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Everywhere you look, there are magazines, prints, radio, TV infomercials and web pages, promoting the latest weight loss sensation. In fact, Americans are spending over 30 billion dollars per year on all these fat burners.

Every day, in the quest to achieve the results claimed in the ads, people ask themselves which of these diets, supplements, and fat burners really work. However, it is better to ask yourself this: If any of these products and fat burners really works, why are currently 65% of adults overweight according to the CDC? Can we find at least one fat burner that really works?

Do fat burners really work?

The truth is that we used to be thin when we did not have computers and video games and remote controls for our televisions. New technology has made our lives so easy that we rarely have to lift a finger. All this technology is fabulous, but it is totally making us fat. Because of this, many of you are searching for that magic solution, the most popular one being fat burners. However, before you go down that route, there are a few things you need to know.

What are fat burners?

Fat burners are essentially pills which contain certain herbal ingredients such as Ephedra, HCA, Chitosan and Pyruvate. All of these ingredients claim to increase energy, stimulate your metabolism or suppress your appetite. However, it is hard to say if any of these actually work. Try to find a conclusive study about just about any dietary supplement, including so-called fat burners. You will see find it almost impossible. What we do know is that most supplements need further study and, more importantly, the purity of these supplements is definitely suspect. Supplements are not standardized, so you do not know if what is listed on the bottle is what you will get. Moreover, no one knows the long-term effects of these supplements. It is even scarier that nobody knows how they interact with other medications. So, to answer the original question, nobody can know for sure whether fat burners work.

That is why you should not believe the ads concerning fat burner supplements. There is no miracle formula, especially for burning fat. Most companies recycle the same old ingredients and market the product as a magical cure, but this is probably not going to help you. A good way to stay on track with your weight is to use a good diet plan that reduces your food consumption. As you probably know, if you walk into any pharmacy or supplement shop, you will see dozens of products promising to make excess body fat melt away. Although manufacturers are not permitted to make these claims on the bottle, they run alluring ads in magazines and on TV. The question is how to know whether or not the ingredients are safe and effective. You need to know that weight loss supplements may work in three ways.
One way is by helping the body break down body fat. This involves releasing it from fat cells, where it enters the bloodstream as free fatty acids. These free fatty acids are then transported to muscle cells where they may be burned.

The second action of weight loss supplements is to suppress appetite. This is a very complex process. Many hormones and neurotransmitters are involved in this process of appetite suppression. We do not have all the answers in this area, but research continues even now. The human body has its survival instinct, and once appetite suppressants are stopped, people become hungry.

The third way that weight loss supplements may work is by inhibiting the body from absorbing fat during digestion. The truth is that fat blockers do not work if a person is not eating fat. They will also not prevent weight gain if a person is overeating proteins or carbohydrates.
There are many negative side effects of these supplements. Most common side effects are stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and inability to absorb many important fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients. In addition, they may interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications, especially birth control pills and estrogen as many people find it as one of most serious side effect of fat burners.

Ingredients in fat burners

Weight loss supplements often contain more than one substance to generate weight loss. The ingredients are available alone, or with other substances as part of a fat burner. Some of the weight loss supplements have ingredients such as Carnitine, which is very common. This substance is promoted as a fat burner, and occurs naturally in the body. People can obtain it through eating meat, fish, poultry, and some dairy foods. The role of carnitine in our organism is to help transport fatty acids to the muscles. In theory, it makes sense that more of it would help people get more fatty acids into the muscles, burning additional fat, but it does not live up to expectations. This is because taking it in supplemental form does not result in increased fat burning.

Chromium Picolinate is next ingredient in fat burners you could commonly see. Although this mineral helps metabolize carbohydrates and fats, it has not lived up to claims of increasing lean body mass and decreasing fat. As a matter of fact, the majority of the research done on this supplement shows it is not effective at all as a weight loss supplement. Research has snown damage to DNA with excess chromium picolinate that is exacerbated with the vitamin C. Taking in more than the body requires can actually reduce the binding capacity of iron in the blood. This potentially results in iron deficiency and decreased ability to carry oxygen in the blood. This could also negatively impact your ability to exercise and expend calories.

Ephedrine is also a very popular ingredient, especially for new fat burners. Actually, this is probably the most popular substance in fat-burners on the market today. It acts like a hormone the body makes known as norepinephrine. The action of this substance is associated with increased fat release from adipose tissue. The goal is to increase free fatty acids in the bloodstream. It also increases heart rate, heart contractility, body heat production, and metabolic rate. Ephedrine may also be able to suppress hunger, where studies have demonstrated that dieters were able to lose slightly more weight when taking ephedrine vs. placebos. However, the truth is that actual results were not even close to those referenced in TV and magazine ads. It has been shown that ephedrine is even more effective when combined with caffeine.

Unfortunately, the same situation happens with its side effects. Common side effects of ephedrine usage are tremors, dizziness, insomnia, heart arrhythmias, headaches, and increased blood pressure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have reported numerous adverse incidents and a number of deaths from taking supplements containing ephedrine or its precursors. Ephedra or ma huang are simply precursors, and you should keep it in mind. In fact, anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes, as well as pregnant women, should avoid this supplement. The National Football League has listed it as a banned substance. Although ephedrine may help some people lose an extra few pounds, it does not seem to be worth the risk.

When a supplement touts “proven in clinical trials”, it would be wise to dig deeper. If the manufacturers are citing animal studies, it may have as much merit in terms of human outcomes as customers might think for one simple reason: fat metabolism in rats is different than in people. Preliminary research is often done on these animals, but the same results do not necessarily pan out in humans, as we are learning that fat burning and some hormonal responses are not the same between the two species. Some supplement manufacturers jump the gun before substances can be proven in humans. Another caveat is that when research is done, sometimes amounts of the ingredients or the ingredients themselves that the scientists use are not available to the public. This is important to understand because scientists may use substances in large amounts when studying them, not what is generally available at local health food store. The supplement you find may contain additional components that alter the effect of the main ingredient, so there is no guarantee that the supplement you buy has exactly what the label indicates.

Conclusion about fat burners

Once again, there is really no safe short cut or quick fix to losing weight. This is the only truth, no matter how slick the ads. You must know that fat burners, despite the hype, do not work as advertised. Sadly, the only thing that consumers are losing is money, not fat. It is only one of the things important to keep in mind. Low carbohydrate, low fat, nothing but grapefruit, and all these diets you might have heard about, all of these have one thing in common - they restricts calorie intake. This fact does not mean people should just give up trying to lose weight and excess fat. It just means that people need to stop looking for the next quick fix diet and fat burner that will work this time. Nobody wants to hear that it takes actual effort to lose weight, but it does. So once you decide you really want to lose the fat, choose a healthy way and not magical fat burners. Choose to eat less, eat healthy food, and have more exercise in your life. Try to have a balanced diet containing complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and essential fats. Avoid excess sugars and excess saturated fats. Eat smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day and your body will be able to burn calories more efficiently.