The most important part of any weight loss programme is to burn more calories than you eat. Therefore, eat fewer calories and you will end up using stored bodyfat to make up the difference - it’s that simple. Don’t believe anyone who says you can eat what you want and still lose weight.
Unfortunately, when you start dieting, your body starts to panic. It will do everything possible to STOP you losing any more weight by reducing your metabolic rate, making you feel tired and irritable. Your appetite will also increase, making it virtually impossible to resist the delicious food, which tempt and surround you, everyday.
The good news is that there are various fat-burning nutrients that make the fight against fat a lot easier to win! Some are just plain crap, others contain some pretty impressive ingredients. I was given Thermobol by my local gym owner. It claims it to be one of Britain’s top selling weight loss products. The formula is designed to aid fat loss by increasing your metabolic rate and suppressing your appetite.
Lets take a closer look at the ingredients in it and if they work at all.
Bitter Orange Peel
Bitter Orange is an edible fruit, but the Peel contains strong alkaloids which are reported to be quite helpful for losing bodyfat. The Peel contains a number of powerful active compounds shown to boost the metabolism and improve appetite control. Breakthrough research published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that Bitter Orange extract has a powerful and long-lasting effect on your metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories over the course of the day (4) And the more calories you burn, the faster and easier fat loss becomes.
One of the extra benefits of Bitter Orange extract is the effect it has on your appetite. Studies show that octopamine (one of the other compounds in the plant) helps you feel full on fewer calories. This means you won’t suffer from the cravings that plague virtually everyone trying to lose weight. One capsule of Thermobol contains 325 milligrams of Bitter Orange extract. At 3 capsules a day, this delivers a potent dose.
Guarana comes from the seeds of a South American shrub - most of which originates in Brazil. The seeds of Guarana are known to be rich in caffeine, and have been widely used as a tonic in many South American countries. Guarana has a powerful effect on increasing the metabolic rate, suppressing your appetite and enhancing both physical and mental performance.
Because of its high caffeine content, Guarana is also a powerful fat-burning nutrient. Clinical trials prove that caffeine will boost the fat burning effects of exercise by up to 30% (5). More interesting still, research shows that caffeine will improve performance during short term, high intensity exercise, such as weight training (7). In fact, scientists have discovered that caffeine causes your brain to ignore pain signals - something that you’re sure to benefit from during your next leg workout. This means that Thermobol is a great product to use before you go to the gym. We advise taking a capsule 60 minutes before you start training. This is enough time for the caffeine to get into your system and start to exert its powerful effects. Even after you finish training, Thermobol is still working to strip away fat. Scientists from the University of Queensland found that people using caffeine burn twice as many fat calories in the hour after finishing exercise (6).
Although many people like to have a strong cup of coffee in the hope that it will have the same effect, it’s well known that coffee doesn’t work as well as caffeine. Although scientists don’t really know why, it appears that one or more of the substances in coffee interferes with the effects of caffeine (5). One capsule of Thermobol contains 176 milligrams of Caffeine (from Guarana), which will provide quite a hit.
Green Tea extract
Thermobol also contains the popular Green Tea extract (standardised to 95% polyphenols). A recent trial at the University of Geneva shows that Green Tea extract speeds up fat burning by a whopping 35% (2)
Exciting new research published in the prestigious journal Phytotherapy Research, shows that as well as boosting your metabolic rate, Green tea also appears to help to block the absorption of fat. So, not only does Green Tea extract help you to lose the fat you’ve already got, it also reduces the amount of fat you digest and store on your waist, thighs, chest or hips.
Green Tea is rich in a class of polyphenols known as catechins (pronounced kat-a-kins). The strongest catechin in Green Tea is known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It’s important to remember all of the research showing the potent effect of Green Tea on fat loss used the extract, and not the drink. Although a drink of green tea does contain a small amount of EGCG, you’d need almost 10 cups a day to reach the doses used in the research!
What’s more, there’s no guarantee that the particular brand or type of Green Tea you drink will contain the precise amount of EGCG needed. Many factors, such as the time it was harvested, how it was processed, and how long it was stored, affect the potency and purity of the tea. Any type of Green Tea supplement you buy should state on the label that it contains a standardised amount of polyphenols. If it doesn’t have this information, there’s no guarantee that it will work as well as the product tested in the research. Each capsule of Thermobol, for example, contains 100 milligrams of Green Tea extract standardised to 90% polyphenols, which should make it quite potent.
Cayenne contains capsaicin - the compound that produces the “hot” in hot peppers. Cayenne is known for its potent effects on your metabolic rate, which is one reason why you get so hot and sweaty after eating spicy foods (3). One of the additional benefits of Cayenne is its function as a digestive aid. Cayenne increases the secretion of acids in the stomach, which increases the absorption and effectiveness of the other ingredients in Thermobol. One capsule of Thermobol contains 50 milligrams of the highest heat Cayenne pepper. Here’s an interesting research article I found:
The capsaicin content of chilli’s may stimulate thermogenesis. Japanese researchers fed capsaicin to exercising rats for seven days. Rats were then split into two groups (placebo and capsaicin-receiving) for a further seven days. The capsaicin-treated rats experienced significantly reduced abdominal fat compared with the placebo group. It was speculated that capsaicin may have activated beta-adrenergic receptors thereby stimulating thermogenesis. Researchers blocked the beta-adrenergic receptors of half of the capsaicin-treated group and found that capsaicin caused beta-adrenergic mobilization of fat in the exercising rats greater than that in the control group.
Tyrosine acts as a “building block” for several important brain chemicals, all of which work to regulate mood. Human and animal research shows that tyrosine helps your body adapt to and cope with the effects of physical or psychological stress, such as regular exercise and diet. Tyrosine can also help to offset the negative effects of sleep deprivation, and can leave you feeling more alert and energetic. A good product to have whilst your dieting.
If you don’t absorb the supplements you use, you are literally flushing your money down the drain. Although it might seem logical that the more of a supplement you use, the more you absorb, this is not always the case. High doses of some nutrients can interfere with the absorption of others - meaning that some supplements just won’t produce the results they promise. It’s for this reason Thermobol contains an ingredient known as Bioperine®. Bioperine® is a patented extract from black pepper fruits grown in Southern India. It is a trademarked product sold by a company called Sabinsa. Clinical trials show that Bioperine® (also known as piperine) can improve the bioavailability of nutrients, making them far easier for your body to absorb. In fact, animal studies show that Bioperine® can increase bioavailability by an impressive 154%. One capsule of Thermobol contains 5 milligrams of Bioperine®, effectively increasing the half life of the ingredients and making them more potent for the same size capsule.
5-HTP comes from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. It’s extremely useful for anyone who wants to lose weight without the usual cravings for high-carbohydrate foods (such as bread or cookies) and mood swings. Thermobol contains 35mg of 5-HTP to help with carb cravings and appetite control.
Using it properly… As with any fat burning product, it must be used correctly. I recommend taking 3 capsules daily, split throughout the day on an empty stomach, with water. You should expect increased energy levels, faster weight loss, and far less hunger and cravings.
It is a strong product and on one day I missed a capsule and took two at the same time and it made me all jittering (caffeine buzz?) I recommend only taking one capsule at a time. Thermobol works fast, and you should feel the increase in energy just 30-60 minutes after taking one capsule. Its effect on weight loss will take a little longer (7-14 days). For me I noticed my abs starting to get more defined after about 2 weeks. (lost 4 lbs of fat). I was of course watching my calorie intake and training 3 times a week with heavy weights at the gym. It should help you lose 2-3 pounds of fat each week, until you reach your target weight.
Thermobol isn’t the cheapest fat-burning formula on the market. Nor is it the most expensive. Maximuscle’s position as the largest and most popular supplement company in Europe means that this is a product you can trust to contain what it does. They have a reputation for making strong products and this is one of the strongest ‘legal’ fat burners I’ve tried.
I give it 4 out 5 stars. I would have given it 5 stars, but it didn’t contain DHEA.
Eds note: DHEA is now a banned substance in the UK and cannot be sold.
1. Henry, C. J. K., et al. (1986). Effect of spiced food on metabolic rate. Human Nutrition: Clinical Nutrition, 40, 165-168
2. Dulloo, A. G. (1999) Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70, 1040-1045
3. Fuhr, U., et al. (1993). Inhibitory effect of naringenin, on CYP1A2 dependent metabolism of caffeine in man. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 35, 431-436
4. Bucci, L.R. (2000). Selected herbals and human exercise performance. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, 624S-636S
5. Spriet, L.L. (1995). Caffeine and performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 5, S84-99
6. Chad, K., & Quigley, B. (1989). The effects of substrate utilisation, manipulated by caffeine, on post-exercise oxygen consumption in untrained female subjects. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 59, 48-54
7. Doherty, M. (1998). The effects of caffeine on the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit and short-term running performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 8, 95-104
8. Chantre P, Lairon D. (2002). Recent findings of green tea extract AR25 (Exolise) and its activity for the treatment of obesity. Phytomedicine, 9, 3-8
9. Fuhr, U., et al. Inhibitory effect of naringenin, on CYP1A2 dependent metabolism of caffeine in man. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 35(4):431-436, 1993