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 Burn, Dr. 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. 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.
Dr. Herman Pontzer joins Dr. Pam today to talk about this research. He is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and an Associate Research Professor of Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute, as well as an internationally recognized researcher in human energetics and evolution.