What are the best fat burners in 2020? A buyer’s guide

Read a lot of fat burner guides, and they’ll tell you what “the best” fat burner is. But based on what?

All too often you’ll come across buyers guides with no real explanation as to how the products featured were ranked.

That’s why we’ve written this guide. It goes deeper than just telling you “the best”. Instead, we’ll recommend the best fat burners based on the criteria that matter to you.

And we’ll explain the reasons that each product made the cut.

So, if you’re a woman who wants to burn fat without a huge caffeine hit, you’re in luck. And if you’re looking to decide whether a natural or prescription fat burner is best for you, then we’ve got you covered.

What determines the best fat burner?

“Fat burner” is a broad term. You’ll find many generic fat burners online with poor ingredients, and weak scientific backing. 

In this article we’ve included prescription options that actually work, as well as the very best natural options that actually have solid doses and credible ingredients

The first thing we’ll do is recommend the best overall fat burner. This is the product that ticks all of the boxes we want ticked when buying or recommending a weight loss supplement.

This means something safe to use, contains ingredients with proven links to weight loss, and that works.

Then we’ll drill down a bit deeper and look at the following:

  • The best fat burner with caffeine. Great if you’re planning to hit the gym or ramp up your workouts.
  • The best fat burner for women. Perfect if you don’t want a macho fat burner designed for men who want to bulk up their muscles.
  • The best fat burner for men. Ideal if you’re looking for something tailored to male physiology.
  • The best budget fat burner. Useful if you don’t want to spend too much, an excellent starting category for people new to fat burners.
  • The best prescription fat burner. Suitable only for people with a medical demand and a prescription from a qualified medical professional.

We’ll throw in a disclaimer here: You should only ever take prescription fat burners if directed by a doctor. These medicines are more potent than over-the-counter supplements and can be dangerous if taken without a genuine medical need. If you’re worried about your weight and want to look beyond supplements, speak with a qualified medical professional about your best course of action.

We’ll start with the recommendations, then run through all the information you need to make an informed decision about which fat burner is best for you. Those sections will cover what fat burners are, how they work, ingredients to look out for, who should buy them, and FAQs. 

5 Best Fat Burner Supplements And Pills That Works

#1. Leanbean:

Leanbean is our top pick for the best overall fat burner.

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This natural fat burner for women stands head and shoulders above the rest.

And here’s why.

Firstly, the formula. There are twelve all-natural ingredients, all with links to weight loss and built around a clinically-proven dose of glucomannan (3g – the dose that European regulators have acknowledged as effective in weight loss). 

It’s simple to take, effective, and not reliant on a big stimulant hit to deliver results.

Glucomannan is backed up by ingredients like chromium picolinate, Garcinia Cambogia, and B vitamins. When they combine forces, they crush cravings, streamline your metabolism, and boost your energy levels ahead of a workout. 

In short, Leanbean will kickstart your weight loss and is a fantastic addition to a healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re a bodybuilder or a model, this supplement can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Leanbean’s customer base includes athletes and models, and it’s built a considerable following over the years amongst women and men alike. 

Just check out some of the reviews:

“I notice a huge boost in my energy and mood every day.” – Madeleine, USA.

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“I love Leanbean. My overall mood has increased as well as my energy.” – Taylor, USA.

#2. Powher Fat Burner:

The Powher fat burner makes our pick as the best fat burner with caffeine.

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With a daily dose of 100mg of caffeine, Powher packs a punch. You’ll feel revved up, energised, focussed, and alert. And all of this means a harder and stronger workout with more calories burned.

Sure, you might see higher caffeine levels in other supplements. But Powher uses an optimal daily dose – the amount found to be effective without triggering any of the adverse side effects.

This is why Powher takes the title of the best fat burner with caffeine. There’s enough inside to be effective and help your weight loss journey, but you won’t find yourself jittery and anxious like you would with some supplements that just cram in as much caffeine as possible.

The Powher fat burner offers so much more than just a caffeine hit, too. There are appetite suppressing ingredients to crush cravings, minerals to boost metabolism, and ingredients to regulate hormones.

All in all, this is a balanced and holistic fat burner with a focus on caffeine, and it gets two thumbs up from us.

What is the best fat burner for women? 

  • We’re going to recommend Leanbean again – but hear us out!
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Although Leanbean is safe for men and women to take, the formula is centred around female physiology. This deserves applause in itself: So much of the supplement marketplace is generic or male-dominated, and it’s refreshing to see a company prioritise women’s’ needs.

Leanbean dials down the caffeine levels because women often have lower tolerances than men. A male fat burner with excess caffeine levels can cause real problems for a woman.

So if you’re a woman looking to boost results on your weight loss journey, Leanbean is for you. It will help you to get more from your workouts, consume fewer calories, prevent deficiencies associated with weight gain, and much more. 

And our favourite thing? Your needs as a woman are at the centre of this fat burner rather than just a lazy afterthought.

#3. PhenQ

Don’t worry fellas, we’ve got you covered as well. Our favourite fat burner for men is PhenQ.

This supplement might not look too exciting, but it delivers. Inside the bottle, you’ll find 60 tablets designed to help you shed fat.

As per the other supplements in this list, PhenQ can be effective alongside a healthy lifestyle. The formula claims to burn fat stored around your body, suppress your appetite to reduce food intake, block fat production to reduce body fat levels further, and improve your mood.

By raising your mood and energy level, PhenQ looks to motivate you toward weight loss. 

PhenQ boasts a “secret ingredient” – a-Lacys Reset. They claim it will speed up your metabolism and raise your body’s internal temperature to burn fat quickly.

And according to the PhenQ website, over 190,000 people have been impressed with the weight loss results this fat burner delivers.

Whilst women can use this product too, the best pick for women was already taken so we’ve got it in here as our favourite for men.

#4. Zotrim:

Want to lose weight without spending more than you need to? Take a look at Zotrim.

This fat burner claims to help you to lose weight by controlling cravings.

Like the other fat burners in this list, Zotrim is built around natural, plant-based ingredients – great for people who want to avoid chemicals.

There are ingredients inside to boost your energy levels and help you feel motivated to work out more. These are backed up by appetite suppressants to help you eat less and consume fewer calories overall. There’s no sign of glucomannan, though: The appetite suppressant with the strongest clinical backing.

Zotrim makes similar claims to other fat burners with slightly higher price tags, making it potentially good as an entry-level product. You can expect to see better results from the supplements we’ve mentioned previously, however. 

#5. Alli Diet Pills:

The medicine is called Orlistat, and the version you can buy in the UK and US is called alli.

Before reading this section in full, remember what we said earlier: Prescription fat burners should only be used if you have a prescription from a medical professional. Taking these medications without legitimate medical need is dangerous, and is absolutely not recommended.

With that said, the prescription fat burner we’re recommending is actually available to buy over the counter in the UK and the US.

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You can see right there on the box that it says “for adults with a BMI of 28 or above.” This points at the fact that Orlistat is heavier duty than the other supplements we’ve listed.

This fat burner is designed to block the absorption of dietary fat from the food you eat. Clinical trials have found that people taking Orlistat alongside lifestyle changes conducive to weight loss lose more weight than they would otherwise.

If you’re considering taking Orlistat, we recommend thinking carefully. This is ultimately a medicine designed to be prescribed to people with specific body weights, and it may not align with your weight loss needs as a result.

What is a fat burner?

A fat burner is a category of weight loss supplement that claims to reduce fat intake and increase the amount of fat your body burns.

Many men and women take fat burners to help them achieve their weight loss goals.

That’s because taking a fat burner alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise should lead to more significant weight loss results than you’d see otherwise. 

But you need to know this: 

Fat burners aren’t magic pills that will make fat melt away without any work. Instead, they’re designed to support lifestyle changes that lead to weight loss. 

It’s important that you understand the distinction before you start taking a fat burner. Otherwise, you’re going to be disappointed.

Many people buy a supplement but don’t make any lifestyle changes, then feel hard done by when their weight doesn’t budge.

Fat burners are built around common goals, and aim to help you lose weight by one or more of the following mechanisms:

  • Appetite suppression: Helping you to eat less and consume fewer calories.
  • Boosting metabolism: Helping your body to burn and store fat more efficiently.
  • Blocking fat absorption: Helping your body to absorb less fat from the food you eat.
  • Thermogenesis: Raising your body temperature to increase the number of calories burned at rest.

Let’s break each one down for you in a bit more detail.

How do fat burners work?

Each fat burner formula is different, but they’re built around the same outcomes and mechanisms of action.

The previous section introduced the four main fat burner mechanisms. This section unpacks each one in a bit more detail because when you’re deciding which fat burner is best for you, you need to understand how they’ll work.

Here’s what to look out for.

Appetite suppression

Struggle with cravings? Then appetite suppression is for you.

The goals of appetite suppression are simple: To help you eat less, and to reduce the amount of fat and calories you consume as a result.

Some appetite suppressing ingredients expand to take up physical space in your stomach, making you feel full more quickly. Glucomannan is an example of this: When it is exposed to water it expands to 1.5 its normal size – space that won’t be filled with food.

Other appetite suppressants look to alter the balance of the ghrelin and leptin – the hormones responsible for appetite. If you experience a lot of food cravings even when you’re not particularly hungry, this could be the result of hormone dysregulation. By getting the hormones back in check, it’s possible to reduce the urge to snack.

Boosting metabolism

Burn fat more efficiently and reduce the amount stored around your body.

Metabolism is your body’s natural process for turning food and drink into energy. When you eat, things are broken down into sugar, fat, and micronutrients to be used by the body. If your caloric intake is higher than what your body burns in a day, some of the excess is stored around the body as fat.

That’s why you’ll see a lot of fat burners claiming to boost your metabolism: The idea is that by supporting your body’s metabolic processes less excess fat will be stored, with more burned as fuel.

You’ll likely see different types of metabolism mentioned:

  • Lipid metabolism refers to fats.
  • Energy-yielding metabolism refers to sugars.
  • Macronutrient metabolism refers to other vitamins and minerals.

Blocking fat absorption

Reduce dietary fat absorbed into your body from the food you eat.

As well as reducing the amount of food you feel the need to eat, some fat burners look to reduce the amount of fat absorbed from the food you have eaten.

This is usually limited to prescription fat burners but can be found in some over-the-counter products like alli.

Thermogenesis

Burn more calories at rest just by heating your body up slightly.

Thermogenesis is the process by which an organism’s temperature increases. When your body’s internal temperature is raised slightly, you burn more calories at rest than you would otherwise. Fat burners promote this effect as a way to burn extra calories without much extra effort.

Temperature increases are within a safe limit, so there’s no risk to your health.

Ingredients that contribute to thermogenesis are called thermogenics. Some – like capsaicin, the chemical that makes chillies spicy – are associated with heat. Others, like caffeine, aren’t, but both are used to good effect in fat burner recipes. 

Targeting deficiencies

People who are overweight often have deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals.

Many fat burners look to plug these deficiencies by supplementing these things. The idea is that if your body has the right amount of the things it needs to be healthy, there’s less chance of gaining weight.

The majority of fat burners will combine one or more of the mechanisms outlined above, with the view of providing more holistic weight loss support. 

Common fat burner ingredients 

You’ve seen the common fat burner mechanisms, but what are the best fat burner ingredients?

Let’s take a look at six ingredients you’ll see in a lot of fat burner formulas.

Glucomannan

This soluble fibre is clinically-proven to be effective for weight loss in daily doses of 3 grams. Glucomannan expands when exposed to water, and fat burners take advantage of this as a way to suppress your appetite.

As your stomach gets full the nerve receptors tell your brain, and you start to feel less hungry. Glucomannan’s expansion means these signals are sent more quickly, and that you need to eat less food to feel full than you would otherwise.

Caffeine

This naturally occurring stimulant is famous for providing an energy buzz. But it does so much more.

By boosting your metabolism, raising your energy levels, and increasing focus, motivation, end endurance, caffeine positions you to work out harder, for longer, and to burn more calories. 

Keep an eye out for caffeine levels if you’re sensitive to stimulants. Some fat burners are packed full of it, while others use smaller doses to appeal to people with lower thresholds.

Garcinia Cambogia

The skin of this fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid, an ingredient that has been widely studied for its potential effects in reducing the amount of fat stored in your body, and for controlling appetite.

Fat burners employ Garcinia Cambogia as a natural way to fight cravings and to complement other ingredients that aim to reduce fat intake.

Chromium picolinate

Studies have linked this mineral to all sorts of effects including reduced food intake, fewer cravings, and normal macronutrient metabolism.

When chromium combines with picolinic acid to create chromium picolinate, your body is able to absorb more of the chemical, increasing its efficiency. That’s why you’ll see chromium picolinate in many fat burner supplements, rather than just plain chromium.

Vitamins B6 and B12

Health authorities have linked these B vitamins to reductions in energy and fatigue, meaning they contribute to keeping your energy levels up. As we’ve discussed earlier, more energy means more workouts, and more calories burned as a result.

B vitamins are also linked to energy-yielding metabolism, meaning they’ll help your body break down and store fats and sugars more efficiently.

Other ingredients you’ll see

Here’s a quick rundown of other ingredients you might come across. Remember that each fat burner will have its own unique ingredients list, so it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of what each thing claims to do. This way you can ensure you’re happy with everything that’s entering your body.

  • Choline: Contributes to normal lipid metabolism.
  • Chloride: Aids with digestion.
  • Zinc: Contributes to normal lipid metabolism.
  • Turmeric: Promotes thermogenesis.
  • L-Carnitine: Helps reduce fat storage.
  • Piperine: Boosts uptake of other ingredients.

Who should buy a fat burner? 

If you’re reading this, maybe you’re curious about trying a fat burner for the first time and are wondering whether they’re the right product for you.

So let us break it down.

Fat burners are great for people who are looking to boost their weight loss. People who understand that a healthy lifestyle is a basis for weight loss: One with a healthy diet and regular exercise, and with more calories burned each day than you consume.

If you want to smash your weight loss goals and accept the fact that doing so means eating healthy and exercising, then a fat burner is right for you.

If you work out, go to the gym, and try to eat a healthy diet most of the time, it’s likely that a fat burner could improve the results you’re seeing anyway. The clue’s in the name: Weight loss supplement.

If you’re expecting a magic pill that sheds fat with no extra effort from you, then you should reconsider. This is not what fat burners will do, and you risk being disappointed.

Most fat burners are not advised for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so if this includes you, consider waiting until you’ve finished nursing.

Certain ingredients in fat burners are not advised for people with specific health conditions, either. This varies between people and products so we can’t offer direct advice, but we would recommend speaking to your doctor before buying or taking a fat burner if you have concerns.

Fat burner FAQs 

If you’ve got any other fat burner questions, take a look here. We can’t answer questions about specific products – instead, we’d advise you to take a look at their websites for any extra info you need.

Do fat burners work?

Yes, when taken alongside a healthy lifestyle with a caloric deficit, fat burners can deliver weight loss results. They do not cause weight loss, however, they contribute to it. So if you’re not making lifestyle changes that facilitate weight loss, fat burners will not work.

Are any fat burner ingredients clinically proven?

Yes, ingredients like glucomannan and caffeine have effects that are agreed upon by the scientific community. Resources like the Office of Dietary Supplements and the European Health Safety Authority are great places to look if you want to understand the officially recognised effects of ingredients.

Are all fat burners the same?

No, the majority of fat burners have unique formulas. While most share the same goals – cut cravings, reduce fat intake, boost metabolism, promote thermogenesis – the ingredients and combinations used to achieve these things will differ. Understanding the specific formula of the product you’re looking to take is encouraged.

Are fat burners safe?

Yes, if taken as directed alongside a healthy diet. All fat burners come with directions on how to take (for example, “two capsules twice a day, before mealtimes”). You should follow these to the letter.

The daily dose of each fat burner is designed to be safe, and not to exceed any safe amounts of ingredients. If you exceed this dose or take multiple fat burners at the same time, you risk exceeding safe limits and increasing the risk of side effects.

Always take fat burners as directed, and if you have any concerns about their safety, speak with your doctor.