• Gut Reactions

  • The Science of Weight Gain and Loss
  • By: Simon Quellen Field
  • Narrated by: David Marantz
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (296 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

How much do you really know about how the human body works, and how it reacts to food, exercise, nutrition, and the environment? While most of us have read about at least one fad diet, we're left wondering about the greater biochemistry, psychology, sociology, and physiology of the obesity crisis in the United States.

Gut Reactions by chemist Simon Quellen Field shows us how our bodies react to food and the environment, and how our brain affects what and how much we eat, and in turn, is affected by what we eat. It shows why some diets work for some people but not for others, based on genetics, previous weight history, brain chemistry, environmental cues, and social pressures. It explores how dozens of hormones affect hunger and satiety and interact with the brain and the gut to regulate feeding behavior. And it explains the addictive nature of foods that interact with the same dopamine and opioid receptors in the brain that cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, and nicotine do.

Whether you're looking to lose weight, put on muscle mass, or simply understand how your metabolism or gut microbiome is affecting your food cravings, Field has the scientific answers for you.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Simon Quellen Field (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Gut Reactions

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    5 out of 5 stars

Feeling hungry is the healthiest thing you can do

This book has a lot of scientific detail that won’t appeal to many people that need to read it. But it has a superb million dollar idea: When you are overweight and unable to lose weight because you eat too frequent and too much, feeling hungry is the healthiest thing you can do. Drink some water but don’t give in to eat between meals. It is as good or even better than exercising. It turns something annoying, wanting to give in to cravings, into something good and positive. It explains in great scientific detail how once you are overweight several mechanisms all cause you to gain more weight and good strategies to break out of these vicious circles. The listing of negative effects of sugar is frightening and makes you think twice about anything that contains sugar. The audio version of this book should have skipped DNA sequence listings. Just refer to the pdf. Nonetheless this is easily one of the most interesting and important books I have ever read.

10 people found this helpful

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Pay attention! Get out of the "grocery" store

We are fat. I get it is impolite to say that. It is equally abusive to market scientifically designed chemical brews to create a market for a product known to cause death. Yet, three foods- wheat, milk, corn, and a toxic substance (sugar, found in everything!) are subsidized by our government.

I am concerned, not just because it is true, but, because, let's face the truth. Marketing ploys, the USDA, even we ourselves, are intentionally leaving ourselves unable to raise healthy children into healthy, productive members of a healthy, thriving society.

It's terribly difficult to eat 25 carrots (not the "baby" ones, where they have peeled and shaped all the broken ones to sell) and still want more. But a 20 oz bottle of beverage has at least the same 250 calories. We guzzle two during our meal of fast food, then have a third while watching TV. It's that sweet, salty, fatty mouthful we associate with comfort.

There are a great number of good examples presented, it's just that my favorite food is carrots. And, while I have always liked them, especially when carrot is followed by the word cake, it is possible to change your taste. I know it is not easy. But, now, if I am hungry, I will eat the salad. No dressing for me.

More, now, I am actually willing to walk to the store to buy those bags of unpeeled brilliant orange treats. They make an excellent dessert roasted, chopped, and blended into full fat cottage cheese, with ginger, corriander and a nice drizzle of stewed raisins, which are very sweet.

The worst though, is cereal. Although John Harvey Kellogg was a nut short on a few bolts, neither he nor Sylvester Graham nor Caleb Jackson (none of whom are mentioned in this book) were wrong in their assessment that adding sugar to your grains is very bad fpr your health. And, there is a reason cereal sells. It is easy to prepare, it takes no preparation, just open the box and dump into a bowl. Even the original corn flakes have sugar listed as their second ingredient, and the frosted variety uses an additional layer of sugar, which we then top off with plenty of the pretty white crystals ourselves. We are eating candy for breakfast. Instead of calling it licorice, we call it nutrition.

Listen to this book, and, pay attention. You need sleep. You must have exercise. And, if you learn nothing else, eat your fiber. Measure your portion in the kitchen. Slowly make changes. Keep trying. It took me a long time, but, I'm acutely aware now of all the shenanigans of the marketing people, and the USDA. Just go into any aisle and pick up a random product. Why does soy sauce contain high fructose corn syrup? Why is there corn starch in your brick of cheese?

9 people found this helpful

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Don’t recommend to the lay person

I thought this book was going to be about the microbiome and how to improve it for health, weight management and brain function. The material is highly technical and Listening to this book is like reading an encyclopedia of hormones. He never really puts it all together telling the listener how to apply the knowledge.
Also the reader speeds through the material so fast and could benefit the listener if he would just pause periodically to allow the listener to process what he just read. I had to adjust the reading speed so that I didn’t feel like I was drinking from a firehose of information.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book! In-depth Science

Enjoyed the book very much. There were scientific insights not found in similar books. One detail that did not make sense, Field says that fullness signals are sent by the large intestine. I don't know if this is true or not, but if those were the only fullness signals being sent, we'd be eating for 8 hours. -- Aside from that this book is full of science on digestion that has clarified many of my questions such as cold and hot starches (why potatoes have few digestible calories when cold) and how proteins matter differently at different ages; specific genes involved in weight gain or loss; and a thorough explanation of hormones involved in weight gain and loss. The included pdf is a wonderful supplement. Of all the nutrition books I have read, this is perhaps the most thorough with regard specifically to the obesity epidemic.

7 people found this helpful

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Great information - mediocre narrative

Provides insight information and research supported. Narration was flat. Information is valuable enough to look past the delivery.

2 people found this helpful

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Weight loss or not, the book is a treasure!

Highly recommend. Lots of scientific explanations for metabolic disorders and practical tools to reverse them.
Minus a dangerous advice to “take baby aspirin“ I found the suggestions right on the money. They are supported by my own observations in my health coaching practice.

2 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected at all

What I thought I was going to read about: “the science of weight gain and loss”
What it’s actually about: that latte is the same amount of calories as 10 whole carrots. Just eat the 10 carrots. (Who eats 10 whole carrots at once!) let your friends shame you at a party for eating the cookie after you told them you’ve already had your daily allowance and would just have water.

Restrictive dieting is not sustainable for most 🥴

Tons of science in the beginning, which is what I wanted but it’s so much information at once. Then turns into another diet book unfortunately. The tone reads like they strongly dislike obese people. Do not recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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A very comprehensive book on a complex topic

Narration a bit dry,but then there is are lot of facts being delivered that don't really lend itself to emotive reading. The content is outstanding, its a complex topic so it gets deep with the details, just what I was looking for.

1 person found this helpful

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Not an ideal audiobook , better as physical book.

Lots of information, but a little hard to digest as an audiobook. Good if you are doing research.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent, in depth, unbiased

Excellent, in depth, unbiased. Heavy science. Absolutely what I wanted. It’s rare to hear new info on this topic for me, but this delivered.

1 person found this helpful

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  • GGH
  • 09-10-21

VERY informative- a must read to aide lifestyle changes!

Really enjoyed listening to this book, so much so that I have ordered the paperback too as there is so much to take in. What I love about this book is that everything is explained scientifically (although at times a bit too much detail if you are a lay reader), because of this I have a better understanding of the subject and more prone to applying it in life, knowing it is based on real science and not the latest fad diet.

This book has reinforced some of the things I had already read about, however, because I now understand the mechanisms within the body and how they react to our diet and lifestyle I am far more prone to applying them to my life.

Fortunately I do not have too many pounds to lose, however while reading this book and applying some of the principles I have seen changes on the scales! Furthermore I now understand that it is about far more than losing the weight, but also about maintaining a high functioning body and brain as you get older.

Only downside to this audio book is the reading, which I initially thought was a computer! It would have been far more engaging and appeal to a wider audience if it was read in a more human tone. If you are deeply interested in the subject like I was, you do get used to the mono-tone voice however. Apologies to the reader!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dr Fiona Beddoes-Jones
  • 09-15-21

Life-changing book

The content is brilliant - really interesting. It’s read a little robotically in places, but the chapter headings are helpful and you may find yourself relistening to those chapters that interest you the most.

Would recommend to anyone who wants to lose weight as it gives you insight into the science that you probably won’t have come across anywhere else.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 07-27-21

High End Learning

I loved this book as it has given me something to aspire to learn. It's difficult to absorb it all but that's a good thing. I'd say it was aimed at intermediate/advanced customers. I've listened twice now and got much more the second time, can't wait to see my progress on the third (and fourth etc).

3 people found this helpful

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  • Valued_ Customer_No1
  • 01-17-22

Simply excellent

Following this man’s advice I have lost 16 stone in total. I no longer have diabetes nor do I have arthritis in my joints. I have a clear path. The book has information found in other books but the presentation of the information is excellent. Wonderful book life changing. I would urge those people with obesity to read and heed this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-21

terrible narrative

was really looking forward to listening but narration is awful. sounds like a robot

1 person found this helpful

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  • forestliner
  • 05-10-19

Intelligent and comprehensive.

A wide ranging and lucid coverage of its subject, which is free of contentious diet pseudoscience. I found the narration a bit flat and mechanical.

1 person found this helpful

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  • vincent guy
  • 02-09-22

Interesting but heavy

Supposed to be for lay readers like me. Theme of weight control and healthy diet is important for all of us. But huge amounts of technical detail, long specialist words make it hard going.narrated in a heavy manner which doesn’t make it easier.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-07-22

Helped make sense of weight gain

I have plenty of books like this but somehow this one made more sense to me. Love the way the short chapters are broken down. Great explanation of Type 2 diabetes. Good tips on helping your body maintain homeostasis. Will be recommending to friends and family....is there a sequel by this author?

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  • Sigrin
  • 01-18-22

Please change the narrator

Oh my goodness the narrator is horrific, is it computer generated? I had to listen on 1.2 to make it slightly better.

The content is enlightening and clarifies a lot of what I know from other nutritional science books, podcasts etc.

The books easy identifiable chapters, makes going back and forth easy and a good learning method.

Information is relevant and well explained in simple bite size ( excuse the pun) chapters.

Highly recommend and it’s free

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  • Mr. Mark Hanson
  • 01-02-22

sense at last!

This book is a valuable guide to the SCIENCE around weight gain and loss. No faddy crank ideas no bullshit just hard, peer reviewed knowledge.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-11-21

Very difficult to stay engaged

The narrator is monotone and makes it very difficult to listen and learn. Great for insomnia.

1 person found this helpful