One of the foremost researchers in human metabolism reveals surprising new science behind food and exercise.
We burn 2,000 calories a day. And if we exercise and cut carbs, we'll lose more weight. Right? Wrong. In this paradigm-shifting book, Herman Pontzer reveals for the first time how human metabolism really works so that we can finally manage our weight and improve our health.
Pontzer's groundbreaking studies with hunter-gatherer tribes show how exercise doesn't increase our metabolism. Instead, we burn calories within a very narrow range: nearly 3,000 calories per day, no matter our activity level. This was a brilliant evolutionary strategy to survive in times of famine. Now it seems to doom us to obesity. The good news is we can lose weight, but we need to cut calories. Refuting such weight-loss hype as paleo, keto, anti-gluten, anti-grain, and even vegan, Pontzer discusses how all diets succeed or fail: For shedding pounds, a calorie is a calorie.
At the same time, we must exercise to keep our body systems and signals functioning optimally, even if it won't make us thinner. Hunter-gatherers like the Hadza move about five hours a day and remain remarkably healthy into old age. But elite athletes can push the body too far, burning calories faster than their bodies can take them in. It may be that the most spectacular athletic feats are the result not just of great training, but of an astonishingly efficient digestive system.
Revealing, irreverent, and always entertaining, Pontzer has written a book that will change how you eat, move, and live.
Pontzer, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke, pulls together years of field and lab research to cast an "evolutionary perspective" on diet, metabolism, and health in his eye-opening debut. Metabolism, or "daily energy expenditure," isn't a simple equation, Pontzer suggests, but rather a complex formula determined by genetics and evolution. Pontzer upends several health myths and misconceptions, including claims around keto, Paleo, and raw food diets: people have evolutionarily been "opportunistic omnivores," eating whatever is available, including plants and animals, he concludes. He also argues that human metabolism hasn't yet adapted to the innovations of the Industrial Revolution and the modern diet, resulting in overconsumption and ailments such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive decline. As a model for living well and staying healthy, Pontzer urges readers to avoid any diet that targets one specific nutrient as "hero or villain," and shares stories of his time with the Hadza of northern Tanzania, whose lifestyle he champions because it resembles the hunter-gatherer culture that was "the norm worldwide for over two million years." Pontzer impressively combines well-documented conclusions, practical advice, and accessible explanations. Readers looking for a fresh take on diet, exercise, and health should take note.
A great read
A lot of knowledge, and a great read for the stories, even if it retread things you may already know, but I bet there will be some details you missed anyways ! Highly recommended