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When To Take Fat Burners? 8 Tips to Get The Best Results

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: August 14, 2023
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If you follow my blog and social profiles, you’ll know that I recommend fat burners to the majority of my clients.

Over the years, I have seen some good results, and achieving your goals faster can be very motivating, especially in the early days of a new weight loss regime.

The big question I always get asked though is when to use fat burners in order to get the best results. And rather than just address one question, I like to take a complete look at my clients' routines to time their supplement intake better.

And on this page, you’ll find the exact tips I give them.

Quick Summary

  • Fitness experts recommend taking fat burners when taking a snack or a meal.
  • Fat burners can be taken after dinner, a few hours before going to rest.
  • Breakfast is the ideal time to take fat burners as your body is more active and ready for supplements.
  • Fat burners can also be taken during or after your lunch.

8 Tips To Take Fat Burners & Maximize The Effects

When you set certain goals and target dates to lose weight, then you can plan day to day diet, exercise, and overall health routines.

As you set those, you should also be thinking about what supplement products you’ll need and when best to time them.

Professional athletes will actually stack a load of different products to get their optimum nutrition needs to support their body’s metabolism.

You don’t have to take it that far, but with the following tips, you’ll have a better understanding not just of when to take a fat burner, but how to maximize their effectiveness.

1. Alternate Between Products

Close up shot of supplement pills on a blue table

If you end up taking fat burners for several weeks and even months at a time, then your body can become used to the same ingredients.

As a result, you’ll slowly see fewer results, because you simply become a bit immune to things like caffeine, green tea extract, and L-carnitine.

What I suggest is to spend 2 to 4 weeks using one fat burning supplement, and then switch to another one for the next period.

As long as they contain a different set of active ingredients, you’ll improve your results quite a bit. One thing I would say, though, is that in my experience conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) does seem to work long-term, so you can check for it on the label of both products you take.

Take note of the supplements you have tried and from there, you'll be able to compare what works for you or not. You can also leave a comment below and let me know your experience in taking fat burners.

Here are some fat burners you should check out:

2. Take Them With A Meal Or Snack

Close up shot of meals for workouts

Taking fat burners on empty stomach or after longer fasting periods is not something I would recommend.

For some people, it makes no difference, but I have worked with a lot of people where the results were a bit unpleasant.

You can quickly develop some nausea or cramping, so the best time to take fat burners is just before meals or snacks. Take one before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a fourth one in the afternoon.

Also, make sure you don’t take them too late in the evening, as stimulants like caffeine can keep you awake. (2)

3. Spread Out The Dose

Supplement pills on wooden spoons

A lot of the ingredients like caffeine, green tea extract, and L-carnitine will work much better in several smaller doses throughout the day. Taking your daily maximum in one go will actually lead to most of the active ingredients going to waste.

Either they will simply not be absorbed, or they could actually give you some unpleasant side effects like the jitters from excessive caffeine intake. (1)

The supplements I recommend the most will generally suggest taking 4 capsules per day, which gives a nice even spread.

4. Plan For Off Cycles

A person at home relaxing

Clients are often surprised that I tell them to take regular breaks. They often worry about losing the momentum and even get confused about how to cycle fat burners without putting on weight again.

Basically, fat burners should not be taken continuously. I generally say it’s best to have an off cycle every 8 to 10 weeks, just to avoid your body getting too used to relying on the supplements.

As long as you continue with your exercise and new healthy eating habits, you’ll still be working towards your goals.

5. Don’t Lose Sleep

If you’re a coffee drinker and take caffeine based fat burners, then you can quickly become overstimulated.

Not only can you feel jittery with a lack of concentration and focus, but you can end up struggling to get to sleep.

Burn XT is a perfect example of these types of fat burners where you should avoid taking later in the day due to its high caffeine content.

Getting a good night sleep will be critical for achieving the best possible results, so keep track of how much coffee you drink. Plus, it can improve your overall mood and health too. You may want to try stimulant free fat burning products.

There's nothing to lose in getting a good night's sleep. (3)

6. Be Careful With Dehydration

Close up shot of water being poured on a glass

Most fat burning supplements will rely on caffeine to burn fat. While it works really well for this purpose, it has the side effect of causing dehydration.

If you’ve ever had a couple of cups of coffee before a long car journey, you’ll know that urgent feeling that will quickly develop.

So, make sure you drink some extra water throughout the day. Drinking 2 liters or more water everyday can bring great benefits to our overall health. (4)

7. Minimize Cardio

A couple at the gym doing cardio together

If you want to lose body fat, then cardio is not your friend. It’s fine for a warm-up and cool-down phases of your workout routines, but it won’t boost your metabolism enough to burn some serious amounts of calories.

I would also not bother with taking a fat burner before cardio. You’ll get much better results by taking it during other parts of your day to trigger some extra fat loss while in a resting phase of the day.

Why don't you try weights more (and less cardio) during your workouts?

8. Stacking With Other Supplements

Close up shot of supplement pills and scoops of pre-workout

I often get asked, “Can you take pre workout with fat burners?” The simple answer is yes, but you do want to check the ingredients.

The reason I suggest this is that most pre-workout supplements will aim to boost energy levels and stamina, while fat burners really just target your metabolism.

You’ll also want to take some whey protein after a high-intensity workout session or fitness class.

Combining all these will have some great overall effects and will help you reach your goals faster.

If you’re still wondering what is the best fat burner to use, then read our page for recommended fat burners for men, and for recommended fat burners for women.

You can also watch this video to learn more how and when bodybuilder Jeff takes his fat burners for optimal results.

Fat burners we've reviewed: Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite Review

Our Final Thoughts

Changing your diet and the food you eat, along with a rigorous dedication to an exercise routine will result in gradual and totally natural weight loss.

You’ll even build up some new muscle mass, which will make you look and feel like a new person.

You can achieve this without supplements, but if you want to get there faster, then why not sccept a little helping hand.

The above tips have worked very well for my clients, which include some top performing athletes.


  1. Rachel Nall, Why Does Caffeine Cause the Jitters?, retrieved from
  2. How Stuff Works, Why does caffeine keep you awake?, retrieved from
  3. Mark Stibich, PhD, 10 Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep, retrieved from
  4. Kris Gunnars, BSc, How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?, retrieved from
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