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Myth Buster: Can Fat Burners Work? Are they Safe?

Fat burners. The magic little pill that gets you shredded right?

Only if you know how to use them!

Fact is, Fat Burners work, but they aren’t as magical as some might make them out to be. They’ll definitely help you lose fat and look great, but it requires more effort than just swallowing a pill.

This guide is to help you know the facts about fat burners, what to look for and what to avoid, and how to make them work for you.

What are fat burners?


Fat burners are a fitness supplement designed to increase metabolism, increase energy, and reduce appetite and by doing so increase the number of calories you burn. This over time can translate into weight loss.

Other ingredients in fat burners can signal certain hormones like epinephrine to break down fats and make them ready for the body to use as a fuel source.

What ingredients are in fat burners?


fat burners pills do they work?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common ingredients in fat burners that have been backed up by research to aid in fat loss.

  • CLA

Short for Conjugated Linoleic Acid, CLA is actually a polyunsaturated fat commonly found in meat sources, especially grass fed cows. CLA is one of the most studied substances in the world and many researchers have found it to have fat loss properties.

  • Green Tea

Green tea has long been known for its fat burning qualities, especially when paired with exercise. It also is an excellent source of cancer-fighting antioxidants, making green tea an amazing health food.

  • Black Pepper

Recent research has found that black pepper may reduce the development of new fat cells, helping individuals stay lean.

  • L-Carnitine Tartrate

An amino acid, L-Carnitine Tartrate has been found to help the body use fat as a source of energy as well as possibly increasing exercise performance.

  • Green Coffee Bean

Green coffee bean extract is one of the most popular weight loss supplements and for good reason. It has some promising research behind it plus, like green tea,  it’s a source of antioxidants. Chlorogenic acid is the substance found in green coffee bean that gives its weight loss effects, so be sure the coffee extract is 50% Chlorogenic acid.

  • Thermodiamine

Thermodiamine comes from an exotic fruit found in China and may increase the body’s thermal temperature to help burn more calories. It also acts as an appetite suppressant.

  • Garcinia Cambogia Extract

This weight loss supplement, found in a tropical fruit, has become increasingly popular in the past year. Don’t get too excited though. Most studies have only found it has a moderate effect on weight loss.

  • Caffeine

Caffeine acts as a stimulant and increases epinephrine and norepinephrine in the body. These “flight or fight” hormones also signal the breakdown of fatty acids and release into the bloodstream, making them available as fuel sources. Caffeine also acts as a mild appetite suppressant.

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How do fat burners burn fat?

how do fat burners work?

Fat burners through their stimulant like effect cause the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that signal the mobilization of fat from fat stores to the blood stream.

Once fat enters the bloodstream however it doesn’t magically disappear. There has to be a use for it to be burned as energy by the body. This is why to get the most out of a fat burner,  it’s important to be working out regularly. If you’re not working out and creating an energy need, the fat that gets released into the bloodstream will just be stored as fat again.

Fat burners can also help you lose weight by either providing a natural appetite suppressant and increasing thermogenesis in the body. Both of these effects help you create a calorie deficit which technically translates into weight loss.

Are fat burners safe for your health?


reading supplement labels

Unless you have any sensitivities to stimulants like caffeine or are allergic to any of the ingredients (which is unlikely) most fat burners are safe, but there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • Only use it as the directions say.

Taking more that the suggested use will not give you more or faster results. Always read the instructions and take it as directed! Most fat burners are taken once in the morning, and maybe again before a workout or at lunch in the afternoon.

  • Don’t take it forever.

Fat burners were not meant to be taken long term. Since most of them have stimulant-like effects, your body will adapt making them less effective. Plus, it’s not a bad idea to give your body a break from stimulants now and then.

  • If you are already consuming lots of caffeine, you might want to cut back somewhere.

Again, most fat burners have caffeine or other stimulants so if you are a regular coffee drinker or take pre-workout daily, make sure you aren’t getting too much caffeine at once or your total during the day. It’s not recommended you take more than 400mg of caffeine daily.

  • Do your research, know what to avoid.

Although most ingredients in fat burners are natural and safe, there are definitely ingredients to look for and avoid: phenolphthalein, sibutramine, Clenbuterol, Emagrece Sim are a few of those dangerous ingredients.

So, do fat burners work?

trx training with fat burners

Yes, fat burners work if you work.

If you really want to get the most out of your fat burner, pair it with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the correct supplementation.

Fat burners are available as a supplement to what you are already doing. If you aren’t eating right or exercising, don’t expect a fat burner to do much, it might give you an energy buzz but that’s about it.

The best times to take a fat burner is in the morning before breakfast, and possibly again in the afternoon before lunch or a workout. Remember, it’s important to pair fat burners with regular physical activity so your body actually uses the fat that’s being released into the bloodstream as a source of energy.

Our Coaches favorite fat burner:

IdealLean Fat Burner

Our top recommended fat burner comes from our favorite supplement line for women, IdealLean.

They just released a fat burner that has scientifically backed ingredients and a 100% money back guarantee.

Here’s why I love IdealLean fat burner:

  • 100 mg of natural caffeine to help increase your metabolism and to naturally suppress appetite.
  • Antioxidants from green coffee bean and Thermodiamine™ as an appetite suppressant.
  • Proven fat burning ingredients like black pepper, CLA, and Theobromine.

IdealLean fat burner gives you that extra edge when it comes to fat loss. Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, this fat loss formula is sure to help get you a sculpted and fit figure.

IdealLean Fat Burner provides just enough natural caffeine (from green coffee bean and green tea extract) to give you just the boost you need in your day, but not so much you feel jittery. I love taking it in the mornings, I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine, but IdealLean fat burner gives me just enough energy to feel focused and awake but not so much I’m bouncing off the walls.

Fat burner supplement do they work ?

If you are working hard in the gym and eating right, a fat burner is going to give you that extra little help on your journey to a leaner body. Choose a supplement like IdeaLean that has proven and safe ingredients and remember to follow the directions.

Happy fat burning!

See why our coaches recommend IdealFit


  1. Rosalba

    Been menopausing for almost 3 years and gained a lot of weight would the pills help. My workout is walking.

    1. Brooke

      That’s awesome you are walking! However, if you’re really want to get serious and if you are up for it maybe include some higher intensity workouts like HITT and don’t be afraid to lift some weights even small ones! To really lose weight though it’s all about your diet- often times we overeat without realizing. Go online and you should be able to find out how many calories you should be eating to maintain your weight and how many you should eat if you want to get to a certain weight, usually though reduce your intake by around 500 calories! Try and eat clean and also watch drinking unecessary calories! Add in taking a fat burner supplement and you’ll be well on your way! You can lose weight though without it if you eat clean, portion controlled meals and exercise – aim for an hour exercise a day! Hope this helps!

  2. Janice Gage

    I would like a nutritional program.. I have been going through menopause over the past 3 years and have gained 30lbs, and jut can’t seem to get it off..

    1. Ashley Lark

      I would suggest reaching out to a dietician or registered nutritionist to provide you with the best possible outcome. Once you have that mastered step it up with regular exercise! I see this was posted 2 months ago, have you had any progress? 🙂

    2. Ash

      In terms of weight loss, the 3 week diet is extremely effective for burning fat quickly. Here’s a link to the plan: //

      In terms of the healthiest diet, well it seems to change every year. I remember reading that it was the paleo diet but recent studies contradict that.

  3. Kerri

    Any info u can get me would b great.
    I am 50-75 pound over weight, work as a school cook, have bad back and plantar fascitis. Low thyroid and on 125 levothyroxine. 50 years old.
    I love bike riding, never a rubber or Walker, especially now since foot has been flared up for over year and half now
    Thanks for whatever u can do to point me in right direction 🙂

  4. Cynthia

    I have been taking the lean protein shakes after workout for a week and I love the taste. I just ordered the fat burners and the bacaa… Can’t wait to get them in. I am 42 and need to lose 10-15 pounds. I just started back walking/running this week. I also do squats, jumping jacks , stairs, and weights with arms. I usually workout in the evening so I will drink the bacaa during workout and protein shake after. I usually don’t eat a big breakfast usually an apple with 2 boiled eggs minus the yokes. When should I take the fat burners?

    1. Amy Posey
    2. Ashley Lark

      Definitely eat a bigger breakfast and if you are looking to lose that extra last bit of fat, cut back on fruit! Eating a sufficient breakfast determines a lot for the rest of your day. Make sure you are eating enough! If you aren’t your body could mistake it for starvation and will actually hold on to all the fat you consume…making it so you can’t lose any. You didn’t mention water, but make sure you are drinking enough water as that will help immensely. Drink a big glass right away in the morning when you wake up! Hope that helps! Good luck!

  5. Carla

    Can u safely take bacaa on a regular basis if you need to up your protein intake ? I think u can also some women that are older and have medical issues can’t always do what you young people do on a regular basis some can only do a walk program maybe yoga so what’s your input on that ?

    1. Amy Posey
      Amy Posey

      You can take BCAAs on a regular basis, but it won’t increase your protein intake (there isn’t any protein in BCAAs just amino acids). Walking and yoga is great! Any physical activity is better than none!

  6. Kathy

    Great article! Thanks for finally demystifying the whole question and even though you said a lot of things that we have all read over and over again, the way you presented the information was awesome. I’ve hear a whole lot of great things about Ideal Lean products lately. Looks like I will be making an investment soon to supplement what I am doing with diet and exercise.

  7. Janifer

    I am at a good weight, but want to lean my abs up. I go gym 2 -3 days week. And will this also keep me going during day without the caffeine let down or jitters. I usually drink 1 to cup coffee in AM since I work at 330 am.

    1. Kris

      I didn’t think any exercise or supplement would target one specific area. I do CF about 5 times a week. Run intervals 2 times a week in addition to about my 25 miles per week. I am very lean except my stomach. I can’t get rid of it. I am 53.

  8. Cris

    Hi, I’ve had bariatric surgery and therefore can’t seem to handle regular whey protein, I need my protein to be whey protein isolate . Is Ideal Lean Protein whey isolate or just whey?

    1. Amy Posey
    1. Amy Posey
  9. Ruth

    Hi! I don’t need to lose weight. I am am 5’5 and weigh 115. I am very lean on top but carry weight on my lower half and it has been very hard to get the bottom half proportionate with the top, would this help me. I workout 5 days and eat clean. Thanks

  10. Amy

    Are the 30 minute workout on Beach Body 21-day fix (and the accompanying diet program) considered sufficient exercise to see results from fat burners?
    Also, how much time should I wait between taking a fat burner and eating a meal or exercising?

    1. Amy

      Background info: I’ve been doing 21-day fix for 5 weeks now. Have lost 8 pounds and 9.25 inches. I am 5’4″ and weigh 109 lbs. I tone up quickly in my upper body and I don’t care much about what the scale says, but I have stubborn lower back fat that gives me a muffin top and I would love to say goodbye to it.

    2. Amy Posey
      Amy Posey

      Hey Amy! (great name 😉 ) It sounds like trying a fat burner with your program could help with those last few stubborn pounds, especially since it sounds like you’ve been consistent with a healthy diet and regular exercise. You usually take one 30 minutes before a meal or workout. Another tip to help get rid of stubborn fat is to switch up your workouts in some way if you haven’t already!

  11. Teri Lambert

    Hello! Can I open the capsules and mix them in my protien shake before my workout?

    1. Amy Posey
      Amy Posey

      You probably could, although I’m not sure how great that would taste and it’s recommended you take them on an empty stomach!

  12. Suzi

    My weight keeps fluctuating. I know that is par for the course being a 48 year old female. I work out about 5 times per week. I usually spend an hour to an hour and a half doing a mix of cardio and weights. I had lost a bunch of weight a year or so ago but it has come back. I just cannot spend 2-3 hours in the gym each day like I had. I start my day with a protein shake (Vega clean protein). I like that one because it does not give me the digestive issues others have. I feel like I go a good job watching what I eat but I do have cheat days. I would love suggestions to get my weight back down. I am about 10-15 over what I want to be.

    1. Amy Posey
      Amy Posey

      Hey Suzi! Here are a few suggestions:

      -Focus more on high intensity but shorter workouts rather than longer workouts. More isn’t always better when it comes to exercise.
      -Make sure you are getting enough rest and managing your stress.
      -Make sure your diet is on point and that you aren’t eating too much or too little, tracking your intake for a couple days could help you see where you’re at.

    1. Amy Posey
      Amy Posey

      Hey Stephanie, our coaches favorite fat burner is IdealLean fat burner. It’s very affordable too! You can get a month supply for under $20. //

  13. Lisa

    Thank you! I love this article and when I kept scrolling and saw IdealLean I was elated! I use their products and workout 5-6 times a week. I’ve been keeping a clean diet as well. Super excited to continue my journey with IdealLean in my back pocket! ????

    1. Amy Posey
      1. t

        Are the pills large? I have a hard time swallowing larger pills and find it hard to find smaller versions.

  14. audra

    Hi! I’m 48 and would like to lose at least 20 pounds. I work out every morning. Either interval HIIT on treadmill, elliptical and at the end of the week I’ll go to the gym and do weights. I eat a protein bar in the morning, lettuce wrap (w/turkey or chicken salad) for lunch and chicken with veggies and rice at dinner. I can not lose weight even though working out all the time. HELP!

    1. Amy Posey
      Amy Posey

      Hey Audra, You might be doing too much and not eating enough! There is too much of a good thing when it comes to diet and exercise! //

  15. Gurindernijjar

    I start my menopause from last one year I am getting my weight gained 10 lb. suggest me wt is gud for me to maintain my weight. But i hv no time to walk and excersise

  16. Gurindernijjar

    I start my menopause from last one year I gained my weight almost 10lb. I want to loose it bt I hv no time to workout suggest me wt I do plz

  17. Valerie

    Is there a fat burner for those who are sensitive to caffeine?

    1. Joy

      Valerie, I’m the same with caffeine, and I love the IdealLean fat burner. I’ve been using it for a yr now. It just gives me more energy to get through my work outs, no headaches like caffeine does to me.

  18. Madelyn Turner

    I have question I work long hours and don’t have time to exercise is this stuff still help you to burn fat?

  19. Darlene

    What is the difference between the CRL and Fat Burner and can you take them both at the same time?

  20. Tina

    What about fat burners for men? My husband & I would like to try this together. What do you recommend?

  21. Nouf

    I want to know if I can use this fat burner becaues I have thyroid ? There is any risk

  22. Joseph wells

    Best fat burner ive ever encountered. //

  23. Marshall Evans

    Honestly, fat burners will never work if we don’t do anything. That’s why it’s very important to make sure we train properly and then we can use these pills to optimize fat loss. For more losing fat exercises, you can visit my blog: //

  24. prash

    Thanks for the article. I workout in the early mornings at 6 am, mostly into compound exercises. Please suggest if i can take HealthAid Green Coffee Bean Extract capsule 30 min before workout instead of plain instant coffee.

  25. Merle Jaffe

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!|

  26. Priya

    Some fat burners simply burn calories as heat. Others also claim to stimulate the release of adrenaline, increase your metabolic rate or act as appetite suppressants.

  27. Sue

    Hi im Sue.I font need to loose any weight but hat extra fat in triceps and thighs.Am on amino burn,will this help this fat burning process,train 3 times a week at bootcamp and do cardio

  28. moutushi

    This article is very help full us, thanks for this valuable content. What is the best fat burner and fat burning pills ? I also suggest peoples you can choice and buy your needed pills for your self. You can see more fat burn information here

  29. simone berstein

    I have been taking the Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse (2 pills half hour before each meal) for a few weeks now, it did feel to me it took a few days to notice a difference. I did feel less hungry and could not finish any meal. I did have more energy as well and that is what I was looking for. I should of started with a Lady Soma Detox first, I believe I would of felt the benefits sooner if I had chosen that route in the beginning.

    I have lost 6lbs since starting so that is better than nothing 🙂

  30. Raouia Hamiche

    Should I still take the fat burner on days where I’m not going to workout? I work out regularly but I take two days a week off

    1. Sam Gutierrez
      Sam Gutierrez


      Fat burners usually have caffeine in them which will give you additional energy to use during your workouts thus helping you burn fat. If you are not going to workout I would recommend to stay away from those fat burners if you are not going to do any sort of physical activity on your two days off. However, if you want that energy kick to help you move quicker and have more energy during those two days off then go head and take them. That decision is completely up to you.

  31. Neha Shah

    Hello everyone. I’ve been using Linto plus for past 4 months now, and it has helped me a lot to be in shape as I have successfully lost my extra fats. I would like to advise all of you to trust Linto plus if you are facing weight-related issues.Thanks to Amruta Pharma.

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    Right here is the right blog for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic.
    You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually
    will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new
    spin on a topic which has been discussed for decades.
    Wonderful stuff, just great!

  34. Anthony Munroe

    I never really had to do too much exercise because of my diet, i am able to keep my body at a healthy weight and know what to cook will go a long way in keeping the pounds away try out this cookbook that will help you get the body of your dreams click link below

  35. NutricSalud

    Good advice here! It’s important to know too the amount of which ingredient you are taking in the supplement. Most of the problems related, like headaches and dizziness, are related to the amount of green coffee extract or caffeine in the supplement plus the amount you’re already taking.

  36. mayra

    Right here is the right blog for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic.
    You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually
    will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new
    spin on a topic which has been discussed for decades.
    Wonderful stuff, just great!

  37. Jai Massie

    Nice Blog!! The content you have shared is very elaborative and informative. Thanks a lot for sharing such a great piece of knowledge with us.

  38. Erin (Ezz)

    Such a great article, thanks for breaking it down. I especially enjoyed you going through what is in fat burners but also what to avoid when buying them. Keep up the great work!

  39. Aika

    I don’t think fat burners are necessary for weight loss. A well-balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise can help kickstart your body’s natural fat-burning ability, which is a much healthier weight loss option.

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