With your new, calorie-controlled eating plan and intense exercise program well entrenched into your healthier lifestyle, it’s probably time to add a new dimension to your fat-loss and body transformation efforts.

While many people buy supplements in the hope that they will deliver a ‘magic pill’ solution to their weight problem, the truth is that supplements can’t counteract the effects of a poor diet and an inactive lifestyle when used in isolation.

The role of fat-loss supplements

Have you stopped to consider that the word ‘supplement’ means “a thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it”? These products are not meant to replace a healthful diet or exercise plan.

However, if you do the basics right on a consistent basis, then supplements can provide a boost to help you shed an extra few kilos or reduce that stubborn layer of belly fat.

And there are various products available that can help you achieve these goals. These are the fat-loss supplement essentials every beginner should know.

Body toner fat-loss supplements

These products usually contain effective doses of specific ingredients that help your muscles effectively tap into stored fat for energy.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and L-carnitine supplements have been scientifically proven to reduce total body fat and increase lean body mass. CLA has been shown to increase lean body mass and prevent fat storage, while carnitine increases the body’s ability to metabolise stored fat, especially during exercise.

When combined with exercise and the right diet for your genes and activity level, these products can help you burn more stored fat to meet your daily energy requirements.

Thermogenic fat burners

These products are the most potent fat burners on the market. They generally contain a combination of stimulants and other thermogenic agents that work synergistically to raise your metabolic rate, both at rest and while active.

Common ingredients include caffeine, theacrine, synephrine, citrus aurantium extract, green tea extract and yerba mate, along with licensed ingredients such as Sinetrol® Xpur.

These supplements can also reduce appetite, and make it easier for your body to tap into stored fat for energy.

Due to the effect that stimulants have on your nervous system, it is important that you use these products intermittently. This will give your nervous and hormonal systems time to recover and reset so that you don’t build up a tolerance to the substances.

Fat-loss support supplements

These products usually contain effective ingredients that can boost your metabolism, burn fat, suppress appetite and reduce fat storage but aren’t classified as stimulants.

They are the ideal way to accelerate weight loss and fat loss without the buzz and the impact that stimulants can have on your nervous system and sleep patterns. This makes them ideal for use in combination with body toners, or for those who are sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

These products generally contain natural compounds like alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), ketones, coleus forskohlii root extract and garcinia cambogia (also known as hydroxy citric acid or HCA), or licensed ingredients like Dynamine™.

Using fat-loss supplements for max effect

Always use weight-loss supplements as directed on the packaging. Common guidelines suggest taking a weight-loss supplement first thing in the morning to provide support throughout the day, and/or again before exercise to amplify the fat-burning effect.

But before taking any supplement, especially stimulant-based products, first, get the all-clear from your doctor. They will ensure that you don’t have any underlying medical conditions, especially cardiovascular problems. Pregnant women should avoid most fat burners unless indicated by your OBGYN.