There are many fat burning products on the market but different products have been proven to use different mechanisms to help the body lose fat and knowing these different mechanisms is key to achieving your training goals. Here we bring you the top tips on fat burners so you know exactly what to look for when supplementing your fat loss regime.
Increase Your Metabolism: Thermogenics
When talking about fat burning products people are usually referring to thermogenics. These are products designed to increase the number of calories the body burns per day and it relies on supporting a 'calorie deficit', which is just where you burn more calories than you consume and therefore lose fat. This is one of the simplest, yet arguably most effective, ways to lose fat since thermogenics like caffeine and green tea help you keep the on the right side of the calorie burning equation.
Improve Fat Burning: Lipolytic Agents
This particular category of fat burners includes supplements and ingredients that favourably interfere with lipolysis (which is the process by which fat is burnt on the body) and lipogenisis (which is the process by which fat is stored on the body). The most well researched of all of these is possibly CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in beef, cheese and certain dairy products.
It's believed CLA lowers your body fat in 3 ways; firstly in a study conducted in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Pais Vasco it was discovered CLA interferes with a substance in your body called lipoprotein lipase, which is partly responsible for helping store fat in your body. Secondly the same study also concluded that CLA helps your body use its existing fat for energy.
Therefore studies show CLA not only inhibits the storing of fat it also enhances the burning of fat. Thirdly, and perhaps most important for bodybuilders, CLA has been show to increase muscle mass which in turn can increase your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn at rest. This of course has the added benefit of not actually making you lose weight, but rather changing (and improving) your body composition. This is supported by a recent 1 year human study that showed a 9% reduction in body fat and 2% increase in muscle mass over the test period. (Gaullier, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 79(6): 1118-1125 (2004).
Reduce Fat Storage: Fat Agents
Whilst insulin helps to transport nutrients to the muscles and is a very anabolic and muscle building hormone in that respect, it's also the most lipolytic (fat storing) hormone in the body, shuttling fatty acids and glucose to fat cells to be stored as body fat. For this reason no one wanting to lower their body fat will want bad insulin sensitivity when cutting since this means their body will release more insulin to process carbohydrates which in turn reduces lipolysis (the burning of fat) and increases lipogensis (the storing of body fat.) Fortunately there are supplement shown to help promote good insulin sensitivity where your body only releases a small amount of insulin to process carbohydrates, which means you don't store body fat. One of the most well-known of these ingredients is green tea.