Cover Image: Burn


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Member Reviews

This is science heavy but really well explained. I learned a lot about metabolism and diet, and this is def one to keep and come back to.
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There is nothing new in this book, and it clearly ignores science in particular diets. At this stage, everyone interested in losing weight knows that exercise is not the way to go. And can someone please tell me how the advice in this book is different from Micahel Pollen's work?
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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. This is a fascinating, captivating and deeply insightful look at the science of metabolism and seeks to set right the myths and pseudoscience often perpetuated about eating, weight loss and lifestyle. Written in an accessible conversational fashion and in Pontzer's typical entertaining style, this is an informative, revealing and likely the most definitive read on the topic to date. It will change how you eat, move, and live and leave you with a much more sound understanding of the way our bodies convert food into energy. Highly recommended.
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I learnt a lot reading ‘burn’. The topic of calorie burn interests me as a runner and a calorie counter. 

From the synopsis I gleaned that much of what I thought about exercise and calorie burn was incorrect, and I was intrigued to find out more.

This book is heavy on research so it feels very authentic and one to be taken seriously.

Chapters are a good mix of storytelling around the authors time with the Hazda community of hunter gatherers he has researched along with the science and ‘take home’ messages we can all learn from.

While this book is pretty intellectual and definitely challenged me in that respect, I felt I did get the gist.

This book really makes us think about lifestyle and rethink our relationship between (highly palatable) foods and obesity.  Some great points about exercise are included, and while it may have less bearing on our weight the importance of exercise and movement in our daily lives is encouraged.

Knowledge is power, and this is definitely a book that it is well worth reading for anyone who wants to know the truth behind nutrition and exercise based on real science and without any fads!

My thanks to Netgalley, author and publisher for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an advance copy.
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