The Best Fat Burners: Supplements to Help You Lose Weight

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If you're trying to lose weight, your first plan of action should always be an appropriate diet and exercise regimen. If you haven't started this process yet, we encourage you to check out our list of the best weight-loss apps, our 30-day ab challenge, or any of our other weight-loss content to help get you started. In addition to diet and regular exercise, sometimes fat burners can be beneficial supplements to help you shed those last few pounds or to target the stubborn fat that just won’t go away. Fat burners are designed to jump-start your metabolism and help your body use stored fat as energy. Different formulas contribute to this in different ways, so it can be difficult to decide which supplement is best for you. For this reason, it is important to consult your doctor or a registered dietitian before using a fat-burning supplement.

Some fat burners come in powder form that you can mix in an average shaker bottle, others come in pill or capsule form. Everyone is different and has different needs, so it is important to understand what you’re looking at when comparing supplements.

To help you on this journey, the ACTIVE Reviews Team has done the research and compiled our own list of the best fat burners on the market and all of the details you need to make an informed decision in one place.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The Best Fat Burners - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for When Shopping for Fat Burners

With any supplement, the first thing you need to consider before purchasing is the ingredient list. Fat burners typically have ingredients that fire up your nervous system—mainly caffeine and green tea extract—in a process called thermogenesis which raises the temperature of your body with the intention of burning fat. If you know you’re sensitive to these types of stimulants, make sure you’re checking the ingredients and doses before consuming any fat burners.

Vitamins and minerals are also common components of fat burners. Many of these ingredients can be found in much smaller, less concentrated doses in the food you eat. However, make sure you understand the amount per serving in the different supplements, because many will have over 100 percent of the recommended daily intake which can cause possible side effects, especially if you already get some from food.

After you have a handle on the ingredient lists of different products, here are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • Cost. Supplements can be expensive and you want to make sure your purchase aligns with your budget. Our rating scale is $-$$$. $ = under $1 per serving, $$ = $1-2 per serving, and $$$ = over $2 per serving.
  • Flavor options. Typically, supplements are flavorless if they come in capsule or pill form. However, supplements in powder form typically do have flavors. We will rank the flavor options of the products like this: N/A = no flavor, 1 = 1-2 flavors, 2 = 3-4 flavors, and 3 = 5+ flavors.
  • Serving size. The nutritional content of a certain supplement may look good, but if it takes 3-4 doses to reach a serving size, you will struggle to get a good bang for your buck.
  • Calories. If you're trying to burn fat, your body needs to be in some sort of calorie deficit. High calorie supplements can sabotage your efforts before you even begin.
  • Sweeteners. Much of the supplement industry is going sugar-free. However, always pay attention to what sweeteners are used in place of sugar because some artificial sweeteners have different long-term effects than others.
  • Stimulants. Most fat burners contain some sort of stimulant to increase your metabolic rate. The most common stimulant is caffeine, but be aware of what stimulant and how much of it is in what product before you make your decision.

Best Overall Fat Burner - PhenQ

PhenQ

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Pill
  • Serving size: 1 pill
  • Dose recommendations: 2 pills daily: once at breakfast, once at lunch
  • Stimulant: Caffeine, 150mg
  • Artificial sweeteners: None
  • Intended use: Weight loss

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At the top of our list is the PhenQ fat burner. This supplement is our pick for the best overall fat burner because it approaches weight loss from multiple angles—five to be exact. PhenQ helps you burn fat as energy, stop your body from accumulating fat, suppress food cravings, boost energy, and balance your mood. The holistic approach is unique, and because the formula for this supplement is a clean list of all-natural ingredients, it can be effective for both men and women.

PhenQ's key active ingredient is the proprietary ingredient a-Lacys Reset, a combination of compounds that includes alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) which has been shown to reduce BMI and body weight. The a-Lacys Reset helps the body oxidize fat and target it for energy production, which is a key to sustainable weight loss. PhenQ does not have any artificial sweeteners, but the 150mg of caffeine per serving is relatively high considering you are directed to take two servings per day.

However, the company also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee if you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for, which is a huge vote of confidence that their formula really works for most people.

PROS

  • Balanced approach to weight loss
  • All-natural ingredients
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Discount bundles available

CONS

  • Can get expensive to take two doses per day
  • High amount of caffeine

BUY: PhenQ

Best Fat Burner for Men - Prime Male

PrimeMale

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Capsule
  • Serving size: Capsule
  • Dose recommendations: Take 4 times per day with food
  • Stimulant: None
  • Artificial sweeteners: None
  • Intended use: For men; build lean muscle, increase testosterone

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Prime Male is a testosterone booster that is designed specifically for men. Testosterone loss in men can be a main contributor to negative health outcomes like weight gain, poor cardiovascular health, and a low sex drive. Prime Male is made up of vitamins and minerals that are meant to boost testosterone production. Other fat burners on our list are designed to limit appetite or induce thermogenesis for weight loss, but Prime Male focuses on boosting energy levels and "vitality" in men.

Prime Male's formula is all natural with a particular focus on vitamins and minerals that are required for testosterone production. These vitamins and minerals exist in meat and vegetables, but are possibly not consumed in a high enough concentration to be effective. The key active ingredients of Prime Male are D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate (D-AA-CC) and vitamin D3. D-AA-CC—an amino acid that increases hormone release in the brain—encourages testosterone production and vitamin D3 strengthens bones and muscles.

Because of the focus on testosterone, Prime Male does not include any stimulants which means you don't have to worry about any of the typical side effects associated with overconsumption of stimulants like caffeine.

PROS

  • Few ingredients; all-natural
  • No stimulants
  • No sweeteners
  • Vegan and vegetarian friendly

CONS

  • Dose recommendation is 4 capsules per day
  • Many testosterone muscle-building claims are not backed by scientific studies

BUY: Prime Male

Best for Women - Jacked Factory NITROSURGE SHRED Pre-Workout Fat Burner

Jacked Factory NITROSURGE SHRED Pre-Workout Fat Burner

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: 3
  • Type: Powder
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Dose recommendations: 1-2 scoops
  • Stimulant: Caffeine, 180mg per serving
  • Artificial sweeteners: Sucralose
  • Intended use: Pre-workout

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Jacked Factory NITROSURGE SHRED is an affordable pre-workout powder that is packed with essential ingredients to boost your energy, metabolism, and help you burn more fat during your workouts. This supplement is cost-effective and water soluble so you can mix and go. With six flavors to choose from, this powdered fat burner has a versatile appeal.

The formula is tailored to put you on edge and then use that energy in your workout while also promoting thermogenesis. The active ingredients in the powder that promote fat loss are L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, and Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL. These compounds increase oxygenation in your muscles and increase your muscular endurance so you can push yourself during your exercise session. The other half of the formula is designed for energy. Theobromine, BioPerine, and Caffeine all contribute to mental and physical energy that you can then focus on getting a more effective workout. Jacked Factory doesn’t boast all natural ingredients like other fat burners on our list, but their artificial ingredients are common components of fat-burning supplements and they do avoid artificial food dyes and fillers.

PROS

  • Cost effective
  • Powder form for easy consumption
  • Multiple flavor options
  • Money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Artificial sweeteners and ingredients
  • Powder can be less convenient than a pill or capsule

BUY: Jacked Factory NITROSURGE SHRED Pre-Workout Fat Burner

Best Fat Burner for Belly Fat - Transparent Labs Fat Burner

Transparent Labs Fat Burner

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Capsules
  • Serving size: 2 capsules
  • Dose recommendations: 2 capsules twice daily, 30-60 minutes before meals
  • Stimulant: Caffeine, 120 mg per serving
  • Artificial sweeteners: None
  • Intended use: Dietary supplement to suppress appetite and increase metabolic rate

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The Transparent Labs fat burner is a capsule that you take about an hour before you eat. It’s formulated to reduce inflammation, increase your metabolism, and curb any cravings that lead you to make poor dietary choices. The unique part of this fat burner is that one of its main active ingredients is ForsLean, which has historical uses as an anti-inflammatory and immune system booster. Similarly, green tea extract has antioxidant properties that boost cognitive function and reduce inflammation.

This fat burner is billed as just one part of a healthy lifestyle that helps your body function at its best, but with the added benefit of potential metabolic boosts. Transparent Labs recommends taking half the dosage—one capsule twice per day instead of two—at first to give you time to see how your body will adjust to the active ingredients. If you find the typical dose of four capsules per day intimidating, this could be a good place to start.

PROS

  • Ingredients are commonly used to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system
  • Relatively low caffeine content
  • Clean ingredient list
  • No artificial sweeteners

CONS

  • 4 capsules per day recommended dose
  • High dose means the bottles don’t last as long and can get expensive

BUY: Transparent Labs Fat Burner

Best Non-Stimulant Fat Burner - Transparent Labs N.O. Non-Stim Pack

Transparent Labs Non-Stim Stack

SPECS

  • Price: $$$
  • Flavor options: 3
  • Type: Capsule and powder
  • Serving size: 4 capsules and 1 scoop
  • Dose recommendations: 4 capsules 30-60 minutes before workout and 1 scoop pre-workout
  • Stimulant: None
  • Sweeteners: Fruit extract
  • Intended use: Dietary supplement to increase energy before your workout, performance during your workout, and recovery after your workout

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Transparent Labs makes a second appearance on our list for their non-stim pack. Included in this pack are both a fat burner in capsule form and a pre-workout powder that will give you the boost you need to target fat during your workout. Transparent Labs is committed to clean ingredients, and even though this particular product offers a good variety of flavors, it remains free of artificial sweeteners. The flavor comes from fruit extract so there is technically some sugar content in the formula, but that sugar is derived from natural sources; for example, apple and pear extract in the fruit punch flavor.

Our favorite part of this fat-burner pack is the lack of stimulants in the ingredients. If you are caffeine sensitive, taking a medication that requires you to avoid stimulants, or trying to avoid stimulants for other reasons, this is the fat burner we recommend for you. The capsule is a nitric oxide blend that is meant to help your body oxidize fat as energy. When paired with the pre-workout powder that increases your energy, your body is primed and ready to target your fat stores during your workout and use the extra energy to recover quickly post-workout.

PROS

  • No stimulants
  • Only need to take the dose before exercise
  • Energy booster
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Many flavor options

CONS

  • 4 capsules is a high dose
  • 2 supplements together makes cost higher

BUY: Transparent Labs N.O. Non-Stim Pack

Best Budget Fat Burner - Jacked Factory Burn-XT Thermogenic Fat Burner

Jacked Factory Burn XT Thermogenic Fat Burner

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Capsule
  • Serving size: 1 or 2 capsules
  • Dose recommendations: 1 capsule with a meal 2x during the day
  • Stimulant: Caffeine, 135mg per capsule
  • Sweeteners: None
  • Intended use: Appetite suppressant and energy booster

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Jacked Factory's Burn-XT Fat Burner is a great option if you’re looking to try weight loss supplements but have a tight budget. The standard size bottle comes with 60 capsules and you can take 1-2 capsules per day depending on your tolerance level. Jacked Factory recommends taking one per day for at least a week before upping the dose to two, and you don’t want to take this fat burner on an empty stomach. Also make sure you’re drinking plenty of water with it.

The key active ingredients in Burn-XT are acetyl-L-carnitine, green tea extract, and caffeine. This combo is designed to suppress appetite, give you a shot of physical and mental energy, and give your muscles amino acids to maintain strength despite the calorie deficit. This fat burner is meant to be taken in conjunction with an exercise regime and a balanced diet.

PROS

  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Affordable
  • Formula designed to support exercise
  • Option to double the dose if your body responds well
  • Reasonable caffeine content

CONS

  • Won't give much benefit if you're not already living a healthy, active lifestyle
  • Shouldn't be taken within 5-6 hours of bedtime

BUY: Jacked Factory Burn-XT Thermogenic Fat Burner

Best High-End Fat Burner - Performance Lab MCT Oil

Performance Lab MCT Oil

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Liquid
  • Serving size: 1 tablespoon; 15 mL
  • Dose recommendations: 1 serving 30 min. before exercise, or 1 serving with each meal, or 1 serving 3x per day
  • Stimulant: None
  • Sweeteners: None
  • Intended use: Suppress appetite, increase energy, diet support, overall body function

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The most unique fat burner on our list is Performance Lab's MCT oil. This supplement can be added to coffee, smoothies, protein shakes, water, or it can be taken on its own. Medium-chain triglycerides, MCT, is a naturally occurring oil taken from coconut. Performance Lab's MCT oil is a premium product in the space because it is triple distilled after extraction. Studies suggest MCT oil is good for your gut health, brain health, and energy levels.

Another unique quality of MCT oil compared to other supplements on our list is that it has a macronutrient profile that helps satiate your hunger rather than chemically suppressing appetite. Performance Lab’s MCT oil has 130 calories and 14 grams of fat per serving which is not a lot to add to your diet but is enough to give your stomach something to satisfy it. The key feature of MCT oil is its versatility; you can take a dose at any time of the day that suits your needs. However, Performance Lab does suggest that you take no more than three doses per day.

PROS

  • All-natural
  • Easily mixed with liquids
  • Macronutrients for real satiation
  • Versatile uses
  • Variety of benefits that go beyond weight loss

CONS

  • Premium price unless you use the minimum serving size
  • No added vitamins or minerals to specifically target energy production

BUY: Performance Lab MCT Oil

Best Thermogenic - Apollon Nutrition Shogun Thermogenic Fat Destroyer

Apollon Nutrition Shogun Thermogenic Fat Destroyer

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Capsule
  • Serving size: 2 Capsules
  • Dose recommendations: 2 capsules once daily before breakfast, optional 2 more capsules as pre-workout
  • Stimulant: Caffeine, 300mg +
  • Sweeteners: None
  • Intended use: Weight loss, energy boost, mood balance

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The Shogun is Apollon Nutrition’s fat burner that will stimulate your nervous system, boosting your energy and mood, while satiating your hunger. The key ingredients of Shogun are derivatives of spices, plants, and other natural sources that are sometimes used on their own as weight loss or energy boosting supplements. For example, one of the main ingredients of Shogun is Paradoxine, a supplement used for weight loss that comes from a West African spice. Shogun combines all of these ingredients into one super-packed supplement.

One thing to be careful of when taking this fat burner is that it has 300 milligrams of caffeine per dose on the label, but it also has 134 milligrams of di-caffeine malate which is still 75 percent caffeine. Added together, that makes Shogun the most stimulant-rich supplement on our list by a large margin. Apollo Nutrition recommends taking one dose, or two capsules, per day with the option to take a second dose in the afternoon as a pre-workout.

PROS

  • Packed with plant-derived ingredients
  • Has ingredients that may balance your mood
  • Suppresses appetite while boosting energy

CONS

  • It has 300mg of caffeine, plus another 134mg of di-caffeine malate
  • Can get expensive unless you limit your doses

BUY: Apollo Nutrition Shogun Thermogenic Fat Destroyer

Best Fat Burner Pill - Burn Lab Pro

Burn Lab Pro

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Pill
  • Serving size: 3 Pills
  • Dose recommendations: 3 capsules 30 min. before exercising
  • Stimulant: Caffeine, 300mg +
  • Sweeteners: None
  • Intended use: Pre-workout, fat burning, weight loss

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Burn Lab Pro is a stimulant-free pre-workout and attempts to help your body break down fat and build muscle. Burn Lab is the second supplement on our list to use ForsLean as one of its active ingredients, which may boost hormonal production in the brain to cause fat oxidation. The other five ingredients have been studied to various degrees and support the process of thermogenesis and muscle recovery.

Unlike some fat-burning supplements, Burn Lab Pro is made to be taken if you are going to be active. If you don’t exercise about 30 minutes after taking the supplement, you are likely to see few, if any, of the benefits. That's because this supplement is put together to help your body burn more calories, not to suppress your appetite or stimulate your nervous system.

PROS

  • Stimulant free
  • Good source of calcium
  • Contains anti-inflammatory ForsLean
  • All-natural ingredients
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Does not suppress appetite
  • If you don’t exercise fairly soon after taking the supplement you are unlikely to see benefits

BUY: Burn Lab Pro

FAQs About Fat Burners


Do fat burners work?

The FDA monitors but does not evaluate or test the claims of dietary supplement companies, which means these companies can make a lot of claims based on nothing or studies that are only semi-related to their product. There are hundreds of fat burners you can find online and some are more honest than others in their claims.

The truth is, there is no guarantee the ingredients in fat burners will make you lose weight. However, there are studies that suggest most of the active ingredients in the fat burners we've included on our list will help promote weight loss when paired with other healthy habits like diet and exercise. If you are scouring the internet for a magic pill to lose weight and burn fat without putting in the work, it does not exist—and any company worth your time will inform you of this.

Are fat burners safe to take?

The best fat burners are made of all-natural ingredients you consume on a regular basis in your food, just in higher concentrations. Because they’ve been extracted, refined, and concentrated in a pill, powder, or capsule, these ingredients may have big, scientific names, but don’t be afraid to look up any ingredient you don’t recognize.

The main thing you need to pay attention to is the stimulants used in a given product, particularly caffeine. These stimulants can cause adverse effects like increased heart rate, anxiety, and jitteriness when consumed in high doses. If you use them as directed and only take ones with research-backed ingredients, fat burners are safe to use. However, you should always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements, as some people have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients.

Are fat burners good for weight loss?

The best way to lose weight is to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. However, fat burners are meant to supplement this process in different ways depending on the particular product. If you experience low energy during your exercise routine, a fat burner with caffeine or another stimulant could help boost your results. Similarly, if you find yourself snacking too much or overeating at meals, fat burners that suppress your appetite could give you the edge you’re looking for to finally see results.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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