The Hunger Habit Book Summary - The Hunger Habit Book explained in key points
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The Hunger Habit summary

Judson Brewer

Why We Eat When We're Not Hungry and How to Stop

4.2 (34 ratings)
17 mins
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    The Hunger Habit
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    Healthful eating begins with understanding why you eat

    Let’s dive into why we eat, because it’s not just about being hungry. There are two different types of hunger: physiological and hedonic. Physiological hunger is your body’s way of signaling that it needs fuel. It’s like when your car’s gas gauge starts blinking; it means you need to fill up. You know the feeling: your stomach growls, you get light-headed, irritable, and it’s hard to focus. That’s your body saying, “I need food to keep going.”

    Then there’s hedonic hunger. The name goes back to the ancient Greek word hedone, meaning “pleasure.” This is all about eating for enjoyment, not because you need to. It often starts in childhood. Think about it: birthday parties with cake and ice cream, and other fun times. Those happy memories teach your brain that sweet treats are rewarding. So, later on, when you’re feeling down, stressed, or just plain tired, your brain suggests a little pick-me-up. “How about some chocolate?” it says, even if you’re not hungry. This is what leads to comfort eating, where food becomes more about feeling good than fueling up.

    These moments can turn into habit loops, where certain situations automatically make you reach for a snack. It might happen when you’re bored, upset, or zoning out in front of the TV. Over time, these habits get so ingrained that you might not even realize you’re choosing to eat.

    This is why so many diets fail. They focus on the math – calories in versus calories out – but they overlook the emotional side of eating. Knowing you should eat fresh, whole foods and get plenty of exercise is one thing. But actually changing your behavior is another, and it doesn’t happen just because you know what’s right. Change happens in the feelings, not the facts.

    So, if you want to eat healthier, it’s not enough to just follow a diet. You must understand both why your body needs food and why your mind wants it. This means looking deeper into those moments when you reach for a snack. Are you really hungry, or is there something else going on? Breaking the cycle of emotional eating involves noticing these patterns and consciously making different choices. That’s how you connect your mind and body to create a healthier lifestyle that goes beyond just counting calories.

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    What is The Hunger Habit about?

    The Hunger Habit (2024) explores the psychological aspects of why we eat beyond our basic energy needs. Delving into how emotional hunger leads to unhealthy eating habits, it offers mindfulness strategies to manage cravings and develop a healthier relationship with food.

    The Hunger Habit Review

    The Hunger Habit (2021) explores how our minds control our food cravings and offers insights on breaking free from unhealthy eating patterns. Here's why this book is a captivating read:

    • Delving into the roots of cravings and bad eating habits, it sheds light on our brain's mechanisms and how to rewire them effectively.
    • By providing evidence-based strategies and practical tools, it empowers readers to regain control over their relationship with food.
    • The book's real-life examples and relatable stories make the content relatable and applicable, ensuring that it's never a dull moment.

    Who should read The Hunger Habit?

    • Individuals struggling with emotional and habitual eating
    • Mindfulness practitioners seeking dietary behavior change
    • Health enthusiasts skeptical of fad diets

    About the Author

    Judson Brewer is an addiction psychiatrist and neuroscientist specializing in habit change. He serves as a professor at Brown University’s School of Public Health and Medical School. Brewer’s first book, The Craving Mind, has been translated into more than sixteen languages, and his follow-up, Unwinding Anxiety, quickly became a New York Times best seller. His insights have also reached a wide audience through his popular TED Talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” which has garnered over 19 million views.

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    The Hunger Habit FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Hunger Habit?

    The main message of The Hunger Habit is understanding and addressing our relationship with food.

    How long does it take to read The Hunger Habit?

    Reading The Hunger Habit takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is The Hunger Habit a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Hunger Habit is valuable for anyone wanting mindful eating habits. It provides practical insights for better food choices.

    Who is the author of The Hunger Habit?

    The author of The Hunger Habit is Judson Brewer.

    What to read after The Hunger Habit?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Hunger Habit, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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