cover image The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts that Make Us Overeat

The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts that Make Us Overeat

Stephan J. Guyenet. Flatiron, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-08119-3

Health writer and obesity researcher Guyenet has written a remarkable book that approaches health and weight management not through diet or fitness, per se, but by understanding and combating the urge to overeat. Guyenet wields his degrees in biochemistry and neuroscience as he acts as the reader’s guide through a wilderness of raw data; he explains how the brain works, discusses important research, and develops strategies from this information. In 11 chapters organized in a loose, almost anecdotal manner, Guyenet first covers the basics of caloric intake and digestion before examining the chemical reactions behind the pleasure- and calorie-seeking brain and factors in the U.S. diet (such as “food reward” and convenience) that contribute to overeating. Guyenet also discusses the science behind satiety and hunger, complete with various—lovely—illustrations of brains. The final chapter is crucial, since it synthesizes all the information into a practicum on how to overcome the hungry brain’s tendency to overeat; Guyenet provides six clear instructions. This fun, insightful, and important text will appeal to both science lovers and fitness fanatics. Agent: Howard Yoon, Ross Yoon Agency. (Feb.)