395 episodes

Welcome to Bright Line Living, the official Bright Line Eating Podcast channel. Created by Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating, BLE is a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food. This channel covers a variety of topics including food addiction, fascinating science, and how to live a Bright Line life. Check out our Podcast page to learn more.

Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast Susan Peirce Thompson

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.8 • 101 Ratings

Welcome to Bright Line Living, the official Bright Line Eating Podcast channel. Created by Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating, BLE is a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food. This channel covers a variety of topics including food addiction, fascinating science, and how to live a Bright Line life. Check out our Podcast page to learn more.

    Scraping the Bowl

    Scraping the Bowl

    My daughter commented recently on how she knows it’s time to get up when she hears me scraping my bowl in the morning. Even though I’m eating Bright meals, this behavior left me feeling powerless over food, once again. I resolved to find the part of myself that wanted freedom from this behavior—and in this vlog, I tell you how I did it.

    FOR THIS EPISODE and MORE: https://ble.life/h4khpwScraping the Bowl | Bright Line Living | The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast

    • 17 min
    Why You Should Care About Weight-Loss Drugs—Even if You Will Never Take Them

    Why You Should Care About Weight-Loss Drugs—Even if You Will Never Take Them

    I get so many questions about weight loss drugs, and I want to talk to you about why you should care—even if you know that you will never take them.

    First, there is the magnitude of their impact. Barclays did an investigative report on the financial impact of these drugs. They concluded that they will have as big an impact as the invention of the smartphone.

    In ten or twenty years, we’re likely to see a significant portion of the population on these drugs. They will come down in cost and be available in pill form. They’re also likely to have mechanisms like anti-nausea compounds built in to mitigate side effects.

    As these things happen, they may become more acceptable for many people. So I think these drugs are here to stay.

    As far as safety goes, people have been on these drugs for diabetes for a while now, and there don’t seem to be any common problematic side effects. There are side effects, but they are uncommon and don’t outweigh the benefits of the drugs.

    Another reason to watch these weight loss drugs closely is that research shows that changes in our orientation toward thinness have a huge impact on society, especially young women and girls. When Twiggy became a supermodel back in the 1960s, ultra-thinness became the unattainable norm, and in a very short period of time, body dissatisfaction skyrocketed.

    But when you’re thin, you’re not always healthy, and that’s also the case with obesity. It may be true to say that there are people with obesity who are healthy, just as it’s true to say that there are three-pack-a-day smokers who don’t have lung cancer. However, the data on obesity that shows that it’s not healthy is as strong as data showing that smoking causes cancer.

    But it’s equally important that we not slide into anti-fat bias. These drugs have the potential to make that worse, so we need to pay attention to their impact on our communities.

    The final reason you should care is that we know these drugs slow down gastric processes…but they also affect the brain. GLP-1, the main receptor affected by these drugs, is found throughout the brain: in the reward centers, in the appetite centers, and elsewhere.

    Without these drugs, the GLP-1 in your brain spikes when you eat and then goes down. With the drugs, GLP-1 is high all the time. This raises many questions. What will it do to the reward centers? Is it going to reset the reward system? We see some evidence of people being less interested in things like gambling or pornography when on these drugs. So perhaps these drugs will be seen as something that many people should be on.

    I take hormones because I’m about to turn 50. It’s made such a difference to my quality of life. These GLP-1s aren’t that different. They may, in the same way, become normalized, so it’s not a big deal to be on them.

    Because I’m so curious about these new drugs, I’ve created a new event: a recorded video series only available for a limited time. The first two of four parts are available today. The series is called “How to Get Weight Loss Drug Results…Without the Drugs.” I dive into the neurobiology of these drugs, and explain how you can get the same results by changing your diet and your habits.

    Also, next weekend, I’m having a three-hour Fireside Chat with several guests, including a physician who understands both Bright Line Eating and these drugs. I’m also planning two social live events on YouTube.

    All this is available for free, and clicking on the link below this video will take you to the event page.

    So that’s the scoop: I think these drugs are here to stay, and you may want to have tools up your sleeve so that you understand their impact, and know if they’re right for you.

    Note: Our special event is now over.

    FOR THIS EPISODE and MORE: https://ble.life/e5bg8xWhy You Should Care About Weight-Loss Drugs—Even if You Will Never Take Them | Bright Line Living | The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast

    • 24 min
    Why Weigh Vegetables?

    Why Weigh Vegetables?

    Julie Harris wrote in with a great question. She said: “Why is it necessary to weigh and measure vegetables in Bright Line Eating? I like to bulk up my portions with vegetables and want to know why that is not part of the fabulous plan.”

    For many people, the idea of weighing and measuring vegetables is ludicrous. Dieters may think, “Hey, vegetables are super healthy and there aren’t many calories in them, so why bother to weigh them?” And all that’s true. But that’s not why we do it. There are three reasons we weigh and measure our vegetables at Bright Line Eating.

    First and foremost, it gives the mind peace. It signals a clear end to the meal and lets the brain know that the meal is over once the measured portion has been eaten.

    For many people, there’s a constant dialogue in our minds that we call food chatter: “Should I eat something more? Is it mealtime yet? How about now? Can I have more of this? Can I grab the bit left on the plate…” and it goes on and on.

    When we weigh and measure our food—all of it—we have a finite quantity, and when we’re done eating it, the brain stops the infernal noise that distracts us and makes us focus on our food—and that gives us peace.

    Second, many people, unless they weigh their vegetables, won’t eat enough of them. They’ll think they are, but they’re not. The bulk of vegetables is needed to aid chewing, release hormones, provide nutrients, and add fiber to keep the body satiated.

    Third, an excessive quantity of food, just the pure bulk of it, is addictive. The bulk of food releases dopamine that results in more eating. Overeating in volume can trigger a binge in some people. You must get enough—but not too much—bulk.

    All that said, what if you want to eat more vegetables than the allotted amount in the standard weight loss plan?

    In the Boot Camp, we’ve got a library of options, one of which is a plant-based food plan option, with extra vegetables. Specifically, it has four extra ounces of vegetables at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can add more even more than that to your plan if you want, as long as you keep your plan fixed and consistent and weigh and measure it all. If you have an addiction to quantities, it might be too much bulk for you, but you can try to increase the amount of vegetables and see if it works for you.

    I’ve been doing this for twenty years, and I can tell you that quantity addiction is the hardest to snuff out. I’m painfully aware, for example, of the size of my apples. I love a big salad, but I’ve recently trimmed back quantities because I don’t want the bulk; I don’t want to be addicted to the quantities.

    I scrape my bowl clean in the morning, and I can see that the vestiges of that quantity addiction still live in me. I offer that to you for consideration. As a 10++ on the Susceptibility Scale, I want to be free more than I want that quantity.

    I know people in the plant-based community think I’m crazy for weighing vegetables. But their aims are different from mine. They’re helping people get healthy, I’m helping people recover from food addiction—to break free. Julie, you can do what you choose. If you do want to add vegetables to your food plan, you can weigh and measure them and see if it works out for you. There are no Bright Line Eating police, so do what brings you peace.

    FOR THIS EPISODE and MORE: https://ble.life/q8s490 Why Weigh Vegetables? | Bright Line Living | The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast

    • 9 min
    Can't Stop Eating

    Can't Stop Eating

    Theresa wrote in with a very powerful and relatable challenge: “It seems I can’t stop eating once I start. This is especially true for dinner. I’m okay as long as I don’t start eating. Once I start, I want to continue. Even if I’m eating compliant food, I can’t make it through one single day completely Bright. Help!”

    This is one of the twin defining features of addiction: once we start, we can’t stop. And once we stop, we can’t stay stopped. 

    You’re not alone, Theresa. So what do we do about it?

    The first thing is to realize you’re dealing with an advanced case of food addiction. The solution lies in a comprehensive, multi-faceted, and rigorous approach to treating it. 

    If you’re trying to do Bright Line Eating after reading the book, that’s not a potent enough solution. If BLE is going to work for you, you will need to do the Boot Camp and use every resource available. You might need a BLE guide—someone to talk with you every day until you get some successful weeks under your belt. 

    But what if you’ve already done Boot Camp? Then you may need to take it to the next level. That could mean going inpatient. I know one really good treatment program for people who have food addiction. That’s SHIFT Recovery by Acorn. Look them up for their inpatient treatment program, which you can do either onsite or virtually.

    You might also try a 12 Step Program. The most potent one is probably FA—Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. That would give you a sponsor you can talk to every day who would be directive and authoritative with you.

    Within the Bright Line Eating program, there are several strategies I would recommend.

    One is preparing, weighing, and measuring your food the day before so that everything is all set and ready to go. You’re separating the experience of preparing food from the experience of eating. That creates a buffer between you and the food—once the meal is over, it will be far more challenging to keep eating. 

    Another habit to build in: brush your teeth and tongue right after you eat with a strong, minty toothpaste and mouthwash. This signals your brain that you’re done. 

    Dinner is predictable. It shows up at the end of the day. Use that to your advantage. Get a Bright Line Eating buddy to talk to you right when you know you’ll be finishing dinner. And once that call is over, find something else to do, far away from the kitchen, and make it habitual.

    People tend to have problems with dinner that they don’t have with lunch or breakfast. Here’s why: first, your brain is more depleted by the end of the day. Second, people tend to pair dinner with more variety and more highly rewarding foods. Breakfast and lunch can be more easily automatic, but not dinner. Notice that difference, and try to make your dinner more like breakfast.

    How? Develop a dinner that does not include rewarding foods. Try steamed green beans rather than butternut squash. Don’t use a lot of spices on your chicken. (Salt and pepper are fine.) It’s okay to enjoy your food, but make it simple enough that it’s not something you look forward to.

    Using some or all of those strategies can get you on the right track. You need to take this seriously and make dinner hours absolutely protected. 

    Remember: you’re not alone. This is what addiction is. Bring a lot more intentionality to your meals. 

    You’ve got this, Theresa. I love you and am here for you. Let us know how my team and I can help you.

    FOR THIS EPISODE and MORE: https://ble.life/ozoaq8Can't Stop Eating | Bright Line Living | The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast

    • 14 min
    Do What Gives You Peace

    Do What Gives You Peace

    Recently, Flo sent in some great questions. She asked: “What do you mean when you say ‘There are no Bright Line Eating police,’ and ‘Do what gives you peace’? These sound like invitations to tinker with the Bright Lines. What do these statements look like when making food choices? Do they apply in weight loss as well as maintenance?”

    It’s true: these phrases can sound like invitations to walk off the path. The part of you that worries about this is your Food Controller. This part of you loves the BLE structure and feels supported by it. It’s suspicious of anything that sounds like it’s not exactly sticking to the plan—because the plan works.

    For your growth as a human being, though, you’ll eventually want to transfer the running of your BLE program from your Food Controller to your highest, Authentic Self. Your Authentic Self chooses to follow the plan because it knows it’s in your best interests.

    Let me give you some examples, then, of what these phrases mean. Let’s say someone doesn’t like to eat three meals a day. They want to follow the food plan but break it into two meals. In this situation, when I say there are no BLE police, I mean that no one is going to knock on your door to accuse you of not following the plan. This is an example of doing what brings you peace, without worrying about what works for anyone else.

    Another example: You’re in your first few weeks of Boot Camp, and are invited out to eat with a friend at a Thai restaurant. We generally recommend no restaurant meals during the first 30 days of Boot Camp. So, I can see “doing what gives you peace” going either of two ways. Maybe it means that you don’t go out to the restaurant, because you won’t have peace around it. Instead, you eat your meal in advance and meet your friend afterward for a cup of tea.

    Or maybe you really, deeply, believe you’ll be fine. You’ve looked up the menu and chosen your meal, and you’ve called the restaurant to make sure they can do it without sugar. You have peace about going. In fact, you feel like you would not have peace about not going. So eating this meal out gives you peace, and that’s fine, too.

    By saying “Do what gives you peace,” I’m not necessarily suggesting you deviate from the Bright Lines.

    We also talk about how there are no Bright Line Eating police to reassure people who have broken their Bright Lines and fear they will be judged or ostracized from our community. We’re not judging you. We love you, support you, and want you here.

    Finally, Flo asked if these phrases apply to both weight loss and maintenance. The earlier you are in your Bright Line journey, the more I’d recommend that you follow the plan exactly as it’s laid out. The longer you are into maintenance, the more your brain is healed, and the better able it is to embrace these sayings.

    And if you feel better just following the fabulous plan, JFTFP by all means, do that.

    I also have an announcement for you today: I have 20 full scholarships for the next Book Camp available if you wish to apply. Applications are being accepted between May 15 and 19, 2024, for the Book Camp that starts June 13, 2024. There’s a link on this page that explains what you need to know and how to apply.

    *Applications for a Boot Camp 2.0 scholarship are now closed.

    FOR THIS EPISODE and MORE: https://ble.life/etcty6Do What Gives You Peace | Bright Line Living | The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast

    • 13 min
    Bright Lines as Guidelines for Weight Loss

    Bright Lines as Guidelines for Weight Loss

    I recently received an email from a woman named Peggy Sue Parker. She said she’d been using three of the four Bright Lines: no sugar, no flour, and only three meals a day. She said, “I have not weighed my food, because I have never been one to overeat.” Using those three Bright Lines, though, she has been able to lose weight successfully. She wondered if some people could manage their weight using only some of the Bright Lines.

    When I was registering BLE as a company, I registered our name officially as Bright Line Eating Solutions, LLC. That’s solutions—plural. Because BLE is not just one solution; it’s many solutions for people who may be at different points along the food addiction continuum. It’s not binary: there are mild, medium, and severe cases of food addiction, plus there are people who legitimately have NO food addiction but do have weight to lose, and each of these situations needs a different approach, not one single written-in-stone solution.

    This reminds me of a line in Shakespeare’s great play, Hamlet, where the king’s advisor, Polonius, says: “This above all, to thine own self be true.” This sentence can be found on sobriety coins, and back when I was first sober, I didn’t understand it.

    Now, coming up on 30 years of sobriety, I do understand. Each person needs to make their recovery their own. And Peggy Sue, what I want to say to you is: do what brings you peace. And whatever that is, you are welcome in Bright Line Eating.

    There are plenty of people who would benefit from what Peggy Sue is doing. Although I do tell people to weigh and measure their food, I’m generally speaking to the tens on the Susceptibility Scale. Maybe that’s not you.

    Peggy Sue is doing Bright Line Eating appropriately for her needs. She doesn’t weigh her food because she “has never been one to overeat.” That’s a telling sentence. Someone who needs to weigh and measure their food would never say that, because it’s not their experience.

    Not everyone needs to follow the Bright Lines strictly. Some people can use the Bright Lines as guidelines, like the lane markers on the highway. It’s not a train on a track; you can deviate a bit while still staying in your lane. 

    Another point: psychologist Solomon Asch did powerful experiments to show that people will go along with what others say, even if they believe it’s wrong. People want to conform with others. In BLE, I’ve tailored solutions for those who are high on the Susceptibility Scale. If you don’t fit that model, it can feel like others are exerting pressure on you to conform to what isn’t right for you. 

    In Asch’s experiments, all it took was one person to speak the truth to free others to say their own truth. What that means for Peggy Sue is that she is important to the Bright Line community, even if her experience is different from the experiences of the majority in the community. 

    The reality is that I’m going to spend most of my time speaking to those who are high on the Susceptibility Scale because they need the most support. I’m like the Lorax. The Lorax “speaks for the trees” and I speak for the 10s. But today I’m speaking to those who are not. 

    Our brains can indeed deceive us, and many people are scared to deviate even a little from the Bright Lines because of this. I like to give people the full roadmap for what may work for them, along with the freedom to follow it or not, figure it out on their own, and choose their path. But we’re not going to police you. There are no BLE police. 

    So if you’re using the Bright Lines as guidelines in a way that serves you and it’s working for you, you’re doing great. Please stay with us, because there is a place for you even if you only follow two or three of the Bright Lines. Everyone is free to be here. Remember: to thine own self be true.

    FOR THIS EPISODE and MORE: https://ble.life/6jfhvaBright Lines as Guidelines for Weight Loss | Bright Line Living | T

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
101 Ratings

101 Ratings

tomfarrelly33 ,

So Thankful

I’m so thankful I found Susan and Bright Line Eating. I read her book, and I’ve been listening to her podcasts almost every time I get in the car. I realize I’m not alone with a guilty secret, caused by poor character and weakness. At 55, I can’t explain how huge this is. I’ve been able to stop sugars and flours and remain abstinent for 82 days. I’ve been through an international trip, five family birthdays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and stayed effortlessly abstinent. 10lbs are gone without hunger. This is the final piece that I knew deep down, but my brain and society wanted me to stick with the moderation model. When you’ve been stuck for 4 decades on a weight roller coaster, moderation clearly doesn’t work. Realizing sugar was the catalyst to all my relapses set me free. I enjoy being with a community of others with the same experience, after decades of feeling alone, and that everyone else was managing their eating fine. Listening is an important part of my journey, giving me information, insight, support and encouragement. Thank-you Susan !

Klmdjm6 ,

Love it

Susan is a wealth of information about the brain science and eating habits. I find her topics to be so fascinating and informative. I really appreciate that she is not judgmental about the eating habits or lifestyles of her listeners. She has a very empathetic personality and it is so needed with the kinds of topics she addresses. Thank you for making this podcast and adding to my week in a positive way!

pheonixfox9 ,

It works if you work it.

Love love Love SPT. Her work is amazing. The science fascinating and helpful. The plan tried and true.

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