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Contents of this Article

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Recommend a Supplement

In order to help you find a good product, we’ve researched & compared the best fat burners for men and women on the market right now.

10 Best Fat Burners Compared

These are the 10 best fat burners as picked by our editorial team!

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1. Instant Knockout

Instant Knockout Fat Burner

From what we’ve seen Instant Knockout seems to be at the top of just about every list of fat burner recommendations out there.

The fat burning ingredients found in Instant Knockout can help support your weight loss goals if you eat right and exercise. And, if for some reason the product doesn’t work for you, you can get a full refund with the 90-day money-back guarantee.

Highlights

  • Made with 10 natural fat burning ingredients
  • Contains no artificial sweeteners
  • Includes B vitamins and zinc to support energy
  • No Proprietary Blends
  • Endorsed by MMA Fighters
  • 90 day guarantee – On selected offers
  • SHIPS WORLDWIDE*

Package Deals

  • 1 month supply – 1 Box
  • 2 month supply – 2 Boxes + FREE Delivery (USA & UK)
  • 3 month supply – 3 Boxes + 1 FREE Box + FREE Delivery (Worldwide) + Free T-Shirt + 90 DAY GUARANTEE

What’s in It

Each serving size of four capsules contains:

  • 5 mg of Vitamin B6 
  • 10 mcg of Vitamin B12 
  • 10 mg of Zinc
  • 100 mcg of chromium picolinate: which helps increase metabolism and fat burning potential (i).
  • 500 mg of green tea extract (leaf): which helps increase thermogenesis (i).
  • 100 mg of cayenne powder (fruit): which helps in regulating insulin sensitivity (i).
  • 100 mg of green coffee bean extract: which can stop sugar cravings and help lower cholesterol levels (i).
  • 1800 mg of glucomannan (konjac root): – a natural and powerful appetite suppressant that helps reduce food cravings (i).
  • 500 mg of caffeine anhydrous
  • 10 mg of black pepper extract: which revs up metabolism, helps with digestion and supports your body’s natural fat  burning potential (i).

Bottom Line

A powerful fat burning supplement that supports many parts of the fat burning process, from digestion to insulin regulation to thermogenesis to help the body burn fat more effectively. Plus, the ingredients are natural and backed by numerous scientific studies and research as to their efficiency. It’s fairly easy to take, and even the bottle looks bad-ass! With a variety of buying options, worldwide shipping and a good money-back guarantee, it’s a solid choice if you’re in the market for a fat burner.

Full Breakdown: Instant Knockout Review

Where to Get It
instant---knockout---company---logo

2. Transparent Labs Fat Burner

Transparent Labs Physiqueseries Fat Burner

From all of our research TLabs Fat Burner been ranked very highly and received well by users. It is marketed to be the most “Transparent” fat burner formula on the market, as it comes from the rapidly growing product suite from Transparent Labs, who pride themselves for their “open formulas”. When combined with proper nutrition and exercise it can help you reach some of your weight loss goals. Also, just in case you’re intolerant to stimulants, Transparent Labs also offers an awesome stimulant-free fat burner as well!

Highlights

  • 100% Formula Transparency: Transparent Labs doesn’t believe in proprietary blends and provides individual ingredient dosages all the way down to the “other ingredients” section.
  • Zero Artificial Sweeteners, Food Dyes, or Harmful Additives: Fat Burner is one of the cleanest formulas we’ve ever seen and contains no fillers, whatsoever.
  • Scientific Research Provided: On their website, Transparent Labs references every single scientific study that they used to influence Fat Burner’s premium formula.
  • Ships Worldwide!*

Package Deals

  • 1-Month Supply
  • 2-Month Supply: Save $9
  • 3-Month Supply: Save $28

What’s In It

Each 2 capsule serving contains:

  • 500 mg of Forslean (forskolin) which helps the other ingredients in this product to aid in fat loss (i).
  • 400 mg of Green Tea (50% EGCG) which provides energy (i).
  • 300 mg of 5-HTP – An amino acid produced naturally by the body. Used to create serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are associated with weight gain and other health problems (i).
  • 300 mg of L-Tyrosine – Included for its cognitive benefits. On their website Transparent Labs says it was included to reduce stress while dieting.
  • 240 mg of L-Theanine The purpose of L-Theanine in this supplement is to “soften the blow”, so to speak, of the effects of caffeine; “take the edge off”, if you will. This is because it promotes antianxiety (anxiolytic) effects without sedation or drowsiness.
  • 240 MG of Caffeine
  • 60 mg While willow bark extract – Can potentially act as an anti-inflammatory for hard-training athletes (i).
  • 100 mg of Cayenne pepper extract – Boosts metabolism and supports thermogenesis so that the body burns fat more efficiently (i).
  • 50 mg of Synephrine HCl – May help increase the rate at which fat is burned by the body (i).

Bottom Line

Overall, this unique combination of amino acids to support lean muscle, along with natural metabolism boosters green tea, cayenne and caffeine packs a one-two punch that’s designed to help your weight loss goals. A caffeine-free variety is also available.

Full Breakdown: TL Fat Burner Review

Where to Get It
transparent-labs-vendor-logo

3. Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen

Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen

Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen is the latest product in the popular Hydroxycut line. It’s one of the most popular fat burners ever. Combining several potent ingredients to target the various aspects of fat loss, Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen can help provide the edge you need to succeed in your fitness goals.

Highlights

  • Affordable
  • Convenient
  • Enhances thermogenesis
  • Can provide more energy for your day
  • Reliable brand with a history of providing a variety of well-known weight loss products

What’s In It

Each 2 capsule serving contains:

  • 400 mg of green coffee blend which potentially supports healthy metabolism and reduces the absorption of fat, but researchers have not concluded this to be the case in humans; at least not yet (i).
  • 290 mg of caffeine
  • 100 mg of coleus extract (forskolin) to help the body burn fat more efficiently (i).
  • 75 mg of blue skullcap extract
  • 40 mg of yohimbe extract – an African plant that helps increase energy and promote fat loss (i).
  • 25 mg of ophiopogonis extract
  • 20 mg of guayusa which a South American herb that is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory (i).

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense fat burner, Hydroxycut is a reliable option that strips out the fluff and fillers and delivers core fat-fighting ingredients. The company, Muscletech, has been around a long time in the supplement industry so you’re not buying from some unknown startup.

Where to Get It

4. Jym Shred by Jym Stoppani

Jym Shred By Jym Stoppani

Shred JYM is a powerful fat burner formulated by the legendary Jym Stoppani, a bodybuilder and PhD of exercise physiology. This product combines six different ingredients that work together to augment and synergistically benefit each other and in turn support natural weight loss. Everything Shred JYM contains is clearly listed on the label, and it does not use proprietary blends or any sort of fillers.

Highlights

  • No proprietary blends
  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Good reviews

What’s In It

Each 6 capsule serving contains:

  • 1.5 g of Acetyl-L-Caritine HCI – helps retain lean mass while dieting so that the weight you lose is primarily fat, not muscle (i).
  • 500 mg of L-Tyrosine
  • 500 mg of Green Tea Leaf Extract – a potent antioxidant and metabolism booster (i).
  • 200 mg of Caffeine
  • 50 mg of cayenne pepper fruit extract – a natural fat-burner that increases metabolism (i).
  • 20 mg of synephrine – improves fat metabolism after exercise (i).

Bottom Line

Although it doesn’t have as many ingredients as other formulas, the ones they do use are nevertheless a solid combination with many of them (like acetyl-l-carnitine) having numerous scientific studies to back up their efficacy. Overall a great starter product if you’re new to fat burners and are looking for a reliable option that’s reasonably priced.

Full Breakdown: Shred Jym Review

Where to Get It

5. Performance Lab Burn

Performance Lab Burn

Performance Lab Burn is ideal for those who are sensitive to some of the ingredients of other products. We like the approach they take on their website where they clearly explain what every ingredient does and have a convenient FAQ section .

Highlights

  • Gluten-free
  • Caffeine-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan-friendly
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Features plant-based prebiotic Nutricaps
  • The company currently has a promotion to buy a three months supply and get one free

What’s In It

Each 2 Nutricap serving contains:

  • 60 mcg of chromium
  • 175 mg of  calcium
  • 250 mg of Forslean (forskolin) which helps the body burn fat more efficiently (i).
  • 1000 mg of HMB (beta hydroxy beta methylbutyric acid) which helps reduce muscle damage caused by exercise, allowing you to retain more lean mass while dieting (i).
  • 50 mg of Cayenne pepper extract which helps increase metabolism (i).
  • 2.5 mg of BioPerine black pepper extract which supports muscle growth and recovery as it helps to enhance the absorption of the other ingredients in this product. (i).

Bottom Line

An excellent choice for those who may be sensitive to caffeine or caffeine-like ingredients in other supplements. Performance Lab’s Burn is clean, natural and easy to take — requiring just two capsules. Its biggest drawback is the cost, although you can save money if you buy in bulk.

Full Breakdown: Performance Lab Burn Review

Where to Get It
performance-lab-logo

6. Cellucor Super HD

Cellucor Super Hd

Super HD is a great product containing some of the best weight loss ingredients that work well by targeting the various aspects that are important to burning off fat. With only 2 capsules needed per day (compared to 4-6+ with other products), Super HD is also very convenient. Lastly, the backing of a long established company like Cellucor makes this product one of our top recommendations.

Highlights

  • From the makers of the popular C4 pre-workout
  • Affordable
  • 30 – Day money back guarantee

What’s in It

Each 1 capsule serving contains:

  • 193 mg of SuperHD Thermogenic and Sensory Blend – which contains N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Amla fruit extract, dandelion root extract, yohimbe bark extract, cayenne pepper extract, Huperzine A, and Rauwolfia root bark extract
  • 160 mg of caffeine anhydrous
  • 150 mg of Greenselect Green Tea Phytosome Blend (green tea leaf extract & Phospholipids)

Bottom Line

Cellucor is a dependable brand with a long history of offering cutting-edge weight loss and muscle support supplements. Íf you’re looking for a fat burner that includes extra ingredients for greater focus and endurance, this is a reliable choice that can give you the best of both worlds in a small, economical serving size. The downside to this product is that it does contain proprietary blends.

Full Breakdown: Cellucor Super HD Review

Where to Get It

7. Lean Mode by EVLution Nutrition

Evlution Nutrition Lean Mode

Lean Mode is a stim-free fat burner from EVLution Nutrition. Because it’s caffeine-free, Lean Mode is great for those looking to avoid stimulants.

Highlights

  • Caffeine free
  • Stimulant free
  • Affordable
  • Comes from an award-winning company

What’s In It

Each 3 capsule serving contains:

  • 500 mg of Garcinia Cambogia Extract which may help suppress appetite and improve weight loss (i).
  • 500 mg of green coffee bean extract which supports cell health and metabolism (i).
  • 500 mg of Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which may help with weight loss and improve cardiovascular function (i).
  • 500 mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine which increases stamina and endurance while improving muscle growth (i).
  • 250 mg of green tea leaf which boosts metabolism (i).

Bottom Line

The synergistic combination of ingredients and high quality manufacturing processes has earned this fat burner a spot on our top list.

Where to Get It

8. Universal Nutrition Animal Cuts

Universal Nutrition Animal Cuts

A unique and innovative approach to weight loss, Universal Nutrition’s Animal Cuts combines a variety of benefits in a selection of pills that are designed to provide a host of benefits.

Highlights

  • Seasoned brand that is highly respected in the bodybuilding world
  • You can remove the stimulant by removing one of the pills from the serving
  • Great price for the amount of servings (42 packs)

What’s In It

Each 1 pack serving contains:

  • 750 mg of “Stimulant Complex” which includes caffeine, kola nut seed, guarana seed, yerba mate leaf and raspberry extract
  • 750 mg of “Metabolic Complex” which contains green tea leaf extract, oolong tea leaf extract, black tea leaf extract, coffee bean extract, and white tea leaf extract
  • 350 mg of “Thyroid Complex” which includes L-Tyrosine, olive leaf extract, and salvia officinalis leaf.
  • 800 mg of “Water Shedding Complex” which includes dandelion root, nettle root, burdock root, buchu leaf, juniper berry fruit and celery seed
  • 500 mg of “Nootropic Complex” which contains gotu kola, choline, and bacopa monniera leaf
  • 300 mg of “Cortisol Inhibiting Complex” which includes ashwagandha root extract, panax ginseng root, phosphatidylserine and magnolia bark extract
  • 300 mg of “CCK Boosting Complex” which includes gymnema sylvestre leaf, apple fruit pectin and cinnamon bark
  • 500 mg of “Bioavailability Complex” which includes ginger root, cayenne fruit, grapefruit peel, quercetin, naringin and piper nigrum extract

Bottom Line

Animal Cuts has a ton of ingredients that work synergistically to help you burn fat, lose excess water weight and even heighten energy and focus while inhibiting cortisol (stress hormone) levels and ensuring that more of the things your body needs are available to use from the supplement itself. With that being said, the fact that all of these items are contained in different “complexes” means you can’t be certain how much of any one ingredient is contained within a pack. It’s better to know precisely how much of each ingredient you’re getting. Still, Universal Nutrition is an excellent company and this product has been around for a long time.

Where to Get It

9. Nutrex Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate

Nutrex Lipo 6 Black Ultra Concentrate

Nutrex Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate is a so-called “Intelligent Fat Destroyer” that targets various aspects of fat loss.

Highlights

  • Convenient with only 1 capsule twice a day
  • Fast acting liquid capsules
  • Great Price

What’s in It

Each 1 Black-Cap serving contains:

One serving contains (one capsule):

  • 295 mg of “Ultra concentrated fat loss support complex” which includes caffeine, theobromine (a component of caffeine), Advantra Z Citrus Aurantium (50% Synephrine), yohimbine HCl and Rauwolscine

Bottom Line

The drawback to this product is the proprietary blend which don’t show how much of each ingredient is contained within the capsule.

Full Breakdown: Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate Review

Where to Get It

10. Old School Labs Vintage Burn

Old School Labs Vintage Burn

Sometimes, the old-school way is the best way, and this vintage-themed fat burning supplement certainly does things old-school.

Highlights

  • Military & Student discount available (when you buy from their website)
  • Manufactured in the U.S.A.

What’s In It

Each 2 capsule serving contains:

  • 330 mg of green tea leaf extract – a powerful antioxidant that helps boost metabolism (i).
  • 270 mg of green coffee bean extract – rich in antioxidants and may help increase metabolism (i).
  • 200 mg of raspberry ketones – which help promote a healthy metabolism and potentially help fat burning (i, ii).
  • 160 mg of olive leaf extract which may help the body burn fat more efficiently. Also works as a potent anti-inflammatory (i).
  • 150 mg of caffeine
  • 130 mg of  bacopa leaf extract
  • 100 mg of garcinia fruit extract which may support a healthy metabolism (i).
  • 100 mg of chrysin
  • 60 mg of forskolin which helps the other ingredients in this product to aid in fat loss (i).

Bottom Line

A great all-purpose fat burner with a focus on the metabolic, mental and energy needs of the body. Although it has several heavy-hitting ingredients like green tea and green coffee bean, there are also a few ingredients that are still being scientifically reviewed for their effectiveness as a weight loss aid. Overall a solid choice among fat  burners from a well-known and reliable brand.

Where to Get It

How to Pick a Good Fat Burner

Fat Burners are a unique class of supplements that tout their abilities to do crazy things like burning fat faster, blocking carbs, and decreasing appetite for long periods of time, but are any of these claims actually true? Can you really trust that these fantasies can become your reality, just by popping a few pills every day?

Well, like with most things, it’s good to be skeptical. Now, this is not to say that fat burner supplements are “bad” in any way, it’s just that you have to know what to look for, as well as what to avoid.

Unfortunately, some companies deceive those who are looking to lose fat; using absurd claims to sell their products like “melts fat off!” with pictures of fitness models who are crazy shredded, claiming that all it took was adding a fat burner supplement to their routine in order to achieve amazing results. Well let me assure you, it’s not like that.

But don’t get disappointed! A good fat burner supplement will help to accelerate your fat loss progress and assist your efforts, but I must emphasize, it will NOT do the work for you! A fat burner will not replace a bad diet and exercise plan. But as long as you work with it, it will work with you.

So set realistic expectations for both yourself and the company you plan on buying a fat burner supplement from. Avoid crazy, outrageous claims from companies.

Don’t expect to lose crazy amounts of body fat in a week or two. You know, common sense stuff.  And with the help of this guide, you’ll be able to determine if the particular fat burner supplement that you’re looking at is worth your investment.

Value

Does it contain ingredients that have been proven to work towards your specific fitness goals? How about the dosages? Are they sufficient?

Also, how does the price of the fat burner supplement you’re looking at compare to others on the market? If it lies in the extremely low range, it’s most likely under-dosed or contains ingredients that have not been proven to work. If it’s very expensive, it better well have all the effective ingredients and dosages you’ll find here in this guide, or else it’s definitely not worth your money.

Quantity

How many pills/capsules come in a container? Or if you’re taking the powdered form, how many servings are there? Also, be sure to be on the lookout for how many pills/capsules are in a serving. They’re often quite high, sometimes five or more per serving. This can really make a difference in the value of the product.

Product Form

Most fat burners come in either capsule or pill form. Occasionally you’ll see ones that come in either a flavored or unflavored powder. Which form you choose to buy it in is completely up to you, as it makes no difference in the effects it has on you. It’s all a matter of personal preference.

Does it Include Stimulants?

Some fat burning supplements include caffeine to help promote alertness and focus. In general, a typical cup of coffee has around 95 mg of caffeine, so keep the caffeine amount in mind when you’re measuring the serving size of your fat burning supplement.

Has Any Trusted Third Party Testing Been Conducted On It? Does it Adhere to FDA Standards?

You want to be confident that whatever you’re putting into your body is made up of quality ingredients. Look for supplements that are made in facilities which adhere to cGMPs or Current Good Manufacturing Processes. This means that they’ve been certified by the FDA to follow or exceed the correct procedures to ensure safety and quality. There are many other third party seals and certifications to consider, including certifying that a mix is free from banned substances, that it’s gluten-free or vegan-friendly, and more.

What Claims Does the Company Make?

Do they promise you the moon? Do they tell you that the product will burn off 30 lbs in a week? Stay far away from companies that make exorbitant and unrealistic claims. Weight loss is a long journey and you should not expect immediate and “magic-like” results.

User Feedback

Have your friends heard of the product? Have you looked it up online? Often times, looking at product reviews that aren’t on the manufacturers own website (i.e. Amazon, Bodybuilding.com) will give you a pretty good idea of the quality of the product.

Brand Reputation

Have you heard of other supplements from this brand before? Maybe you’ve tried them yourself with a different product of theirs? Give them a look up on TrustPilot or Better Business Bureau to ensure that the company you plan on doing business with deserves your money and hasn’t been doing anything sketchy.

Fat Burner Ingredient Breakdown

Here, we breakdown the most common ingredients found in fat burner supplements, with the most common on top, and the less common one towards the bottom.

Note: This applies to both the “Stimulant” and “Non-Stimulant” lists as separate entities.

Stimulant

  • Caffeine: everybody’s favorite pick-me-up! Used for a variety of purposes such as increasing endurance (1) and fat oxidation (2), while lowering reaction time (3) and rate of perceived exertion (4). Very effective at increasing wakefulness and subjective levels of energy (5).
    • Dose: 4-6mg/kg of body weight
  • Green Tea Extract: can either be consumed in its tea form or in its encapsulated form. Has been shown to have significant effects on weight loss, particularly in those who don’t habitually consume caffeine (6).
    • Dose: 400-500 mg of EGCG per day (most green tea extract supplements in isolation are ~50% EGCG, so it would be about 1,000 mg of green tea extract per day).
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract: preliminary evidence shows that this has potential, however the studies available have small sample sizes. More studies are needed to make a more confident conclusion (7).
    • Dose: Not yet determined
  • Yohimbine: a commonly used aphrodisiac (8) that has been shown to significantly decrease fat mass (9). However, it does tend to cause anxiety in a significant amount of people when compared to caffeine (10).
    • Dose: 0.2mg/kg of body weight
  • Synephrine (“Bitter Orange”): increases metabolic rate without typical stimulant side effects like increased blood pressure and heart rate (11).
    • Dose: 10-20 mg, 3x/day OR 50 mg once per day

Non-Stimulant

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): a type of fatty acid that has the ability to increase fat oxidation (12) and help retain lean mass when in a fat loss phase (13).
    • Dose: 3,200-6,400mg daily, taken with meals.
  • L-Carnitine: an amino acid that has been proven to be effective for fat loss in older populations, however, the same cannot be said for younger individuals (14).
    • Dose: 500-2,000 mg per day
  • Capsaicin: a molecule found in hot peppers that increases body temperature and metabolic rate with minimal side effects in comparison to stimulants (15). Also seems to reduce appetite (16).
    • Dose: 150 mg prior to exercise
  • White Kidney Bean Extract: a carbohydrate blocker that reduces carbohydrate absorption after eating. Has been shown in humans to reduce the digestion of starches (17).
    • Dose: 445mg of phaseolus vulgaris before a high-carbohydrate containing meal.
  • Forskolin (Coleus forskohlii): an herb that looks promising in both men and women for fat loss. However, more evidence is needed as their isn’t too much research for it specifically regarding fat loss (18) (19).
    • Dose: 250 mg of 10% forskolin, twice per day
  • L-Theanine: an ingredient found in green tea. It’s usually paired with caffeine in order to take the “edge” off of the stimulant effects (20). However, it does not promote fat loss in its own right.
    • Dose: 100-200 mg when used in conjunction with caffeine
  • Beta-Alanine: an amino acid that has the ability to reduce body fat by increasing the amount of volume that a person is able to perform during a workout session (21).
    • Dose: 2-5 grams per day
  • Garcinia Cambogia: a fruit that is often used to increase the feeling of fullness (satiety) during a meal. It does appear to suppress appetite, but the effect is very mild (22).
    • Dose: 500 mg before meals
  • Raspberry Ketones: a compound that is used in the flavoring and processing of several foods. Its effectiveness has been shown in vitro (in “test tube experiments”), but no human data exists for any fat loss benefits (23).
    • Dose: No established dose
  • 5-HTP: not very commonly seen in fat burners, but deserves an honorable mention. This is the precursor to serotonin, which is known to play a significant role in mood and well-being (24). It appears to mildly reduce appetite in a dose-dependent manner, meaning that the appetite reduction linearly increases with dosage (25). However, caution is to be taken to avoid serotonin syndrome if taking serotonin-altering drugs such as antidepressants (SSRIs), as this can be fatal. Please consult your physician before use.
    • Dose: 300-500 mg per day

Proposed Benefits of Fat Burners

The most common claims you’ll see on fat burner supplements are the following:

  • Faster Fat Loss
  • Increased Endurance
  • Decreased Appetite

But are any of these actually true, well let’s take a look:

Faster Fat Loss

This is a claim that you can feel good about trusting for the most part. If the fat burner you’re taking includes a stimulant, then you’re already losing fat faster than somebody who isn’t taking a stimulant, as they are proven to increase metabolic rate (2)(9).Even non-stimulant ingredients will make this happen as well, such as capsaicin from red peppers (15).

Increased Endurance

The ingredients most well-known for increasing endurance that are often included in fat burners are caffeine (1) and beta-alanine (26). Other than that, a pre-workout supplement is going to be a better option for you if this is your primary goal, but a fat-burner is a solid choice for an endurance supplement as well.

Decreased Appetite

Fat burner supplements are very good at this. Most stimulants are known for appetite reduction (27), as well as non-stimulant ingredients such as capsaicin (28) and garcinia cambogia (22).

Types of Fat Burners

Thermogenics

These fat burner supplements are primarily stimulant-based, using ingredients such as caffeine (1), green tea extract (6), and yohimbine (29) to speed up your metabolism and raise your core body temperature. This makes you burn calories at a faster rate than you normally would. We have a list of the best thermogenic fat burners as well.

Appetite Suppressants

This type of fat burner supplement induces fat loss not by a combination of stimulants and herbal ingredients that make you feel fuller for longer. This includes capsaicin (28),  garcinia cambogia (22), and caffeine (s).

Carbohydrate Blockers

The only ingredient with sufficient evidence behind it in this category is white kidney bean extract (sometimes known as “Phase 2”). White kidney bean extract is an amylase inhibitor. Amylase is the enzyme in your body that digests starches, so some carbohydrates pass through your body undigested, therefore, some of the calories are not absorbed into the small intestine (17).

Non-Stimulant (“Non-Stim”)

These are primarily for people that cannot tolerate stimulants that well; suffering from stimulant-related side effects at relatively low doses, such as anxiety, rapid heart beat, and panic attacks. These are more so a combination of carbohydrate blockers and appetite suppressants, as they don’t often carry a thermogenic effect except if it contains capsaicin (30).

Men’s Fat Burners vs Women’s Fat Burners

There’s really not much of a difference between these two types of products except for how they’re marketed and a slight modification to their ingredient profile. This modification is often just a reduction in the included ingredients that would be seen in the “men’s” or “normal” fat burner supplement. There are no sex-specific ingredients in fat burners. We do have a list of the best fat burners for women if you’re interested.

How to Get the Most out of Fat Burner & Properly Use One

Fat burner supplements are on the more expensive side of the sports supplement market, so you want to make sure you get the most out of your money. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your fat burner so that you get your money’s worth:

Don’t start using a fat burner until you’ve already made some progress with your current fat-loss plan. Continue making adjustments to your diet and exercise regime before resorting to a fat burner supplement. Think of it as a tool in your toolbox. It’s nice to have, but once you use your last reserves, you’ve got nothing left to give.

So don’t throw it into the mix from the get go. Wait until you really hit a plateau, and I mean really hit a plateau. A fat burner supplement will not outwork a bad diet and exercise plan. However, it will certainly reward a great one; accelerating your results even further!

The time at which a fat burner supplement is implemented into a fat-loss plan is different for everyone, but as a very general rule of thumb, I’d say at least 6-8 weeks into a diet before you use one.

Remember to also cycle your fat burner. Don’t go more than ~4 weeks using a fat-burner at one time; your body gets desensitized to particular ingredients the longer you keep taking it. This means that your body doesn’t respond the same way it did when you first started, meaning that you’ll have to take more of it in order to achieve the same effect. This is a slippery slope you don’t want to have to try to climb out of. This is most commonly seen in the stimulant ingredients like caffeine (31).

Fat Burner FAQ

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about fat burners.

What are Fat Burners?

What are Fat Burners?

Fat burners are dietary supplements that claim to accelerate your fat loss goals! They do this by using various ingredients together into a formula; ranging from stimulants like caffeine (2) to food-based extracts such as red pepper (15). Combined with a proper diet and exercise plan, fat burners are purported to support your fat loss goals!

How do Fat burners work?

How do Fat burners work?

Fat burners work by using a blend of ingredients to enhance what’s called your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). This refers to how many calories your body burns throughout the day.

What do Fat Burners do in your body?

What do Fat Burners do in your body?

Fat burners work through a variety of different mechanisms due to the fact that each manufacturer of fat burner supplements puts different ingredients into their product, as well as different amounts. You will see many of these mechanisms described throughout the course of this article when talking about individual ingredients that are commonly included in fat burners.

What are thermogenic fat burners?

What are thermogenic fat burners?

This refers to the concept of “thermogenesis”, which basically means an increase in body temperature. These fat burners include a blend of ingredients that have been shown to raise core body temperature. Again, there are a wide variety of ingredients that can accomplish this.

One example is the stimulant yohimbine, which has been proven quite effective as a fat burner (9). Another example is the non-stimulant spice capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite (28). However, stimulants are the primary ingredient responsible for the thermogenic effect of the rise in core body temperature.

Are there any natural fat burning foods?

Are there any natural fat burning foods?

Most foods don’t actually help you burn fat directly, because at the end of the day, a calorie is a calorie. However, don’t lose hope! There are foods out there that can boost your TDEE slightly, which include:

  • Green Tea: this burns fat due to the combination of caffeine as well as antioxidants called “catechins” (32)
  • Coffee: the high-caffeine content relative to tea helps to burn substantial amounts of body fat compared to those who don’t consume coffee on a regular basis (2)
  • Red Pepper: these types of spicy peppers are high in capsaicin, which has proven to both reduce appetite (28) and increase body temperature (30), which in turn, increases the speed of your metabolism!

There are also other foods that help you burn fat through indirect means, in other words, they contribute to fat loss in a way that doesn’t involve a direct effect on your metabolic rate. Some examples of these foods are:

  • Fatty Fish: these types of fish (i.e. salmon) are high in omega-3s and have been shown to reduce cortisol, commonly known as the “stress hormone”, which contributes significantly to the storage of body fat (33).
  • Coconut Oil: this is perhaps the richest source of a fat called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), which has been shown to promote feelings of fullness (34).
  • High-Protein Food: any high-protein food source, such as eggs, poultry, and Greek yogurt helps you feel fuller for longer. It also increases your TDEE, as protein takes more calories to digest then carbs or fats (35). The combination of these two effects makes a high-protein diet a must when trying to reach your fat-loss goals.
Do Fat Burners actually work?

Do Fat Burners actually work?

This is highly dependent on which one you buy! Unfortunately, some companies use ineffective ingredients and/or dosages in their products, while still charging a high price tag. But you won’t have to worry about that, as the ones we’ll recommend for you have been chosen for a reason; because they contain ingredients that have actually been proven to work.

Are Fat Burners a waste of money?

Are Fat Burners a waste of money?

As mentioned previously, they’re only a waste of money if you buy the wrong one. Make sure they have ingredients that are proven to work. Not only that, dosages are important as well. Some companies include ingredients that are proven to work inside of their fat burners but in the incorrect dosage amount. This is an unfortunate tactic that some companies use in order to scam customers.

Do I need to take Fat Burners?

Do I need to take Fat Burners?

Remember, there’s no supplement that anybody “needs” to take. They’re called “supplements” for a reason; they “supplement” or assist your current efforts towards your fitness goals. But if you’re looking to accelerate your progress towards your goals and it fits your budget, then adding a fat burner to the mix is certainly something that can help.

Do Fat Burners target belly fat?

Do Fat Burners target belly fat?

Unfortunately, there’s no reliable way to target a specific area of fat on your body, whether it be the belly, love handles, butt, you name it. There have been numerous scams claiming to be able to do this, but none of them have been proven to work.

The body has a genetic predisposition to lose body fat in particular areas. This is for a multitude of complex, genetic reasons that are outside the scope of this article.

However, one of the most prominent reasons that it’s so difficult to lose belly fat is because the abdominal region has a very dense concentration of what’s called beta-adrenergic receptors compared to other parts of the body. They are more prone to stimulate fat loss as opposed to their counterpart the alpha-adrenergic receptor. Unfortunately, the beta-subtype is more difficult to activate compared to the alpha-subtype.

Supplements such as yohimbine have been shown to inhibit the alpha-subunit, which allows more beta-subunits to be activated (29). But whether or not this is proven to burn more belly fat directly has yet to be seen.

What are the realistic expectations of a fat burner?

What are the realistic expectations of a fat burner?

You shouldn’t expect too much from a fat burner. Set your expectations relatively low, because if I had to give you a value as to how much a fat burner would contribute to your fat loss progress, I would say ~2%. This is because it cannot do the hard work for you. You still must diet and exercise properly and consistently in order to see progress. That must be put first before you consider supplementing with a fat burner.

Are Fat Burners a steroid?

Are Fat Burners a steroid?

No, there are no steroids included in fat burners. And steroids are derivatives of testosterone, not fat-burning compounds, so they wouldn’t help you much anyway even if they were legal.

Are Fat Burners banned in sports?

Are Fat Burners banned in sports?

As of the publication of this article, there are no commonly used ingredients in fat burner supplements that would be considered banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, care is to be taken when choosing a fat burner if you compete in a tested organization, as a minority of them have been reported to have illegal ingredients in them, such as Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) (36).

Who can benefit from taking a Fat Burner?

Who can benefit from taking a Fat Burner?

Anybody looking to lose fat can benefit from taking a fat burner. As long as you can fit this supplement into your budget and you find that one works personally for you, then there’s really no reason not to take one!

Just make sure it doesn’t cause you harm or make you feel any adverse effects. This isn’t very likely, especially with non-stimulant ingredients, but more so with stimulants. For example, caffeine and yohimbine have both been reported to cause anxiety in people, with dosages widely varying between individuals (37)(38). So please be careful when selecting a fat burner and always begin on the lower end of the dosage range.

Should I take Fat Burners if I don’t work out?

Should I take Fat Burners if I don’t work out?

As long as your diet is in check, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with doing this, but I don’t recommend it. Taking a fat burner isn’t an appropriate substitute for an exercise regimen; it’s supposed to be added to it along with a proper diet plan.

Should I take Fat Burners if I don’t diet properly?

Should I take Fat Burners if I don’t diet properly?

No, absolutely not. Taking a fat burner supplement is no excuse not to diet properly. If you do so, you’ll just be wasting both your money and time. Taking a fat burner, along with proper diet and exercise, is supposed to make the fat-burning process more efficient. So why would you forego the most important part of the fat loss process?

Should I take a Fat Burner if I run daily?

Should I take a Fat Burner if I run daily?

There shouldn’t be any issues with doing this. One thing you might have to think about is the stress this may put on your heart and blood pressure. Running increases your heart rate and blood pressure for a prolonged period of time. Because of this, get to know how the ingredients in a fat burner affect you; particularly the stimulant ingredients, as they are notorious for increasing heart rate and blood pressure (39). If you have any underlying concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your physician before taking a fat burner supplement.

What can make Fat Burners less effective?

What can make Fat Burners less effective?

Some people find that having a relatively full stomach prior to taking a fat burner blunts the stimulatory effects of fat burners. While there’s no scientific evidence to prove that the fat-burning effect is negatively affected, some people may feel less stimulated than if they were to take this on an empty or near-empty stomach.

There’s also preliminary evidence to suggest that taking creatine alongside caffeine counteracts the benefits of both ingredients. However, this hasn’t been proven definitively (40).

Can I take Fat Burner ingredients individually?

Can I take Fat Burner ingredients individually?

Yes, you certainly can. In fact, in some instances, I’d actually recommend getting single ingredients over a fat burner supplement with a blend of various ingredients, as some people react more favorably to certain ingredients compared to others. Once you get to know how certain ingredients affect you; that is when it’s best to use individual ingredients. However, it’s probably best to start out with a blend of ingredients found in a fat burner supplement in order to avoid over-complicating things.

If you really want to use individual ingredients on their own, then I highly recommend checking out our ingredients section of this guide! (above)

Can I take Fat Burners on an empty stomach?

Can I take Fat Burners on an empty stomach?

Taking a fat burner on an empty stomach should be just fine. You may feel more of the stimulatory effects of ingredients such as caffeine and yohimbine; potentially increasing the chance of anxiety and panic attacks if you’re prone to those conditions. There’s also no evidence to prove that taking a fat burner with or without food will prove to be disadvantageous.

The only ingredient that should be taken on an empty stomach is yohimbine, as it has been shown to not work nearly as effectively for fat burning when taken with food (10). This is because yohimbine is sensitive to the hormone insulin, which is released whenever we eat food.

When is the best time to take a Fat Burner?

When is the best time to take a Fat Burner?

Most people tend to take fat burners in the morning right after waking up. This is especially important if they contain considerable amounts of stimulants in them. You might get insomnia if you take stimulants too late in the day. Some people also decide to take them before a workout, as they feel it gives them a considerable boost.

However, there’s no “best” time to take a fat burner in the grand scheme of things. The morning usually works best for most people because of the stimulant content, along with the fact that the morning is the time when they take all their other supplements, such as their multivitamin. But this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.

Should I take Fat Burners on days I don’t work out?

Should I take Fat Burners on days I don’t work out?

It’s fine to take fat burners on the days that you don’t work out. But if you feel the stimulants contained within them tend to keep you up at night since you didn’t exercise that day, I would avoid it on that particular day. It’s really up to you, as it won’t make that much of a difference if you don’t take your fat burner supplement a few days per week.

Is it okay to take Fat Burners before bed?

Is it okay to take Fat Burners before bed?

Unless it’s a “non-stim” version, I would avoid it. There’s really no added benefit to taking it at this time anyway.

How quickly do Fat Burners work?

How quickly do Fat Burners work?

This is entirely dependent on what your specific fat loss goals are, your diet and exercise regimen, and the specific fat burner that you’re taking. Add on the fact that everybody responds differently to particular ingredients, you unfortunately have a resounding “it depends” to this question.

However, one thing I can tell you is that if it contains any sort of stimulant in it, you’ll most likely see results faster compared to taking a “non-stim” version. This is because stimulants are often more potent than non-stimulant herbal ingredients. However, some people aren’t as tolerant to these ingredients than others, so some people find that the “non-stim” fat burners are the only ones they can take.

How often should I take a Fat Burner?

How often should I take a Fat Burner? 

Take it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Often, multiple doses throughout the day are recommended in order to keep stable levels of the ingredients in your bloodstream throughout the day, theoretically improving their efficiency. But there is no data that exists to support that claim.

For how long should I take Fat Burners?

For how long should I take Fat Burners?

I wouldn’t take it for more than say 4 weeks or so. Now of course, this is simply a personal recommendation of mine based on the past experience myself and my former personal training clients. There is no specific study or set of data that supports any particular “cycle length” for taking a fat burner.

But I would say that after about 4 weeks is when you’d start to really notice tolerance from the stimulants contained in the supplement. On the other hand, the herbal extracts and other non-stimulatory ingredients will work just as well during week 4 then they did on the first day you started taking the supplement.

So the short answer is I would say don’t exceed 4 weeks so that you can give your body a break from the stimulants and reset, or at least reduce, your tolerance to the stimulants.

Should I take a break from Fat Burners?

Should I take a break from Fat Burners?

Again, this would be smart, but not completely necessary. There are no studies to support any sort of cycling protocol for fat burner compounds, but ingredients such as caffeine begin to show tolerance rather quickly; as fast as 3-5 days (31).

So yes, if your fat burner contains caffeine, then try not to use it for over 4 weeks straight. If it is a “non-stim” variation of a fat burner, there is no need to take a break from it.

Can you take too much of a Fat Burner?

Can you take too much of a Fat Burner?

Yes, you must be very careful with fat burner supplements. While they may be able to help support your fat loss goals, taking too much at once can cause huge issues. This is especially true if the one you take has a high stimulant content.

Stimulant overdose can result in anxiety, panic attacks, irregular heart rhythms, and in rare cases, death (41). These supplements are powerful things, so please be careful.

Are Fat Burners safe to take?

Are Fat Burners safe to take?

Most people tolerate fat burners pretty well. However, there are a minority of individuals who cannot seem to tolerate them quite as well; suffering from undesirable side effects (described in the following question). If you can’t decide if a fat burner supplement is right for you, please consult your physician before purchasing and taking a fat burner supplement.

What are the side effects of Fat Burners?

What are the side effects of Fat Burners?

Side effects of a fat burner can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fast heart rate (Tachycardia)
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion (42)
What is the best way to take a fat burner?

What is the best way to take a fat burner?

You should start taking a fat burner when you really need it most. In other words, when your progress starts to stall and you’ve modified your diet and exercise plan as best you can, then this is the perfect time to add in a fat burner. This is because if you add it in too fast towards the beginning of your fat loss phase, then you’ll have no more tools left in your toolbox once the plateau inevitably arrives.

Do Fat Burners cause damage to the kidneys and liver or any other organ?

Do Fat Burners cause damage to the kidneys and liver or any other organ?

There are no currently known ingredients in fat burners that are known to cause damage to specific organs such as these. The stimulants in the product are the biggest factor of concern, as these are the ingredients where people’s reactions to them are the most variable. Excess stimulant consumption can cause rapid heart beat and high blood pressure, which could be damaging to your heart if consumed over a prolonged period of time.

Do Fat Burners affect sperm?

Do Fat Burners affect sperm?

If the fat burner supplement you’re taking happens to contain the amino acid L-Citrulline, then yes! At ~3 grams per day, it appears it affects the quality of sperm, with inconclusive effects as to how it affects the motility of sperm (43).

Do Fat Burners cause acne?

Do Fat Burners cause acne?

Currently, there is no evidence to support that fat burners cause acne.

Do Fat Burners cause hair loss (alopecia)?

Do Fat Burners cause hair loss (alopecia)?

No, fat burners do not cause any sort of hair loss.

Will Fat Burners cause testicle shrinkage?

Will Fat Burners cause testicle shrinkage?

No, as fat burners are not legally allowed to contain any anabolic steroid or designer drug that would cause testicular atrophy (shrinkage).

Can I take a Fat Burner with other supplements?

Can I take a Fat Burner with other supplements?

That’s highly dependent on what the other supplements you plan on taking are, as well as the specific fat burner supplement that you have. But to keep it simple, just don’t go crazy and combine stimulants like caffeine and yohimbine with your fat burner that already contains ingredients such as these. That is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Other than that, you should be fine pairing other commonly used supplements with your fat burner, like a whey protein powder, creatine, and a multivitamin. However, if you still have doubts, please contact either your physician or pharmacist for any potential interactions that may be a cause of concern for you.

What are the best supplements to take a fat burner with?

What are the best supplements to take a fat burner with?

The best supplements to take a fat burner with are the ones that will best support your stress levels, as taking fat burners may increase cortisol (the “stress hormone”) in your body, making you feel more run down faster over time. Along with increasing blood pressure and heart rate, this is not optimal to do to your body over time. However, while you are taking a fat burner, the following supplements may help reduce the effects of feeling run down:

  • Omega-3 Fish oil: reduces inflammation (33)
  • Magnesium: decreased blood pressure (44)
  • Vitamin D: lowers blood pressure (45)
  • Zinc: has the potential to regulate hunger (46)

As a note, these supplements were included in this list as they are not often found in fat burner supplements, although the occasional fat burner supplement on the market may contain one or more of these ingredients. Make sure to look on the Supplement Facts label in order to avoid taking unnecessary amounts of a particular ingredient.

Should I take Fat Burners if my other supplements have the same ingredients?

Should I take Fat Burners if my other supplements have the same ingredients?

This depends on if they have many of the same ingredients in common. If they do, that’s a red flag. However, if one or both of your supplements has a lower dosage of an ingredient that you want more of, there’s nothing wrong with taking both supplements. Again, just make sure to monitor your stimulant intake, as taking more than you’re used to is dangerous.

Do Fat Burners increase testosterone?

Do Fat Burners increase testosterone?

Depending on the ingredients included, most fat burner supplements don’t contain ingredients that have been shown to increase testosterone, such as zinc (47) and vitamin D (48). If that is one of your goals, however, it would be smart to supplement with it on the side as its own ingredient in isolation.

Do Fat Burners help you gain muscle?

Do Fat Burners help you gain muscle?

Fat burners were made to help you lose fat. Building muscle and burning fat simultaneously is really only a feat that is able to be accomplished either by novice trainees or by those using performance-enhancing drugs. So unfortunately, fat burners cannot help you to build muscle on their own.

Do Fat Burners give you more endurance?

Do Fat Burners give you more endurance?

Absolutely! This is something fat burner supplements are most well-known for. Ingredients often included in fat burner supplements such as beta-alanine (49) and caffeine (1) have great amounts of support illustrating their endurance-enhancing capabilities in aerobic athletes who must endure (no pun intended) very long duration exercise bouts.

Do Fat Burners give you energy?

Do Fat Burners give you energy?

If you’re talking about endurance, please see the previous FAQ. If you’re talking about a sense of stimulation specifically, then the answer depends on if your fat burner supplement happens to contain stimulants, and if so, what the dose of the stimulant(s) is/are. The higher the amount of stimulants, the more energy you’ll often get. However, this is extremely variable among individuals. Taking a certain amount of stimulant may be overwhelming to one, but practically nothing to another.

Also, the non-stimulant ingredients often don’t give people “rushes” of energy or wakefulness. So please check the Supplement Facts label of your fat burner supplement to see what ingredients it contains, specifically the stimulant ingredients.

Can Fat Burners make you stronger?

Can Fat Burners make you stronger?

I wish I could give you straight answers here, but with practically every question in science, I have to give the boring “it depends” answer. Of course, we’re talking about it depending on the ingredients you have in your fat burner supplement. There are a couple of ingredients often included in fat burner supplements that have been correlated with strength in some way, such as:

  • Caffeine: has been shown to directly increase power output (50)
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): can help to retain your lean mass while in a fat-loss phase, which may help you to also keep more strength when attempting to lose fat as well (13).

Recap

I think we can all agree that losing weight can sometimes be one of the hardest things to do, especially if you’re a grown man with a busy lifestyle.

Sometimes you simply can’t find the time needed to go through all the necessary steps needed to start shedding pounds fast.

The main aspects of staying fit are maintaining your diet and ensuring you get enough exercise. As for diet, you can read all about the official dietary guidelines to get a better idea of how to keep your diet on track.

But seriously, how do you find the time to meal prep, get to the gym, workout for an hour or two, shower, drive home and still have enough energy for the rest of your responsibilities?

Luckily, there are products that exist that are designed to give men an extra boost in their weight loss journey.

Fat burners sometimes get a bad rap because of extravagant claims by shady companies. But not all fat burning products are the same, and with proper nutrition and exercise they can definitely aid you in your goals. So keep that in mind before purchasing any of the above products.


ⓘ Any specific supplement products & brands featured on this website are not necessarily endorsed by Zachary.

Stock Photos from Maridav / Shutterstock

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