QUESTION: Dear Tom, I am not currently using any fat burners. However, in many magazines where I see advertisements for fat burners, they always have a model with a six-pack and the headline is something like, “It takes more than training and nutrition to get a six-pack.” Once a person hits a plateau, do we really need fat burners to achieve that “ripped” or “six-pack” look? I am having a really hard time getting my stomach to look the way I want it, and I really respect your opinion, so I appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks Tom!
ANSWER: The short and sweet answer is NO, you do not ever “need” fat burners.
While I won’t dismiss the fact that there are some ingredients in some “fat burner” products that might help a little bit, I take great displeasure in seeing those kinds of misleading headlines as well as the misleading use of models who are often paid to endorse the product even though they may never have even used it (they’re just models!)
Many “fat burner” companies have been sued by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising, false claims and falsifying before and after photos.
Just so you know those numbers arent something I just pulled out of thin air, lets take an example:
- walk your dog for 15 minutes
- three times a day, walk for 5 minutes at normal casual pace
- 30 minutes of ironing
- bagging leaves and grass clippings for 14 minutes
- re arrange your furniture for 10 minutes
- wash your car, 15 minutes
- vacuuming for 15 minutes
- 7.2 minutes of walking up stairs (could be spread throughout the day)
Ah yes, but why move your body when you can take the pill and metabolism increases while you sit and watch TV? How about for your health? A body that is not moved, rots away. Unlike a car which only has so many miles on it and wears out from over-use, people are the only “machines” on earth that fall apart from under-use.
Here’s what any good personal trainer will always tell you: No amount of calorie restriction or pill-popping will ever give you FITNESS. It willl never give you STRENGTH. it will never get you MUSCULARITY. It will never give you FUNCTIONALITY. At best it will help you reduce body mass slightly.
On one hand, I’m tempted to say that everything counts and that yes, 75 calories here, and 75 calories there, it ALL adds up, because it does. After you’re exercising regularly and all your fundamentals are in place, details and little things do matter.
I’m simply asking you to put the benefits of any fat burners in proper perspective and realize that (1) there is no “need” for taking them and (2) the claims made in the ads are often erroneous or exagerrated.
1. NEVER buy a fat burner unless you get independent verification of the claims made for the product.
2. Put it in perspective
3. See if there are any side effects or health warnings.
4. Read the label and see if the product contains enough active ingredient to even work.
5. Proprietary blend scam.
Some companies, DONT LET YOU SEE how much ingredient is in the product formula, because it contains multiple ingredients and they say their formula is a “trade secret” aka “proprietary”, so they list WHAT is in the product but not HOW MUCH. If you don’t know how much is in there then how are we (the consumers) supposed to get independent confirmation of the facts and analyze whether this product is any good?
6. Make sure there is human research, not just rodent research.
7. Look for more than one human study.
Actually, I think it’s a good thing that nutrition and supplement companies fund and sponsor some of the research. They should. They should not only back up their claims with published clinical trials, they should share some of the cost of this expensive research.
Do you REALLY need “more” than nutrition and exercise??????
Train hard and expect success,
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