Fat burners are supplements that aid in weight loss by reducing or eliminating fat from the body. How they work varies with each product and the active ingredients it contains. More importantly, because something is natural does not mean that it is healthy. In addition, fat burners made with "FDA-approved" ingredients does not mean that the FDA has approved the product itself.
What Makes it Healthy?
Fat burners are considered "healthy" if they achieve weight loss by reducing the amount of fat absorption by the body and/or by eliminating fat of out of the body. These fat burners raise metabolism, which then increases the production of muscle proteins and causes the body to use consumed fat instead of storing it. Meanwhile, the most optimal weight loss plan when using a fat burner is to combine it with a good diet and exercise.
"Healthy" fat burners usually contain the following key ingredients: L-Carnitine, Lipotropics, Choline, Inositol, Betaine, Methionine and Chromium Picolinate. These ingredients, when used in combination, transport fat out of the body and help increase muscle.
L-Carnitine is found in the skeletal muscles and heart and its primary role is to transform fatty acids into energy that can be used by muscles. It also reduces LDL or the bad cholesterol and helps controls hypoglycemia, a key feature of diabetes. Not only is L-Carnitine essential for a healthy body but an L-Carnitine deficiency can lead to the impairment of heart tissues and fatigue during strenuous physical activities. In addition, athletes use L-Carnitine to increase endurance for longer workouts.
Lipotropics aid in the increase of the liver's production of lecithin, which makes cholesterol soluble and decreases the amount that goes into the bloodstream.
Methionine, Choline and Inositol are all fat and cholesterol reducers. Methionine works by decreasing liver fat, while Choline emulsifies LDL so that it does not stick to the body's arterial walls. Additionally, Inositol helps in the redistribution of fat throughout the body.
Betaine deactivates harmful substances in the body such as homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine increase the risk of heart disease.
A popular ingredient in fat burners, Chromium Picolinate is a natural mineral found in food, which is not consumed enough by the majority of Americans. Chromium Picolinate can decrease fat absorption from an individual's food intake, increase metabolism, elevate HDL or the good cholesterol and lower LDL when used in combination with Inositol. Chromium Picolinate also has the ability to burn fat and enhance muscle production without exercise or a special diet.
To be considered a fat burner, a food must eliminate or reduce fat and increase metabolism. Everyday foods that contain high levels of Vitamin C, pectin and calcium reduce the absorption of fat or help eliminate fat from the body. Foods with capsaicin and high levels of protein burn fat by increasing metabolism, which allows the body to use consumed fat instead of storing it.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include an orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime, while apples contain high levels of pectin and antioxidants. It is common knowledge that milk "does the body good" and it does so with its high levels of calcium in addition to providing other essential nutrients. According to University of Tennessee researchers, those who consumed three servings of calcium-rich dairy daily had greater belly fat reduction compared to individuals who consumed fewer servings. The study also concluded that calcium supplements are less effective in fat loss compared to milk.
Additionally, spicy foods such as chilies and those packed with protein such as lentils burn fat by increasing metabolism rates. The capsaicin in chilies causes the body to burn extra calories for 20 minutes after consumption, while the protein and soluble fiber in lentils aid in the stabilization of blood sugar levels. The stabilization of blood sugar levels causes the body to use the fat instead of storing it.