Whereas fat blockers and diuretics prevent your body from absorbing fat, and appetite suppressants stop you from eating it in the first place, fat burners work by reducing the amount of fat already stored in your body.
Some people actually find they eat more when taking fat-burning supplements, but because their metabolism has been lifted so much higher, their bodies deal with it easily and they still lose weight.
After the partial banning of Ephedra, many fat burner supplements have had to change their formula. The good news is that there are plenty of other substances that can do a similar job, ranging from those that we already know and love, like caffeine, to more exotic herbs, like Ginseng.
Here we list a selection of the most common fat burning supplements. There are certainly more that we do not mention in this list, but these are the ones that you are most likely to see in a diet pill.
Ephedra deserves a mention, even though it has been (quite rightly) partially banned by the FDA and no longer appears in many diet pills. It is an extremely effective stimulant, similar to caffeine but more effective and stronger.
The problem was that many patients began to develop heart problems or have strokes, as the stimulant was simply too much for their system to handle. If you see any diet pills advertised as containing Ephedra, our advice is to steer clear.
Caffeine has long been known to increase metabolism and is found is the majority of fat-burning diet pills. In fact, some of the other ingredients here (e.g. Green Tea, Ginseng) also contain caffeine.
HCA is the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia, an Indian herb. This herb was originally used in Ayurvedic medicine, a branch of holistic treatment originally created for Indian royalty. The purified form is called hydroxycitric acid, which suppresses appetite, normalizes blood sugar levels and enhances fat-burning.
Clinical studies have shown that this Chinese supplement increases energy and raises your metabolism. It has also been found to reduce levels of stress hormones such as Cortisol. These hormones can lead to weight gain, so Ginseng has a doubly beneficial effect.
EGCG is the active ingredient in Green Tea, and most extracts are rich in it. Green Tea in a concentrated form is so effective because it increases your metabolism and reduces your appetite.
It has been used for more than 4000 years in Chinese medicine, to cure ailments ranging from headaches to depression, and now is one of the most popular and effective diet aids around.
Yerba Mate is an evergreen tree that is commonly found throughout South America. Its leaf has been used as a tea and medicine for centuries among the indigenous people of Brazil and Paraguay. The local people treasure it for its properties as an appetite-suppressant and energy-giver.
The major active ingredient in Yerba Mate is caffeine, which increases your metabolism and aids weight loss. It does more than just a cup of coffee though, through the way that its unique combination of natural substances work together. It also contains Saponins, plant chemicals that have been shown to stimulate the immune system.
Guarana is a plant originating from Brazil. It is used as a fat burner and stimulant there, and is actually a very popular drink. One of the nice attributes of Guarana is that it does not irritate your stomach like caffeine can, and is less likely to give you the ‘peak and trough’ ride that drinking coffee brings.
Pyruvate is a chemical that aids in the metabolism if Glucose. It appears in several weight loss pills, whose manufacturers claim that it stimulates the metabolism.
Fat Burner Dangers
The side effects of many of these fat burners are like the side effects of too much coffee. Dieters may experience nervousness and headaches, or in extreme cases high blood pressure, heart palpitations or nose bleeds. Always consult with your doctor before starting a course of diet pills.