The 5 Best Fat Burners

Backed by some serious research, these nutrients can help you hit your fat-loss goals.
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Green tea fat loss

Fat loss in a pill? While there’s no magic bullet that can effortlessly melt away those last 10 pounds, you may want to consider adding a fat burner to your stack. How can you tell what’s hype and what’s legit? Check labels for the following ingredients. Backed by some serious research, these nutrients can help you hit your fat-loss goals when combined with a clean diet and regular dynamic workouts.

7-Keto DHEA

Technically known as the tongue-twisting 7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone, 7-keto DHEA is a hormone-free metabolite of DHEA. Like DHEA, 7-keto is produced by the body. The glitch? As you get older, your natural levels decline. Taking a 7-keto supplement can raise your levels along with your metabolic rate, which can help you burn fat more efficiently. 

Studies suggest that 7-keto also might improve protein synthesis so you preserve more lean muscle despite reducing your caloric intake. During one study of people on a low-cal diet, those taking 200 milligrams of 7-keto twice a day experienced a modest 1.4 percent increase in their metabolic rate, while those not taking the supplement saw their metabolism slow by 3.9 percent.


Caffeine is probably one of the best-known fat burners around. This stimulant boosts your energy levels so you can work out harder for longer. But its benefits don’t stop there. One study that appeared in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that people taking 330 milligrams of caffeine an hour before their workout experienced a higher rate of fat oxidation plus a lower rate of carbohydrate oxidation during their session. 

That means they burned fat instead of glycogen as they exercised. But if you do opt for a fat burner with caffeine, ramp your dose up slowly to test your tolerance because high levels can leave some people feeling jittery.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Conjugated linoleic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and dairy products, as well as in supplement form. The Scandinavian Clinical Research Group found that the overweight women who participated in its study lost 9 percent body fat in one year’s time — without exercising or changing their eating habits. 

Another recent study investigating the effect of 4.2 grams of CLA a day in 53 healthy individuals reported a 3.8 percent drop in body fat compared with participants not taking CLA. Other research shows that a daily dose of at least 3.4 grams of CLA for a period of 12 weeks was needed to see a significant reduction in body fat.

Coleus Forskohlii

Coleus forskohlii helps reduce fat mass while increasing energy and testosterone levels. Forskolin, the active ingredient in Coleus forskohlii, boosts levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate — an enzyme that encourages fat loss while also suppressing appetite. Research suggests that this herb favorably affects the ratio of fat to muscle in the body, regulates cholesterol levels and promotes healthy hormone levels. Findings that appeared in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition show that Coleus forskohlii also reduces hunger and helps prevent weight gain.

Green Tea

Green tea is a rich source of catechins — powerful antioxidants that increases levels of the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine, keeping you in a thermogenic zone. According to research by the American Institute of Nutrition, consuming green-tea extract during physical activity produces a greater overall rate of fat loss among exercisers. 

A 12-week study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that consuming green tea containing 690 milligrams of catechins every day significantly reduced bodyweight, body mass index, waist circumference, body-fat mass and subcutaneous fat compared to those taking a placebo. Bonus? Green-tea extract also supports healthy cholesterol levels and a stronger immune system.