It seems like everywhere you turn these days, a new fat burner pops up. With so many fat burners around that promise the moon, you should have it easy losing weight, right? Not exactly. This is especially true if you fall into the category of having a stimulant intolerance.
But why does this matter? To many, stimulants are a dime a dozen. Drinking several cups of caffeine laden coffee every daily is testament to just how trivial these are to the majority of people. In others, however, stimulant use could lead to dangerous alterations in catecholamine levels- natural chemicals produced by the body that help us cope with basic fight and flight responses.
There may be many causes behind stimulant intolerance/ sensitivity, but genetics plays a huge role in this. There isn’t much that can be done to fight stimulant insensitivity except avoiding them in the first place.
Which leads to the necessity of looking for non-stimulant fat burners that can help you accomplish your goal of losing some weight. But don’t worry- we’ve got you covered. Below we’ve curated the top 5 non stimulant burners that you can take advantage of.
Starting off the list with carnitine is deserving, as it is one of the most effective non-stim fat burners you have at your disposal. Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid in the form L-carnitine, but it can also be found in acetyl-L-carnitine supplemental form as well.
Under normal circumstances, the utilization of these fatty acids is not substantial. However, under the influence of carnitine this can be increased. Coupled with a low carbohydrate diet it can help you dig into stored body fat.
An underrated and underutilized tool in your non-stim fat burning arsenal, this plant that is native to South East Asia can help you lose more weight by having a supporting role. What this means is that it is not directly involved in fat loss, but rather, can help prevent the production and storage of new fat[ii] by one very important mechanism.
This mechanism involves inhibition of an enzyme known as citrate lyase by hydroxy citric acid (HCA) the primary active constituent in garcinia Cambogia. This enzyme plays a large part in converting carbohydrates into fatty acids which are then subsequently stored in fat cells. Thus, by addressing multiple fronts while trying to lose weight, more comprehensive changes can be noticed.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
A compound naturally produced by the body, and obtained via the consumption of various meats, it is a potent anti-oxidant that can also help you reach your weight loss goals.
To start with, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), can help suppress your appetite, a necessary pre-requisite of weight loss. All the fancy supplements aside, weight loss still revolves around the basic premise that you must expend more calories than you consume. Thus, some degree of caloric restriction is necessary.
This is oftentimes the most difficult part of weight loss as hunger seeps in and sabotages your diet. Appetite suppressants can do a lot for helping you stay the course.
Secondly, ALA possesses some unique nutrient partitioning properties, which is extremely useful for people with insulin resistance or poor insulin sensitivity.
What this effect means is that if carbohydrates are consumed they are shuttled into muscle cells preferentially[iii] as opposed to fat cells. If you follow a targeted or cyclic ketogenic diet, this can be very useful for gaining muscle and simultaneously restricting/losing fat.
Choline is very well known by people looking for nootropics, since it can help to enhance memory and brain function, but turns out that it can also be very beneficial for weight loss.
Found abundantly in eggs, choline can help increase the rates of fat oxidation in the liver[iv], but also possesses unique traits in that it can promote something known as “fat flushing” when combined with carnitine. Fat flushing refers to excretion of fatty acid molecules via the urine, as opposed to stool.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is no newcomer to the scene, having been around for quite a number of years. And yet, it is surprising that more people do not take advantage of all it brings to the table. For instance, supplemental CLA can help reduce appetite, enhance the usage of fatty acids for energy production, and can also inhibit the storage of new fat[v].
All while also exerting an anti-catabolic effect that helps preserve muscle mass[vi] (especially in the older population).
There are many other notable non-stimulant supplements that can assist with weight loss such as raspberry ketones, capsaicin, exogenous ketones and forskolin. You can also stack several of the aforementioned supplements together without tissue to experience greater synergistic fat loss.
Just keep in mind that while supplements help to support your weight loss goals, it is imperative that you still work out consistently and follow sound nutritional principles.
[i] Sahlin K. Boosting fat burning with carnitine: an old friend comes out from the shadow. J Physiol. 2011;589(Pt 7):1509-1510. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2011.205815
[ii] Chuah LO, Ho WY, Beh BK, Yeap SK. Updates on Antiobesity Effect of Garcinia Origin (-)-HCA. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:751658. doi:10.1155/2013/751658
[iii] Burke DG, Chilibeck PD, Parise G, Tarnopolsky MA, Candow DG. Effect of alpha-lipoic acid combined with creatine monohydrate on human skeletal muscle creatine and phosphagen concentration. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003;13(3):294-302. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.13.3.294
[iv] Zhu J, Wu Y, Tang Q, Leng Y, Cai W. The effects of choline on hepatic lipid metabolism, mitochondrial function and antioxidative status in human hepatic C3A cells exposed to excessive energy substrates. Nutrients. 2014;6(7):2552-2571. Published 2014 Jul 9. doi:10.3390/nu6072552
[v] Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H, Thom E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. J Nutr. 2000;130(12):2943-2948. doi:10.1093/jn/130.12.2943
[vi] Rahman M, Halade GV, El Jamali A, Fernandes G. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) prevents age-associated skeletal muscle loss. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009;383(4):513-518. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.04.071