The three key components to achieving any sport, health, fitness and body composition goal are training, diet and recovery. The higher standards that we set ourselves and achieve in these three components directly correlate to the results of our efforts. Supplements are widely used to support and enhance all three of these components. The largest and best-selling category of sport supplements are those that relate to fat loss. This article explores some fundamentals that anyone considering supplements as a means of reducing body fat should be aware of.
How do Supplements Burn Fat?
Fat burning supplements can generally be divided into the following three categories, although some supplements may include ingredients that fall under more than one category. The essential point to remember when considering taking fat burners are that they will only serve as an aid to fat loss. They should not be considered as an alternative to fat-loss orientated diet or sufficient cardio-vascular training.
A thermogenic supplement raises the temperature of the body. This increases the metabolic rate and the amount of calories burned as a result. These include products such as Thermopro. However, Thermopro also includes additional stimulants and other active ingredients.
Stimulant-based fat burners encourage fat loss by supporting lypolysis – the breakdown of stored fat. They are also a potent motivators and exercise enhancers. These include products such as Performance Caffeine for example.
Non-Stimulants include supplements that facilitate fatty acid transport of the utilisation of fatty acids for energy. These include products such as CLA for example.
Fat Loss Supplement Effectiveness
As a general rule it is useful to remember that any substance you put into your body – beneficial or detrimental to health – the body will develop a tolerance to. This ensures that if you take any fat-loss supplement (particularly those of the stimulant variety) your body the effectiveness of the supplement will diminish over time as your body adapts. There are two ways of overcoming this and ensuring the effectiveness of the product: either increase the dose or, more sensibly, cycle on and off the supplements to prevent your body from adapting. As ever you should judge effectiveness on a personal basis but it would be a good rough guideline to rotate on / off fat burners on a ratio of 3-4 weeks on / 1-2 weeks off.
Fat Loss Supplements Summary
- Cycle fat loss supplements to prolong effectiveness.
- Fat loss supplements are an aid to fat loss and should not replace sufficient diet / cardio.
- Chose the correct type of fat burner to suit your needs.
- Consider taking a 1-2 week break every 4 weeks from stimulants / thermogenics to ensure effectiveness