Improvements in our lifestyle over the past decades have been quite evident and have changed how we are. One of the most fundamental changes that have taken place in how we eat/consume our diet. And our physical activity levels throughout the day. In this article we’ll answer to a very popular question that is “Do fat Burners Work?”
In today’s day and age, our dietary patterns have been far from what they were from even, say, a decade or two before. We have moved towards fast/junk and packed foods in our daily consumption at a significantly higher rate than ever before. With so many changes, one thing that has increased over the years is- Obesity.
The obesity levels in the general population have increased drastically, especially in our nation. According to a study done by International Institute for Population Sciences in 2018, the overall levels of obesity in India have increased two-fold from 1995 to 2018. With obesity rising at such stories, there is a growth in the market of supplements and fat burners in all populations.
However, fat-burners are not all that they claim to be. They are just ‘natural’ supplements with ingredients such as caffeine, surplus fiber, amino acids, and proteins. Which help reduce weight by increasing metabolism. However, these claims are not as science-backed as the commercials would have us believe.
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Do Fat Burners Work?
With so many people going over the healthy range of BMI and reaching obesity levels. It is only natural that people will be inclined towards venturing out for these fat burners. I mean, if you think about it from the perspective of a person struggling with weight and body image issues, why not? They offer a solution to a long-term problem that caused many issues to our general health and wellbeing. Not to mention the societal shaming that overweight/obese people face. If such people are offered a supplement that not only claims to give “100% guaranteed results.” But also saves them of the effort and time they would have to put in to reach their desired physical levels.
Such thinking can potentially be detrimental to one’s physical health and body and a person’s mental and emotional health in the long run.
Now to look at this from its core perspective, these fat burners claim to increase our introductory metabolic rate and fasten the process of weight reduction. We won’t claim to refute the fact that caffeine does indeed act as an adrenaline booster for our body. Which is why many people take caffeine in small proportion before their workout.
Also, with caffeine, soluble fibers, and protein powder, most fat burners contain green tea extract, which has also helps in reducing and breaking fat cells in our bodies. With a mixture of all these ingredients, it is easy to believe the commercials and take these supplements. However, that is not all that lies in this debate on the effectiveness and efficiency of fat burners. So, do fat burners work?
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The Ingredients In Fat Burners
The ingredients in fat burners, especially caffeine and amino acids, are stimulants for our metabolic functioning. Using these stimulants results in short-term gains in weight reduction and justifies its usage. However, these ‘stimulants’ can temporarily increase mental focus and the feeling of being energized, thus suppressing appetite overall. While this may look like a good option for middle-aged adults, this can potentially be detrimental to the growth of children and young adults.
All people require a certain number of calories to grow at an average rate as other humans, irrespective of their weight. Such weight loss techniques, based on these fat-burners, tend to disrupt the regular intake required. Leading to a loss of essential calcium, proteins, and vitamins.
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Side Effects Of Fat Burners
Also, with the regular consumption of these fat-burners over the long term, there can be a loss of sleep and the ability to focus. As these stimulants tend to reduce the need for sleep and take rest. However, sleep is of utmost importance to us humans. It helps us overcome the day’s fatigue and recover from the loss of energy exerted throughout the day.
Stimulants can never overcome fatigue, and people who rely on these fat burners find it challenging to maintain their focus for some time. Not only this but there are also signs of dehydration because of regular consumption of fat burners.
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These fat burners work for people, but not as much as they claim. Over long-term usage, these supplement-based fat burners cause much more harm than benefit people. Also, prolonged use of fat burners can potentially cause acute liver failure. There have been many cases where people who have used these burners for many months have suffered liver failure. Not only that, the majority of people have gained their weight back as they left consuming these supplements.
To be honest, if you think about it, these fat burners seem flawed at the very fundamental level. If it were so easy that popping a pill or taking a few scoops of powder could be the cure for obesity. And could prove as the ‘cheat code’ to achieve good health and a fit physical being. The obesity levels in the general population would not be so high.
In the end, the key to achieving good health lies in consistency and following a decent diet with regular physical activity. These fat burners are nothing but baseless claims built on pseudo-scientific research. These fat burners are nothing but a sham. As shocking as it may sound, they act as nothing but take an extra buck out of one’s pocket. Leading to being run like a big scam.
Dr. Karen Gill is an ABMS board certified pediatrician whose expertise includes breastfeeding, nutrition, obesity prevention, and childhood sleep and behavior issues. She currently lives and practices in Portland, Oregon, where she also volunteers for CASA for Children and the Red Cross.