Fat burners: to test or not?

What is a fat burner or thermogenic and what is it used for?

Also known as thermogenicsfat burners are dietary supplements that aim toincrease basal metabolism by boosting the thermogenesis. “Thermogenesis is the body’s production of heat. When it is activated, the body burns more calories and tends to draw more quickly from fat reserves to meet its needs,” explains Raphael Gruman. Fat burners are therefore assumed activate lipolysis – namely the melting of adipose tissue – thanks to the splitting of large fat molecules into small molecules that are easily mobilized by the body.

Are fat burners effective and do they help with weight loss?

If, on paper, fat burners have everything to work, in practice, their effectiveness is far from convincing.

Raphaël Gruman, dietician nutritionist: On the one hand, no serious study has corroborated the effectiveness of fat burners in the loss of weight or fat mass, and on the other hand the effects observed are in practice very mediocre.

The components contained in fat burners do have a slight action on thermogenesis, but it is very anecdotal at the dosages indicated. “And it is strongly advised against increasing the doses, since they may tend to increase heart rate and to cause palpitations“adds our expert.
As part of a weight loss diet, along with a balanced diet and regular physical activity, they can however be a good safeguard and provide a small additional aid to weight loss.

What is the difference with a drainer?

Among the other slimming aid supplements that are on the rise, we find the drainers. “Drainers have a completely different mode of action from fat burners,” explains the dietitian. “In facilitating the work of the emunctory organs – liver, kidney and skin – the drainers boost the excretion of toxins and help to remove standing water that they retain in the tissues” he sums up.
The drainers are therefore particularly suitable for people who make Water retentionespecially during periods of high heat.
“Unlike fat burners that I don’t tend to recommend, drainers have a real effective and proven action. They are to be taken daily to improve water retention problems” recommends Raphael Gruman.

Plants recognized for their draining action are: cherry stalks, labor juice, vine leaves, artichoke, parsley or even elderberry or hibiscus.

L-carnitine, CLA, caffeine: Which fat burner to choose?

In the radius of fat burners, the most fashionable molecules are Carnitinethe CLA and the caffeine.
Carnitine is a amino acid, biosynthesized from lysine and methionine, two amino acids found in food. This carnitine acts by facilitating the penetration of fatty acids from the cytosol to the mitochondria, in order to produce energy.

The CLA- conjugated linoleic acid – would act as for it by reducing the action of the lipoprotein lipase which is in charge of the transfer of fats in the adipose cells. “Particularly popular with bodybuilders during periods of cutting, CLA is supposed to stimulate the formation of muscle mass while reducing the storage of fat” explains the nutritionist dietician.

caffeine finally, is undoubtedly the best known and oldest used thermogenic. Its action on weight loss is threefold, since it activates the basic metabolism, promotes lipolysis and has a proven diuretic effect. caffeine thus combines a draining action to its supposed fat-burning action, which probably makes it the most interesting slimming food supplement of the three.

Green tea, cabbage, pineapple: Are there fat-burning foods?

Several foods are regularly touted for their natural fat-burning effect. Green cabbage is one of them. Flagship food of the famous cabbage soup diet, supposed to lose 3 to 7 kg in a week, green cabbage is very low in fat and high in fiber as well as indigestible carbohydrates. This food is therefore definitely an ally of the line… in the same way as a large number of green vegetables! However, green cabbage does not specifically elevate thermogenesis nor does it have the ability to dislodge fatty tissue. A slimming aid yes, a fat burner, no.

Pineapple is also presented as a natural fat-burning fruit, to put on the menu during diets. “In the stem of the pineapple, there is an active substance called bromelain known for its anti-oedematous properties. This component is therefore effective on water retention and cellulite” explains Raphael Gruman. The problem: to benefit from these effects by eating the fruit, it would be necessary to consume in large quantities the central and fibrous part of the pineapple – which hardly consumable in practice.
“On the other hand, there are food supplements based on bromelain extracted from the pineapple stem, which are quite effective and which I can recommend to my patients prone to water retention and cellulite” adds the nutritionist.

Finally, green tea rich in theine and coffee rich in caffeine are also drinks with natural fat-burning properties, which can significantly stimulate thermogenesis. “Be careful, however, in high doses, we know that coffee increases the risk of cardiovascular disease” recalls Raphael Gruman. Green tea, on the other hand, contains less of it, and one or two cups daily will have no real effect on the basal metabolism.

Raphaël Gruman: Among the other fat-burning foods, which contain active ingredients which significantly activate the metabolism, we also find pepper which contains capsaicin, guarana which is very rich in caffeine and maca. But their effect on the line remains anecdotal.

When to take fat burners?

To best benefit from the properties of fat burners, the ideal would be to take them before each meal. “However, by activating thermogenesis and basal metabolism, the active substances contained in these dietary supplements can interfere with falling asleep. It is therefore preferable not to take it in the evening if you have a fragile sleep” indicates the nutritionist.

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