Book Review: The Hungry Brain, Guyanet

Rating: As good as it gets – lotta unknowns.

This book explores research into causes of the obesity epidemic including the regulatory systems involved. Regulatory systems are 1. a satiety system that tells us if we’ve eaten enough this meal  and in a different part of the brain 2. A system that tries to keep body weight stable.

It list causes as:
1. Really tasty food, super-stimulus: salty, crunchy, fatty, sugary, MSG w/o much satiety signals like fiber, volume, or protein per calorie. This food breaks reg system No. 1.
2. Food Advertising – Or just smelling/seeing food out in the open.
3. Ease of getting food – seems to bypass regulatory system if it is effortless to consume it.
4. Damage to regulatory system, cause of damage unknown, may be a result of chronic overeating or of some toxin. In any case obese people seem to have lesions in the no.2 brain region.
5. Decreased exercise
6. Poor stress management
7. Circadian arrhythmia – poor sleep, eating at the wrong part of the cycle. Much more weight gain when eating same calories at night than during day.
All but 5 and  7 basically add up to we binge on foods, getting an a huge amount of calories, and then we do it again and our body can’t cope. We binge when we have tasty easy food, and are stressed and sleep deprived which basically leads to 4 which may start the cycle anew.

As for exercise, it says this isn’t a panacea but is an important part. I know from other research that exercise has different effects on different people some it suppresses appetite, in others it stimulates. So for an unlucky seventh  of the population exercise may not be helpful with re to weight loss.

So avoid binge foods and binge triggers. Shelled nuts better than unshelled fe.

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