Losing weight is not easy and ensuring that you’re losing weight while staying toned (having more defined muscles) is even more difficult.
Of course, the right combination of consistent exercise and a well-balanced diet is what you need to get rid of those extra pounds. But you must also not forget the importance of supplements, like fat burners, to help you attain your weight loss goals faster.
Fat burners are dietary supplements that claim to increase the body’s metabolism and reduce fat absorption. These supplements do not work like a magic potion that will shed your body fat in just a few days.
Yet, once you settle with the right fat burner for you and when taken at the right time, it can really yield fruitful results. So, when exactly is the best time to take fat burners? That’s what we’re going to find out and more about fat burners in this article!
Let’s start with…
How Do Fat Burners Work?
Most fat-burning supplements contain similar ingredients, like green tea extract, caffeine, green coffee extract, yohimbine, theobromine, and some even include raspberry ketones, Ginkgo Biloba, and other herbal mixes.
Together, these ingredients are claimed to increase energy expenditure, fat metabolism, fat oxidation, and weight loss during exercise. These ingredients in fat burners may also impair fat absorption, thus are extremely helpful in shaving off that extra fat. These fat-burning supplements also work as an enhancer, giving people extra energy for their workout.
How to Use Fat Burners – Best Time to Take a Fat Burner
Take it in the morning. The best time to take a fat burner is during the morning, 30 minutes before your actual breakfast. This is because your metabolism slows about 15% during sleep and at its lowest level in the morning.
By taking the fat burner, the active ingredients will help kick it back so you can manage your appetite throughout the day and allow you to complete a more intense workout.
Take it before you exercise. Just like pre-workout supplements, fat burners work by giving you that extra oomph with no additional calories. The fat burner supplement you take will give you an extra boost of energy so you can push yourself further.
Avoid taking fat burners too late in the day. Some may say avoid taking a fat burner supplement after 6 pm, but we’ll prefer the word “too late” because it would depend on your personal schedule. Remember that fat burners usually contain stimulants (caffeine or other ingredients) that can passively help you burn more calories and give you more energy in the day.
But, taking it less than four or so hours before you sleep will give you that excess energy and you’ll be having trouble sleeping. Not to mention that the stimulant will linger in your system for about 4 to 6 hours before they wear off.
Cycle your fat burner. If you notice that your fat-burning supplement is no longer working the way it used to, remember not to up the dose because this will only backfire your weight loss goal. Instead, cycle it. This is because your body was just desensitized to some ingredients.
Overuse of stimulants, like caffeine or similar ingredients, may lead to high cortisol levels in the body and this primary stress hormone breaks down muscle in the body. This can eventually lead to fat storage.
So, the proper solution is to cycle the supplement to avoid the counterproductive side effect. Take two weeks off before starting the fat burner again so it will promote weight loss.
Tips on Taking a Fat Burner to Maximize Its Effects
1. Don’t Take Your Fat Burner With an Empty Stomach
You may wonder: “Wait, didn’t you just say earlier to take it before breakfast?” Well, that’s true. But remember that supplements are basically still medications and taking them on an empty stomach increases your risk of possible health issues.
Some ingredients may also be harsh on your digestive system. There were even reports of people who used to take herbal fat burners that ended up developing ulcerative colitis!
At best, take your fat burner with food (not your actual breakfast yet). Perhaps a small green smoothie, a slice of toast, or a serving of granola will do. These foods need not be much.
2. Spread Out the Dose
Fat burner supplements contain a lot of ingredients, such as green coffee bean extract, forskolin, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), green tea extract, cayenne pepper extract that work better in several small doses throughout the day.
Consuming the maximum dose in one go may either cause unpleasant side effects, such as jitters, or will simply not be absorbed by the body and will end up as a waste of active ingredients.
To maximize the effects of the thermogenic fat burners, we recommend you give 2 to 4 capsules a nice even spread within the day.
3. Get Quality Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is important to achieve the best possible results of weight loss supplements and will make your fitness goal easier to achieve. Do know that your brain and body need sleep so they can reset and have the energy they need for the next day.
Avoid stimulants, including soft drinks, coffee, and weight loss supplements that contain caffeine, after 6 o’clock in the evening. Not to mention that less sleep leads to body fatigue.
And when that happens, you will make poor food choices as your body will try to get energy from these foods but not enough brainpower to make healthy choices. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep increases unhealthy food choices and overeating and linked insufficient sleep to a higher risk of obesity and weight gain.
4. Eat Enough Protein
To maintain lean muscle mass and lose body fat at the same time, make sure to eat enough protein. Healthy sources of protein include lamb, beef, chicken, eggs, turkey, fish, crab lobster, and other dairy products.
Be aware also that many fat burners in the dietary/ nutritional supplement market may reduce your appetite. When that happens, they will also cause you to reduce your calorie intake so you will not be getting sufficient protein. This can lead to loss of muscle mass. Our recommendation to still lose weight is to cut back on fats and carbs but eat enough protein regardless.
5. Stay Hydrated
The human body needs proper hydration to survive. Every cell and organ needs to stay hydrated to function. Not to mention that up to 60% of an adult body is made up of water.
Some of the reasons why you should stay hydrated are that water helps increase your energy and improve your productivity, improve your physical performance, helps you control your calories, boosts your mood, and prevents headaches.
All the more reason why you should stay hydrated when you’re taking a fat-burning supplement. It’s because the stimulant fat burner elevates your metabolism and when you exercise, several hormones are released in the blood that likewise increases your metabolism. The result? You sweat more. So, you need to replenish your body to stay hydrated and support fat loss at the same time.
6. Build Your Supplement Stack
A supplement stack is a combination of supplements to help you get the most bang for your buck and get the most health benefit. But when you stack a supplement, it should be based on your weight loss and fitness goals.
For instance, you may want to take a pre-workout supplement along with your fat burner to achieve your ideal weight loss results. The pre-workout will boost your stamina and energy level, while the fat burner supplement will target your metabolism. Combining the two could help you reach your goals faster too, most especially if you maintain healthy eating habits and exercise routine.
Supplement stacking for fat loss
Are you new to supplement stacking? Here are some fat-burning supplements aside from fat burners that you can include in your mix to kickstart that sluggish metabolism.
- L-Carnitine – This substance aids the body to burn fat and use it as energy. L Carnitine is also important for muscle movement and brain and heart functions.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid ( CLA) – CLA is a fatty acid that is found in dairy and meat and is believed to have several health benefits, like weight loss. It has also been shown to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improve muscle growth, and increase metabolic rate.
Supplement stacking to improve performance
If your main goal is to improve your performance so you can work out a little harder at the gym, then try adding the following to your supplement stack:
- Pre-workout supplement – A pre-workout supplement is a multi-ingredient dietary formula designed to improve athletic performance and boost energy. They have typically powdered substances that you mix in drink and water before you exercise.
Do you want a combination of fat-burning and pre-workout in one supplement? You may also want to try thermogenic pre-workouts.
- Intra-workout – Intra-workout supplements are taken during a workout to improve your workout capacity by increasing muscle recovery, hydration, and energy. They usually contain ingredients that are absorbed by the body quickly for immediate effects. Certain ingredients in intra-workout supplements can provide you lift heavier, get stronger, and boost your overall exercise performance.
Supplement stacking for better recovery
Are you feeling constantly tired or sore? If you are, then consider adding these supplements:
- BCAAs – Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are composed of these three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAA supplements are commonly taken to enhance exercise performance and reduce fatigue after an exercise. This is most helpful when you’re on a calorie-restricted diet.
- Glutamine – It is an amino acid that is a building block of protein and plays an important part in our immune system. Although glutamine is naturally produced in the muscles, we still need an additional source, especially during an illness or times of stress.
That is why we believe it’s important to include this in your supplement stack as they can improve muscle hydration and decrease acid levels in the body that increase during exercise.
7. Choose The Right Kind of Fat Burner
Different kinds of fat burners work for different purposes in the body. This is why it is important to choose the right formula. For instance, if you are primarily looking for a fat-burning supplement that will enhance your energy, then choose fat burners with ingredients like Yohimbe, synephrine, or caffeine.
If it’s the appetite suppressant effect that you’re mainly looking for, then choose fat burner supplements that contain hoodia for hunger control.
Pros and Cons of Fat Burners
What are the benefits of fat burners?
Pro: fat burners can help support weight loss
Fat burners can act as an appetite suppressant, enable more fat to be used for energy, increase your metabolism, and boost your energy so you can work out for a longer period. But of course, while fat burners work, it does not just mean to expect good results without putting in the effort to work out and maintain a proper diet.
Pro: fat burners can curb food cravings
Fat burners work as appetite suppressants as they contain ingredients, like fiber additives and protein powder that make it easier for you to skip occasional snacks.
Pro: fat burners give you an energy boost
Fat-burning supplements often contain at least one ingredient that is medically classified as amphetamine or stimulant. And the most common of those fat burner ingredients is caffeine that gives you an energy boost, like when you drink a cup of coffee. This increase in energy helps you to burn more calories while in the gym.
What are the possible side effects of fat burners?
Con: Some fat-burner may change your sleeping pattern
A stimulant is one of the fat burner ingredients that you need to watch out for. When consumed not at the proper time, a fat burner may change your sleeping pattern and increase in heart rate. As a result, these potential side effects can lead to sleep deprivation too.
Con: fat burners may cause behavior changes
While you are burning fat, there is also a possibility that you’ll go through changes in behavior, like nervousness, aggressiveness, mood swings, and irritability.
Con: fat burners may cause stomach issues
When taken on an empty stomach, a fat burner may lead to stomach problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, or other problems with bowel movements.
Con: Some fat burners are less effective on their own
Some thermogenic foods may not be burning many calories without exercise and dietary changes. Some studies have even shown that fat burners can only burn around 50 calories per day when a person does not combine it with proper exercise. This only means that you need to do something and not just drink a fat burner so the tip of the scale will be in your favor.
Best Fat Burning Supplements
1. Nobi Nutrition Green Tea Fat Burner – Best for People With Keto Lifestyle
2. Inno Shred – Best Day Time Fat Burner
3. Lean PM – Best Night Time Fat Burner
4. Evlution Nutrition Trans4orm – Best for Energy Boost and Mental Focus
5. Thermo XT Thermogenic Fat Burner – Best for Appetite Suppressant
Natural Ways to Burn Fat
- Avoid processed foods
- Limit your sugar intake
- Avoid liquid calories from beverages, like sugary soft drinks
- Try intermittent fasting and consume fewer calories
- Eat more vegetables and fruits
- Eat slowly (faster eaters are more likely to become obese than those who eat their food slowly)
We know that burning off that excess fat is not easy and won’t be visible in just a few days. Luckily, fat-burning supplements can support your weight loss goal in many ways.
Now that you know when is the ideal time to take a fat burner and other tips to maximize its effects, why not use it to your advantage to achieve your fitness goal faster? These tips have even worked well for many gym-goers and fitness-minded people alike. So, it’ll likely work for you too!
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.