Fat burners aren’t a one-stop-shop for weight loss, but with a well-planned, balanced diet and solid training program, even the best non-stim fat burners can earn their place in a weight loss journey—though it’s worth emphasizing that diet and exercise will be the King and Queen of your efforts.
Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds for a competition or show, or focused on losing weight for your own health benefit, weight loss pills and fat burner supplements can be a super-effective sidekick to a good weight loss plan.
While most conventional fat burners heavily dose the stimulants, caffeine sensitivities—or even those who just want to sleep at night—deter many people from reaching for these products.
So, for anyone looking to get a good night’s sleep without being jacked up all day and night, we’re giving you the only stim-free weight loss supplement you’ll need to reach your goals with ease.
Ready to dive in?
The Highs And Lows Of Caffeine Consumption
We all love a little caffeine to kick up our senses and kick our workouts into overdrive for maximum gains and weight loss, but what happens when caffeine consumption becomes too much?
Conventional weight loss supplements love to mega-dose stimulants because of their role in suppressing appetite, boosting metabolic rate and energy expenditure, and supporting fat loss 1, but too much caffeine isn’t necessarily a good thing—especially for weight loss.
Here’s a few reasons many people opt to include caffeine in their workout stack 2-6:
- Increases metabolic rate and energy expenditure
- Boosts fat oxidation
- Reduces perceived exertion during exercise
- Suppresses appetite and control cravings
- May increase power output
While there’s no denying that caffeine offers some benefits for exercise performance and body composition, too much caffeine can actually diminish the benefits. What most studies don’t tell you is that chronic consumption of caffeine can actually work against your weight loss efforts.
Why? Studies show that excessive caffeine consumption can adversely affect blood sugar levels. A 2017 review found that five of seven studies they looked at showed acute caffeine consumption increases blood glucose levels and prolongs the period of high blood glucose 6.
High blood glucose also leads to an increase in insulin, an anabolic hormone that plays a major role in regulating fat storage, especially in the midsection.
Chronically high insulin can make cells less sensitive to insulin’s “signal”, leading to the development of insulin resistance. To lose weight and keep it off, you want cells to be sensitive to insulin.
As such, caffeine consumption can increase the risk of glucose imbalances and insulin resistance, but many of these effects are dose-dependent 7. So, if you stick to low doses or caffeine-free options, you may be in the clear.
The Top 3 Caffeine-Free Weight-Loss Ingredients
1. B-hydroxy-B-methylbutyrate (HMB)
For anyone trying to lose weight, maintaining muscle mass can be a big challenge because we often compromise muscle for fat loss. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
B-hydroxy-B-methylbutyrate, more commonly known as HMB, is a metabolite of the infamous muscle-building amino acid, leucine, that is one of the most effective supplements for preserving lean muscle while burning fat, boosting energy, and accelerating recovery.
When leucine is metabolized in the body, the majority of it—roughly 80%—is shunted towards muscle protein synthesis, while the remaining 20% is metabolized into two compounds: alpha-ketoisocaproate (a-KIC) and HMB.
Of that 20%, about 15% forms a-KIC while only 5% forms HMB 8. So, using protein or BCAA supplements to obtain HMB isn’t going to cut it, which is why we get on board with pure HMB supplements.
The reason we love it for weight loss is because the beneficial effects of HMB are linked to its anti-proteolytic (anti-catabolic) properties and its effect on down-regulating several compounds involved in protein degradation 9.
At the same time, it has also been shown to stimulate mRNA translation, myogenic (muscle) cell proliferation, and protein synthesis via MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt pathways, stimulate mTOR phosphorylation, and increase the expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and growth hormone (GH), both of which are heavily involved in muscle growth.
But there’s more.
HMB may also play a role in the activation of AMPK kinase and Sirt 1, as well as promote mitochondrial biogenesis, increase oxygen consumption, increase the efficiency of carb and fat metabolism, and increase lipolysis and fat mass reduction 10, 11.
Simply put, HMB helps to protect muscles against degradation (especially during caloric deficit or fasted conditions), increase muscle protein synthesis, and reduce markers of muscle damage 2—all things you want if you’re looking to preserve muscle and shed fat.
2. Coleus Forskohlii
Forskolin is a bioactive compound isolated from the Coleus forskohlii plant that is a major bonus for anyone looking to lose weight. Unlike synthetic fat burners, forskolin naturally supports weight loss by acting directly on adenylate cyclase, an enzyme that activates cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) to promote fat breakdown and utilization 13.
Essentially, forskolin stimulates the body’s natural thermogenic response to increase metabolic rate and increase mobilization and utilization of fat stores via lipolysis 14. As a result, it cranks up calorie burn and fat burn, but also helps to:
- Regulate lipid and glucose metabolism
- Suppress appetite
- Increase testosterone levels
- Preserve lean mass and increase fat-free mass
3. Cayenne Pepper Extract
If you’ve ever eaten a bit too much cayenne pepper, you’re well aware that it can get you sweating. The same compound that gives chili peppers their pungent heat also kicks the body’s thermogenic response into high gear.
Capsaicin, the active compound in chili peppers, is a transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) agonist, which may be the reason it’s such a potent anti-obesity agent. Studies suggest that TRPV1 plays an important role in regulating several metabolic functions, including body weight, glucose, and lipid metabolism 15, 16.
A study of overweight women found that a combination of green tea, capsaicin, and ginger for eight weeks had beneficial outcomes for weight, BMI, markers of insulin metabolism, and plasma glutathione levels 17.
Other research suggests that an increase in sympathetic activity caused by capsaicin can alter energy intake and appetite regulation, as well as trigger an increase in energy expenditure via non-shivering thermogenesis 18, 19.
It doesn’t stop there. Capsaicin has also shown the potential to:
- Improve metabolic and hormonal function
- Reduce insulin and leptin resistance
- Stimulate thermogenesis
- Increase weight loss
- Enhance fat burn
Top Tips For Losing Weight (And Keeping It Off)
Want more? Here are 5 of our best tips for losing weight without relying on caffeine:
- Hit your macronutrients: Nutritional stress is a real thing, and when you’re not consuming enough food or not consuming enough of the right foods, your body can go into stress mode. Weight loss diets rarely work and result in weight gain, so rather than cutting things out cold turkey, strive for balance. Sufficient protein supports muscle growth, adequate complex carbs to support thyroid function and recovery, and dietary fat for nutrient absorption and hormone synthesis.
- Get enough sleep: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not all about diet and exercise. Sleep restriction is well known to cause weight gain and increase the risk of metabolic dysfunction because of alteration in hormone levels 20.
- Minimize stress: Cortisol is the major stress hormone that also happens to signal to your body to store weight and fat. If you want to lose weight and melt away fat, you need to reduce cortisol by minimizing stress. Try deep breathing, walking in nature, taking a hot bath, journaling, or meditation.
- Exercise daily: Muscle tissue is metabolically active, whereas fat mass is not. Resistance training, combined with metabolic workouts, is one of the most effective ways to alter body composition. While you may not lose massive amounts of weight, trade it in for muscle mass that’s actually functional.
- Supplement wisely: We’re giving you our favorite stim-free weight loss below, but supplements can be a game-changer in the weight loss game. They ensure you’re covering your nutrient bases, but can also work to ignite your metabolic fire to increase energy expenditure, curb appetite, and regulate hormones involved in metabolic function.
Best Weight Loss Supplement Without Caffeine
Burn more fat and build more muscle than with diet and exercise alone. Burn Lab Pro® supercharges three key pathways that work in synergy to produce dramatic lean-muscle body results. It’s designed to help you:
- Lose fat: Burn more calories during exercise and at rest, block fat storage, and improve appetite control.
- Enhance exercise performance: Boost strength, endurance, and intensity during exercise for greater fitness gains and more calories burned.
- Increases muscle: Preserve muscle through calorie-restricted training, improve lean muscle growth, and accelerate recovery.
It’s all the greatest stim-free fat burning ingredients combined in one powerful formula to produce the purest, most efficient, and sophisticated fat burner ever.
- ForsLean® Coleus forskohlii, 375mg
- Capsimax® cayenne pepper extract, 75mg
- ß-Hydroxy ß-Methylbutyrate (HMB), 1500mg
- NutriGenesis® GTF-Chromium, 90mcg
- Bioperine® black pepper extract, 3.75mg
- Stimulates lipolysis (fat breakdown) and maximizes fat-burning during workouts
- Increases fatty acid mobilization and utilization to burn body fat stores
- Stimulates thermogenesis to boost metabolic rate and energy expenditure
- Enhances muscle strength, growth, and performance via non-stimulatory pathways
- Protects muscles against breakdown and accelerates recovery
- R Tabrizi, P Saneei, KB Lankarani, et al. The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(16):2688-2696.
- R Hursel, W Viechtbauer, AG Dulloo, et al. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2011;12(7):e573-e581.
- SH Backhouse, SJ Biddle, NC Bishop, C Caffeine ingestion, affect and perceived exertion during prolonged cycling. Appetite. 2011;57(1):247-252.
- J Gutiérrez-Hellín, J Del Coso. Effects of p-Synephrine and Caffeine Ingestion on Substrate Oxidation during Exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018;50(9):1899-1906.
- A Gavrieli, E Karfopoulou, E Kardatou, et al. Effect of different amounts of coffee on dietary intake and appetite of normal-weight and overweight/obese individuals.Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013;21(6):1127-1132.
- L Dewar, R Heuberger. The effect of acute caffeine intake on insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in people with diabetes. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2017;11 Suppl 2:S631-S635.
- X Shi, W Xue, S Liang, J Zhao, X Zhang. Acute caffeine ingestion reduces insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Nutr J. 2016;15(1):103.
- A Molfino, G Gioia, F Rossi Fanelli, M Muscaritoli. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate supplementation in health and disease: a systematic review of randomized trials. Amino Acids. 2013 Dec; 45(6): 1273-92.
- K Durkalec-Michalski, J Jeszka, T Podgó The Effect of a 12-Week Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation on Highly-Trained Combat Sports Athletes: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):753.
- A Bruckbauer, MB Zemel, T Thorpe, et al. Synergistic effects of leucine and resveratrol on insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism in adipocytes and mice. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012;9(1):77.
- X Sun, MB Zemel. Leucine modulation of mitochondrial mass and oxygen consumption in skeletal muscle cells and adipocytes. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009;6:26.
- AE Knitter, L Panton, JA Rathmacher, A Petersen, R Sharp. Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate on muscle damage after a prolonged run.J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000;89(4):1340-1344.
- I Litosch, TH Hudson, I Mills, SY Li, JN Fain. Forskolin as an activator of cyclic AMP accumulation and lipolysis in rat adipocytes. Mol Pharmacol. 1982;22(1):109-115.
- S Henderson, B Magu, C Rasmussen, et al. Effects of coleus forskohlii supplementation on body composition and hematological profiles in mildly overweight women.J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005; 2(2): 54-62.
- J Zheng, S Zheng, Q Feng, Q Zhang, X Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications.Biosci Rep. 2017;37(3):BSR20170286.
- FW Leung. Capsaicin as an anti-obesity drug.Prog Drug Res. 2014;68:171-179.
- M Taghizadeh, N Farzin, S Taheri, et al. The Effect of Dietary Supplements Containing Green Tea, Capsaicin and Ginger Extracts on Weight Loss and Metabolic Profiles in Overweight Women: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Ann Nutr Metab. 2017;70(4):277-285.
- S Whiting, EJ Derbyshire, B Tiwari. Could capsaicinoids help to support weight management? A systematic review and meta-analysis of energy intake data. 2014;73:183-188.
- M Saito, T Capsinoids and related food ingredients activating brown fat thermogenesis and reducing body fat in humans.Curr Opin Lipidol. 2013;24(1):71-77.
- AM Spaeth, DF Dinges, N Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Weight Gain, Caloric Intake, and Meal Timing in Healthy Adults.Sleep. 2013;36(7):981-990.