it doesn’t just take an existing “hardcore supp” and make it weak.
It has burst onto the scene with a formula that puts most other products to shame – even the ones supposedly only for “serious male bodybuilders.
So what is an example of what not to look for?
Well, the first thing to check is if the manufacturer offers a non-specifically female fat burner, and if they do, whether or not they have just cut many of the doses in half.
Another thing to look out for are the same pitfalls that make for a terrible fat burner regardless of who it is sold to. The main pitfall here being a proprietary blend stuffed full of trash.
Unfortunately, we’ve reviewed several products that commit this cardinal sin: for just one example, take a look at our NLA Shred Her review.
One thing that is not really a flaw but which does bother us is when manufacturers do use the same formula, but they change the packaging so it is pink with italic writing.
Yes, this does happen.
Yes, it makes our skin crawl.
Take a look at our SHREDZ Burner For Women review.
You’ll see that the manufacturer has opted to keep the formula the same as the “for men” version – that’s great. If they think the formula works, don’t change it.
But instead of just marketing the same product in a slightly different way to teach women about what it can do, they decided to give it a makeover.
Pink packaging and some gentle, pretty white text across the bottle.
It still hurts us to look at it.
We’re sure plenty of women find this kind of patronising, but unfortunately this kind of marketing still works.
As we said, this isn’t a bad point about the product at all.
We don’t even blame the manufacturer.
It just irritates us, and we’re sure we’re not alone there.
Conclusion – What To Take From All This!
We’ve laid out a few distinct arguments in the course of this article.
Instead of going through them again, we’ll just outline our key positions:
- There is no fundamental difference between a good female and a good male fat burner
- A high quality, effective fat burner will work as well for women as it does for men
- Different requirements between the sexes only come about when we’re talking hormone manipulation
- Manufacturers have good reason to market their products as for women
- They do not have good reason to offer different formulas to the two markets; what works best for one works best for the other
We then outlined a few examples of things to look out for when choosing a fat burner. If you’re a woman looking for help with your next cut, we strongly advise you to read this material.
We provided some exampls of female fat burners that do not offer value, as well as one that merely grinds our gears!
We also provided one example of a manufacturer doing it right.
However, that is just our humble opinion. Please take some time to look through some of the other fat burners on this site and see what we mean about quality knowing no sex.