There are many men who either want to lose weight or want to bring out the best physique possible. Today, one great option is the use of fat burners. Unfortunately, the market of fat burners is inundated with many products and it is hard to decipher what is real and what is a scam. The first thing to understand about fat burners is that they are not a substitute for exercise. You can eat all the fat burners you want, but if you just sit on the couch, you are going to look like a potato. Fat burners work when you at the same time do some type of physical activity. The fat burner gives the extra push for the body to burn down the resistant fat molecules. It does not replace exercise.
The presently available fat burners works in several ways including 1) increasing thermogenesis 2) inhibiting enzymes that are responsible for fat stores 3) inducing enzymes that can burn off fat 4) altering levels of hormones so that fat can be broken down and 5) decreasing the amount of water retention. In all cases, the fat burners burn more energy than you consume, and over time you lose weight.
But with so many products on the market how does one know which ones to buy? Well here are some tips:
- The first thing of importance before you buy any fat burner is to read the label. You have to understand that burning fat is the easy part but stopping the hunger pangs is another matter. So you have to look for a fat burner which will also decrease your appetite. This will reduce your food cravings.
- Secondly you want a product that is natural. There are far too many synthetic compounds on the market that are not a safe and have many adverse reactions.
- Thirdly, you need to buy a fat burner which will not require you to severely restrict your calorie intake. Most healthy adults need between 1700-2200 calories to survive. Anything less than 1200 calories cannot be sustained for more than a few weeks. Plus, you want a use a fat burner which does not place restrictions on the food you eat. For example, if you are only supposed to eat starch and carbohydrates all day, this can become monotonous and most people will give up on the fat burner; you also want to be able to enjoy your food.
- Fourth, you want a fat burner that is safe even if you take it for a prolonged time.
- Finally you want to use a fat burner that will complement exercise; any product that says you can lose weight without exercise is nothing more than a scam.
So where do you start?
1. Caffeine: The most highly sought out fat burner today is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. It acts by burning off calories (thermogenesis). In addition, caffeine prevents water retention, improves exercise performance and builds up endurance. People who take caffeine usually feel energetic and are always on the go- which further helps burn off more fat. However, it is important to start with a low dose of caffeine and then gradually work upwards. Too high a dose of caffeine and you will develop side effects like diarrhea, palpitations and tremor. Caffeine is available in many formulations including beverages, energy drinks, chocolate bars, powder and capsules. If you exercise and take caffeine at the same time, you will start to see the fat loss within a few weeks. The starting dose of caffeine should be between 100-250 mg per day.
- Raspberry ketones are fruits that belong to the berry family. Over the years it was noticed that people who ate these fruits on a regular basis never gained weight despite eating high calorie diets. Later, animal work revealed that raspberry ketones were prolific burners of fat. They act by breaking down fat molecules. There are countless reports of athletes who have used raspberry ketones and lost weight. The dose of raspberry ketones based on one study is 200-400 mg per day. Raspberry ketone are quite safe but the rare individual may develop increased sweating and a fast heart rate.
- Synephrine is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in some plants. It is found in very high concentrations in citrus fruits -especially the sweet and bitter oranges. For many years, extracts of synephrine have been combined with caffeine to promote weight loss. Synephrine is known to breakdown fat very effectively. Today one can buy bitter orange supplements in many health food stores for weight loss. Many formulas of bitter orange also come in combination with other weight loss agents like caffeine. The one great feature about synephrine is that it can also suppress the appetite. It is also available in juices and as a powder. The dose of synephrine for weight loss is 20 mg daily. It is important not to take a dose of more than 50 mg per day as this can cause adverse effects like high blood pressure and a fast heart rate.
- Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit widely grown in the Orient. It has been used as a flavoring agent in foods for many centuries. It contains hydroxycut which is thought to help people reduce weight. Unfortunately research studies on Garcinia are difficult to interpret and the results are mixed. A few human studies suggest that Garcinia can cause mild weight loss. Why it does not cause weight loss in everyone remains a mystery but some experts feel that the dose may not be therapeutic. The recommended dose of Garcinia varies from 500-1,500 mg per day. At high doses it may cause nausea and stomach upset.
- Green Tea Extracts are derived from the leaves of the green tea. These leaves are known to contain catechin, which is reputed to possess health benefits. When taken regularly green tea extracts can cause mild weight loss and reduce cravings for food. It appears that these extracts promote breakdown of fat by stimulation of catecholamine release from nerve endings. Today many weight loss formulas contain varying amounts of green tea extracts and caffeine. The dose of green tea extracts for weight loss is about 500 mg per day. While one can drink green tea, the concentration of catechin in the beverage may not be high enough to promote weight loss.
- Green Coffee Extract is a supplement derived from green coffee beans. The extracts are known to contain chlorogenic acid, which is claimed to be a thermogenic agent. A few studies show that doses of 400-800 mg per day can help burn away fat.
- Both Naringenin and Hesperidin are flavonoids found in oranges, grapefruit and tomatoes. Research shows that the presence of adiponectin in these fruits can break down fat molecules and mobilize fat cells in tissues. In addition, these agents can also improve blood flow, decrease inflammation and increase the metabolic rate. The dose of hesperidin is 500 mg per day and the dose of naringenin is between 120-250 mg per day.
- Carnitine is one of the most well known fat burners. Unlike other agents, it actually stimulates the breakdown of fat and also produces energy. So any individual who also wants a boost in performance should take Carnitine. Carnitine speeds up the rate of metabolism of glycogen which is required for short bursts of physical activity. However it’s weight loss reducing ability is mild. The dose of Carnitine varies from 750-1000 mg two to three times day. It is available as a tablet, powder and a solution.
- Forskolin is a natural occurring oriental herb that has been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine to treat a range of ailments. It also has the ability to act as a thermogenic agent to burn off calories. Orientals who use Forskolin regularly are always on the lean side. Forskolin is relatively safe when taken at low doses. It works right away but is rarely used alone to promote weight loss. The dose is not known so best start with the lowest dose possible. High doses may cause a cough, tremor and anxiety.
- Yohimbine is a very old alkaloid that occurs naturally in plants. It was observed nearly half a century ago that African natives who chewed on this plant never felt hunger pangs, yet had extreme endurance and never gained weight. Since then yohimbine extracts have been sold as fat burners. The alkaloid does work in reducing weight and easing hunger pangs but high disease can raise the blood pressure. An extra benefit of yohimbine is that it prolongs erections. The dose of yohimbine is between 10-30 mg per day.
Like everything else, it is important to start slow and gradually titrate the dose of male fat burners. Of course, anyone who takes extremely high levels of any substance will develop adverse effects. The other thing is that it is important not to combine the male fat burners with other similar agents as this can lead to interactions and increase the risks of side effects. Further, it is important to avoid the use of illicit drugs (eg cocaine, marijuana) with male fat burners. Many athletes have suffered adverse effects when they used multiple products at the same time.
In conclusion, male fat burners do work but you also have to be realistic. There is no male fat burner that will make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight but if you remain dedicated then there is no reason why you cannot also have a great physique. The onus is also on the user to use the agents with a common sense approach. Male fat burners are relatively safe when you use them alone at low doses and gradually titrate the dose. Finally, remember no male fat burner is going work if you just sit on the couch watching TV; you must perform some type of exercise at the same time to get the maximum benefit of the product. If you are unsure what dose to start, speak to someone who uses these products. If you have any type of health problem, speak to your healthcare provider first before using the fat burner.