"Real" Fat-Burner Supplements | STACK

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"Real" Fat-Burner Supplements

January 20, 2013 | Kyle Newell

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The following tips may not be what you're hoping to see. True fat burner supplements are few and far between. There is no magic pill that will just melt fat off your body. But during my years as a physical preparation specialist and bodybuilder, I have found a few "real" supplements that can help you achieve your weight loss goals. (See also Best Supplements for Your Workout.)


Studies have shown that caffeine found in coffee and guarana helps your body free up fatty acids to use as fuel. When I first started competing in bodybuilding, I used to look forward to drinking coffee before my morning training, because it heightened my awareness, improved my stamina and increased my pain tolerance. Also, studies show that the chemical cholinomimetics found in coffee diminishes appetite. If you choose to take caffeine in pill form, you will miss out on this benefit.

Natural Food Sources of Conjugated Linoleic Acid

One of the big rages in the supplement industry is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), but it has been found to be pretty useless unless it comes from a natural food source. What foods are high in CLA? Food sources that eat their natural diet, such as grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter and cage-free whole eggs.

Fish Oil

Another super fat loss supplement is fish oil. Fish oil turns on fat burning enzymes and turns off the fat storing mechanism. However, I have not found much benefit when supplementing with less than six grams per day.

Other Tips

These are not ingestible supplements, but they work far better than any fat burner supplements I've ever taken.

  • Tell everyone your fat loss goals. You only have so much "free will," so keeping your goals secret will most likely result in your falling off the track. When you tell others, you will constantly be peppered with questions about how it's going. Post pictures on Facebook and Twitter, or blog often.
  • Keep a nutrition journal: log every single thing you eat; it builds emotional discipline for the process at hand. I have used this trick time and time again to bring awareness to what I am eating and what my athletes are eating. Discipline and commitment to a purpose are what you need if you are going to get shredded.
  • Make your fat loss goals start and end on a definite date. If you know you are going to stay on the program for five weeks, eight weeks, 12 weeks, or whatever, you become more aware of the urgency of each meal.
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