Yes, they do…as long as you have reasonable expectations of what a fat burner "working" means.
Some people believe if they're using a fat burner, they should be able to melt huge amounts of fat off each week. Not gonna happen! But here are some ways you can help a fat burner do its work.
Set reasonable expectations: While your rate of fat loss can be enhanced with supplements, you won't be dropping 10 pounds in a week simply because you're using a thermogenic supplement. Sorry!
Remember this number: A safe rate of fat loss is 1-3 pounds per week, for average, healthy individuals. You can push this rate up to 4 pounds per week on rare occasions, but it's not sustainable. Eventually, your body will hit a plateau and fat loss will slow.
If you're dropping weight too quickly, on a fat burner or not, you could be losing lots of lean muscle mass. Unless you want to look like a shapeless coat hanger—and feel as healthy and athletic as one—you should rethink your fat-loss plan.
Set your weight-loss goals from week to week and month to month, not day to day. When you meet incremental goals over time, you'll stay more motivated and see great results from your program. Sure, some weeks you may not see any results—that's to be expected. But with the help of a fat burner, your fat loss will stay on track over the longer term.
Cycle your fat burner: Even the best thermogenic fat burner won't keep giving results forever. Sorry!
"Many people use thermogenics because they can help reach weight-loss goals in a shorter period of time. They can also boost energy levels at the gym. But chronic usage can increase your tolerance," explains Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., in the article "What Supplements Should I Be Cycling?"
"I encourage people to cycle their fat burners," Kendall explains. "People are typically on a fat burner for 4-6 weeks. Once your body gets used to it, you're not going to see the same increase in fat oxidation or increase in metabolic rates. By stopping using your fat burner every now and then, you make sure it will still help you lose belly fat."
The only problems she says, is that since caffeine is considered a drug, you can experience withdrawal effects when you stop taking it.
"The withdrawal effects are the worst 1-2 days without it, and they linger on for about seven days," Kendall says, "but most people will say after about a week of it, your body starts to adapt to life without it."
Kendall recommends staying off your fat burner for a couple weeks, then starting back up again—ideally at a lower dose that what you were taking before you stopped.
Start at a low dose: Fat burners are designed specifically to give you the proper doses of various ingredients to support fat loss. But that doesn't mean that the more of the ingredients you take, the more results you'll see. Supplement manufacturers state the serving guidelines and directions so you can have a way of measuring what dose works best for you.
It's always best to start with the lowest dose listed on the package and stay at that dose for at least two weeks. After that, you can determine if you want to bump up the dose to the higher end of the spectrum if it's listed on the packaging. If the product lists only one serving size, don't go above it.
Make muscle a priority: It's a common approach to simply take a thermogenic, hop on the nearest cardio machine, and dream of being smaller. But your body deserves better than this approach!
Along with your nutrition and supplements, you should follow a comprehensive training program that maximizes fat loss while also minimizing muscle loss. When sustainable weight loss is the goal, muscle is your friend! It burns calories, gives your body shape, and allows you to stay active and feel good doing it.
The most popular weight-loss programs in BodyFit share a common thread: they make you sweat, but also encourage a healthy overall body composition and muscle growth. If you want to stay lean for the long term, you need more than just to "cut!"
5 Popular Weight-Loss Programs: