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Our Picks for the Best Fat Burners of 2024:

Pills with thermogenic ingredients (a.k.a. “fat burners”) have a controversial history, but they continue to be one of the more provocative and best-selling dietary supplements on the market. They can be effective supplements to support weight loss when combined with proper training and nutrition, but some also come with the risk of serious or unwanted side effects (1).

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve rounded up the top-rated fat burners on the market in 2024. We’ve included expert insights on several of the featured products from Pete Nastasi and Roger Lockridge. Nastasi is a certified weight loss practitioner and sports nutrition expert, and Lockridge is a longtime fitness enthusiast and writer. We’ve also provided guidance for using fat burner supplements based on your weight loss goals.

This content is meant to be informative, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of health problems. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.

Best for:

Not ideal for:

Expert insights:

Note: Roger Lockridge recently tried PhenQ for 30 days and wrote about his experience and results.

“What I liked most about PhenQ was that it was a single capsule per serving, and I could take it with breakfast and lunch, which made it easy to keep up with. I didn’t want to try it for energy purposes, but rather for appetite control. It definitely delivered on that front. I would feel satisfied sooner, which led to a reduction in calories I was taking in. That combined with my training led to a weight loss of over eight pounds in 30 days. I also dropped a pants size, which made me even happier. People who are starting on their weight loss journey may benefit from the simplicity of taking it. I think any person focusing on health and wellness may find this to be a worthy addition to their program or plan.”

–Roger Lockridge

The bottom line:

While the PhenQ fat burner isn’t a magic bullet, it has ingredients that have been researched for safety and could give you a boost as part of a weight loss program. The company has also added InnoSlim, B vitamins and iodine to the formula. PhenQ apparently has thousands of positive reviews from users who have had success, although the company notes on its website that results vary from person to person.

How the ingredients work:

Customer review:

“I am the happiest I have been in years. I’ve dropped three dress sizes in just 12 weeks using PhenQ.” – Amy C.

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The bottom line:

Legion Athletics Phoenix is considered a natural fat burner with a 4.3/5-star rating from almost 3,000 verified reviews on the Legion website at the time of writing. Every bottle is tested individually at an ISO 17025 lab to confirm the quality and safety of ingredients.

How the ingredients work:

Customer review:

“Definitely works to control appetite, and I’ve lost fat (and inches) while maintaining energy and muscle.” – Sara C.

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The bottom line:

The Transparent Labs Fat Burner earns 4.6/5 stars on the Transparent Labs website based on 400+ reviews, with many users saying it helped them reduce their appetite. However, several customers complain that the pills are difficult to swallow due to their size. While this supplement contains caffeine, Transparent Labs Stim-Free Fat Burner does not.

How the ingredients work:

Customer review:

“I love the Fat Burner. I feel like it helps give me a little extra boost I need to stop snacking, and a little kick of energy. Reordering more today.” – Lori P.

Best for:

Not ideal for:

The bottom line:

PhenQ claims that the formula uses only natural ingredients, and the company emphasizes research supporting the benefits of ⍺-Lacys Reset in placebo-controlled studies. Although no research supports the claim that any one thermogenic supplement confers clear advantages over others in reducing belly fat, the reason we chose this particular supplement as the best belly fat burner is because it contains chromium. 

Chromium has research to support some efficacy in regulating blood sugar (15), and chronic elevations in both have been linked to abdominal fat (16). 

PhenQ claims to have 190,000 satisfied customers, and though we wish more of those were posted on their website, our tester tried PhenQ for 30 days and lost eight pounds and dropped a pant size. 

How the ingredients work:

Customer review:

“My objectives were simple: lose belly fat and love handles, get a bit more strength and be in the best shape possible! Combined with a diet change and some exercise, so far I lost 9 lbs in 1 month with the help of PhenQ!” – Axelle W.

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Expert insights:

“As far as fat-burners go, there are a lot of products on the market that are (frankly) a load of B.S., but I don’t think Transparent Labs Fat Burner is one of them. What I like about Transparent Lab’s formulation in particular is that they keep it simple and include science-based ingredients in clinically effective dosages. For example, their green tea leaf extract contains 50 percent EGCG which has anti-inflammatory properties (21), and is the compound that’s credited for green tea’s potential as a herbal weight loss aid (22).

“The other key ingredients include ForsLean, which has been shown to decrease body fat percentage and fat mass in overweight individuals (14) and a combination of Capsimax (cayenne pepper extract) and BioPerine (black pepper extract), which have been shown to help mobilize fatty acids stored in the body and convert them into energy.” (23)

–Pete Nastasi

The bottom line:

Transparent Labs Fat Burner has a 4.6/5-star rating on the Transparent Labs website with 400+ reviews at the time of writing. Although no research supports that one given thermogenic supplement confers clear advantages over others in promoting fat loss in men, the reason we chose this particular supplement is because it contains ForsLean. 

Research in men has shown that forskolin (the active component of ForsLean) can promote fat loss, slightly increase muscle mass and increase testosterone levels by about 16 percent (14). The most common criticism of this product is the size of the pill, which reviewers say can be difficult to swallow.

How the ingredients work:

Customer review:

“The high-quality ingredients gave me an edge in my weight loss journey. It has been a game changer and I would highly recommend getting the PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner to give you an edge in your training goals.” – Kenneth S.

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The bottom line:

PhenQ PM‘s lack of caffeine and stimulants makes it an obvious choice for a night time fat burner. PhenQ claims that the formula’s amino acid content can also promote better sleep and support night-time fat burning. Each four-capsule serving contains a total amino acid dosage of 2,750 milligrams—1,200 milligrams apiece of L-lysine and L-arginine, plus 200 milligrams of L-theanine and 150 milligrams of 5-HTP. Judging PhenQ PM by customer reviews is difficult, since the page for this specific product on the PhenQ website currently has just one testimonial. 

How the ingredients work:

Customer review:

PhenQ PM is actually working. But the best part is, it has given me more energy. I take fewer naps. And I don’t eat as much sugar or crave as much sugar.” – Linda E.

Best for:

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Expert insights:

Transparent Labs Lean is a well-formulated pre-workout powder that contains three noteworthy ingredients that may be beneficial for weight loss, including caffeine, chromium picolinate and acetyl-L-carnitine.

“Caffeine, a commonly used stimulant in fat-burner pills and pre-workouts, is notable for providing an energy-boosting effect, which may allow you to burn more calories throughout a training session. Both chromium picolinate and acetyl-L-carnitine also provide a potential fat loss benefit, with chromium playing a key role in fat metabolism (62) and L-carnitine supplementation demonstrating modest reduction effects in body weight, body mass index (BMI) and total fat mass in numerous studies.” (63)

–Pete Nastasi

The bottom line:

Transparent Labs Lean uses ingredients and dosing specifically targeted at improving endurance and converting fats to energy during workouts. Like other Transparent Labs products, it’s third-party tested. It currently has a 4.6/5-star rating with nearly 1,900 reviews on the Transparent Labs website. The reason why we chose it as the pre-workout fat burner is because of its BCAA, beta alanine and betaine contents—all of which have been shown to positively affect stamina during weight training and endurance exercise (64)(65). 

How the ingredients work:

Customer review:

“Definitely gives me lasting energy. I can take less breaks during my workout with this and that’s a huge plus for a busy working mom with limited time for working out.” – Graciela M.

Our Top Picks At A Glance:

What Is a Thermogenic Fat Burner?

Thermogenic fat burner supplements contain ingredients that promote thermogenesis—the body’s natural heat-generating, fuel-burning, energy releasing process, which typically involves an increase in your body’s metabolism (or breakdown) of fat and glucose (90).

Lab-based studies can measure representations of your metabolism using bloodwork and special devices. When a research study indicates that a thermogenic supplement “works”, it typically means the device readings show that calories metabolized at rest are elevated, and the blood work shows that one or multiple metabolism markers are also elevated.

Common Ingredients in Fat Burner Pills

Thermogenic fat burners may include any number of ingredients, with each affecting the body in different ways. We’ve already touched on many of the ingredients typically found in the best weight loss supplements that focus on fat-burning, including green tea, Capsimax powder, B vitamins and caffeine. Other common ingredients in thermogenic supplements include:

How to Safely Use a Fat Burner as a Weight Loss Supplement

When using a thermogenic supplement, it’s always advisable to follow the directions on the product’s label. One school of thought is “one serving works well, so two should work really well.” This isn’t pragmatic thinking for a couple of reasons. First, the ingredients provided by supplements are typically based on dosages that have been researched for safety and efficacy. Thus, for most ingredients discussed in this article, there isn’t safety data to support two or three times the daily doses.

Second, individuals may develop a tolerance to several ingredients found in thermogenic supplements—meaning that they become less effective. Certain studies indicate that this may ring true regarding the arousal effects of caffeine, and the thermogenic effects of active ingredients in green tea extract (104)(105)(106). Thus, it stands to reason that “blasting” thermogenic ingredients can potentially expedite the development of tolerance.

For those new to thermogenic supplements, a more conservative approach is to start with a small dose (ex: a quarter or half of a recommended serving) and gradually increase the dosage to test your tolerance, but never exceed the recommended dosage. If you experience unwanted side effects, stop using the product altogether.

Stay hydrated

It’s important to stay well hydrated while using a thermogenic fat burner supplement. Along with a balanced diet, regular physical activity and good sleep, drinking plenty of water can effectively aid in weight loss. So, ensure that you’re consuming at least the recommended daily fluid intake according to your body size (107).

Research the ingredients in each product’s formula

Perform rigorous research on the thermogenic ingredients in a product’s formula. This is one of the best ways that you can potentially avoid ingesting a substance that may interact with medications, aggravate a medical condition and/or lead to an allergic reaction. The National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplement’s website is a resource that details the safety and efficacy of common ingredients found in thermogenic supplements.

Potential Side Effects/Precautions

Finished dietary supplements, like those used for fat burning and weight loss, are regulated by the FDA under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. The FDA can issue warnings for unsafe products, and even pull supplements off of shelves if they’re deemed unsafe due to reported side effects (108). 

However, the vastness of the supplement industry may result in some products entering the market before full evaluation, so consumers should exercise caution and seek professional advice when considering supplements. Even if a substance has not been banned by the FDA, it may still cause unwanted side effects. These are some of the main precautions for thermogenic ingredients:

Natural isn’t always good

Many supplements used for fat burning contain herbs or other ingredients found in plants. However, it’s important to realize that some plant-based substances can pose health risks, especially when concentrated (109). For example, the natural herb ephedra is banned by the FDA because it was linked to serious side effects such as heart attack, seizure, stroke and sudden death (110)(111).

Limit stimulants

Thermogenic supplements that contain stimulants (e.g. caffeine) can cause flushing, increased heart rate, nausea, dizziness, headaches and heart palpitations. They can also stimulate the cardiovascular system in a manner that could raise blood pressure. Thus, those with pre-existing cardiovascular risks such as hypertensive individuals should not consume these supplements. It’s important to monitor how you feel when taking these supplements, and to stop supplementation if you’re experiencing unwanted side effects.

Thermogenic ingredients aren’t for everyone

Pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, underaged consumers, persons with certain medical issues (e.g., cardiovascular, liver, kidney, thyroid) or persons taking certain medications should avoid these supplements. 

Avoid weight loss supplements before surgery

If you’re going to have surgery, be aware that certain ingredients may increase the risk of bleeding and/or affect your response to anesthesia. Talk to your surgeon far in advance of the operation and inform them of every dietary supplement that you’re taking.

Fat burners aren’t magic pills

And finally, thermogenic supplements without modifying the diet or engaging in routine exercise have very limited effects. Hence, these supplements should be viewed as an accessory, rather than the key, to a successful and sustainable weight loss goal.

In general, you should always consult your healthcare provider before taking nutritional supplements, and this holds true for supplements used while trying to burn fat.

Who Should Avoid Fat Burners

Thermogenic fat burner supplements are not for everyone. People who should avoid fat burners include, but aren’t limited to:

Always consult your doctor before starting a new thermogenic supplement regimen.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Fat Burner for You

Proceed with caution and patience when choosing the best thermogenic supplement for your weight loss goals. Finding the optimal balance of safety and effectiveness can take time, as there are dozens of options to choose from. You can simplify your decision by looking at the active ingredients, dosage, form and cost.

Active ingredients

An active ingredient list is the most important factor to consider when choosing the best fat burner supplement for you. Given that thermogenic supplements oftentimes have multiple ingredients, it’s critical to cross-check the ingredients for potential interactions with medicines you may be taking. Your doctor or another licensed health professional can help you figure out if a product’s ingredients will negatively impact your health status in any way. You should also make sure you’re not allergic or intolerant to any substances in the formula.


Look for supplement formulas with clinically effective doses of the key ingredients, and pay attention to the total caffeine content—especially if you’re sensitive to stimulants. For the best results, start with a small dose to check your tolerance and gradually increase the dosage until you reach the recommendation for daily use. Never exceed the recommended daily dosage, and always check with your physician or a registered dietitian nutritionist first.


Thermogenic supplements typically come in pill or powder form. Pills are typically swallowed and taken with a glass of water. Powdered supplements in general are mixed into water or a sports drink and taken with a meal or snack. Some may be suitable to consume on an empty stomach. Follow the directions on the product’s label unless directed otherwise by your physician.


The cost of weight loss supplements can range from as low as $0.30 per dose to upwards of $4.00 per dose. These products tend to be over-priced for their value, so don’t worry if the ones you’re eyeing are out of your budget. Stick to your budget, and remember to optimize your diet, physical activity and sleep—a supplement is just the cherry on top of your weight management efforts.

Methodology: How We Chose Our List of Best Fat Burners

In evaluating today’s top “fat burning” supplements, we focused on several key criteria. Among them are:

Fat Burner FAQs

Are fat burners safe?

Taking fat burners and other types of diet pills can be safe as long as you do it responsibly. The first requirement is that you check with your healthcare provider before taking them, as you would with any type of supplement. Fat burners could pose a risk to your health depending on your medical history, your current health status and whether you’re taking medications that might cause an interaction. Also, people with a history of eating disorders should not take weight loss pills. 

The second step of responsible use is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how and how often to use the supplement. Even for healthy individuals, fat burners and other types of over-the-counter weight loss pills could cause health issues if consumed in excess of the recommended dosage.

How do fat burners work?

Fat burners typically work by stimulating a thermogenic response in your body, thereby increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Some contain stimulants like caffeine to provide an energy boost during your workout, which may help you burn more calories. They may also decrease your appetite, though the study results do not always show promise. 

Is it OK to take a fat burner every day?

Maybe, but it depends largely on the fat burner’s formula, the recommended dosage and your health status. Some fat burners contain only water-soluble ingredients that are generally safe to consume every day. On the other hand, some formulas have ingredients linked to adverse health effects in high or repeated dosages, such as bitter orange and hoodia (113). 

Also, keep in mind that interventional and toxicity studies on fat burners often have a study window of around 12 weeks. There remains a need for high-quality research on the effects of long-term fat burner pill usage, as many studies show inconsistent results, are poorly done or are not well controlled (114).

The makers of the best weight loss pills are transparent about their ingredients and upfront about the potential risks while emphasizing the recommended dosages. As always, check with your physician before starting any dietary supplement.

Final Thoughts: Do Fat Burners Work?

Research has shown that certain ingredients in fat burner supplements can promote thermogenesis and boost metabolism, possibly leading to increased fat burning. Supplements sold over the counter typically highlight testimonials from users that show dramatic results. While this information can be useful in helping you decide whether to try fat burning pills and other weight loss supplements, remember two key points: scientific studies take place under specifically controlled conditions, and results can vary greatly from person to person.

Also, keep in mind that using fat loss supplements without incorporating exercise and a healthy diet is unlikely to produce lasting results. Many, many experts agree that even the best fat burner supplement can’t do the job alone.

So do any weight loss supplements really work, fat burners included? The more useful question might be, “Can fat burners play one part in my weight management plan?” The answer to that question is yes. Nutrition and exercise are the headliners, but safe weight loss pills that can further help your body burn fat and maintain a more robust metabolism have the potential to play a supporting role.

Expert Contributors

Chris Mohr, RD and Ph.D.

Chris Mohr is a registered dietitian who holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology. He has worked with athletes ranging from NFL players to WWE wrestlers, along with celebrities and executives worldwide. He has been a featured speaker at many conferences around the world.

Eddie Jo, Ph.D.

Eddie Jo is a professor of exercise physiology and the director of the Cal Poly Pomona Human Performance Research Lab. His research serves to innovate and advance the application of exercise training methodologies, nutrient intake and technologies for the optimization of human health and performance, energy metabolism, body composition and endocrine function.

Tim Ziegenfuss, PhD, CSCS, FISSN

Tim Ziegenfuss is a standout in the world of sports nutrition and exercise science, bolstered by graduate degrees from Purdue University and Kent State University. Beyond academia, he serves as a Past President and Fellow of The International Society of Sports Nutrition, steering the field toward higher standards. As CEO of The Center for Applied Health Sciences, his focus is overseeing innovative research with real-world impact and guiding product ideation and creation for major retailers all around the world.

Jenevieve Roper, Ph.D, CSCS.

Dr. Jen Roper is an Associate Professor of Health and Human Sciences at Loyola Marymount University. She received her PhD in Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science in 2015 from the University of New Mexico, with a specialization in Exercise Science and Biomechanics. She currently teaches a wide variety of courses, including Nutrition, Kinesiology and Scientific Principles of Strength & Conditioning.

Additional contributors:


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Aaron L. Gravely, MD