This article previously mentioned Belviq, a diet pill. In February 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that manufacturers and stockists remove Belviq from the U.S. market. This is due to an increased number of cancer cases in people who took Belviq compared with a placebo. People taking Belviq should stop using the pill and talk with their healthcare provider about alternative weight management strategies.
To lose weight, a person needs to burn more calories than they take in. Some natural fat burners, however, may help the body burn more fat by increasing metabolism or reducing hunger.
To burn fat, a person cannot rely on a single food or supplement. They also need to reduce their total calorie intake and increase physical activity levels.
However, when part of a healthful diet and lifestyle, the right fat burners may help speed up weight loss.
In this article, we discuss some potential natural fat burners and the evidence supporting them. We will also cover fat-burning pills, tips for using natural fat burners, and other natural ways to lose weight.
Protein can support fat burning and weight loss in many ways. For example, people who consume high-protein foods may feel fuller for longer. Eating protein may also increase metabolism, allowing the body to more efficiently burn fat.
Some high-protein foods contain fewer calories than high-carbohydrate foods. For example, a large bowl, or 124 grams (g), of cooked, plain spaghetti contains 196 calories and 7.19 g of protein. In contrast, two large hard-boiled eggs contain 155 calories and 12.58 g of protein.
A 2012 review found that after losing weight, consuming a low-protein diet increases a person’s risk of regaining body weight. To boost weight loss, many sources recommend a daily intake of 1–2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.
To maximize weight loss, a person should try to choose lower-calorie proteins, such as lean chicken, fish, and plant-based proteins. They should avoid consuming excessive amounts of red meat, fried foods, or foods with added oil, fat, or butter.
Polyphenols are a group of chemicals present in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Some research suggests that polyphenol-rich foods may aid weight loss.
A 2011 study found that a diet rich in polyphenols may interact with bacteria in the intestines to support weight loss, especially when combined with a diet low in probiotics.
Other studies of specific polyphenol-rich foods, such as curcumin, have also found an association with weight loss. For instance, a 2015 study found that taking curcumin supplements increased weight loss more than placebo in people who were overweight and had metabolic syndrome.
Some foods that are rich in polyphenols include:
- green tea
- red wine
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase a person’s metabolism. However, one 2018 study suggests that caffeine may have a more significant effect on the body’s metabolism than researchers previously thought.
The study followed 47 people from Finland who drank coffee but had stopped drinking coffee for a month. The researchers found an association between coffee consumption and 115 metabolites.
When trying to burn fat, it is best to choose low-calorie coffee options by avoiding high-calorie sweeteners, milks, and creams.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are beneficial to human health. Many foods contain probiotics, including yogurts and fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and tempeh. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements.
The digestive system is home to trillions of bacteria. Research suggests that consuming probiotics can help improve the natural balance between helpful and harmful bacteria in the gut, as well as support digestion.
Some health practitioners also claim that these gut-dwelling bacteria may play a role in metabolism and weight loss.
However, a 2015 systematic review found no data to support the notion that consuming probiotics has a significant effect on weight loss. The researchers concluded that more studies are necessary.
Green tea contains caffeine, which is a substance that can stimulant a person’s metabolism. Green tea is also rich polyphenols.
Some studies have found a small increase in weight loss among people who regularly consume green tea.
However, a 2012 systematic review of previous research found that this weight loss was not statistically significant. The review also found that green tea played no role in maintaining weight loss.
Sugar cravings are a major barrier to weight loss for many people. Curbing sugar cravings with fruit may help a person consume fewer calories.
Some research suggests that preloading may be helpful to people wishing to lose weight. Preloading involves consuming a dense, low-calorie food or drink before a main meal so that the person feels fuller and eats less.
Several pills and supplements promise to help people lose weight. These pills fall into three categories:
Stimulant pills contain caffeine and sometimes other stimulants to speed up metabolism. They may help people lose some weight, but they can also cause rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and other complications of excessive caffeine consumption.
Dietary supplements include ingredients that may help people lose weight. The effectiveness of these ingredients varies, and scientists have conducted few studies into these supplements. Some contain polyphenol-rich foods or other ingredients that may increase metabolism.
Approved weight loss drugs
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved five prescription drugs to support weight loss:
- Orlistat (brand name Xenical) reduces the amount of fat the body can absorb. Orlistat is also available over the counter in a lower-dose form called Alli.
- Lorcaserin (brand name Belviq) acts on serotonin receptors in the brain to help people feel fuller after eating.
- Qsymia is a combination of phentermine and topiramate. It works by decreasing appetite and making people feel full more quickly.
- Contrave contains a combination of naltrexone and bupropion, which are drugs that doctors use to help treat addiction and depression.
- Liraglutide (brand name Saxenda) may reduce feelings of hunger and help people feel fuller more quickly. Doctors also use liraglutide to help treat type 2 diabetes.
Weight loss supplements can cause serious side effects, so it is important to talk to a doctor before using them. Prescription weight loss drugs may be safe for some people, but they can also cause side effects.
It is generally best to try other options, such as making lifestyle and dietary changes, before considering weight loss drugs. A doctor or dietitian can provide advice and support for suitable weight loss programs.
Natural fat burners are not a substitute for traditional approaches to weight loss. Instead, they may help people burn slightly more calories each day, steadily increasing weight loss over time.
To get the most from natural fat burners, it is best to include them as part of a balanced, healthful diet. Do not rely on them to burn fat on their own or assume that eating a new food will produce instant results.
Regularly engaging in physical activity is also an important part of any weight loss program.
Weight loss is ultimately the result of burning more calories than one consumes. Reducing daily calorie intake and doing more exercise is the best way to lose weight naturally. A doctor or dietician can provide advice on suitable weight loss programs and help a person set realistic goals.
Simple ways to fit more exercise into daily life include:
- taking frequent breaks from sitting to walk or stretch for a few minutes
- using a standing desk
- parking farther away from destinations to encourage more walking
- walking or cycling to work
- taking up a sport or physically active hobby such as gardening
Planning meals in advance can also help when trying to stick to a daily calorie limit. Another tip is to always have a supply of healthful, low-calories snacks to hand. These snacks can help curb hunger cravings between meals.
There is no miracle cure for losing weight. To lose weight, a person needs to burn more calories than they consume. The best way to do this naturally is by eating less and exercising more.
However, incorporating certain foods or supplements into a balanced and healthful diet may help stimulate a person’s metabolism and burn more fat naturally.