• The Hungry Brain

  • Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat
  • By: Stephan J. Guyenet Ph.D.
  • Narrated by: Aaron Abano
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (541 ratings)

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The Hungry Brain  By  cover art

The Hungry Brain

By: Stephan J. Guyenet Ph.D.
Narrated by: Aaron Abano
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Publisher's summary

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

From an obesity and neuroscience researcher with a knack for engaging, humorous storytelling, The Hungry Brain uses cutting-edge science to answer the questions: why do we overeat, and what can we do about it?

No one wants to overeat. And certainly no one wants to overeat for years, become overweight, and end up with a high risk of diabetes or heart disease--yet two thirds of Americans do precisely that. Even though we know better, we often eat too much. Why does our behavior betray our own intentions to be lean and healthy? The problem, argues obesity and neuroscience researcher Stephan J. Guyenet, is not necessarily a lack of willpower or an incorrect understanding of what to eat. Rather, our appetites and food choices are led astray by ancient, instinctive brain circuits that play by the rules of a survival game that no longer exists. And these circuits don’t care about how you look in a bathing suit next summer.

To make the case, The Hungry Brain takes listeners on an eye-opening journey through cutting-edge neuroscience that has never before been available to a general audience. The Hungry Brain delivers profound insights into why the brain undermines our weight goals and transforms these insights into practical guidelines for eating well and staying slim. Along the way, it explores how the human brain works, revealing how this mysterious organ makes us who we are.

©2017 Stephan Guyenet (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Guyenet wields his degrees in biochemistry and neuroscience while guiding readers through a wilderness of raw data; he explains how the brain works, discusses important research, and develops strategies from this information. His important new perspective on weight loss both informs and inspires." — Publishers Weekly

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    2 out of 5 stars

Absolute Terrible

I would have given this title a single star, but upon further reflection it's not that the content itself was inaccurate or misleading, but rather that I basically didn't learn a single new thing of interest in listening to the entire book. Each chapter I finished I thought would be the end, but I kept on mainly due to all of the positive review -- I thought I must be missing something.

The author starts by stating that new high fat diets and other more recent have it all wrong and that the current US dietary guidelines are perfectly fine -- we just don't follow them. For most of the first chapter I thought the author perhaps worked for the AMA or the Department of Agriculture. Unfortunately, it didn't get any better from there as he tried to explain why we don't follow them.

It's amazing to me that this book has so many positive reviews. I can only conclude that many people who know the author wrote them since it's incomprehensible that anyone who has read even a few of the better nutritional or nutritional-neurobiology books could possibly think that this book is exceptional.

I suggest that you read some of my other review and you can see if there are other books that I gave positive review for which are also books that you consider be be worthwhile. Doing that might save you a number of hours of what unfortunately for me was completely wasted time. The content wasn't even particularly difficult -- just aimless, wandering and lacking any real depth and substance.

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47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thank you!!!!! Stephan Guyenet, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

If you could sum up The Hungry Brain in three words, what would they be?

Obesity problem solved.

What did you like best about this story?

It explained what I am doing that is keeping me fat.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Where it is explained that food reward affects the lipostat.

Any additional comments?

Although I'm not certain if it is explained in the book (almost finished, but not quite), the solution (for me at least) is to cut out sweet TASTING and salty TASTING foods. The diet does not need to be vegan or low fat or low carb. Just cut out salty and sweet foods. There may be advantages to being vegan, but it never affected my weight at all. NOW I know why. This is probably the most important book so far this century.

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22 people found this helpful

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Outsmarting section is last 10 minutes

I bought this book to learn about ways to prevent myself from overeating by outsmarting my brain. Sadly, this book is not about that. It is about how the brain works, why the brain desires food, and regulated fat levels. This part probably appeals to neuroscientists. For anyone who wants to learn about how to outsmarting your instincts however, there is a short, uninspired ten minute section at the very end of the book. Definitely not worth it!!!

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Not much details on the "outsmarting" part...

The science was obvious and already common sense for the most part. I was hoping for details and new strategies for "outsmarting the instincts that make us overeat", which is what the cover promises. But his only tips were incredibly obvious, such as don't have tempting 'junk' foods readily available, get good sleep, and stress less. Thanks, but that is "dieting and lifestyle 101" principles.

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13 people found this helpful

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Really good

Unbiased and open-minded. Guyenet takes tons of current research and distills it down into something useful, interesting, and actionable. I am currently lean and healthy, but I was overweight and in pain a few years ago. Not surprisingly, nearly every tactic that I currently use to stay lean are at the end of this book. Not to mention a whole lot more. Buy it. Read it. Listen to it. It's necessary.

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Eat the book

Lots of studies and science which would be great if the hints at the end were anything new. I would think that most who purchase this book will not be surprised by the "helpful" hints to curb overeating. maybe if you eat the book it will curb your appetite lol

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Everything you needed to know about eating healthy

if you have any interest in health and nutrition, this is the best book I've ever read on the subject.

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7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't drink soda...really? don't waste your money

Don't drink soda? really?? terrible book...excercise..it gets easier when I do it...really? save your money

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5 people found this helpful

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One of the best books I've read on food in a long time.

I love how he explains things on a different level. This book is for anyone that really wants to understand why the brain does what it does.

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awesome read!

lots of technical jargon -- I have a Neuroscience background but someone who doesn't might need to listen to some of the chapters a few times. narration was great too

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4 people found this helpful