Should You Take Fat Burners?

Nope.

Fat burners may help you lose a few pounds in the beginning, but they usually lead to adrenal fatigue.  This means that your cortisol levels will be chronically elevated, causing you to feel exhausted and wired most of the time.

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Elevated cortisol levels eventually lead to decreased immune functioning, salt cravings, increased appetite, and more abdominal fat.  This basically means that you’ll be wearing two pairs of Spanx, fighting a cold, and eating Baked Lays while wondering why those fat burners aren’t working anymore.

Fat burners also disrupt your sleep quantity and your sleep architecture.  Basically, you’ll sleep less and the sleep that you do get will be less restorative.  Sleep deprivation is probably the fastest way to feel tired, fat, crabby, and downright depressed if it goes on for too long.  Our serotonin levels are restored during sleep, so the less you get, the worse you’ll feel.

As if this weren’t enough, fat burners usually have the effect of increasing GABA.  GABA is a neurotransmitter associated with anxiety, and too much of it generally causes increased anxiety in women.  You’ll probably be short and easily annoyed.  This is not a good time to attend a PTA meeting or talk about finances with your spouse.

Here’s what you can do to lose fat without blowing out your adrenals.  Exercise and eat clean.  That’s about 85% of the battle in the first place.

Once you check those two “biggies” off of your list, consider using the better alternative to fat burners:  a combination of high quality fish oil and carnitine.  Charles Poliquin recommends 9 grams of fish oil and 4-5 grams of carnitine a day for optimal fat burning minus the adrenal damage.

You can also use a quality green coffee bean extract before meals to blunt post meal glucose levels.  However, neither the fish oil/carnitine combo or green coffee bean extract will help you burn fat if you eat poorly and skip the gym.

Remember to emphasize resistance training.  I used to hate it when people told me this.  I knew they were right, but I couldn’t really figure out how to make weight training really work for me.  Truth be told, I didn’t figure that out until I found CrossFit.  Cardio is fine on occasion, but you need to get off of the elliptical and do some strength endurance training.  This is one of the primary reasons that I CrossFit.

Lastly, aim for progress, not perfection.  None of us are perfect.  Get 1% better every single day and you’re golden.  Slow and steady wins the race.

That’s all for today from Lighthouse Point, folks.  I did 232 push ups today.  The WOD was a 25 minute AMRAP of 5 OHS, 15 push ups, and 10 box jumps.  The grand total was 75 OHS, 232 (including warmup) push ups, and 152 box jumps.  My chest is going to feel awesome tomorrow morning.  Next time, I will tell you how to reduce extreme soreness for faster recovery.