For a lot of physique competition/photo shoot preps and sometimes to lose that “last” bit of weight, a common suggestion or choice is a fat burner. Ephedrine/caffeine combinations, off she shelf or under the counter options are common. Although some options may help the fat loss process for short-term goals, some can also be really hard on our bodies, minds and maybe not so great for long-term physical or emotional health. We need to think beyond the stage/photo shoots when making choices or this will not be something we can continue to do and we can pay with our emotional, physical health or both.
If closely monitored, some stronger options may be less harmful than others but all may carry risks. If you choose to use stronger “prep aids” (including ephedrine/caffeine combinations) seek the help of someone who knows how to deal with these things. This does not mean that guy on the forum who seems to know everything about everything, or the person in the gym who’s physique you admire (looking good is not a guarantee that a person is a great source of information) but a coach or guide with a background and knowledge showing they know how to deal with these things (the good and the bad). Look to see that the person whose advice and guidance you are trusting is aware of the side effects/risks of the suggested options, they have a method to figure out or know what limited dosage is right for you, they are aware of ways to recognize when it’s time to stop taking something (you are experiencing potentially dangerous side effects,etc), and know how to transition you to “normal” or “cycle you off” of the harsher choices. This is not a perfect list and there are probably a lot of other things to look for and question. Just be careful. This is your body and your health and it’s your decision to make when it comes to what is right and worth it for you when it comes to supplements, coaching, competing and everything else.
Different factors should be considered before choosing fat loss alternatives for ourselves, clients and/or as a suggestion to those inquiring about options. Addictive personalities and/or people who are “extreme” may be seen as vulnerable when it comes to abusing substances by either going extreme with the doses or becoming dependant on them. Stronger fat loss alternatives may not be an appropriate suggestion here, even in seemingly “controlled” circumstances.
Some stimulants can also cause personality changes in some people; aggression, irritability, manic-behaviour, depression, etc. If the things you are taking are making the prep and life less enjoyable, it’s counter productive and taking away from the process. See about a different and safer alternative.
For fat loss options that may be for health as well as fat loss, will not leave you feeling bug-eyed with unpredictable emotions, or leave you with energy crashes (which can be caused in some people by stimulants), here are some other options:
For this prep, the above are now a part of the supplement regime. Here are just a couple of the many known benefits: Green Tea is known to help with fat loss, and to give you a sense of calm, CLA can help stabilize blood sugar and is said to assist with lowering the amount abdominal fat stored (I have noticed a difference when it was used before), ALA helps with the uptake of glucose (helps you put carbohydrates to use), and L-Carnitine can help you use fat as an energy source (it can also help give you a nice stable energy) None of these cause a stimulant made or “wired” type of energy.
In the opinion of knowledgeable well trusted individuals, and from the research seen, these options are a lot better than some others (when used in appropriate doses) with little to no risks and many health benefits. Everyone is different, these just happen to be the options I have chosen for present goals.
Before deciding on anything, do your own research, trust your instincts (go with your gut). If something feels wrong, trust that it probably is. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
We should remember that a plan that is “appropriate” for us should allow for us to reach our goals without needing to lean or depend on fat-loss aids to take us there.
Work with someone who really has your best interest at heart and is willing/interested in working with you and your specific needs to reach your goals. And we should be willing to put in that work set out for us. It’s an awesome and fulfilling process when we know it’s the plan and our ability to follow it, doing the work.
If a coach is not an option, do your best to create a safe plan that works for you. Be patient and remember the other important things in life, beyond the pictures and the stage.
Supplements a Fat Loss Hindrance? Blog here.