The secret to getting in your best shape is always going to be good nutrition and smart training. However, finding the right fat burner can light a fire under your efforts to melt away even more unwanted fat and truly reveal your best body; and the right energy supplement can help get you there faster by giving you the power to push harder in your workouts. Energy supplements typically contain ingredients that also double as fat burners, so you get twice the benefit. Moreover, you can combine supplements from these categories to even further amplify your progress.
Faced with more products on the market than you can possibly make sense of, how do you find the supplement that will get you the body you’re working for? Start by answering these questions.
1) What kind of kick do you want your supplement to provide?
? If you’re looking for a serious jolt of energy, you’re in luck, since most fat burners provide a bevy of stimulants. After all, stimulants increase the number of calories and amount of fat you burn each day. The most common stimulant used is the perennial favorite, caffeine. Products that list the amount of caffeine on the label let you know how much of a kick you can expect, with anything above 200 milligrams being considered powerful. Meanwhile, more companies today are combining milder stimulants that give you a bit of a boost, but last longer and don’t end in a crash. If this appeals to you, look for products that contain guarana, theobromine, yerba mate, kola nut, and tyrosine. There are also numerous fat burners that are stimulant free—just look for those that don’t list any of the ingredients covered above, but do include ingredients from Questions 2–7.
2) Do you want to rev up your metabolism?
? Speeding up your metabolic rate results in more calories burned. Take a look at the stimulants covered in Question 1, as these also increase metabolism. Other ingredients that are not stimulants but help to burn more calories include green tea extract, synephrine (Citrus aurantium), capsaicin (the natural ingredient that makes chilis and peppers hot), raspberry ketones, and 7-keto DHEA.
3) Do you want to enhance brain function and mood?
? When you cut calories while dieting, your mental acuity and mood can suffer. if you find that when you diet you can’t remember where you left your gym bag, or you feel a bit down, then ingredients like dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), huperzine A, beta-phenylethylamine, vinpocetine, and mucuna pruriens can help boost your mental sharpness and improve your mood.
4) Do you need to fight a carb addiction?
? If you need your supplement to help you minimize the damage done by eating too many carbs, look for one that contains white kidney bean extract (Phaseolus vulgaris), which is a carb blocker that decreases the amount of carbs your body absorbs. You can also make sure the carbs you eat go to your muscles rather than your fat cells with ingredients like cinnamon extract (such as Cinnulin PF), alpha lipoic acid, and chromium. The latter has also been shown to help reduce carb cravings.
5) Do you want to reduce stress?
? If you feel you’re under regular strain, then you might consider a fat burner that also helps you manage stress and lower cortisol levels. Look for ingredients such as magnolia bark extract, Rhodiola rosea, and phosphatidylserine.
6) Do you want to drop water weight?
? If you’re trying to look your most shredded for a photo shoot, a competition, or just a day at the beach, then about a week before the day you want to peak, you can use a fat burner that includes dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale), uva ursi, celery seed, and buchu leaf, which can all help you look more cut.
7) Do you prefer to create your own fat-burner stack for total control?
? Consider buying ingredients separately. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), green tea extract, and carnitine are the main ones a fat burner needs. If you want to add an energy kick, consider adding the stimulants covered in Question No. 1.
8) Do you want a fat burner that can also help reduce hunger?
? The key to fat loss is burning more calories than you consume. If you have a problem consuming less, then a fat burner that has added appetite suppressants can go a long way. Look for products that include ingredients such as glucomannan, simmondsin (jojoba seed extract), 5-HTP (5-hydroxytrptophan), capsaicin— the active ingredient in hot red peppers, and Hoodia gordonii.