In the pursuit of lean muscle, smart nutrition and intense training are your most important weapons. You simply can't shed body fat without hard work in the gym and kitchen. However, a well-formulated fat burner can increase the effects of that hard work, giving you extra ammo in the war against body fat.
The supplement market is flooded with fat burners that work by increasing metabolism and thermogenesis, boosting energy, suppressing appetite, or blocking carbohydrate and fat absorption. Just swallowing a pill, however, won't deliver the best possible results. Maximize the effectiveness of your fat burner and get the most burn for your buck by following these seven steps!
1. GET ON TRACK
A high-quality fat burner will, however, make your journey easier. Many products are not only designed to increase fat-burning, but also curb your appetite and boost your energy. To get the most from these effects and really torch calories, it's critical that you first get on track with a well-designed fitness program.
2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT FAT BURNER FOR YOU
Stimulant-free formulations are ideal for those who are sensitive to ingredients with stimulant effects like caffeine, synephrine, tyramine, and yohimbine (or yohimbe). In the stimulant-free realm, look for products containing fat-burning green tea extract (standardized for epigallocatechin gallate or ECGC) and acetyl-L-carnitine, and appetite-suppressing ingredients like caralluma fimbriata extract, or phaseolus vulgaris (white kidney bean), and cynara scolymus (artichoke) extract.
Stimulant-based fat burners will contain a combination of one or more of the following: caffeine, synephrine, tyramine, and yohimbe. These ingredients aim to increase energy, suppress appetite, and increase fat release from fat cells (to be burned as energy). You'll also likely find ingredients common to stimulant-free formulations in this class of fat burners.
3. TIMING IS KEY
4. DRINK UP
Drinking at least 3-4 quarts (or liters) of cold water per day will not only keep you hydrated, but has also been shown to increase metabolism and support fat loss. It's recommended that you drink at least 1 cup (250 ml) of water with each dose of a fat burner to ensure optimal absorption and hydration support. If you're training in a hot environment and sweating for long periods, you may need to double your water intake.
5. CYCLE YOUR FAT BURNER
The best way to know if you need to cycle your fat burners is by assessing how you feel when you're on them. If after several weeks you find that you no longer get the "kick" you used to from a regular dose, then it's time to take a break—not more product.
6. DON'T SHRUG OFF SLEEP
If you find that your fat burners are hindering your sleep, don't take anything stimulant-based after your lunchtime dose. Notably, you should also limit any other sources of stimulants to before 6 p.m. If you work out at night, make sure your pre-workout supplements are caffeine and stimulantfree.
7. THE 1-2 PRE-CARDIO PUNCH
Norepinephrine is a key player in fat mobilization, lipolysis, and appetite suppression. Past research has shown that those who took green tea extract before cardiovascular training had far greater fat-burning effects than those who took a placebo. The addition of caffeine assists in the mobilization of body fat to be used as fuel, enhances focus and motivation, and has been shown to reduce exercise-associated muscle pain. You'll work out harder and longer, and enhance your ability to burn fat.