Book Update

Hello, folks.  My book, The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts that Make Us Overeat is due to be released on February 7, and I’m very excited about it.  It’s substantially different from any other book on overeating and weight management, and I believe it will inject much-needed information into the public discourse on obesity.  Given that the brain governs all behavior including eating, it’s remarkable that no other general-audience book has looked broadly at its role in overeating and body weight (to my knowledge).  The Hungry Brain is based on thirty-six expert interviews, hundreds of scientific papers, and my own scientific expertise.  My goal is to give you the best that neuroscience, obesity research, and my noggin have to offer.

The Hungry Brain has received outstanding reviews from The New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and many knowledgeable individuals.  You can read excerpts on my book page.

I’ll be doing a book reading and signing at The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle on February 8 at 7:00 pm.  Come hear me read a bit from the book, expand on one of the topics in it, and take questions.

Behind the scenes, my publicist and I are cooking up a few strategies to help get the word out.  In the coming weeks, I’ll be appearing in a number of interviews.  I may do a Reddit AMA.  If you think my work is valuable, please spread the word!


23 Responses to Book Update

    • Hi Jay,

      Sorry to hear that. I don’t know why but I’ve contacted my publisher to find out. Someone else mentioned the same thing on Twitter. Hopefully ordering will go more smoothly from now on.

  1. Received The Hungry Brain on my Kindle this morning and noticed that the table of contents is at the end of the book instead of near the front. Is this a mistake on the electronic version or is it the correct format?

  2. Wasn`t it onced supposed to be an interview book with interviews of 20, or so, prominent researchers in the food/obesitiy/brain field?

    • It is based in part on 36 expert interviews, but the book doesn’t read as a series of interviews.

  3. Note: The UK publication date appears to be 6th April, according to the UK iBooks store and

    Not sure I can wait that long! 😉

  4. Stephan Very Well done and Many Congratulations 🙂 🙂 🙂

    It is indeed not available in the UK in print until April.

    Again Congratulations.

  5. I just picked up and read your book at the library. I found the material to be very interesting if not a bit wonky. It is clearly well researched and gives common-sense advice to weight management. Congratulations on a worthy endeavor.

  6. Thanks! A very interesting book so far.

    For me it wasn’t the rat’s Froot Loops but Frosted MiniWheats and Raisin Bran. The easy road to obesity and Type 2 diabetes. This came three years after eating anything ad libitum in France for 15 months, including dry sugary breakfast cereals, fries, baguettes, cheese, duck, couscous and the most rewarding desserts I could find. I lost 10-15 lbs. The difference was walking everywhere, all the time, for any reason. Back in the US the walking stopped but the eating didn’t, and my weight went up fast.

    • The photos of your brain in the MRI after an hour on your bike are a fascinating N=1 experiment! The images appear to explain the experience I had in France. Thanks again.

      • Thanks! They are actually much more striking in their original color format. It’s tough to represent fMRI in B/W. But they make the point.

  7. There´s a lot to like about this book.

    But I think the idea that a nutrient dense diet is always beneficial, should be questioned. It has been suggested for example that a high dietary phosphorus density, i.e. > 700 mg phosphorus/2000 kcal, is linked to increased all-cause mortality ( And elevated serum phosphorus within the normal range has been linked to a variety of problems such as CVD and recently even Alzheimer´s and dementia. 2 cups of low fat yogurt plus a cup of dry oats (two foods not consumed by hunter gatherers) already supplies 1600 mg of phosphorus. Human milk has a very low nutrient density and supplies just 400 mg phosphorus/2000 kcal, indicating perhaps that we don´t need an excess of nutrients.

    If you´re in a weight loss mode, a very nutrient dense diet may be ideal, but then you need to take into account the «empty» calories from the fat stores you´re burning. Maybe the phosphorus is non-problematic if calcium (and maybe magnesium, potassium) intake is adequately high, and the diet is low in sodium. But after reading about fitness guru Bob Harper (age 51)´s recent major heart attack, as well as other observations, I start to wonder. Maybe if he had replaced all the whole grains and seeds with potatoes, and the 0% fat greek yogurt with a full fat variety, and thus significanly reduced the phosphorus density of his diet, he would have fared better. Worth noting also that a low calcium:phosphorus ratio (< 0.57) has been associated with obesity:

    His recommendations are as follows:

    «-Good fats: avocados, seeds, egg yolks, dark meat chicken or turkey, nuts and nut butters.
    — Good carbohydrates: whole wheat or multigrain breads, brown rice, fruits, vegetables, and oats.
    -Protein: egg whites, lean chicken, lean turkey, lean beef, 0% Greek yogurt and tofu.»

  8. Finally finishing up the book, and the six recommendations for staying slim by tricking the brain,I think you’ve left out portion control as a valid and sometimes successful method. Yudkin (carbohydrate units), Atkins (scientific reducing) and Weight Watchers use counting methods to control calories-in. Normally the methods are applied only for weight loss, but once they’re learned they defend against overeating ANY food regardless of reward.

    For example. salty snacks like potato chips are normally eaten directly out of a bag. If you’re counting calories you learn that each chip is about 10 calories. Unless the bag is small you count them out, put them on a plate and that that’s all you get. 70-140 calories of chips is enough to staunch the need for a high calorie density salty reward. If they’re a small side dish and not eaten to satiate they can be eaten daily without weight gain. The same applies to main dishes like pizza and pasta. As long as you’re conscious of portion and stick with it rewarding foods can be controlled.

    The problem with restrictive approaches is that they don’t allow the French approach of confecting foods (the buffet). I make a lot of soups using a stick blender. Half a cup of unsweetened yogurt, half a cup of tomato sauce or cooked pumpkin, a teaspoon of thokku eggplant relish, a teaspoon of heavy cream, a dash of za’atar and turmeric. A pretty eclectic mix of ingredients, but the important part is knowing that this is 140 calories more or less. And that’s all I get as part of a 500-600 calorie mixed lunch of similarly eclectic confections. Every one of them rewarding in some way, but not very much of any particular one in a portion.