If weightloss is on your agenda, you've probably considered them — read this first
You've seen them on being sold in the internet, stacked up in high-street stores and touted by exhausting Instagram fitness personalities — but, chances are, you don't know enough about fat-burning supplements, fat binders and fat pills.
Promising to annihilate unwanted inches on your waistline and to detonate body fat percentage in record time, yearly sales for fat-burning supplements often exceed £900m in the UK, meaning a significant portion of the health and fitness population is relying on questionable ingredients to get quicker results and an even faster six-pack.
But what's actually inside fat-burning supplements and can you really trust them? Below, we take you through it.
What are fat-burning pills?
Designed to give you a boost in your fat-burning potential, fat-burners are marketed around increasing metabolism, boosting energy and reducing your appetite — a trifecta of solutions that translate to weightloss.
What most people don't realise, however, is that your best-ever body is primarily made in the kitchen — fat-burning supplements alone won't get to your goals if you're diet isn't 'clean' enough.
Designed to supplement your diet, most fat-burning pills often include CLA — Conjugated Linoleic Acid, a polyunsaturated fat found in meat sources — black pepper, proven to reduce development of fat cells, and L-Carnitine Tartrate, an amino acid which helps the body use fat as a source of energy.
Once taken, fat-burners cause the release of two hormones — epinephrine and norepinephrine — to mobilise fat from fat stores into your blood stream, to then be burned through exercise.
What are fat-binders?
Fat-binders, unfortunately, are considerably less glam than fat-burning pills. While fat-burning pills focus on dealing with fat inside your body, fat-binders use the digestive tract to excrete fat.
Put simply, fat-binders prevent some fat being absorbed — and therefore stored — by trapping and sticking fat molecules and encouraging passage out of the body through your anus.
Essentially, you sh*t out your fat, so be warned — they also gobble-up muscle-maintaining vitamins A, D, E and K, according to research at the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidence Based Medicine.