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5 research-supported benefits of fat burners for women

Written by John Davis

Last updated: October 21, 2022

Women can have a tough time shedding fat, even with regular diet and exercise. Compared to men, they have lower levels of fat-burning hormones like testosterone, and less overall muscle mass, which also makes burning fat more challenging.

A good fat burner designed specifically for women can help you overcome these challenges.

By boosting your metabolic rate and increasing the proportion of your energy that comes from carbs, a fat burner for women could increase your odds of success and increase your weight loss compared to just sticking to diet and exercise alone.

Here are the main benefits you can get from a fat burner for women, supported by scientific research.

Fat burner for women benefits

1. The right fat burner can shed fat without dietary restrictions

You might think that weight loss is a simple calories in / calories out equation, but the reality is a lot more complicated.

A good fat burner can increase fat oxidation and decrease body fat, even with no dietary changes (1). How? Boosting your metabolic rate, and increasing your body’s reliance on stored fat.

2. Fat burning supplements can increase your metabolic rate

A blunt but effective way to do this is simply to increase energy expenditure. This is what stimulants like caffeine achieve: a higher rate of “burn,” meaning more energy expenditure (2).

3. More sophisticated fat burners can increase your fat oxidation

Effective fat burner ingredients like green coffee bean extract and green tea extract do more than just turn up your metabolic rate: they actually increase the percent of your energy that comes from stored fat. 

What’s remarkable about this strategy is that it works synergistically with more general metabolic rate increases from something like caffeine (3)–so the combined fat loss is more than you’d expect from the two ingredients separately. 

4. Fat burners with green tea extract can help you shed waist and hip fat

Wondering why so many of our top products use green tea extract? Our research showed it’s among the best fat burners out there.

For example, a study of 240 people in Japan showed that high dosage green tea supplements leads to significant decreases in body fat–especially from the waist and the hips (4).

5. Fat burners can amplify the benefits of appetite suppressants

While appetite suppressants don’t burn fat directly, they can interact synergistically with fat burning ingredients, making them a good complimentary ingredient for a fat burner for women.

What kind of ingredients suppress appetite? Conjugated linoleic acid  is a great one with proven clinical efficacy (5).

Glucomannan is another proven ingredient, used in some of our top-rated fat burners for women (6). Neurotransmitters like 5-HTP are also great for the same reason (7).

Fat burner for women side effects

As you might imagine, altering your body’s metabolic balance is not without some risk of side effects. Here’s what to look out for.

Some thermogenics can cause heart problems. Some compounds used in low-quality weight loss supplements like ephedra and synephrine can cause severe adverse effects, including heart problems (8).

Similar concerns have been raised about bitter orange peel extract, also known as citrus aurantium (9, 10).

Fortunately, you won’t find this ingredient in the top-ranked fat burners for women.

Caffeine can cause jitters, sleeplessness, and irritation. Caffeine’s side effects are well-known, but many women don’t realize that caffeine is present in many fat burners.

Caffeine is an effective fat burner, but if you’re caffeine-sensitive, you shouldn’t take a stimulant-based fat burner for women later in the day (11).

Women on hormonal contraceptives are particularly vulnerable to caffeine’s negative effects. Hormonal contraceptives significantly increase the elimination half-life of caffeine (12).

In other words, if you take hormonal contraceptives, it takes much longer for your body to remove caffeine from your bloodstream–hence, longer and more significant side effects.

Glucomannan and CLA have pretty mild side effect profiles: just fullness and mild GI symptoms. Unlike stimulants, compounds that modulate feelings of satiety tend to be pretty well-tolerated, save for occasional cases of gas or bloating.

Women who are pregnant should not take a fat burner. Compared to prescription drugs, supplemental ingredients in fat burners for women are less well-studied, particularly in pregnant women, so if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you shouldn’t take a fat burning supplement.

Fat burners for women dosage

Though dosing depends on the specific product that you choose, when it comes to fat burners for women, there are a few key ingredients that have pretty well-established optimal doses.

Green tea: at least 150 of catechins or 400-800 mg total extract. These are the active ingredient in green tea, and this dosage level is typical in research (13)

Green coffee bean extract: at least 200 mg per day. Again, this number comes from research into green coffee bean extract’s efficacy, which indicates that 200-600 mg per day maximizes benefits (14).

For synergistic ingredient blends, quality nutritional teams do a better job getting ratios right. When it comes to taking into account the complex interaction between ingredients, you’ll have to rely on the abilities of the nutritionists who formulate fat burners for women—especially because you generally can’t mix and match.

Fortunately, our top-ranked fat burners for women all tackle this problem well, providing ingredients in a synergistic way to optimize fat oxidation and increase thermogenesis.

Fat burner for women benefits FAQ

Q: What is a good natural fat burner?

A: Green tea extract and green coffee bean extract are both great all-natural fat burners: they’re nothing more than a concentrated form of the same exact chemicals you’d get in a cup of green tea or from unroasted coffee beans.

Fiber-based compounds like glucomannan and psyllium husk are also great all-natural compounds that have an extremely good safety profile.

If you aren’t up to taking the most sophisticated chemical compounds from the lab, you can still get excellent results by sticking to all-natural fat burners.

Q: Can fat burners for women be dangerous?

A: There are certain compounds that you’ll sometimes see in fat burners for women that can be dangerous.

Ephedra is a classic example: alongside its herbal form of ma huang. It can cause serious side effects like heart arrhythmias (15), and as a result, products containing ephedra were pulled from the market.

However, you’ll still see some fat burners that contain derivatives or chemical cousins of ephedra, like synephrine and bitter orange peel (16). If you’re safety-conscious, it’s better to avoid these compounds.

Q: What are fat burner pills?

A: Fat burner pills are supplements that are designed to increase the rate at which your body burns fat. There are two ways to do this: boosting thermogenesis, and boosting fat oxidation. 

Thermogenics elevate your body’s overall metabolic rate, while fat oxidizers increase your body’s reliance on fat for energy.

A good fat burner for women uses both mechanisms to maximize fat loss.

Q: Can a fat burner suppress appetite?

A: Fat burning supplements are designed specifically to upregulate metabolism, not tamp down on appetite, but many compounds that boost your metabolic rate and increase fat oxidation also happen to be appetite suppressants.

Caffeine and green tea extract are two great examples: though their strongest effects are on the metabolic side, they appear to have appetite-suppressing effects too.

Related: Our top fat burners for women


A high-quality fat burner for women can help with weight loss by boosting your metabolic rate and increasing your fat oxidation.

When these supplements are formulated with women’s unique physiology in mind, they stand a better chance at combating some of the challenges that can make it tough for women to lose weight.

The best fat burners for women rely on synergy among several different ingredients, and stand the best chance of helping you achieve your weight loss goals.


John Davis

John Davis is a Minneapolis-based health and fitness writer with over 7 years of experience researching the science of high performance athletics, long-term health, nutrition, and wellness. As a trained scientist, he digs deep into the medical, nutritional, and epidemiological literature to uncover the keys to healthy living through better nutrition.