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What are the effects of 'fat-loss' pills?

If you’re currently trying to lose weight and struggling to make progress, you may have started looking for ways to speed up the process. This may include the so-called 'fat-loss tablets'.

In truth, the best way to lose weight (and keep it off long term) is to commit to eating a healthy diet with fewer calories and doing regular exercise. However, some people find that weight loss supplements like fat burners can help the process along and in general make weight-loss easier to achieve. But, is there any truth to this?

What are fat burners?

Fat burners are weight loss supplements that normally come as a tablet, pill or capsule. They’re designed to be taken as part of a healthy diet and exercise regime. Normally you’ll take a fat burner supplement at least one-a-day.

How do fat burners work?

Fat burners claim that they cause weight-loss in one or more of the following ways:

  • By speeding up your metabolism

  • By stimulating the breakdown of fat

  • By preventing the accumulation of fat

Caffeine, guarana, green tea and capsaicin are four popular plant-based ingredients for fat burners and are all classed as “thermogenic”. This means that they produce heat – a process that can help to speed up the metabolism. Another popular ingredient for fat burners is L-carnitine. This is an amino acid that is said to encourage the breakdown of fat for energy.

Are fat burners effective?

Fat burners aren’t listed as a recommended treatment for weight-loss by the NHS, as there’s not enough evidence to show that they work. Some research shows that while fat burners do speed up the metabolism and help your body burn more fat, this effect is limited and won’t lead to any significant weight-loss.

Side effects of fat burners

Because fat burners are dietary supplements rather than medication, they haven’t been studied in close detail, which means we don’t know a lot about the effects they have on the body.

However, we do know that some of the ingredients can lead to unwanted side effects, especially when taken in large quantities. High amounts of caffeine, a popular ingredient found in fat burners, can cause high blood pressure. Fat burners have the potential to cause headaches, an increased heart rate and lead to sleeping issues, as well as more serious conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease.

The best way to achieve your slim transformation goals are to eat a healthy and balanced diet and be active.

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