While cardio and weight lifting definitely help with fat loss, a healthy diet and the right natural supplements may give your fat loss journey a bit of a boost. There are certain foods that we can include in our diets that aid fat burning, here are the top natural fat burners and how they work.
- What are natural fat burners?
- How do fat burners work to help weight loss?
- Benefits of natural fat burners
- Best fat burners that work
- Should I take natural fat burners?
What are natural fat burners?
Natural fat burners are substances that are found in our food (or supplements) that increase the breakdown of fat cells and produce heat — a process called thermogenesis.1
Some natural fat burners increase our metabolism and others impact the digestion of food to help us feel more satisfied. This article will review the most effective fat burners to help you decide which ones can help you meet your goals.
How do fat burners work to help weight loss?
Fat burners help with weight loss in a few different ways. One being by improving the amount of brown fat tissue in the body. Your body contains two types of fat tissue — white fat tissue and brown fat tissue. White fat makes up most fat stores in the body that are due to overconsumption of calories.1 This type of fat increases the likelihood of putting on weight.
Brown fat is highest in concentration in new-born babies and tends to decrease as we age. It helps to regulate body temperature, among other important processes.1 Brown fat can be thought of as “active” tissue that increases total energy expenditure (calorie burning) and leads to creation of heat — or thermogenesis.
This means a higher ratio of brown fat to white fat means a bigger calorie burn and greater weight loss; that’s where fat-burning foods and supplements come in as they can help stimulate this effect in the body.1
Getting rid of body fat and replacing it with lean mass (muscle) will increase your metabolism in the long term and could help to prevent chronic health conditions that are associated with being overweight.
Benefits of Natural Fat Burners
Using natural fat burning supplements can help increase the results of your healthy eating and workout plan. In addition to boosting the activity of the fat tissue in the body, using the right fuel (food and supplements) can help your body conserve lean body mass while still losing weight.
You’re probably wondering what these natural fat-burning supplements are now, right?
Best Fat Burners That Work
While there are hundreds of products on the market that promise to help you burn fat, the following list of fat burners are natural products that you can rely on.
While there seem to be new products released every day, these are the 4 natural fat burners that have shown benefits for years with plenty of research to support their use and safety.
Green tea is a natural energy booster and fat burner that has been used in many cultures for centuries. The fat burning components in green tea are called “catechins”, which have been found to boost metabolism and burn more energy during both periods of exercise and rest.2
The most interesting part about catechins is that they help the body choose to burn fat as the primary energy source.2 Because they can also decrease appetite and act as a stimulant to boost energy, green tea catechins have a multi-level benefit when trying to burn fat. Green tea also contains caffeine, providing a double dose of fat burning potential.
For most people, caffeine is the first thing they think of when they wake up, but caffeine has additional fat burning and metabolism boosting properties. Fat loss requires both increasing how much energy we burn and decreasing how much energy we take in (from food) — and caffeine plays a role in both.3
Caffeine acts as a stimulant, which reduces our appetite, while also breaking down and burning fat.3 Caffeine is found naturally in many foods — from tea and coffee to chocolate. It’s also included in many pre-workout supplements and energy drinks. This combination of boosting energy, suppressing appetite and accessibility from food and drink sources makes it one of the best natural fat burners available. But make sure you’re not over-doing it as many people react differently to caffeine!
B complex vitamins play crucial roles in the body, but vitamins B6 and B12 specifically play key roles in metabolism. Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, is found in many food sources, both plant and animal based, like chickpeas, beef, tuna, salmon, chicken, potatoes, and bananas.4 B6 is used for many metabolic functions such as breaking down and burning fat, carbs and protein. Efficient metabolism of our food to energy is essential to healthy body composition.
However, because important B vitamins like B12 are primarily available from meat and fish, it can be difficult for vegans and vegetarians to get sufficient amounts.5 Supplementing your diet with B12 can help boost your metabolism as well as your energy levels if you’re not getting enough from your diet.
You already eat this macro nutrient daily, and it’s a very important one to keep in check, especially when it comes to muscle building and fat loss.
When you’re working out regularly and trying to change your body composition, consuming more protein while cutting back on overall calories is the best way to target your stored body fat for burning. Consuming extra protein helps your body to preserve and build lean body mass (muscle) and activate stored fat for fuel.6
Should I Take Natural Fat Burners?
Natural fat burners include green tea, caffeine, B complex vitamins and protein. These can assist you to burn fat through increased energy expenditure, improved energy levels and metabolism, or encouragement of your body to burn fat as its fuel.
Whilst there are no known serious health implications for normal consumption of these natural fat burners, caution should be taken with caffeine intake due to the wide range of unsuspected sources (diet soda, chocolate etc.)
Excess consumption can affect cardiovascular function and sleep7 and it is recommended not to exceed 400mg a day and 200mg for pregnant women.8 As with any supplement, you should pay attention to the amount you take, however our list of best natural fat burners can all help you reach your weight loss goals.
Take Home Message
While there are hundreds of products you can buy to help burn fat, natural products like green tea, caffeine, vitamins B12 and B6, and protein are easy to incorporate into your daily routine, and easy to find in the supermarket.
They have all been proven through research to be effective in increasing fat thermogenesis. Combining these powerful natural supplements with a healthy diet and consistent workout plan can help you burn fat and meet your body composition goals.
Is protein a natural fat burner?
Protein can help you burn fat. If you consume more protein your body can preserve and build more lean muscle and activate stored fat for fuel.
What are natural fat burners?
Natural fat burners are substances in the body which increase the breakdown of fat cells and produce heat.
How do natural fat burners help weight loss?
Natural fat burners can help improve the ratio of brown fat tissue to white. Brown fat tissue is an active tissue which increases total energy expenditure, whilst white fat tissue makes up most of the fat tissue in our body and is associated with weight gain.
What natural fat burners are there?
Natural fat burners include green tea, caffeine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and protein.
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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
- Cypess, A. M., Lehman, S., Williams, G., Tal, I., Rodman, D., Goldfine, A. B., … & Kolodny, G. M. (2009). Identification and importance of brown adipose tissue in adult humans. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(15), 1509-1517.
- Tokimitsu, I., & Meguro, S. (2017). 15 Anti-obesity Effects of Green Tea Catechins. Health Benefits of Green Tea: An Evidence-based Approach, 134.
- Harpaz, E., Tamir, S., Weinstein, A., & Weinstein, Y. (2017). The effect of caffeine on energy balance. Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology, 28(1), 1-10.
- Office of Dietary Supplements. (2016, February 17). National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B6. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/
- Office of Dietary Supplements. (2018, November 29). National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B6. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/
- Dong, J. Y., Zhang, Z. L., Wang, P. Y., & Qin, L. Q. (2013). Effects of high-protein diets on body weight, glycaemic control, blood lipids and blood pressure in type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(5), 781-789.
Liam is a certified sport nutritionist with the International Society of Sport Nutrition and is enrolled on the British Dietetics Association’s Sport and Exercise Nutrition register. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Sport and Exercise Science and is graduate of the ISSN Diploma in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition.Liam is an experienced personal trainer, helping clients reach their health and fitness goals with practical, evidence informed exercise and nutrition advice. In his spare time Liam has competed in numerous powerlifting competitions and enjoys hill walking, football and expanding his recipe repertoire in the kitchen.
Find out more about Liam's experience here.