Fat burners are an incredibly popular supplement people take to try and aid fat loss.
It is a common misconception that you will magically lose fat if you swallow a fat-burning pill though. I know this is the dream scenario for most people but in reality, fat burners are a supplement that aids weight loss and is not something that directly causes weight loss.
The best way to burn fat is through exercise (to create an energy deficit) and a nutrition plan (focusing on creating a calorie deficit), not a quick fix pill.
However, that is not to say that fat burning supplements are ineffective or don’t have their benefits. So, do fat burners work without exercise and can they be something that can support your diet instead?
Read on and we’ll explain.
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What are Fat Burners
Fat burners are supplements that are designed to increase the body’s metabolism, which should, in turn, result in fat loss.
They claim/are designed to increase fat metabolism, increase energy and aid weight loss. But, unfortunately, this is a lot of functions for a small pill to do, especially with no exercise!
Fat burners work by stimulating a hormonal reaction, so the body breaks down fats and uses them to fuel the body through a process known as thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis works by increasing your body’s core temperature which results in more energy (calories) being burned at rest. The purpose is to increase your TDEE and facilitate a calorie deficit, theoretically resulting in fat loss as a result.
The main ingredient in most fat burners is caffeine. Caffeine aids weight loss by increasing your metabolism and some of the and provides energy for exercise.
Caffeine also increases fatty acids to break down in the adipose tissue, most commonly known as belly fat. Once broken down, they enter the bloodstream and can be used as energy and fuel in the body.
All of this sounds great but that being said, fat burners won’t out-work a bad diet.
You need to be eating a healthy balanced diet for the fat burner pills to work effectively. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to consume a calorie deficit.
If you are eating more calories than you burn through exercise or work, a fat burner will be completely ineffective for weight loss.
Fat burners don’t work on their own and work best in correlation to a calorie deficit and exercise.
Do Fat Burners Work Without Exercise?
Fat burners don’t miraculously spot reduce body fat, despite this being something often marketed/advertised.
Instead, they are just an aid in the journey towards fat loss.
They increase metabolism, cause thermogenesis, and suppress appetite, so you burn more calories and consume less (due to a lower appetite). However, they do not work as effectively without being combined with a good exercise plan and calorie restricted diet.
To clarify, fat burners will create thermogenesis and increase metabolism without exercise so technically, they do work without exercise. For maximum benefit though, fat burners should supplement regular exercise and a diet plan which creates a calorie deficit.
Fat burners do burn fat, but not necessarily without added exercise routines to create an energy deficit.
Bodybuilders typically use fat burners when they are on a cut from bulking. This is when they have built up the muscle before entering a cutting phase.
They reduce their calorie intake during a cut, introduce more cardio, and some take fat burners. Fat burners just assist in aiding fat loss rather than being the sole reason for fat loss.
Related – Can you cut without cardio?
If you are going to use fat burners, you’ll need to be reasonable with your expectations. Your fat loss will be enhanced using fat burners, but it won’t result in quick or extreme weight loss.
You need to make sure you are safe with them and remember that losing 1-3 pounds a week is a healthy and sustainable rate of fat loss. If you drop weight too quickly, it won’t be sustainable, and you run the risk of losing muscle mass.
Fat burners will help make exercise more manageable by enhancing your energy levels and concentration – usually as a result of the caffeine content and elevated heart rate that comes with their consumption.
Therefore, it is heavily advised to have an exercise routine whilst taking fat burning supplements as it will only benefit your desired result. It is also an added benefit that you will have higher energy levels to help encourage exercise.
Are Fat Burners Safe
If you’re considering using fat burners without exercising, chances are you might be wondering if they are safe to take. This is because they supplement a diet and training so would it be beneficial or safe to take them without the other factors being in place?
Fat burners are safe as long as you use them appropriately and follow the manufacturers recommended guideline doses for each specific product.
Too much of anything is bad for you, so you just need to be mindful when taking fat burners that it fits in with your overall nutrition and fitness regime.
These are some of the key things to keep in mind:
Don’t go too low on calories.
A big mistake when taking fat burners is also massively reducing your calories. This does not speed up your fat loss and is not healthy.
It may speed up weight loss through a loss in water weight, muscle glycogen, muscle mass, and some body fat but it won’t accelerate just fat loss – which is a common misconception!
You want to be in a slight calorie deficit to burn more calories than you are consuming. Fat burners should aid this as it increases your energy, helps your motivation when exercising, and increases thermogenesis.
You want to feel healthy in your body, and no extreme dieting will help achieve that.
Instead, listen to your body and make sure you are still eating enough calories, especially if you are increasing your exercise at the same time.
Cycle your use
Cycle your uses to make sure you are getting the best benefit out of fat burners.
Fat burners aren’t meant to be taken forever; they are only meant to be used over a certain period to help aid fat loss. Therefore, you should plan to use them for an average of 1-2 months towards the end of a cutting phase.
This gives your body time to get used to the supplement and work effectively.
Overtime, the effectiveness of a fat burner will wane as your body becomes more tolerant to the ingredients, especially stimulant based ingredients like caffeine.
See also – Can you build a tolerance to pre-workout
The main point here is that fat burners aren’t a lifetime solution or dieting hack. They just aid you for a certain period with weight loss.
Be careful with stimulant consumption
Be careful with supplements, as they usually contain ingredients that can become addictive or harmful to the body in large doses.
Fat burners include caffeine, and you can run the risk of consuming too much caffeine. So, we suggest limiting how much coffee or high caffeine drinks (like coca-cola) you drink. Otherwise, this can lead to a high amount circulating in the body.
As much as we would love to provide a quick fix fat loss hack, fat burners are no miracle workers. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for burning fat and weight loss.
We cannot emphasise enough how important a balanced healthy diet and a structured fitness plan are when taking any supplements. This is the most crucial element to ensuring their effectiveness when taking fat burners.
Fat burners do work without exercise due to your body burning a base amount of calories per day through the thermogenic effect and increasing your metabolic rate and heart rate. However, fat burners are noticeably more effective when combined with exercise.
Fat burning products do not guarantee results at all.
We suggest leaning towards more natural sources to aid fat loss. This can be coffee or tea as they contain caffeine, which is the main ingredient in most fat burning pills. Or we suggest taking the calorie deficit route and trying to consume fewer calories than you burn.
See also – Can you take fat burners while bulking