Fat Binders or Fat Blockers – What is the Difference?

So you are trying to figure out which weight loss supplement to buy. You have comes across some products advertised as fat blockers and some as fat binders. Although they sound as though they do the same thing – they are different.

I will try to explain in simple terms the differences between fat blockers and fat binders.

The terms “fat blocker” and “fat binder” are often used interchangeably, even by some so-called authority weight loss websites.

This is an unfortunate situation that only serves to spread further confusion about the subject and make it harder for dieters to make an informed decision when trying to decide on the best way to control their calorie intakes and lose weight.

This article will fill in the blanks end ensure the reader has the necessary knowledge before any purchase is made.

Fat Blockers & Fat Binders Are Not the Same

Fat is a high calorie food. Every gram of fat eaten provides the body with nine calories.

This may not sound like much off the bat, but a gram of protein or carbohydrate provides just four calories.

That’s a big difference that is made all the more worrying by the fact that some foods contain hidden fats.

However, it’s pretty fair to say most people who eat a lot of fatty foods such as chips and Pizzas, or are overly generous with butter or margarine, are not totally ignorant of what they are doing.

They know the fat is there, but fail to fully grasp the BIG difference it can make to their lives.

Fat blockers and fat binders both offer protection against dietary fats, but they do it in different ways.

How Do Fat Blockers Work?

Fat blockers generally contain ingredients that interfere with the normal function of the digestive enzymes that are required to break down fats and process them.

This is achieved without any interference to the way other nutrients are digested.

Prevent Fat from Being Digested

Fat blockers only prevent dietary fats from being digested. Because the fats are not digested in the normal way they do not release any of their calories.

However, when they leave the body when you visit the toilet the resulting stool is usually more sloppy and greasy than normal.

Greasy stools are a natural part of the fat blocking process, but if users continue to eat large quantities of fatty food the danger of soiled underwear is an all too real possibility.

Common Fat Blockers

The most common fat burner is Xenical, the brand name of Orlistat. Xenical is only available via prescription.

The non prescription market place has a product called PhenQ that uses multiple mechanics of action: fat burning, appetite suppressing and fat blocking.

PhenQ is free from chemicals and it is a lot safer than it’s chemical cousin.

It is also available to buy without doctor administered prescription.

How Fat Binders Work

Fat binders contain ingredients the body is unable to digest.

They are usually consumed just before meals and have the ability to attract dietary fats and bond with them, thereby making the captured fat indigestible as well.

The trapped fat then passes through the intestines in a similar way to the fat blocked by fat blockers, but the fact that it has bonded with the fat binder means the stool will not be quite so greasy and there is less likelihood of unpleasant laundry situations.

Nopal (prickly pear) is common fat blocking ingredient
Prickly pear or Nopal

Chitosan and Prickly Pear are two of the most popular fat binders available, but other options do exist.

A new fat binder to be released recently is XL-S Medical Ultra 5 containing an ingredient made from okra.

Are Fat Blockers Right for Me?

Fat blockers offer the most benefit to people who are struggling to lose weight due to their failure to control a love of greasy food.

People who do not succumb to the temptation of chips and pizzas and other similar high fat foods are unlikely to see much benefit from the use of such products.

This is because their excess calories are coming from elsewhere (starches, sugars etc.).

Additional Fat Blocker Benefits

Due to the fact that they can cause a feeling of satiety, fat binders can further assist weight loss by providing appetite suppression.

Fat blockers do not share this ability because they work in a different way. However, both supplement types may offer protection against cholesterol (also a fat),

Summary on Blocking Fat

Weight management can be achieved in a number of ways, but whereas fat burners and appetite suppressants can provide benefits to dieters of all types, fat blockers should never be seen as being a one-pill-suits-all dieting option.

Many potential fat blocker users may find fat binders are a better alternative because they also offer appetite suppression and are generally less unpleasant to use.

Fat blocker are certainly an option that can be taken advantage of by anyone who wishes to lose weight, but the fact that an option is available does not necessarily mean it is the best option.

Fat Binders

Fat binders are supplements that are designed to place limits on the amount of dietary fats the body can digest.

Each gram of carbohydrate or protein consumed provides the body with four calories.

A gram of fat provides nine, so it is easy to see how a diet that is rich in fats can soon pile on the pounds.

The body uses calories to fuel its activities.

Calories are burned during every function from the blink of an eye to the beating of the heart, and intense or prolonged activities, such as swimming or weight lifting, necessitate the use of more calories than the action of sneezing or scratching an itch.

However, the average person only needs 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. If the diet provides more than this the excess calories are stored as fat.

If the diet fails to provide an adequate amount the fat is burned for extra energy.

As a biological system it is very efficient, but the modern-day lifestyle often involves too much food and too little exercise, so obesity is on the rise on a worldwide scale and diet pill manufacturers are becoming rich as a consequence.

Fat Binder Suitability

Although the use of a quality fat binding supplement can be effective for weight loss, such products are not the best option in all cases.

Dieters need to take a little time and decide on the nature of their problem before rushing out and purchasing a product that is designed to work in this manner.

Anyone who is already sticking to a low fat diet, but is still failing to lose weight or continuing to add extra pounds to their existing bulk, will attain little or no benefits from a fat binding supplement because there will be very little for the product to work upon.

In such a case the calories are obviously coming from elsewhere, so the use of appetite suppressants, fat burners, or starch blockers may prove to be a better option, depending on individual situations.

Fat binders offer the most benefit to people who eat too much fatty, oily, or greasy foods and some products can block up to 50% of the fat such foods provide.

The Fat Binding Process Explained

Fat binders are generally taken three times per day and are often consumed 30 minutes before the three largest meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

After they have been swallowed they coat the stomach, but are made of ingredients the body is incapable of processing.

Chitosan fat binder
Chitosan fat binder

One of the most popular fat binding ingredients is chitosan (often made from the shells of deep sea crustaceans).

Apart from their indigestible nature, all fat binding ingredients share another common trait—they have the ability to attract dietary fats and “bind” with them.

In so doing fat binding ingredients cause the fats they have bound to become equally indigestible, so the combined mass (fat binder + bound fat) simply travels through the intestines and is passed with the stool.

No calories are released along the way, but users may notice their stools are a little more greasy or watery than normal.

Additional Benefits

The presence of such an indigestible mass inside the limited confines of the stomach can create a feeling of fullness that can quell the appetite and guide the user in the right direction by ensuring they eat less at mealtimes and are not so likely to be tempted by in-between-meal snacks.

Cholesterol is also a form of fat so the same ingredients that are providing weight management benefits may also offer protection against the dangers presented by (bad) LDL cholesterol.

Choosing a Fat Binding Product

Although chitosan has a good reputation for providing results, the fact that the ingredient is usually sourced from sea-living crustaceans can make it an unsuitable for anyone who has allergies to sea food.

Dieters who have such a problem are better off choosing a fat binding product that contains nopal, but it is important to be aware some supplements contain chitosan that has been extracted from a fungus (aspergillus niger).

Such supplements often outperform other fat binders by up to 33%, so a close examination of the small-print ingredient details is much to be advised.

Some Thoughts about Product Quality

Although good ingredients should produce quality results, in reality things are not that simple.

Some manufacturers are so focussed on maximising their profits they skimp on the amount of (good) ingredients they use in favour of cheaper options that can bulk out the formulation, but offer little or no benefit.

The presence of such low-grade ingredients invariably dilutes the better ones and results in fat binding supplements that are lacking in power.

Bearing all this in mind it is always advisable to read labels and product descriptions carefully and only ever purchase fat binding products that have been produced by a reputable manufacturer.

Customer feedback can also provide a valuable insight into product potency and a little pre-buy checking can mean the difference between weight loss failure and weight loss success.

I hope that this article has cleared the differences between fat binders and fat blockers

About Tony Jay

Tony Jay (CEO of AGJ Media, CPD certified in Diet and Nutrition) Tony is a fitness enthusiast, writer, and entrepreneur. He’s been active in the health and wellness industry since 2007 and firmly believes correct nutrition is the key to good health. A workaholic by nature, Tony uses power yoga to keep his mind sharp, maintain physical subtlety, and keep fit. LinkedIn

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