Just carry on as before and still lose weight? This is promised by the so-called "fat burners", which are supposed to melt fat deposits without dieting and sports programs. Fat burners are the hit on the diet market. With them and other weight loss products, billions in sales are made worldwide every year. Does it already exist, the slimming pill without side effect? But the truth is: without a balanced diet and a reasonable exercise program a permanent, healthy weight loss is not possible.
Burn more energy through fat burners
Obesity has only one cause: If the body constantly supplies more energy than it consumes, this excess stores itself as a fat reserve (so-called positive energy balance). To get rid of them, only one thing helps: to consume more energy than is consumed (negative energy balance).
The idea behind the term "fat burner" is to artificially induce the body to consume more energy, be it through increased body temperature, an accelerated metabolism or the rapid elimination of ingested calories. Physicians see this with a frown. Because countless metabolic processes interlock in the human body. Turning one of these "screws" can cause a whole chain reaction of unwanted results.
The fat burner theory under the microscope
Let's take a closer look at some of the most common fat burner theories: enzymes, for example, are an important buzzword when it comes to burning fat. Whether the papain from papaya or bromelin from pineapple, fruit enzymes are said to empty the fat cells. That sounds pretty good in theory. The only problem is the gastric passage: enzymes are made of protein. And gastric acid breaks it down into its components at the beginning of digestion. Food enzymes can not work in the body.
L-carnitine is a substance that plays a role in the body for providing energy for muscle work. It stimulates the power plants of the cells, the so-called mitochondria, to increase fat burning. The catch is just that the number of mitochondria in the body is crucial to the effect. And the number of small power plants can only be increased with regular endurance training. So again no miracle pill for fitness without sports!
Many finished fatburn products advertise with "natural" ingredients. Popular are guarana or green tea extract. The advertising leaflets contain important foreign words such as "lipolytic" - which means nothing else than "fat-dissolving" - or "thermogenetic" (the formation of heat). If you take a closer look, in most of the products it is primarily the caffeine-like ingredients that are the only one that can be shown to affect the metabolism.
In an information leaflet of the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the physician Professor Dr. med. Hans Hauner to consider that these drugs in high doses to tachycardia, tremors and sweats. In this state, the body burns more energy than usual. But who feels so comfortable? And who is prepared to take on the health risks for the heart and circulation? Anyone using finished Fatburn products should also carefully study the list of ingredients. Often, allergy-triggering preservatives such as parabens are included.
Attention thyroid hormones!
Special care should be taken with thyroid hormones and their precursors. An artificially produced hyperthyroidism is nothing more than to make oneself intentionally sick. Too much thyroid hormone leads to nervousness, palpitations, flushing and sweating. Again, more energy than normal is burned. But even in this case, the risks to health are out of all proportion to the weight loss effect.
Incidentally, higher levels of thyroid activity can not be achieved by ingesting iodine and other trace elements, as some advertising professionals have us believe. The body needs iodine to produce the thyroid hormone. However, the abundance of raw materials does not change the amount of hormone produced. In general, it is not possible to control the production of hormones through a particular diet.
Special diets such as the Markert diet, in which the thyroid function to be stimulated, are now scientifically refuted. In the case of Markert, participants lose weight due to low calorie intake and lots of exercise. A change in thyroid activity is not achieved.
Protein bars - often too expensive
As a diet supplement also protein bars with vitamins and trace elements are offered. They should alleviate the cravings for sweets and boost the fat burning. Protein saturates really fast, also many bars are reasonably composed. However, almost all products are disproportionately expensive.
The advice to combine the bar daily with 2-3 liters of water or fruit juice, also reveals the "fat burner trick": It has been proven that cool water really contributes to calorie burning, because the body needs energy to warm it up. Whether the water is consumed together with an expensive power bar or with a banana does not change much in the energy balance. Only that the banana, which acts thanks to its fructose content against cravings, contains no fat.
Glucagon - an endogenous fat burner?
The hormones insulin and glucagon play a special role in the formation and breakdown of fat deposits. Insulin is responsible for transporting sugar from the blood into the body's cells, where it can either be burned or stored as a reserve. Glucagon works by providing stored energy by dissolving fat out of the cells and converting storage sugar into burnt glucose.
Glucagon is sold as the body's own fat burner: the intake of this "slim hormone" is to pretend that all the free reserves are depleted and thus remove fat from the cells. But where should the body go with all the free energy? If she is not burned, she sets herself down again. And most of the energy burns our muscles. Again, exercise is required to create the dissolved fat reserves from the body.
And that also works without swallowing pills: Anyone who wants to burn fat with the help of the body's own glucagon can achieve this by simply doing some physical activity. It is important to keep the heart rate at a slightly higher level. Those who are out of breath block their fat burning, because the energy production from the fat is then switched off.
MCT fats - fat burners with side effects
In order to prevent the dietary fat from getting into the body, until recently so-called MCT fats (medium chain triglycerides) were in fashion. They can not be absorbed by the body and are excreted undigested again. Only after two weeks does the body get used to these fats, making them as thick as ordinary fat. In addition, diarrhea, nausea and other unpleasant side effects were common.
Bind fat and disperse undigested
In order to outsmart the body in some other way, fat-binding substances such as chitosan were included in the ranks of dieticians. They should bind the dietary fat and undigested to excrete the excretion. Chitosan is obtained from krill, a small type of cancer. Good chitosan suppliers are also fly larvae.
However, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports a rigorously controlled trial at the University of Exeter in the UK, where scientists demonstrated that chitosan had no effect on subjects' weight. On the contrary, these fat blockers are more likely to excrete vital fat-soluble vitamins such as A and E with the bound fat.
Doctors also warn that chitosan can reduce the effectiveness of some medications, namely, when the active ingredients attach to the dietary fat to enter the bloodstream. For example, the baby pill may be affected.
Losing weight is and remains a matter of sensible nutrition combined with light sport. Fatburn products help to reduce the purse. But they can barely reduce the waistline.