Women have it especially difficult when it comes to burning fat.
With naturally higher levels of body fat, plus lower levels of testosterone and lean muscle mass (both of which help with fat burning), women often have a harder time staying lean.
The right fat burning supplement can make this process much easier. However, the quality of a supplement is going to be the key determining factor when it comes to whether it will help you cut fat, look leaner, and feel stronger.
Our research team tested the best fat burners for women. Here's our picks.
With the ringing endorsement of everyone from Instagram models to fitness gurus, LeanBean is the trendiest fat burner for women.
We like these testimonials from LeanBean users:
It uses a combination of thermogenics like green coffee bean extract and green tea extract, along with the satiating power of glucomannan and the appetite suppressant and fat burning effects of cayenne pepper extract.
These premium ingredients combined make it our overall winner.
2. Evlution Leanmode
With a versatile formulation that works equally well for men and women, Evlution Leanmode focuses on burning fat directly, by up-regulating your body’s cellular metabolism.
It accomplishes this with a combo of green tea extract, garcinia cambogia, and CLA–all highly touted fat burners. All of this comes without excessive caffeine, which is great to see.
3. Lean XT
Lean XT is an extremely versatile fat burner that’s got a solid combination of appetite suppressants, fat burners, and key vitamins.
It uses some less common ingredients, like ashwagandha root and safed musli root extract. It also contains melatonin, meaning you should reserve this for about half an hour before bed.
Because it does not rely on stimulants to achieve its fat burning effect, it’s great for the caffeine sensitive crowd.
4. Fitmiss Burn
Fitmiss Burn is the fat-destroying formulation form Fitmiss. It uses a huge range of ingredients to increase metabolism and fat oxidation, decrease hunger, and stabilize your mood.
The caffeine content is moderate, at 150 mg per serving, but what really makes this supplement shine is its focus on digestion–by boosting your gut bacteria, it reduces your caloric intake even if your food intake doesn’t change.
5. Rockstar Skinny Gal
Rockstar Skinny Gal has some cutting edge ingredients, like white kidney bean and African mango, but the benefits of these might be offset for many women by the heavy reliance on caffeine.
Because the rest of the ingredients are tied up in a proprietary blend, it’s hard to tell exactly how much caffeine there is preserving, but it may well be enough to make you jittery–especially if you are on the small side already.
6. BeLive Fusion Burn
Fusion Burn is an interesting fat burner in that it relies on the interaction of some less common core ingredients.
Its combo of chromium, apple cider vinegar, and garcinia cambogia isn’t often seen in other products, but this might make it work if more popular fat burning supplements haven’t worked out.
7. V800 Thermogenic
V800 Thermogenic is a fat burner whose formulation tilts towards stimulants instead of fat oxidizers.
It’s a bit misleading about its caffeine content, and though it does include some of the hottest fat burners right now, like apple cider vinegar and turmeric, it doesn’t disclose how much of these key ingredients it actually has.
8. RSP Quadralean
RSP Quadralean is a very powerful fat burner, but it relies heavily on a combination of stimulants like caffeine, bitter orange extract, and yohimbe bark extract.
Not the best idea for long term success, especially given that a lot of women using fat burners for getting toned are already fairly small. A 200 mg dose of caffeine would leave them and many others jittery and sleepless.
9. Rejuve Green 2 Lean
Rejuve Green 2 Lean is a blend of several thermogenics, but its main mechanism of action is based around green coffee bean extract and green tea extract.
These combine with a fairly significant amount of caffeine to create a substantial fat burning effect, but it may be too reliant on stimulants for some women.
10. NLA for Her Shred Her
Shred Her is a popular fat burner, but it relies heavily on stimulants to get its calorie burning effects. The ingredients are dominated by compounds like taurine, caffeine, and bitter orange extract.
These together will jack your metabolism way up, but there are health concerns with this combination of ingredients, and the weight loss isn’t sustainable.
Fat burners for women: Benefits and side effects
While there’s no shortcut to burning off excess fat, the right supplement can make the task a lot easier.
All else equal, with a good fat burning supplement, women can augment their natural fat burning abilities so they can not just look leaner and healthier, but be leaner and healthier.
Here’s how a fat burner can help you achieve your goals.
You might think that weight loss is a simple calories in / calories out equation, but the reality is a lot more complicated.
Numerous studies demonstrate that a wide variety of supplements can lead to fat loss, even without active dietary restriction.
Of course, these effects are even stronger if you do start working out more and eating healthier. Regardless, the most effective fat burners will leverage one of the weight regulation mechanisms your body uses to balance its fat storage and fat burning.
Many of the most powerful and effective fat burning ingredients target your body’s metabolic activity.
A blunt but effective way to do this is simply to increase energy expenditure. This is what stimulants like caffeine, taurine, and bitter orange peel extract achieve.
A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Obesity demonstrated this effect (1).
The study tested two groups of obese women, one of which received a supplement that was a combination of stimulants (including caffeine and other alkaloids) and a control group, which received a placebo.
The researchers found that the experimental group lost significantly more weight compared to the placebo group. While powerful, straight stimulants do have some drawbacks–more on these in a bit.
A more sophisticated way to tilt the body towards losing fat instead of maintaining or gaining it is by increasing the proportion of your caloric expenditure that comes from fat.
True, both of these extracts are from plants that also contain caffeine, but they seem to be efficacious fat burners even when the caffeine is almost entirely removed.
In the case of green coffee bean extract, a 2011 review article in the journal Gastroenterology Research and Practice surveyed several different experimental studies on green coffee bean extract, concluding that the evidence for an effect was promising, and indicating that a shift in fat metabolism is one potential explanation for the benefit (2).
Green tea extract has even more robust evidence for its effects. A large-scale study in Japan with 240 participants examined the effect of a green tea extract in patients who were instructed to maintain the same food intake and physical activity levels (3).
One group received a high dose of green tea extract, while another received a very low dose (effectively a placebo). After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the high dose of green tea extract lowered body mass, and did so by specifically targeting subcutaneous fat at the waist and the hips–great news for women looking to be leaner through their midsection.
Other effective fat oxidizers you should be on the lookout for include garcinia cambogia, apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper–these are some of the most promising new fat burners that are currently being researched.
Another avenue for burning fat is preventing your body from feeling the need to eat as many calories. This seems to be a secondary effect of caffeine–in addition to being a metabolism booster, it also appears to act as an appetite suppressant–but caffeine is far from the only effective appetite suppressant.
Conjugated linoleic acid is a strong appetite suppressant found in many effective fat burners for women, and its efficacy was demonstrated in a 2003 scientific study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (4).
The study examined the effects of a conjugated linoleic acid supplement in addition to a low calorie diet was more effective at preserving muscle mass and more interestingly, the CLA supplement was effective at increasing feelings of satiety (i.e. fullness).
Other effective appetite suppressants include glucomannan, white kidney bean extract, and various forms of vegetable fiber, but regardless of the source, all of these work by increasing how full you feel and decreasing your desire to eat more calories.
As you might imagine, altering your body’s metabolic balance is not without some risk of side effects.
While the best fat burning supplements for women use high quality ingredients that achieve good results with low risks, some other products aren’t so scrupulous. Here’s what to look out for.
Thermogenics that are based primarily around stimulants like caffeine, taurine, or bitter orange are especially prone to causing side effects precisely because they are so potent.
Some stimulants used in weight loss supplements in the past, like ephedra, have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration because of reports of severe adverse effects, including heart problems (5).
Similar concerns have been raised about bitter orange peel extract (citrus aurantium) because its active ingredient, a compound called synephrine, has been associated with similar heart problems (6, 7).
You also won’t find this ingredient in the top-ranked fat burners for women.
Oddly, one of the most ubiquitous stimulants–caffeine–is also one that can cause many adverse effects. Caffeine is well-known to cause jitters, sleeplessness, and irritability (8).
With regards to fat burners specifically used by women, caffeine may cause additional problems because of the interaction between caffeine and hormonal contraceptives.
Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology demonstrates that women who take estrogen-based contraceptives have a substantially longer elimination half life of caffeine (9).
In other words, if you take hormonal contraceptives, it takes much longer for your body to remove caffeine from your bloodstream.
So, if you take a fat burning supplement that has high levels of caffeine in it (especially if you also drink coffee, energy drinks, or other caffeine containing beverages), you could experience adverse effects at a much higher rate than usual.
Because of this, women looking for a good fat burner should keep the caffeine content low. In addition, many women using fat burners are already fairly small in terms of body size, and as a result, they’ll be affected to a much greater degree by a given dosage of caffeine compared to, say, an obese male.
Fortunately, compounds which modulate satiety, or feelings of fullness, tend to have a very low or nonexistent rate of side effects.
Compounds like glucomannan or conjugated linoleic acid have a very small chance of causing mild gastrointestinal discomfort, but aside from that, are quite safe.
The ideal fat burning solution is a supplement that capitalizes on several different mechanisms of fat loss to achieve a strong effect with a low rate of side effects.
The key ingredients you should look for are fat oxidizers like green tea extract, green coffee bean extract, and cayenne pepper.
These can be supplemented by low to moderate doses of stimulants like caffeine, as well as an appetite suppressant like glucomannan, conjugated linoleic acid, or white kidney bean extract.
Avoiding side effects is largely a matter of avoiding supplements that rely too heavily on stimulants for their fat burning effects, and keeping the caffeine content of your fat burner under control.
A quality fat burning supplement can make a real difference when it comes to getting leaner, fitter, and more toned, so make sure you choose a good one. You can learn more about our #1 fat burner for women recommendation here.