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Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy


This book dives into the intricacies of metabolism (all the work cells do) and how diet, exercise, and genetics impact it)

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Key Takeaways

  1. Humans' metabolic rate is far slower than would be anticipated compared to other placental mammals, but way faster than other great apes. We have evolved to live longer and store more fat, all based on our ecology
  2. Metabolic diversity is far broader than what scientists have traditionally assumed.
  3. Behavior leads, form follows
  4. Humans’ biology is insanely adaptable. The Hadza burn as many calories each day as industrialized peoples even though they’re 7x more active on average. The body seems to keep daily energy expenditure within a narrow window regardless of exercise. With this in mind, the obesity epidemic should be tackled through eating and nutrition rather than the key focus being on exercise.
  5. Metabolism doesn’t dictate, but responds, to energy balance
  6. There is much debate around diets but the final line is that you need to eat fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight. Nearly any diet will work if you do this and stick with it

What I got out of it

  1. How efficient the human body is and the fact that we've "outsourced" a lot of vital biological necessities (carrying water externally in a flask means we have to store less internally, etc.)

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