How Do Fat Burners Work? A Closer Look at Your Favorite Weight Loss Supplements.

Posted on October 7th, 2021 By in Diet and Weightloss Read Time: 18 mins.

Remember that show ‘How it Works?’ on Discovery Channel? Where a super boring narrator would walk you through how corn processing plants and textile mills work?

weight loss product with magnifying glass showing close-up of supplement facts panel. Tan background
Let’s take a closer look under the hood…

I used to LOVE taking naps to that show. It was so relaxing, and they usually covered the most boring topics that nobody really cared about.

Today is going to be a little more interesting than that, I promise… today we’re going to find out how fat burners work, and if they can help you lose that extra weight.

So. Let’s talk about fat burners.

Like all dietary supplements, they are not the be-all, end-all to your fitness goal.

They aren’t going to magically provide the results that you are looking for.

However.

If you are consistently eating healthy and you are exercising diligently, you are probably getting frustrated if you aren’t seeing the changes that you want.

If this sounds familiar, you might just need a simple jumpstart to kick things up a notch- and that’s where a good weight-loss supplement can help.

Ok, So What Are Fat Burners?

Fat burners are supplements that can help support your weight loss journey. They work most commonly by speeding up your metabolism and helping you burn more fat.

Certain ingredients found in fat burners can give your metabolism that extra kickstart, and help you make the most of the hard work you’re putting in.

There are many fat burners for women on the market, each with their own way of producing results. 

But with so many different ingredients in these products, it can feel overwhelming to know what is the best option for you. 

If you are looking to add a metabolism boost to your routine, you may want to give fat burners a try. 

With that said, it’s important first to understand how fat burners work, and which ingredients have been shown to be the most effective.

How Do Fat Burners Work?

Fat burners work in several different ways to achieve their desired benefits.

In combination with a healthy diet and exercise routine, they can aid in fat loss and muscle gain.

Fat burners are not miracle workers, so don’t expect to sit on the couch eating chips, while losing weight – You still need to put in the work!

Depending on the product, fat burners utilize one of the following four fat burning methods to achieve their goal:

1. Increasing Fat Breakdown

One way that fat burners work is by increasing the breakdown of fat in your body.

Sometimes, the problem is that your body may not be metabolizing fat as well as it should.

For example, if you have a lot of carbohydrate stores in your body, typically this is burned first before your body has a chance to burn fat.

This is one of the reasons why a lower carb diet can often be effective for promoting fat loss.

If you’re exercising consistently but your body fat percentage is not coming down, your body may not be burning fat as efficiently as it can be.

Fat burners can help your body more effectively burn its stored fat.

This means that both the fat you consume in your diet and the stored fat in your body can be metabolized more effectively…now who wouldn’t want that?!

2. Reducing Fat Absorption

Another way fat burners work is by directly reducing fat absorption in the body.

For example, some contain an ingredient called l-carnitine, which helps fat travel to where it needs to go to be burned for energy.

Carnitine is an amino acid (protein-building block) found in fat burners as well as whey protein powders

When seeking a fat burner, look for l-carnitine on the label, which may help you absorb less fat. And when you are absorbing less fat, you are essentially absorbing less calories. This can promote weight loss.

3. Suppressing Appetite

Another way that fat burners work is by suppressing your appetite.

We eat for many reasons, but the main driver of eating is hunger or cravings.

If you’re experiencing frequent cravings leading you to overeat, a fat burner might be a good idea.

Fat burners may help to make you feel more full, and satiated.

Some fat burners contain certain fibers like glucomannan – a natural fiber found in yams.

Feelings of fullness increase when you eat this type of fibe, and if you feel more full and satisfied, obviously this can help support your weight loss goals.

4. Carbohydrate Partitioning

Most people generally know that most fat burners are designed to increase metabolism and energy expenditure, hopefully leading to a caloric deficit, and weight loss.

Some are familiar with how fat burners work by reducing or limiting fat absorption.

But very few people are aware of something called carbohydrate partitioning.

Carbohydrate partitioners prevent ingested sugars from being absorbed in the intestines or converted and stored as fat.

Carbohydrate partitioning can help reduce fat accumulation by adjusting how the body digests and utilizes ingested carbohydrates.

The carbohydrates that you eat which are not utilized immediately for energy are at risk for being stored as adiposes (fat) tissue.

One of two things typically happen to those ‘extra’ carbs:

  1. They are stored as muscle glycogen, to be used as energy later on
  2. They are processed through the liver and converted to fat.

Obviously, we would prefer the latter!

If carbohydrate partitioning is important to you, look for a fat burner with gymnema sylvestre.

The Best Fat Burners for Women

If you’re considering a new fat burner, here are the best fat burning ingredients to look for in a supplements. Note that there are not necessarily fat burning ingredients that are better for one gender or another, and all of the ingredients in this list are effective for women & men alike.

  1. Green Tea Extract: A concentrated form of green tea often found in fat burners for women. It is rich in caffeine and an ingredient called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), both of which have been shown to help you burn more fat and calories.
  2. L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine is an amino acid (protein-building block) that can help your body burn more fat. This amino helps transport fat to places where it can be used for energy, instead of leaving it to be stored as stubborn fat.
  3. Capsaicin (Hot Pepper Extract): Capsaicin is an ingredient found in cayenne pepper. Research shows it may suppress your appetite, burn calories, and help you lose weight. 
  4. Caffeine: Caffeine is commonly found in fat burners, and for good reason. It has the potential to boost your metabolism and help you burn more fat. This may be especially true in women.
  5. Protein: Consuming protein powder can help speed your metabolism and decrease appetite. This is one reason why higher protein diets are popular for weight loss.

Recommended Reading: How Does Protein Powder Help You Lose Weight?

If you need a little extra boost to your healthy routine, fat burners can help tip the scale in your favor. 

How Fast Do Fat Burners Work?

Many people who are considering a weight-loss supplement want to know how quickly they can expect to see results, and also how much weight they can expect to lose.

The results that you get from fat burners will depend on several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Starting Weight
  • Activity Level
  • Genetics
  • Diet

Recent data has also shown that body type can be a huge factor when it comes to how fast you will be able to lose weight.

As a general rule of thumb, a healthy rate of weight loss is about 1-3 pounds per week.

Now.

One pound per week might not sound very drastic, but this is the pace that has been shown to be optimal in order to prevent losing muscle.

Losing at this pace will also increase the likelihood of keeping the weight off.

Remember- the best results are seen when combining fat burners with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

If you’re not following a healthy diet or are overeating, a fat burner will not act as a magical pill. 

Always speak to your medical doctor about your health goals prior to starting a new supplement to see what’s best for you.

Recommended Reading:

About the Author:

Latest posts by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD (see all)

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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