T Nation

Are Fat Burners Worth It?


I have seen a lot of people who have shown lots of results from using them. I have done some good amounts of research on it but cant seem to find a good grasp on how well things will go post fat burner. I started out at 215+ down cutting down to 180 (did not bulk was just overweight) and in terms of strength I feel as though I have gained a lot. Been taking whey protein for the past year now and been doing cardio and HIIT workouts as often as I can.

But I was wondering if it was worth taking fat burners? I have heard that if you get off of it then you will gain all of the fat back. I also have been eating clean as well so yeah. Anyone have any experience or suggestions?


With most stimulants, you take it, your body adjusts to it, and then when you stop taking it, your metabolism is lower than before. Usually.


it depends what your goals are. give us your stats:

current weight
training program (just the basics, not a wall of text)


My view is similar to KnockoutRob's. I used to love stimulants, but the buzz is never clean, and there is usually a crash to deal with. Fatburners can be useful though, but more so when bodyfat levels are already pretty low; and/or your diet is already spot on.


Fat burners are effective when your diet and workouts are all dialed in.

They will help you lose the additional fat you need.

Use them ONLY when you need them, not nonstop or year around. You also can't use them if your diet is shitty and you think you can eat all the junk food you want just because you are taking fat burners.

Fat burners can help and aid you. Not give you an excuse.


Wtf? Did I miss the memo? Since when do we have fat burning pills/drinks/powders???
We have thermogenics, diuretics, and stuff similar to that. But there's no REAL and WORKING substance that is a pure fat burner.

Unless I'm missing something. If anyone knows more than I do, please chime in. I would love to learn more


In my experience these products provide a small percentage of advantage (part appetite supression; part caffeine effect; part psychological) when everything else is spot on in your diet and training programme. Given the price of such products I doubt they're really worth it unless cash isn't an issue - then you can honestly assess yourself and say you couldn't have done anything more.

I used HRX for the first 2 weeks of my current programme (currently in week 7) and subsequently dropped them. I have green tea in the morning and the odd coffee and that's it, and the fat is still coming off - likely due to near 100% dietary compliance and training every other day, and walks during every off day!

I've no experience with ephedrine and clenbuterol but from what I've heard/read there is no legal supplement on the market that can remotely come close to their effects on fat loss.


I think fat burners can be effect especially for psychological reasons. One reason I've found them to be useful is that they help me stick to my diet. When you buy that $40-60 bottle you expect results and you don't want that money to go to waste, so you are more likely to stick to your diet and training. I feel it makes you more accountable, and thus helps you to achieve your goal. However, do they work any better than regular dieting? I don't know...
I find strong coffee is amazing for fat loss. The caffeine boosts my metabolism, and it suppresses my appetite. Bonus is at work it's free.


I think the problem here is that everyone is lumping all "fat burners" together when there is actually significant differences between different products.

I'll use HOT-ROX again when I'm in a leaning phase because it has repeatedly worked for me.

Even a good supplement like HOT-ROX needs to be cycled to remain effective, however.

Another big part of the problem is that a lot of people haven't learned how to eat and train to lose fat, and they're looking for a pill that will make all the difference. Unfortunately, that's not how it works.

I hate saying this because it's said so often, but you have to get your diet and training in order to get the most from most supplements. This isn't said to put down the effects of good supplements, it's just a matter of fact.



I take HRE, but it would be a waste of money unless my diet and training program are dialed in, and even then it only gives a marginal boost.



the two times i took HRE i ended up saying "i lost too much muscle"

and that is probably b/c i didn't adjust my diet for the use of HRE. i was in a caloric deficit and doing TONS of cardio.....THEN i took HRE.

oh well. just dialing down the diet next time i "cut" probably next year..?


To answer some questions
age: 20
height: around 5'9
current weight: 180
goals: drop body fat gain muscle
calories/day: i would gauge it to around 1700 to 2000 calories a day
training program (just the basics, not a wall of text)
bench: 5x5 225 barbell bench 100~ 5x5 dumb bell bench still testing the waters been *clean cutting for a good 2-3 months went from 215+ down to 180(weighed yesterday)
leg press: 5-6 plates each side reps dependent on what training day it is
incline bench: 80-95 dumb bell incline bench on a pyramid set
just changed my cycle
- cardio included after the muscle split days
day 1: chest/back
day 2: bicep/tricep
day 3: shoulder
day 4: legs
day 5: HIIT biking/jump roping/broad jumps ect ect
day 6: HIIT biking/jump roping/broad jumps ect ect
day 7: chest or back since I feel as though they need the most work...

This is not a perfect example of my split I try to throw in the HIIT in between the splits.
I have been keeping away from white flour/bad sugars/carbs, mostly wake up in the morning to eat 1 packet of quakers oatmeal going to start taking the weight watcher one has more protein in it... I will give a run down of foods I tend to eat...

  • oatmeal
  • cottage cheese
  • chicken
  • bell peppers
  • green beans
  • protein shakes usually post workout 3 scoops
  • turkey
  • ham
  • egg whites
  • onions
  • brocolli
  • fruits mango,bananas,grapefruit,...other various fruits
  • almonds, peanuts, cashews, as snacks if i cant nab any protein during the day...

So the run down...
weight wise I have went from 215+ down to 180
i just started taking creatine monohydrate
my diet is pretty clean and i have been sticking to it strictly for about 2-3 months as of now
i went from barely being able to get 135 up 10x up to 225 on 5x5 and on a pyramid set i put up 255 once. I am thinking with some calculations done and such I can put up 270 on a one rep max
still working on my leg strength and back, things i really want to get bigger and mor defined.

thanks for ALL of th suggestions everyone, really helpful input. hopefully i will get more out of this the more i read. thanks again


Age: 20
Height: 5'8 to 5'9
Current Weight: 180
Goals: Gain Muscle and lose body fat
Calories/Day: I would estimate around a 1700 to 2000 at peak
Training Program:
Work out splits
Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Bi/Tricep
Day 3: Shoulders
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: HIIT
Day 6: HIIT
Day 7: Chest or Back or both.

Now this isn't exactly what the order is, as far as the splits go the days are usually in that order but I sometimes throw in the HIIT day in between one of them. I usually do biking, treadmill sprinting, jump roping, ect ect, when I do these. The workouts last between a good 45 minutes to an hour depending on how long it takes or if there are just people in my way.

The Diet:
As of now I have been on a journey of cutting, a good clean cut at least for 2-3 months. I went from a starting 215+ to a 180(weighed yesterday/urination but now pooper)
Usual start of the day is with some oatmeal and some egg whites, and a protein shake after my work out(3 scoops), followed by either...
- Egg whites, chicken, ham, turkey, various veggies, various fruits, (BTW DOING MY BEST IN EATING 5-6 TIMES A DAY)

The rundown:
I started out barely being able to bench 135 at the weight of probably 215-220+, for my 5x5 program I have been doing 225 at the weight of around 180~ and on a pyramid set I put up 255 on my last set once no help. Calculating wise I should be able to do 270 at a one rep max and I am pretty sure I can. I am currently trying to get my leg strength up and develop my back more which is why I threw in the extra day of either chest or back.

Thanks again for all the info and such, I will do more research as well as come back here to find some answers.


Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any mention of quantities calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fats in your post.

Have you calculated what you need to consume for maintenance?


Even if you lose weight without stimulants your metabolism is lower than before


Well if anything as percentage wise I would have to say protein intake is about 70-80% of my diet in all my meals. Most of the carbs I am intaking in the day is rom oatmeal, some in the protein shake, and veggies. And for maintenance are you speaking about creatine dosage? I just started my loading phase so around 30g a day and then i start at either 10-15g a day... If thats what you ment of course.


20 bucks says that it's not that high. Besides, wgaf about what the percentage is. Figure out the quantity (grams). Notice how I said figure out, not guess.

Holy shit. Dude, not to be a dick, but go read the Beginners section.
Stop guessing how much of what you eat. I'm pretty sure that you either don't eat 1700-2000 cal/day, or you don't work out as much. I doubt that you can support all that with 1700 cal and not lose a ton of mucle along with some fat.
Go calculate ALL of your numbers- how much of what you eat, cals overall, your body fat %, your basal metabolic rate, daily energy expenditure, calories necessary for maintenance,.....

Don't post here until you've done that. Come back with the numbers (no guesses)


By "maintenance intake" I was referring to your dietary intake. In other words, food.

Do yourself a big favor and begin keeping a food log of everything you eat so that you know your caloric, carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake. Otherwise, you're just guessing.

Once you have this you can begin manipulating your diet to make changes.

As to your original question about fat-loss supps, I'd say that you're not ready for them.

You're probably throwing money down the drain by using 30g Creatine per day. Most authorities on the topic say that 5g after training is ample.


to jCaesar
as of the creatine dosage i am aware of how much I should be taking during my loading phase :slightly_smiling: I calculated that already...
and yes, I do workout that much every week, I think I would know more then you since I am the one doing it. I wouldn't come here saying that to what... Impress you? Lol nah. Seeking advice not here to show off.

BUT on the other hand, I will start taking a log of what I am eating and how much I am intaking a day. That I will do and come back with.

And at @ HK24719, during your loading phase you do not take that amount, the amount is dependent on your body weight and phase, I JUST started taking creatine so I am doing my loading phase now which at my body weight should be from 25-30 grams.


Reading the T-Nation beginners guides now, I will be back with more info! Sorry if it all bothered too much. I will be back :slightly_smiling: new thread probably. Can someone lock this? Thanks