LEVEL 01: FAT-BURNERS
Are you trying to cut down on the extra bulk you are carrying? Don’t worry. Obesity is a global issue! One way everyone will suggest to put off that fat overload you have is to exercise and stay physically active. However, genetics and your diet play an important role in dealing with this issue.
These days supplements are available that help you attain your desired goals without much pain. These supplements can generally be broken down into specific classes as divided in a study conducted on recruits entering the U.S. Marine Corps. The specific classes include protein powders, energy drinks, vitamin supplements, fat burners, creatine, nitric oxide, meal replacement powders, etc. Of these ‘fat burner’ is used to describe nutrition supplements that acutely increase fat metabolism or energy expenditure, impair fat absorption, increase fat oxidation by burning more calories, or somehow cause long-term adaptations that hasten fat loss. The study showed that overweight recruits having BMI > 25 were more likely to use fat burners and protein powder compared to normal weight recruits. 
According to another study published in the Journal of research in medical sciences, ‘fat burners’ were repeatedly consumed by a greater percentage of men. Protein powder and other anabolic supplements were consumed more frequently in the bulking phase, and amino acids and fat burners in the cutting phase.  Another study published in International journal of sports nutrition, also showed similar results but reported that during the bulking phase men were more likely than women to take anabolic supplements while in the cutting phase, “fat burners” were consumed by a greater percentage of women than men. 
Wondering “what the ingredients of these ‘fat burners’ are?”
Often, these supplements contain a number of ingredients, each with its own mechanism of action and it is often claimed that the combination of these substances will have additive effects. The list of supplements that are claimed to increase or improve fat metabolism is long. The most popular fitness supplements include caffeine, carnitine, conjugated linoleic acid, forskolin, fucoxanthin, green tea, and chromium. 
Are you a coffee addict? Good news for you.
Caffeine elicits short-term thermogenic effects. So, administering a high dose of caffeine (8 mg/kg) significantly increased resting metabolic rate (20 kJ m−2 h−1) in the 3 hours after ingestion. Caffeine also increases sympathetic nervous system activity, liberating fatty acids from the adipose and/or intramuscular stores making them available for oxidation. Caffeine also enhances lipolysis, subsequently increasing fatty acid availability for fuel use.
Daily dose: 12-400 mg/day
Supplements: Allmax Caffeine, HealthAid Green Coffee Bean Extract
Did you know that red meat you eat can burn your fat?
L-carnitine is derived from red meats and dairy products in the diet and from endogenous production (in liver and kidney) in the body. It improves fat metabolism, reduces fat mass, and increases muscle mass, thereby leading to weight loss, body fat reduction, and ‘sharpness’ improvement. There is an assumption that regular oral ingestion of carnitine increases the muscle carnitine concentration. Another assumption is that if carnitine concentration in the muscle increases, fat oxidation also increases, thus leading to a gradual loss of the body fat stores. However, Stephans et al showed that if muscle carnitine can be increased, this can reduce muscle glycogen breakdown and possibly enhance fat metabolism. 
Daily dose: 100-1000 mg/day
Supplement: Allmax L-Carnitine, HealthAid L-Carnitine, Optimum Nutrition (ON) L-Carnitine
Conjugated linoleic acid
CLA can act as an antiobesity agent through its ability to decrease energy and food intake, decrease lipogenesis and increase energy expenditure, lipolysis, and fat oxidation. In addition to the actions of CLA on fat oxidation and weight loss, there are claims that CLA can benefit those with impaired glucose tolerance.
Daily dose: 1.8 to 7g/day
Supplement: Allmax CLA95, My Protein CLA, Optimum Nutrition (ON) CLA
Have you heard of Forskolin and Fucoxanthin?
Forskolin ingestion activates hormone-sensitive lipase and increases lipolysis enabling greater fat oxidation. Studies have shown that  following forskolin supplementation body fat mass was significantly decreased.
Daily dose: 500 mg/day
Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid found in edible brown seaweeds. A Russian study that used fucoxanthin for the first time in humans resulted in a significant weight loss, increase in resting energy expenditure, a decrease in body and liver fat content, and improvement in the plasma lipid profile. 
Daily dose: 2.4-8 mg/day
Do you rely on green tea as your energy source? Good for you
Green tea is processed from non-oxidized/non-fermented leaves, therefore contains high quantities of catechin polyphenols. Moreover, caffeine is present in all teas regardless of the fermentation process. Studies have proved that green tea extract (GTE) consumption has the potential to increase fat oxidation at rest.  However, it is possible that the supplements are more effective when supplemented over a longer period of time. Long-term GTE supplementation has also been reported to have positive effects on reducing and maintaining body weight. [9,10]
Daily dose: 3 - 5 cups/day (1,200 mL) that contain at least 250 mg/day of catechins
Supplement: HealthAid Green Tea
Chromium is a trace element that is present in foods such as brewer's yeast, American cheese, mushrooms and wheat germ. Chromium is marketed predominantly in the form of chromium picolinate, although chromium nicotinate and chromium chloride supplements also exist. Picolinic acid is an organic compound that binds chromium and is thought to enhance the absorption and transport.
Daily dose: 0.2-50 mcg/day
Supplement: Universal Chromium Picolinate, Health Aid Chromium Picolinate
“So what are you waiting for? Burn that unhealthy fat using these products and enjoy a healthy life!”
- Young, C. R., & Stephens, M. B. (2009). Sports and nutritional supplement use in USMC recruits: a pilot study. Military medicine, 174(2), 158.
- Karimian, J., & Esfahani, P. S. (2011). Supplement consumption in body builder athletes. Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 16(10), 1347.
- Brill, J. B., & Keane, M. W. (1994). Supplementation patterns of competitive male and female bodybuilders. International journal of sports nutrition, 4(4), 398-412.
- Jeukendrup, A. E., & Randell, R. (2011). Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obesity Reviews, 12(10), 841-851.
- Stephens FB, Constantin-Teodosiu D, New GPL. insights concerning the role of carnitine in the regulation of fuel metabolism in skeletal muscle. J Physiol 2007; 581: 431–444.
- Godard MP, Johnson BA, Richmond SR. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res 2005; 13: 1335–1343.
- Abidov M, Ramazanov Z, Seifulla R, Grachev S. The effects of Xanthigen in the weight management of obese premenopausal women with the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and normal liver fat. Diabetes Obes Metab 2010; 12: 72–81.
- Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Dulloo AG, Tremblay A, Tappy L, Rumpler W et al. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev 2011; 12: e573–e581.
- Nagao T, Hase T, Tokimitsu I. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2007; 15: 1473–1483.
- Wang H, Wen Y, Du Y, Yan X, Guo H, Rycroft JA et al. Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2010; 18: 773–779.