Top 10 Proven Fat Burners for Men (2017 List)
In a perfect world you could obtain the nutrients you need from the food you eat, but today most people are eating the standard North American diet. For example, how many people eat the seven to ten half-cup servings of fruits and vegetables they need just to get the minimum basic nutrients? Add to that exposure to environmental pollutants and too much stress, and people need even more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like essential fatty acids, enzymes, and coenzymes.
In other words, there is not a single person in North America who can afford NOT to take nutritional supplements, especially a multivitamin with minerals and essential fatty acids.
Here is our list of the top ten proven fat burners for men:
Omega-6: GLA Aids Weight Loss
GLA, found primarily in the omega 6-oils from borage, evening primrose, and black currant, can help improve thyroid function, thus increasing metabolism and activating brown adipose tissue (BAT) to burn fat and correct genetic mutations in fat cells. BAT’s job is to burn calories to increase body temperature and, when it functions correctly, it can be a powerful fat-burning furnace.
I recommend borage oil and evening primrose oil as the most readily available and best sources of GLA for fat burning. Borage contains more GLA than evening primrose oil, hence the reason for differing dosages in the following recommendations.
Animal studies conducted by Dr. Takahashi from the National Food Research Institute in Ibaraki, Japan, have demonstrated that GLA also causes less body fat to accumulate. Dr. M.A. Mir, a researcher and consultant at the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff, Wales, has shown that GLA from evening primrose oil and borage oil activates a metabolic process that can burn close to 50 percent of your body’s total calories. In one study, by adding GLA, individuals lost between 9.6 and 11.4 lb. (4–5 kg) over a six-week period.
More recently published studies have demonstrated the link between obesity and low GLA levels in lab animals. After supplementing with GLA, levels normalized, and the obese animals reduced their food intake, thus halting weight gain. Japanese research published in The Journal of Nutrition in 1994 confirmed that dietary GLA could reduce body fat by increasing brown fat activity, and that GLA may affect enzymes involved in the metabolism of fat and glucose. Scientists believe that GLA, like other fatty acids, may have the potential to elevate levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that contributes to a feeling of fullness. Elevated serotonin levels would make you feel satisfied sooner; you would eat less and be less tempted to overindulge.
Omega-3: Fabulous Fat Burners
The omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA) are found primarily in flaxseed and fish and are associated with reduced fat storage, improvements in risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, skin conditions, immune function, and much more. Omega-3 fatty acids can be converted into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and prostaglandins. Fish oil supplements commonly contain 18 percent EPA and 12 percent DHA. The body must convert flaxseed oil to EPA and DHA and, depending on your ability to convert (most people using flaxseed oil only convert up to 11 percent to EPA and 5 percent to DHA), you may need both fish and flaxseed oils to get adequate EPA and DHA.
Recent research conducted by the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center examined the role of omega-3 fatty acids in improving metabolic fitness in moderately obese, hypertensive people. The study results showed that omega-3 fatty acids were effective in fat loss and also enhanced insulin sensitivity.
Omega-3 fatty acids increase the body’s metabolic rate and thus help in fat burning. Ann Louise Gittleman, one of the premier nutritionists in the United States and author of Eat Fat, Lose Weight and The Fat Flush Plan, has seen tremendous weight loss in her clients who use flaxseed oil. She recommends the addition of omega-3 oils to the diets of those who are suffering from obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is necessary for cell growth and as a building block of cell membranes. CLA occurs naturally in the meat and milk of cows that have been grass-fed; it is produced by the intestinal bacteria of these animals when they convert omega-6 linoleic acid into CLA. Humans cannot convert linoleic acid into CLA and must rely on food or supplements for CLA.
CLA is available as a convenient dietary supplement, made by converting the high linoleic acid content of either sunflower or safflower oils into CLA. To date there are more than 500 published research studies supporting CLA’s ability to exert positive effects on fat loss, prevent and control Type 2 diabetes, protect against heart disease, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, and regulate the immune response. CLA may also inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
More Muscle with CLA
Early animal research paved the way for groundbreaking work on CLA and fat loss in humans. The first human clinical trial using CLA was conducted in 1997 in Norway and published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2000. This study is, to date, the largest scientific evidence published showing CLA’s effects on human fat tissue. Results showed that 3.4 g of CLA per day was enough to obtain the fat-burning effects, and the group given the highest dose per day also experienced an increase in lean muscle mass. In fact, there was a remarkable 20 percent decrease in body fat, with an average loss of 7 lb. (3kg) of fat in the CLA group as compared to the placebo group. None of the subjects changed their diet. These results support previous observations that CLA is quite effective as a fat-burning supplement and a producer of lean muscle mass.
The importance of protein for optimal health cannot be overstated. Protein is made up of twenty amino acids. Twelve of these are synthesized by the liver, and the remaining eight, which are called “essential,” must be obtained from food. The richest sources of amino acids include legumes, fresh fish, free-range poultry, free-range eggs, nuts, seeds, fermented soy, whey protein, and fermented dairy products. It is quick, delicious, and you don’t have to cook it. Many diseases are related to inadequate protein consumption in the diet.
Did you know that by eating a protein-rich breakfast you can increase your body’s ability to burn fat by 25 percent, and that the fat-burning action will last all day? Carbohydrate-rich breakfast cereals, skim milk, and toast slow your fat-burning rate, keep you feeling hungry, and increase your food cravings. Worse yet, when you skip meals, your metabolic rate slows to conserve energy because you are starving your body. Then when you do eat, the calories are stored as fat. The answer is to eat breakfast every day, along with several small meals throughout the day. Drink a protein-rich shake every morning for breakfast and again as a snack in the afternoon to ensure that your body feels satisfied and your fat-burning furnace is working at peak levels.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Adult men 70 g
Adult women 58 g
Pregnant women 65 g
Lactating women 75 g
Girls aged 13–15 62 g
Girls aged 16–20 58 g
Boys aged 13–15 75 g
Boys aged 16–20 85 g
Whey Protein and Fat-Burning Protein
Whey protein contains alpha-lactalbumin, glycomacropeptides, lactoferrin, and amino acids, including tryptophan and glutathione precursors. Each component in whey protein has a unique action. When all the components are combined, they have powerful healing capabilities:
- Alpha-lactalbumin in whey protein is the key to the manufacture of protein in your body. Its consumption enhances tryptophan and immune function and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which causes your fat cells to become resistant to fat loss.
- Tryptophan, used by the brain to manufacture serotonin, is a key neurotransmitter. A tryptophan deficiency can lead to depression, anxiety, moodiness, and insomnia. People who lack serotonin generally eat more.
- Glutathione, the most powerful detoxifier in your body, is integral to a healthy immune system. It is an antiviral, fights cancer, protects you against free radicals, and extends life. It is also important for a healthy liver.
- Glycomacropeptides stimulate the pancreatic hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which is responsible for the release of enzymes from the pancreas and for the contraction of the gallbladder and the bowels. It is also responsible for telling your brain you are satisfied and no longer require more food, so it helps control your appetite.
- Lactoferrin, an antioxidant, is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent shown to inhibit the growth of E. coli, salmonella, and Candida in the gut. It also helps ensure the optimal use of iron in the body by binding to iron and preventing its oxidation.
Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, Citrus aurantium is the immature dried fruit of the bitter orange. A natural stimulant, Citrus aurantium supplies synephrine, which is a thermogenic known to increase resting metabolism rate, thus helping the body burn fat more efficiently. Citrus aurantium also improves energy levels, especially during aerobic exercise, allowing you to work out longer and with more endurance.
Citrus aurantium contains five active ingredients that resemble adrenaline’s physiological actions. Of the five, synephrine is the best known and most studied constituent. Synephrine is as effective as ephedra without the negative side effects. Ephedra, another well-known weight loss ingredient, boosts metabolism and suppresses appetite, but is also known to negatively stimulate the cardiovascular system, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and can promote heart palpitations, seizures, stroke, nervousness, insomnia, and anxiety. Synephrine does not do this.
Synephrine binds to certain receptor sites on fat cells to stimulate fat burning and fat mobilization and has been shown to safely enhance fat loss. Synephrine has also been shown to reduce appetite and provide a subtle energy boost to users. Synephrine is found in all citrus fruits.
Yerba mate Extract
Natural sources of caffeine, in low doses, are effective in aiding weight loss. When taken with synephrine, caffeine amplifies synephrine’s thermogenic effects. Yerba maté is a natural form of caffeine. Yerba maté is a stimulant used to reduce food cravings. Traditionally yerba maté has been used to balance blood sugar levels, and modern research suggests it may be useful in treating diabetes. Overweight people are at higher risk for cellular damage and thus an increased risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Yerba maté is a valued antioxidant that destroys the substances that cause cellular damage.
Green Tea Extract
Did you know that sipping that cup of green tea or swallowing that green tea tablet can help fight cancer, prevent gum disease, slow the aging process, and aid fat loss? Thousands of research studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of green tea. Both green and black tea are derived from the same plant Camelia sinensis. Green tea, as science has confirmed, is the healthier choice as it contains compounds called polyphenols, which are known for their powerful healing effects.
The manufacturing process is what makes the difference between green and black tea. Green tea is produced by lightly steaming the fresh-cut leaf, so it is not fermented and provides high levels of polyphenols. Oolong tea is partially fermented, and black tea is fully fermented. During the fermentation process, enzymes convert the polyphenols to compounds with much less activity.
Research has been conducted into green tea’s fat-burning properties. A small study revealed that participants who took three green tea extract capsules daily increased their fat burning without accelerating their heart rate. The capsules safely melted fat away. Caffeine effectively enhances the fat-burning effects of the synephrine, thus improving fat loss.
Calming the Caffeine Kick
Worried about getting too much caffeine from green tea? Drinking 3 cups (750 mL) provides about the same amount of caffeine as 1 cup (250 mL) of drip coffee. Green tea also contains L-theanine, which negates side effects of caffeine such as hypertension and sleep disturbances.
Several clinical studies have shown that cayenne pepper increases thermogenesis. Capsicum, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, when used in combination with other thermogenic agents, including green tea and bitter orange, enhances metabolism and energy.
Another important nutrient in weight loss is 5-hydroxytryptophan, commonly called 5-HTP, which is a breakdown product of the amino acid tryptophan. Proteins in the food we eat provide you with amino acids, one of which is tryptophan. Tryptophan is broken down by vitamins and enzymes into 5-HTP, which is turned into serotonin, the neurotransmitter that tells your brain you are satisfied and do not need to eat any more. Serotonin deficiency contributes to carbohydrate cravings (sugar cravings), overeating, and obesity. A healthy liver is essential to proper conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP and then into serotonin. You also need adequate levels of magnesium, vitamin B6, niacin (vitamin B3), and proper insulin function. Insulin resistance inhibits the conversion of 5-HTP. 5-HTP reduces appetite, enhances your mood, increases your energy levels, and controls sugar cravings. 5-HTP has also been extensively researched for the treatment of depression, as well as insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Note: If you are taking MAO inhibitors or antidepressants, do not take 5-HTP at the same time.
PHASEOLAMIN 2250 (PHASE 2)
Phase 2™ is a standardized extract derived from the white kidney bean that promotes weight loss by neutralizing ingested starches. In clinical studies Phase 2 has been shown to reduce blood sugar after starchy meals and promote loss of body fat. Specifically, it works in the intestine by temporarily inhibiting the activity of the enzyme alpha-amylase, which converts starch into glucose; with Phase 2, fewer starch calories are absorbed from food.
An extensive double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving sixty healthy men and women aged twenty-five to forty-five used only Phase 2. Participants were instructed to follow a recommended diet with daily consumption of starchy foods (potatoes, pasta) during one of the principal meals. Participants who consumed 500 mg of Phase 2 once daily before the starchy meal lost an average of 6.45 lb. (3 kg) by the end of the thirty-day study; those consuming a placebo lost an average of 0.76 lb. (0.5 kg). In addition, those on Phase 2 lost 10.45 percent of fat and 3.44 percent of their waist circumference. These losses occurred without any change in lean muscle mass. We do not want to lose muscle when we are dieting, because muscle helps burn fat.
The carbohydrate-neutralizing effect of Phase 2 is a novel approach to weight loss and may be particularly helpful for those struggling with obesity and diabetes. Phase 2 is safe and well tolerated and is not known to interact with any drugs or supplements.