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Science Tonight: Counting Calories

  • Thursday, May 13, 2021
  • 7:00pm - 8:00pm

We burn 2,000 calories a day. And if we exercise and cut carbs, we’ll lose more weight. Right? Wrong. In his 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.

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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.

The book is available wherever books are sold, including Flyleaf Books at https://www.flyleafbooks.com/book/9780525541523.

Tonight’s Guest

Herman Pontzer, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and Associate Research Professor of Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute. He is an internationally recognized researcher in human energetics and evolution. Over two decades of research in the field and laboratory, Dr. Pontzer has conducted pathbreaking studies across a range of settings, including fieldwork with Hadza hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania, fieldwork on chimpanzee ecology in the rainforests of Uganda, and metabolic measurements of great apes in zoos and sanctuaries around the globe. Dr. Pontzer’s work has been covered in The New York Times, BBC, PBS, Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, Scientific American, and others.

Please note all programs are in Eastern Time Zone (US and Canada).

Science Tonight is a livestream show for curious minds. Host Chris Smith talks with interesting people making exciting, everyday discoveries in science, nature, tech and more. Watch every Thursday night to grow your brain and get the latest stories in the science world.

Details

Date:
May 13
Times:
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Fee:
Free

Venue

Virtual
NC United States

Organizer

Chris Smith
919.707.9956