Can fat burners help you get lean during lockdown?

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Staying healthy, losing weight and getting lean are all important to many of us now we’re under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s more important than ever to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. Daily exercise is important, as is watching what you eat, but there is also evidence that fat burners could provide the boost you’re looking for.

What exactly are fat burners?

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Fat burners are nutritional supplements designed to increase your metabolism and the speed at which you burn fat. There are lots available in a crowded market, containing combinations of ingredients. Caffeine is a common ingredient in fat burners, including Hourglass Fatburner, and others include L-carnitine, green tea extract, raspberry ketones and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

When reading about fat burners you’ll come across terms like thermogenesis. This is the metabolic process that increases heat in your body to burn calories faster. It can boost fat loss along with a monitored diet and regular exercise. What you eat is arguably the most important factor in getting lean. Exercise comes next, and fat burners are the final tool in your arsenal to speed up the weight you’re losing thanks to training and nutrition.

How do fat burners work?

Fat burning supplements affect weight loss in a number of ways. Some boost energy levels, inhibit the appetite, increase the core body temperature and burn more calories. In simple terms, in order to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than you need to maintain your current weight. Without doing this, fat burners won’t make much difference. But if you do both, you will see faster results.

It’s important to stick to a realistic and sustainable weight loss goal. This is between one and three pounds per week for normal healthy adults. You can lose more than this, but it won’t be sustainable in the long term. If you drop weight too fast, you might also lose lean muscle mass, which means you lose that toned look.

Common ingredients used in fat burners

Stick to the stipulated dose when taking fat burners. They’re designed specifically to work in measured doses and taking twice as much won’t help you lose weight. Most of these supplements do contain caffeine, which as a stimulant can cause adrenal fatigue and exhaustion if you have too much. Here’s a look at some of the ingredients you can find in fat burners and how they work.

  • Caffeine

Caffeine can help to speed up fat loss and improve muscle strength. It does this by increasing the amount of a certain chemical called catecholamine in the blood. These mobilise stored fat so it can be oxidised, which in turn boosts the metabolism and burns fat. It’s easy to become desensitised to the fat loss effect of caffeine, particularly if you drink tea or coffee, so limit your intake.

  • Green tea extract

Green tea is a well-known booster for fat loss, thanks to its antioxidant called catechin. This helps the body improve triglyceride levels and is particularly effective for losing abdominal fat.

  • L-carnitine

Research shows that ingesting more L-carnitine can help to burn more fat. It transports fatty acids to the mitochondria where they are oxidised to be used by the body as energy. Athletes particularly like this ingredient as it helps with aerobic endurance levels.

  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

This is a modified version of linoleic acid, an omega 6 fatty acid, which is vital for good health. It’s an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and although our bodies can’t produce it, we can get it from certain foods and from supplements. Studies suggest that CLA can also improve the ratio of lean mass to fat in our bodies.

The ingredients in fat burners will affect different people in different ways, depending on their goals, health and any underlying factors. It’s a good idea to try different ones out to find the fat burners that’s right for you and your weight loss plan.