The idea of a pill that will burn your fat for you is an enticing one, but also a lie!

What people often want from a fat burner is a pill to help them lose weight, and there are no products on the market today with scientific support for effectively reducing your weight.

Fat burners are also the supplement type which historically have been found to contain illegal substances without specifying this on their packaging.

Ephedra is the notoriously famous fat burner which is BANNED due to various side effects including arrhythmias, stroke, seizures. Interestingly, ephedra is an extract from the plant plant Ephedra since. Goes to show that what is “natural” isn’t necessary safe. 26% of side effect cases resulted in DEATH!

If this alone isn’t enough to stop you from wasting your money on these products, the “safe” fat burners which don’t have effects may also cause harm!

In a trial, three groups were given a 12 week intervention about how to lose weight. Group 1 was given placebo pills, but told they were fat burners, group 2 was given a placebo pill, but told it might be a placebo or a fat burner, and group 3 received no pill at all. All three groups lost as much weight after the intervention, but group 1 and 2 credited more of their weight loss to the pill rather than crediting themselves for their hard work and lifestyle change. Yeah science!

Finally, the placebo group also experienced “adverse” effects which they were told may be a side effect of these (fake) fat burners. This is known as the nocebo effect and shows that there may even be negative effects of taking a “harmless” pill with no proven effect.

So stay away from the fat burners and focus on what works: a caloric deficit, consistency in training, and patience!

The Evidence:
1. Tippens KM. Expectancy, Self-Efficacy, and Placebo Effect of a Sham Supplement for Weight Loss in Obese Adults. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2014 Apr 1;19(3):181-188.

2. Adverse cardiovascular and central nervous system events associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200012213432502

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