Fat loss is on everyone’s mind at one time or another.
It’s natural; as human beings we like to look good, and there is nothing wrong with that. Diet and exercise are both definitely the recommended first line protocol for burning fat, and if executed correctly, will lead to fat loss.
However, a time may come after losing some weight when things “plateau”. You may feel like you’re doing everything necessary for fat loss, but week after week the scale does not budge.
This is the time when the assistance of a fat burning supplement is usually recruited. This is a good next step, but is also the point where many things can go wrong, especially if you just consume any random supplement without knowing what it contains and what it does.
The most common fat burning supplements broadly fall into one of two categories; stimulant or non stimulant based.
Stimulant based fat burners typically include one or more compounds related to caffeine, and work by increasing levels of catecholanmines - chemicals in the body which boost alertness, and fat burning potential.
On the other hand, are the non-stimulant fat burners - those without stimulants that work via mechanisms separate from elevating catecholamine levels. These supplements are usually stacked in order to boost their efficiacy, as used alone their effects may seem underwhelming.
In regards to stimulant based fat burners, the increased levels of the catecholamines that they result in are essential to the fat burning process, but can be troublesome in individuals who do not realize that they may possess some degree of genetic intolerance to them and are generally sensitive to stimulants.
Which brings us to the major reason to opt for a non-stimulant fat burner:
Intolerance to Stimulants
The primary reason most people should avoid using stim based fat burners is because of the unpredictable effects they may have once ingested. Catecholamines, which are the chemicals elevated via the action of stimulants, do not follow a predictable pattern of metabolism in humans.
A large part of this unpredictability is due to genetic mutations possessed by a large number of people, which affect the ability of the enzyme COMT to efficiently break down the catecholamines.
This is why some people experience symptoms following ingestion of stimulants, including nausea, palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations and more-simply because the catecholamines are not removed in a timely manner.
If you’ve consumed coffee before and felt uneasy for hours following ingestion, chances are that your stimulant tolerance is low, and it may be better for you to opt for non-stimulant fat burners.
If you handle your caffeine well, then you possess a faster COMT enzyme and have no problem using stimulant based fat burners, but you can still also benefit from the non-stimulant ones, preferably by stacking them together.
Consider the following when formulating your stack:
An extremely popular non-stimulant fat burner, which is also an amino acid. It is found naturally in foods such as dairy and beef, though getting the amount necessary for fat loss from food may be highly impractical.
Carnitine promotes the uptake of fatty acids into the mitochondria, where it is burned more efficiently1. Without this ability of fats to enter the mitochondria, using them for fuel would be an uphill task. Carnitine also promotes the metabolism of fat into free fatty acids, since it is these “broken” fragments of fat that enter the mitochondria and become energy.
Carnitine can also help with lean muscle mass gains, as it is known to aid in the production of new androgen receptors as well. With more androgen receptors, the likelihood of more testosterone and DHT interacting and eliciting effects becomes greater.
2. CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
CLA is an omega-6 fat, basically a modified form of linoleic acid. It can be obtained from diet, similarly to Carnitine, found in grass fed beef and high fat dairy. Supplemental CLA is superior once again, as getting enough from food is not practical.
CLA can be consumed by anyone who wants to lose weight and maintain great body composition, as its potential has been confirmed in studies2, exhibiting numerous mechanisms of action. It may suppress appetite, promote use of fat for fuel and inhibit storage of new fat, as well as boost testosterone.
Our favorite way to consume CLA is by fat infusing our coffee with high fat creamers!
You have surely heard Choline mentioned so many times in Nootropic circles, but its benefits extend far beyond those alone. Choline is also a well-known lipotropic, boosting fat oxidation via the liver.
It is common in many vitamin preparations, and is considerably weak for weight loss on its own. However, combined with Carnitine, choline promotes “fat-flushing”3, or excretion of fatty acid molecules via urine.
4. Exogenous Ketones
The ketogenic diet is among the most well established low carbohydrate diets for weight loss. When on a carb depleted diet, the body becomes more efficient at using fat for energy, producing ketone bodies in the process.
The body can lose weight while in a ketogenic state, though staying in said state is the real challenge. Carb cravings break many dieters within the first few weeks of being on.
Rleated: Which Diet is the Best for Fat Loss?
Exogenous ketones can help you achieve ketosis diet-like benefits, while allowing you a little breathing space from carbohydrate restriction. This is because ketone bodies signal to the body that ketosis has been achieved, and allows for continuous fat burning without the severe restriction of carbs.
5. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha lipoic acid is itself a fat based compound which promotes fat loss via multiple ways4. Among these are appetite suppression, and nutrient portioning; which is extremely useful.
This nutrient portioning ability promotes the uptake of carbs into muscle cells, as opposed to fat. It also promotes the use of glucose, helpful in insulin resistant individuals who have difficulty losing weight.
Finally, is ALA’s potent anti-oxidant effects which help preserve organ function under high oxidative situations, and can help reverse aging markers in those with metabolic syndrome.
There are quite a few more good options when it comes to non-stimulant fat burners, but one thing is clear; they work wonders when stacked together.
Individually, they may appear weak, but when combined their ability rivals stimulant based products, but without the inherent risks.
- Effect of L-carnitine on weight loss and body composition of rats fed a hypocaloric diet.
- Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans.
- Carnitine and choline supplementation with exercise alter carnitine profiles, biochemical markers of fat metabolism and serum leptin concentration in healthy women.
- Effects of alpha-lipoic Acid on body weight in obese subjects.