The Hungry Brain – Book Summary

Written By Katherine O

The Hungry Brain – Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat

Author(s): Stephan J. Guyenet Ph.D.

Publish Date: December 24, 2018

Difficulty Level: Buckle-up! The Hungry Brain is an advanced read.

This book was clearly written by a PhD — it is not a light one AND as a result, it has the most comprehensive explanation we have ever seen for how our ancient brains are hijacked by our modern world of abundant sugar, processed food chemicals, and marketing tactics.

Our thoughts:

  • If you’re looking for a light read, this is NOT the book for you — however, if you are looking to know all the science behind how your brain contributes to weight gain, you’ve found it!
  • This is likely a very different take on what motivates overconsumption, unhealthy food choices, and the chemistry and genetics that play a bigger role in your decision making than you’ve probably ever realized.
  • While it does have a bit of the old-school Calories In – Calories Out way of thinking, we’ll forgive it in Stephan’s case given that he’s likely accustomed to mice (or humans) in a lab under very controlled conditions, where the formula does still apply.
  • We think the New York Times said it best, “The Hungry Brain is really no more a diet book than Anna Karenina is a romance novel, but for those interested in the complex science of overeating, it is essential.”
  • If you’re looking for a lighter version of this book, while not exactly the same, you might enjoy:
    • Salt, Sugar, and Fat – How the food companies tricked us by overpowering our biology through mechanisms like the bliss point (maximum palatability) and other sneaky tactics.
    • The Craving Mind – A look at how our brains are constantly being triggered and unconsciously engaging in behavioral loops that may harm your goals and how by taking a mindful approach you can start to unravel these cravings.
    • The Case Against Sugar – How sugar may be the root of a lot of western diseases, weight gain, and is much worse for us than we think.

Publisher summary:

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.

Link to book:

Find it on Amazon:

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1 Comment

  1. Katherine D

    I really appreciate the warning! This book sounds intense.


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