You may be forgiven for thinking that a fat blocker and a fat burner would be the same thing. After all, both these products are designed to encourage fat loss and in fact, they often contain many of the same ingredients!
In fact though, fat burners and fat blockers do work in a somewhat different way and each has specific advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Fat Burner?
A fat burner is essentially a supplement designed to increase the metabolism and thereby to encourage weight loss throughout the day. The promise is that if you take a fat burner, you’ll burn more calories than you otherwise would have even if you don’t do any extra exercise. A lazy day isn’t quite as bad and a day of exercise becomes even more beneficial.
Ingredients used in fat burners therefore include the likes of caffeine, bitter orange, l-carnitine and PQQ – all things that can help the body to burn more energy and thereby reduce fat storage.
This type of fat burner is sometimes called a ‘thermogenic’.
What Are Carb Blockers?
Meanwhile, a fat blocker or crab blocker aims to prevent you from adding on more weight and to stop lipogenesis or fat storage.
Specifically, carb blockers aim to inhibit the enzymes in the body that digest carbohydrates, such as alpha-amalase and other lipases. Carbohydrates are one of the main ‘culprits’ when it comes to weight gain, as they release sugar/glucose very quickly into the bloodstream resulting in a sudden surge of free calories that will often get stored as fat because the body doesn’t have time to use them. Carb blockers essentially work like fiber and prevent or slow down the absorption from carbs – some will pass right through, while others will release energy more slowly in a manner more akin to a complex carbohydrate. A common ingredient is orlistat which blocks 25% of the fat consumed according to Fox News. Popular ingredients include the likes of white kidney bean extract.
Of course a carb blocker doesn’t only prevent you from storing more fat, it also helps you lose fat because you’ll have less glucose in your blood stream meaning that your body will more quickly need to start burning fat stores for fuel.
Which You Should Use?
So with all that said, which is the better approach to a weight loss supplement? Which is more likely to help you achieve your goals more quickly?
The answer is that both have their advantages and that both can help. At the same time though, neither is completely perfect.
For starters, fat blockers can have some mild gastrointestinal side effects and may lead to indigestion and other issues. Likewise, fat burners can elevate blood pressure and may even cause heart problems. Neither is going to result in a drastic change to your weight either unless you combine them with the right diet and the right training regime.
So give them a go, maybe even combine both – but make sure your diet and exercise are the main parts of your strategy.