Summer is closing in, and you promised yourself you were going to get leaner than you ever have before! You tell yourself that vacation to Spain is going to be so much better if you walk out onto the beach with lean arms and abs. Everybody will be asking what your secret is, and you’re going to tell them: 90% proper diet and exercise, and 10% supplements.
In this article, we will be discussing all those supplements that have been proven to help you drop fat and how to use them right. But always remember, supplements are only the last 10%, and they will do nothing for you if your diet regimen and exercise routine isn’t on point. So if you are unsure of how to program your exercise and diet on a fat loss stage, this article might need to wait a few days until that research is conducted first. With that being said, let’s go over some of the supplements to take when your current fat loss routine has stopped producing results as well as when and why to take them!
When & Why to Take Fat Burning Supplements?
As I said in the introduction, diet and exercise when done right will give you close to 90% of the results you can get in a fat loss phase. This includes keeping a 500 calorie daily deficit (adjusting occasionally as you drop weight), adding in cardio to allow yourself some leeway in your diet and eat a little bit more some days, as well as continuing to lift heavy to preserve the muscle you have (which is very difficult as most of us know on a calorie deficit).
This will only take us so far though, as our bodies are very good at adapting to change and eventually we will be doing daily cardio, as well as heavy weight training sessions, on very low calories, and still not seeing any more fat loss. In these cases of seemingly doing everything right and still seeing no further results on the scale or in the mirror, supplements are where we can break these plateaus and kick start fat loss again. I will be going over various important supplements for fat loss as well as some less important, but still viable supplements, when to add them into your routine, and why.
The Best Fat Burning Supplements
More than likely you are already consuming caffeine on a daily basis whether you’re in a fat loss phase or not; being found in coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks among other sources. Caffeine is great for fat loss because of a few reasons; as a stimulatory drug it will give you energy (which is usually lacking on a diet due to the major calorie deficit) to push your workouts harder and burn more calories, it will actually heat up your body and help you burn slightly more calories over time without extra exercise (known as thermogenesis), and at high enough levels it will increase strength output and help you preserve muscle mass by continuing to lift heavy.
Unfortunately though if you are in the majority of the population that habitually uses caffeine daily and you are in a fat loss plateau, more than likely your body has adapted and become resistant to caffeine and all the above benefits. In this situation, your best solution would be to stop the supplementation of caffeine for at least a week every month, as this will increase your sensitivity to caffeine and bring back all the performance and fat loss benefits when you begin using it again.
Choosing a healthy source of caffeine is also important as most coffee and energy drinks are full of sugar and/or fat. If you are unable to drink your coffee black, your energy drinks 0 calories, or your tea plain, a caffeine pill might be your last resort but is also a very good option as well. It would also be wise to pair caffeine with L-theanine (found in tea but also sold as a bulk powder) if you are very sensitive to caffeine and get headaches, jitters or nausea. This amino acid will actually counteract the negative side effects as well as help you focus and relax (the best dose of these supplements would be around 200 mgs of each depending on your sensitivity level).
Try MYPRE pre workout before training to get the most out of every session.
When you are on your last few weeks of a fat loss journey it might feel impossible to melt away those stubborn areas of fat from your lower abs/obliques, hips or legs. This supplement is meant to help burn away those areas of stubborn fat. Without going too deep into the science of yohimbine, it basically activates the fat cell receptors that do not get much blood flow (stubborn fat) and releases the triglycerides (fat cells) into the bloodstream to be used for fuel.
Many studies show yohimbine is very effective at 10-20 mgs for stimulating fat loss, but is only effective in a fasted state, as insulin will prevent it from doing what it is supposed to do. This supplement should be used with caution though as it can have many negative interactions with certain medications (you should ask your doctor if yohimbine is okay to use if you are on medication of any kind).
It can also cause anxiety in those who are prone to being anxious and can cause mood swings in some. It is best to start with a lower dose before fasted training to assess tolerance (much like caffeine) and see where to go from there. Also like caffeine, it would be wise to cycle yohimbine for at least a week every month as both are highly stimulatory (they can be cycled at the same time). While most supplements are ineffective at targeting fat loss in certain areas, yohimbine seems to one supplement that can actually produce positive results in this respect if taken in a fasted state and followed by exercise to actually burn off the fat instead of releasing the triglycerides to just have them go back into storage.
Stay Tuned For Part Two…
So far we have talked about a few fat burning supplements as well as when to use them. In part two we will be going over even more essential fat loss stimulants, supplements that can prevent muscle loss during times of fasting/ fasted exercise as well as honorable mentions that can help you lose fat faster but are not quite essential. Not only that but we will be wrapping up the second article with recommendations on how to use all of these supplements together and specifically when to add them into a fat loss phase, make sure to look out for it.