In the pursuit of fast results and shedding unwanted belly fat, many men look to fat-burning supplements to help shift those pesky extra pounds. The trouble with this, however, is that not only is spot reduction of fat from a specific area impossible, but fat burners are unlikely to give you more noticeable or faster results than diet and exercise alone.
Fat Burner Basics
Most fat-burning supplements contain a mix of stimulants and herbs that may increase body temperature and result in an increased calorie burn, notes sports nutritionist Anita Bean on the Men's Fitness website. They may also suppress appetite or release adrenaline and raise your metabolic rate, though this effect is likely very small.
Most fat-burning supplements contain a mixture of ingredients, with the two most common being caffeine and green tea, notes sports scientist Dr. Jim Stoppani. Caffeine may help fat loss by binding to fat cells and increasing fat burning, while compounds in green tea, known as catechins, could aid with increasing metabolic rate, adds Stoppani.
Big Fat Myth
The idea that men need supplements to burn fat is a complete myth, according to dietitian Dr. Chris Mohr. Supplements can give you a tiny boost when combined with the right diet and an intense training routine, but no supplement, pill or powder will magically burn belly fat, notes Mohr. Additionally, where you lose fat on your body is determined by genetics, so to lose belly fat, you have to concentrate on losing fat from every area.
Diet and Exercise vs. Supplements
Adding a fat-burning supplement to your regimen to help burn belly fat won't necessarily be detrimental, but it's unlikely to do much good, either. You should always check with your doctor before you start taking a new supplement. According to personal trainer Christian Finn, the best ways for men to burn fat fast are to eat less than they burn, lift weights two to three times per week, eat a protein-rich diet and add in some cardiovascular work.