Diet v exercise — what’s the best way to lose weight? | Weekend

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Virtual marathons, Zoom fitness classes, Couch to 5k — whatever your fitness fix has been during lockdown, surveys show that many of us are exercising more than ever before. But there was disappointing news this week for those expecting to lose weight as they did so.

In his new book Herman Pontzer, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University in North Carolina, states that the grim reality is we simply don’t get slimmer through exercise alone. Which prompts the question: if exercise doesn’t work, is dieting alone the key to weight loss? Or is there a bit more to it than that?

Pontzer’s theory, outlined in Burn: The Misunderstood Science of Metabolism, is based on his studies of the Hadza, the hunter-gatherer people

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