The key question is though, do those fat burners really work and if they can really replace what any of us can achieve by good nutrition and exercise?
I like what expert trainer Tom Venuto has to say about this. I thought I'd share some of his thoughts with you and then send you a link where you can read the article in its entirety.
Why I Hate "Fat Burners" And Diet Pills (And Think They're a Waste of Money)
By Tom Venuto,
Author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle
Author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle
Q: Dear Tom, I am not currently using any fat burners. However, I wouldn't be telling the truth if I didn't say I was tempted. In many magazines where I see advertisements for fat burners, they always have a model with a six-pack and the headline is something like, “It takes more than training and nutrition to get great abs.”
Once a person hits a plateau, do we really need fat burners to achieve that “ripped” or “six-pack” look? I am having a really hard time getting my stomach to look the way I want it, and I really respect your opinion, so I appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks Tom!
A: I take great displeasure in seeing those kinds of misleading headlines as well as the misleading use of models who are often paid to endorse the product even though they may never have even used it (they’re just models!)
Countless “fat burner” companies have been sued by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising, false claims and falsifying before and after photos. This week it was the homeopathic HCG scam and the acai berry scammers finally got theirs when the FTC sued them and froze their assets after bilking people like you out of $25 million dollars!
Abs don't come in a pill! The best you get from ANY "fat burner" supplement is a slight thermogenic effect and possibly some slight appetite suppression. A few products might work through other mechanisms like affecting the thyroid (as if it's a good idea to mess with your thyroid without medical supervision), but if you forgive me the generalization, I consider the effects of all “fat burner” products to be somewhere between zero and minutia.
In some of my older newsletters and web pages, I wrote that in my opinion, 97% of your results come from nutrition and training and maybe you get an extra 3% advantage from supplements. I stand by that statement to this day... if not stronger than ever.
Just so you know those numbers arent something I pulled out of thin air, let's take an example:
There is a significant amount of scientific data that Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, the active alkaloid from green tea extract), if consumed in the proper dosage, could increase thermogenesis / metabolic rate by an average of about 75 calories in 24 hours. Since ephedrine was taken off the market years agao, EGCG appears in many ephedra-free formulas these days.
What is a typical calorie expenditure for an active male in 24 hours? lets say 2700 calories per day. 75/2700 = 2.7%. Pretty close to 3% huh?
That slight little extra doesnt hurt, especially when it's delivered in a healthful package such as green tea, rather than harsh central nervous system stimulants, but it's minutia in the bigger picture.
Another way to put this into perspective is to make a list of what other things would burn 75 calories.
Here's some examples adjusted for a 150 lb person:
- walk your dog for 15 minutes
- three times a day, walk for 5 minutes at normal casual pace
- 30 minutes of ironing
- bagging leaves and grass clippings for 14 minutes
- re arrange your furniture for 10 minutes
- wash your car, 15 minutes
- vacuuming for 15 minutes
- 7.2 minutes of walking up stairs (could be spread throughout the day)
Wow, who'd have thunk that taking your dog for a walk around the block or vacuuming your living room burns more fat than the "most effective" fat burners on the market?" Bet the fat burner companies didn't tell you that did they?
To read more about fat loss and what it really would take to lose not only 3 pounds a week, but any weight loss goal you may have, visit