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Fat burners (thermogenics) are a group of supplements that are designed to help your body burn fat faster. However, there is much debate as to whether they are effective or not in helping people lose weight which makes the decision to use them very difficult. Much of the conflicting views on fat burners result from not understanding the role fat burners play in an overall weight-loss program and from questionable production and marketing practices by many companies promoting these types of products. This page covers the 7 vital facts you must know about fat burners that, if not understood, can lead to health problems, wasted money and disappointing results. When you understand and apply these important principles you will be able to: 1. Decide whether or not fat burners are suitable for you. 2. Select the best fat burner for you based on various criteria. 3. Use the most effective fat burner in the best way possible to ensure you get maximum results. 1. Fat burners are not 'magic pills'! Many people have the mistaken belief that they can simply take a few fat burning pills and the fat will somehow magically disappear from their belly, thighs or other body parts. Furthermore, some people even believe that thermogenics can make up for their wayward lifestyle habits. Nothing could be further from the truth! These beliefs have resulted from people not having an understanding of human physiology and the complex process of utilisation of stored body fat as a fuel source. Plus, the deceptive marketing techniques used by some companies give people the impression that their fat burning supplement does have magical properties. The over-used before and after photos are a classic example of this. It is so easy to create impressive before and after photos with someone even on the same day! In a before photo the person stands relaxed, pushes their stomach out, puts on a 'sad face', doesn't have a tan, has no make up, poor lighting and with men, has body hair intact. In the after photo, which may be just a few hours later, they stand tensed up, stomach sucked in, smile, have a coat of fake tan on, wear make up, have good lighting and have all their body hair removed. Plus, clever graphic artists can even draw on abdominal muscles! These dubious techniques certainly give people the wrong impression about what thermogenics can actually do.
2. Even the best best fat burner must be part of a 'complete' weight loss program. In order to maximise their effectiveness thermogenics should always be used in conjunction with a calorie-controlled nutritional plan and a suitable exercise program. By doing so, they can help create the necessary calorie deficit in the body in order to achieve the desired weight loss. If someone uses a thermogenic but does not carefully control their food intake or does not perform any exercise, it makes it very difficult to create the calorie/ energy deficit necessary to burn fat and therefore lose weight. The fact is, if a calorie/ energy deficit is not created, no matter whether top fat burners are used or not, weight loss will not be achieved. Thermogenics increase the body's calorie/ energy expenditure. That is one of the mechanisms through which they can assist users in losing weight. As a result, the best way to use fat burners is always as a part of a 'complete' weight-loss program. 3. Fat burners should not be used by everyone. Since fat burners stimulate different receptors on the central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system, they may cause an increase in blood pressure. Therefore, they should not be used by people who have high blood pressure or who use blood pressure medication. They should also be avoided by women who are pregnant or nursing because the ingredients may pass through the placenta or mother's milk and affect the growing foetus or baby. Finally, they should not be used by people over the age of 65 or under the age of 18. This is mainly a precaution because as we age our bodies tend to be come more fragile and giving powerful, stimulating herbs to elderly people is obviously not wise. Furthermore, growing bodies should probably do without these herbs as well. Even though the diet of most teenagers these days is loaded with stimulants, particularly caffeine, use of powerful stimulants may be harmful. 4. Fat burners are simply a 'weight loss accelerator'. Fat burners help people achieve their weight-loss goal faster. They do this through 4 mechanisms: 1. They speed up metabolism 2. They force the fat cells to release stored fat into the blood stream 3. They act as a diuretic 4. They boost energy levels By speeding up metabolism they make it easier to create a calorie deficit (if combined with the correct nutritional plan and exercise program) and therefore lose weight. If excess calories are consumed in the diet then weight loss will not occur even when fat burners are used. The top fat burners force the fat cells to release stored body fat into the blood stream, which may then be used as a fuel source by the body. That is why the best time to use fat burners is prior to an exercise session. Exercise increases the rate at which the body burns energy and since there
will be more free fatty acids in the blood stream from taking the fat burner, more fat may be burned up during the session. Many overweight people tend to retain fluid. Therefore, fat burners may be beneficial for them because they assist the body in getting rid of excess fluid. By stimulating receptors on the central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system, fat burners can help people feel more energetic when they take them. This may make them more likely to engage in an exercise program and therefore lose weight faster. 5. Fat burners must have a balanced 'thermogenic profile' and have ingredients in therapeutic dosages. Having a balanced 'thermogenic profile' means that fat burner contains a range of thermogenic herbs that are provided in therapeutic dosages. Unfortunately, many fat burners on the market contain high levels of one or two cheap herbs and token dosages of everything else. These products are easily identified by simply looking at the ingredients panel on the product. When a fat burner has a long list of ingredients, it can't possibly contain therapeutic dosages of all the ingredients because there is only limited space in a single capsule. This means the effectiveness of the product is likely to be compromised, especially if this is combined with excessive levels of one or two ingredients. The problem with having high levels of one or two ingredients and token dosages of everything else is that the body is likely to develop a resistance to the high level ingredients in a very short period of time, which quickly nulls the effectiveness of the product. A more balanced 'thermogenic profile' on the other hand has a wide variety of ingredients in therapeutic dosages, which means it will take far longer for the receptors to be down-regulated. This means the effectiveness of the products lasts for much longer. 6. Fat burners must be independently tested and approved. A major problem with many fat burners is that the manufacturers of the product are not required by law to rigorously test the products they make. By not having this essential, stringent requirement, the levels of ingredient contained in a product may not match the levels stated on the label. In Australia, however, the TGA (Therapeutic Good Administration) regulates all products that make label claims. In order for a product to receive an 'AUST L' number, the product must conform to all the requirements of the TGA. These include: 1. Being manufactured at a 'GMP approved' plant (Good Manufacturing Practices). 2. Rigorous testing to ensure that all levels of ingredients stated on the label are supplied in the product. 3. Ensuring that levels of certain ingredients do not exceed maximum limits. 4. All claims being made on the label are true and correct based on scientific evidence. If you are considering using a fat burner you must make sure it has been independently tested and that the company can provide you with a Certificate of Analysis to indicate that what is stated on
the label is what is contained in the product. Alternatively, if the product is Australian made then it must have an AUST L number. This ensures that the product has passed all the strict testing requirements of the Australian government. 7. The fat burner must have a low cost-to-benefit ratio and be easy to use. Not only do thermogenics (fat burners) vary greatly in number of ingredients, types of ingredients and levels of ingredients but they also vary greatly in cost. It is essential that the fat burner you consider using has a low cost-to-benefit ratio. This means that results you achieve by using the product outweigh the cost of purchasing it. The cost of the thermogenic you purchase must be less than $1 per serve, which means that if you use two serves a day it is going to cost you less than $2 a day. This is a very reasonable price to pay for accelerating your fat-burning and weight-loss results. It is also essential that you are not required to take handfuls of capsules or pills each day in order to benefit from its use. 1 or 2 capsules a day is reasonable. Any more than this becomes inconvenient and also means you are likely to finish the container faster!
Stephen Smith is the part-owner of Body Concepts, an Australian supplement company, and Focus On, a health and lifestyle magazine. Stephen has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years and after completing a science degree from the University of Western Australia, spent many years researching the most effective ways to help people lose weight quickly. If you would like to get a FREE Special Report called, The Secrets of Weight Loss, click on the link. This report covers exactly what you need to do to lose all the weight you want in record time!
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