The Adiposity Set Point

I’ve been reading a lot of books this year, and in this week’s vlog, I talk about the book I’m currently consuming because one of the chapters completely blew my mind. I think it’s going to blow yours, too. This has become THE hot new topic in our Bright Lifers community, and I’m in the midst of designing a research study to study the impact on a deeper level. The potential ramifications for the obesity pandemic are MASSIVE. You won’t want to miss this one!

 

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Comments

  1. Joseph

    Thanks for another great vlog Dr. Thompson! It totally makes sense.
    Joseph in Missoula

    Reply ·
    1. Nadine

      I visited glacier park. U live in heaven! Such a beautiful area.

      Reply ·
  2. Jennette

    This might just be the explanation of why I can’t get past a certain weight! Lightbulb! Thank you for sharing. It has created a new train of thought that will move into action. Who thought SIMPLE would be so important!

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    1. Dianna Morris Blakley

      Lightbulb! Again simple is important! This is good to hear! Thank You! 🙂

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  3. Emily

    I love your vlogs because I always learn something new. Knowledge IS power if we use it correctly.

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  4. Ron Greenstein

    People have the tendency to assign whether something good OR bad based upon a chosen value.
    An example might be: tastiness in food is good and the opposite is bad. Or, blandness in food in good for you, while the opposite then is bad.
    This is the more of what’s good is always better trick of the mind. This a false value and false goal.
    The true and lasting goal in nearly everything the world presents is JUST ENOUGH. This and/both thinking which is the ongoing a bit more or less to achieve an ever-changing JUST ENOUGH.

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  5. Elizabeth

    Why are you smiling? Such a happy smile, bringing us such tragic news. But looking at my eating habits, when I am alone, and not thinking about planning a meal to satisfy others, I do eat very boring but healthy food. And when invited out to a restaurant or someone’s home, I go crazy with all the delicious and tantalising tastes and smells. So I think that you are right. Bland is good. And as you say, knowledge is power, and every little helps. Thank you Susan.

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  6. Lena Visser

    Great Vlog Susan!

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  7. Susan Raja-Rao

    This is an amazing blog! It makes perfect sense! I honestly had pretty much come to this on my own. Not the part about lowering set points ( great news ), but by my own staying away from wildly delicious foods, has calmed my desires for food. Those wild stimulating hits of food like candy, cake etc are just like hits of wildly stimulating drugs. They cause the same craving and addiction. I have gone from a total food addicted person ( a ten for sure on your scale) to a calm and steady, eater of nutritious whole, pretty plain food.
    This is great to hear. Thank you for your wonderful work.

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  8. Andrea

    I agree with the above comment. I guess this is why when faced with yet another pile of vegetables, i will fairly often just choose not to eat.
    Interesting yet depressing. Let’s face it–we all have days when the one thing we have to look forward to is a tasty meal. And to say that to lower our set point and reduce cravings we have to consume the virtual equivalent of endless quantities of Dickensian ‘thin gruel’ is really a bummer. But if that is what it takes. . . .

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  9. Janine

    So, my intellectual curiosity is driving me to contribute this useless comment, because I am not a smoker, and I would never want to pick up the habit or for anyone else to… But since I’ve been in the performing arts much of my life and EVERYONE who has to stay thin to get work (against their better judgment) smokes to stay thin; this concept spins a new dimension on why smoking is an effective hunger suppressant. Maybe it’s not just the nicotine. Maybe it’s the reduction in smell and taste that also contributes to lowering the adiposity set point? Just wondering. 🙂

    My common sense judgment would still highly recommend WHOLE bland food over PROCESSED bland food. Unless you’re a character in The Matrix who just got ‘unplugged.’

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    1. Debbie Hill

      LOL!

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    2. Vee Clarke

      INTERESTING theory Janine.

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  10. Teri Thomas

    Very interesting! I read a book a while back called The Shangri La Diet. It recommended drinking flavorless but caloric liquid between meals to decrease appetite. The author said you could use either sugar water (not for us in BLE obviously!) or flavorless oil such as extra-light olive oil, between meals, to fool your brain. This sounds very similar to what you’re talking about with bland foods, only with a twist. I tried the Shangri La Diet back in about 2007. I used extra-light olive oil and consumed about four tablespoons a day, between meals. It worked like magic! Really reduced my appetite. However, I started feeling pain in my upper abdomen (probably gallbladder) so I had to stop. I’m trying it again now, using MCT oil (C8), which is flavorless, and taking 2 tbsp a day between meals, rather than 4. So far no abdominal pain, and my hunger is dramatically reduced. I’m eating a very healthy mostly plant-based whole-foods diet, and I do add Himalayan salt and other spices and it does not taste bland. I’m thinking the bland oil is enough to reset my adiposity set point. We shall see!

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  11. Shirley

    Well! OK, now I know why as a teenager I would rebel against all food and just eat a cold can of green beans and lose weight! Then MOM would kick in and fix NMF and say, “Eat a balanced diet but just less!” and so it would go around and around. Thank the maker for you Susan! It helps to know that we’re all in this together! Yahoo for Bland!

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  12. Jennifer

    Fantastic information!!! Thank you!! Already ordered the book 🙂

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  13. Denise Peasnall

    WOWZA! makes perfect sense!! Thank you for sharing

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  14. Katie

    Wow. This hits home. My weight loss has stalled (lost 110 lbs with 60 to go) and I have been wondering for the last couple of weeks if I’ve been making my food too tasty, even though it’s still within the Bright Lines. Bland food doesn’t sound great right now, but I gave up sugar and flour 18 months ago, and I know I can give up taste. It will be so worth it. Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing this fascinating insight. And managing to laugh about it! I really needed to hear this! Goal weight – here I come!

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  15. Bernadette

    Great Vlog Susan! First I have to say I love your laugh! I have to support what you are saying by what I have experienced first hand with BLE and what I have watched in my spouse not doing BLE. He is now trying it because his set point is rising with each NMF item he sticks in his mouth. I made him a BLE dinner last night. Very simple, and he liked it! I hope to continue this trend with him to help him adjust his adiposity set point. Pray it works, poor thing is miserable and I am glad because it’s motivating him to want what I have, peace with food, neutrality and that sweet freedom! Oh, I’m 37 down and have 37 more to go, yay!

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  16. Ron

    I grow fresh herbs in my garden and love them in a egg frittata, soups and other dishes. These and other dried spices add flavor but it seems these may have a negative affect?

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    1. Johanna Vandersall

      I add herbs and spices as much as possible because most of them are what you’d call “superfoods” and have so many healing/healthy properties. And cut right from a plant you grew yourself? Even better in my opinion. Just read about any herbs and what they do for your body: parsley, cilantro, basil, thyme, etc.

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  17. Michelle West

    Good grief! Although I mourn over this bit of new information, it makes sense to me from my own personal experience. Although I enjoy looking thru cookbooks and cooking tasty foods, I know without a doubt it contributes to my overall obsession with food. And now I’m understanding another piece of this puzzle! I wish it was better news, but like you said, understanding is power.

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  18. Florence Palumbo Zilka

    I think it is an interesting concept. However it was an experiment done a long time ago. How many times has it been replicated? What other variables were involved and taken into account? I am a binge eater and will not punish myself by deliberately making my meals tasteless, ie bland. Absolutely a proven way to pave the way for an eventual all out binge. I have a set number of automatic meals which I eat, tasty, BLE compliant and simple to prepare. But they have flavor and keep my Saboteur quiet . In fact I prefer eating at home these days to eating out because I know what I have used to get flavor and am at peace with it. I guess I will accept a somewhat higher weight and peace from binge eating. Being Twiggy was never my goal anyway. And I am not French….

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    1. Cynthia

      I’m right there with you, I make my healthy tasty delicious vegetables and meats everyday , I have a fruit that I love a day, I make plans for my meals , I created new recipes with foods I love like vegetables and good fats in small amounts, sautéed, roasted and steamed, I love good health and clean foods , with a lot of different tastes. I have lost 20 lbs doing this, I’m 5.4 lbs and 119 lbs, I’m not French but I love French food and they love tasty food. I thank you for speak out and speak healthy.😊😊❤️

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      1. Erin

        Hi 🙂 how long did it take you doing BLE to lose 20lbs? I’m also 5’4 and my start weight was 140 and my GW is 120 so I’m curious!

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    2. Janann

      Speaking of French……we know other cultures,who have wonderful food, such as the French, do not scrimp on flavor. They make delicious, appealing food, but their population is not plagued by an obesity epidemic such as we have in the US. It seems like there is more to the story.

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  19. Kelly

    On one level this makes sense—and on another level, not so much.

    I successfully lost weight on BLE, but I was still pretty good centric after 2 years.

    Our physician, a renowned cardiologist/restorative medicine doctor, took a look at my food plan. He made significant changes in it according to his research on the gut biome, and my craving dropped off within 3 weeks, the extraordinary hunger between meals is gone, and so are the symptoms of peri menopause.

    I’d venture to say that there’s merit in this info today, BUT the gut biome will be a big player in success in weight loss/health/ etc.

    It’s my understanding that your gut biome transmits 7x the messages to brain as the brain transmits to gut.

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    1. Marianne

      Kelly–this is so interesting. What changes did he make???? I heard a talk by Dr. Alan Goldhammer last night saying much the same,but no details were given.

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    2. Autumn

      Wow, I’d love to hear what changes your doctor made, esp to alleviate symptoms of perimenopause!

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      1. Deborah

        WHAT WORKED FOR ME, TO HAVE NO MORE HOT FLASHES, INSTANTLY: Take adrenal supplements. My naturopath doctor had me take it (dried adrenal glands) and my hot flashes quit immediately. After a while I started getting a few hot flashes, so I had took 2 a day, then a few months later, 3 a day, up to about 6 a day, etc. Finally I told him “I can’t keep up-ing my dosage, or I’ll be taking a whole bottle a day!” He suggested I quit completely. I was freaked out by that idea, but I mulled on it. Then, since my overall energy was going down too, I went off ALL my supplements, cold turkey, and my hot flashes quit again, and my energy returned. Finally, a couple months with NO supplements, my hot flashes started up a little bit, but just one pill was enough, and I stayed on 1-a-day for years. Of course, now, 12 years later, I am completely through menopause and have no hot flashes, and take no adrenal supplements. You can get them from Amazon, Integrative. Be willing to try the various blends – I didn’t have to, but I see there are several to choose from.
        HOPE THAT HELPS!

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    3. Cynthia Machado

      Perfect sense, I want to know too.

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  20. Marcia

    I have mixed emotions after watching this message. First, I found the beginning information REALLY interesting and that it explained so many things. It also explained why, after discovering Indian, Thai, Greek, Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, Brazilian, Cuban and so many others types/flavors of food, I am at the point of considering bland food boring. I suppose the people that grew up eating all the above magical flavors find them normal and not as exciting as I do. It also makes me so very sad that this is true & I’m not sure how to start working on changing things for myself or worse, if I really want to.

    As a child, everything was new and exciting. As we grew, some of those feelings became normal and others replaced or were added to them. As an adult, we find ourself fighting how we were brought up to eat, what we were denied and how food was used to reward us or make us happy. Now, it seems everything is bad for us. We need to live a bland life and NOW we must eat bland food in order to be healthy and live at our happy weight. Honestly? This is very depressing. We have had to give up or stop doing/enjoying everything in our lives but interesting, flavorful food and now that’s out.

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  21. Patty Schulz

    I am going to be away from home for about 12 days. Recently quit sugar , flour, all processed foods. I don’t want to lose ground, but I will not be able to control what is available to eat. Do you have any suggestions? I am 62 and will be caring for my daughter after her c-section and her two toddlers, so I will not have the energy or willpower to just fast. I really would like some help?

    Thank you so much!!

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    1. Stefi

      I have one idea- keep your veggies high in amount. Good luck & for your daughter – good healing🙂

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    2. Eileen Lass, Susan's proofreader from Virginia

      Susan has GREAT content about Bright Line Eating while traveling. I have taken her suggestions and had simple and healthy meals when away from home. For example, a serving of protein for a woman in the weight-loss phase can be six ounces of beans (canned beans are very simple to buy and weigh), four ounces of tuna (the weight after the water is drained), two hard-boiled eggs or two ounces of nuts (though those are higher in calorie). A fat serving can be a tablespoon of oil or mayonnaise or dressing, or a half tablespoon of nuts or seeds. A fruit serving can be six ounces of any fruit (fresh, frozen or canned). Best to you, your daughter and her growing young family!

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  22. Paula

    Thank you for your VLOG Susan – very interesting information. Another book to add to my list? I am currently reading a book by Dr. Daniel Amen “Change your Brain, Change your Body” which basically says that the better the diet, the healthier our brains will be (which can be a deterrent to such diseases as cancer, ALS, Alzheimers, etc.) The foods recommended are the same supported in BLE. The book also indicates how the bad foods we eat negatively affect our hormones, and therefore our brains and our overall lives. Very interesting for anyone who may be interested in learning more of the science….

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  23. Melody

    Thank you Susan! Bland is better! I eat way too much of jazzed up food at the cafeteria.

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  24. Stefi

    Wow, and yet llogical from where humanity started . The first thing that came to my mind hearing the vlog was the KISS 💋 principle … keep it simple stupid… love the navy men who thought of it wayback when.
    Works for our eating too!

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  25. Tami

    Bummer! I don’t drink, smoke, use drugs, even from the doctor, or cheat on my husband. But I am a food addict. I LOVE FOOD! It is my one “sin” Everything I learned from my mother’s great yummy cooking (She is 5’1″ and pushing 400 lb) has been turned on it’s ear. I am doing much better than my mother teaching myself new yummy low/no carb recipes such as coconut flour cookies and pizza with cauliflower crust, so I can have some pleasure in food., but I am stuck at 30 lbs over weight which I really should lose. My question now is if I have to give up food as a pleasure, How do I train myself to shift to something else to get some kind of pleasure out of life? I am a very busy person, so I don’t have much spare time for hobbies, etc. I am having a difficult time even fitting in a half hour a day for exercise which I know can elevate mood.. Any ideas???? Help!

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    1. Karen

      What if you just gave it up for 6 months? If it’s just 30 lbs, maybe you could go back to after a while and see how you feel or if you gain. I personally eat good tasting food, but I have noticed that I tend to overeat when food is very tasty. Also – I’m currently reading a book called A Course in Weight Loss by Maryann Williamson – it’s a spiritual book, not about food. So I do think while BLE address the food and brain issue, it only touches on the spiritual aspect of our issues. I’ve just begun to delve into this and it’s quite interesting. I hope you find success somehow!

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  26. Donna

    I love you and this program, Susan. I am on day 775 and have been maintaining a 80 lb release for over a year. I am concerned about this information, though, because this was not a long term study and we have no idea of the long term effects. When I stopped eating processed food and began the fresh food suggested on your program I found the fruit and vegetables anything but bland. They are delicious. I think I get the message you are trying to get across is not to feel like we have to dress up the fresh food we eat but please don’t call it bland…for the sake of those that have yet to take this journey away from processed food.

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  27. John Hawkes

    You feed a dog the same dog food every day and the dog doesn’t gain weight.
    You feed the dog human food, table scraps, treats… and the dog gains weight.

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  28. Tamara

    Knowledge is power ! BLE has been the game changer for me & keeping my food simple is what I prefer now…not that I don’t have the occasional food fantasies, but I can ignore them so much better now & move on to living my life! Thank you Susan for arming us with the tools to keep the weight off. Love your Vlogs!!

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  29. Maggi

    I actually read that book several weeks ago and got it back out of the library just to review. I had previously read bits similar and had seen some of his work on how the American diet had changed over the decades. (Surprising it was that we were better off with saturated fats than with the bean, corn, and seed oils). The chapter on the satiety factor was a wow-er. But honestly, I lost my weight slowly by reducing those palatable foods over time, and I wouldn’t change that. I already ate a less palatable diet than most of mainstream but have since cut back a bit more. By doing that at home (and not eating out much) I can still eat those intense foods out and love them. but save them for those occasions. I am willing to accept the risk. But it does make it even easier now to just walk by most of the shiny packages of processed food. However, I think it’s very naive to think that we are going to be able to get a sizable fraction of the population to accept such drastic changes. There are better results when more modest recommendations are made and there is good compliance with those than with ideals ones and little retention.

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  30. Loree Hamblin

    This is really amazing information. Bad news, but helpful. It totally makes sense with my experience with food. Thank you for sharing!

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  31. Bonnie Stump

    I have been a Bright Line follower for 4 months now. Rather than use the adjective bland, use unadorned or plain, or some other word. Bland infers boring and tasteless. I do not find the foods eaten following the Bright Line format to be either boring or bland. They are yummy! Peppers and hummus, blueberries and melon….what is bland about those?
    Thanks for listening.
    BTW, I have lost 40 pounds, and am seeing numbers on the scale I haven’t seen in over 30 years. Thank you.

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  32. sue

    Talking to people with weight issues, their life revolves around food and it is never bland, simple food that is the problem. But my thought is if simple steamed kale doesn’t taste great and can only get down a little vs steamed kale with onions, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce and can eat much more, isn’t the increase in nutritional value more important? In Oriental eating having all five tastes is considered more satisfying and balancing and larger quantities of food are not desired because of the complete taste. Thank you for the great vlog and conversation.

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  33. Liz

    Great timing as I was just considering adding more spices and excitement to my BLE foods. I will temper my enthusiasm and stick with simple whole (and still delicious) foods!

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  34. Nancy

    Oh, yes, that info is really sad,.
    But so makes sense – still on the journey to “happy, thin & free”. Education makes all the difference. Thx fo r sharing😬

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  35. Linda Wilkins

    Wonderful information — KERCHUNK!

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  36. Craig Addy

    Fascinating! I hate it LOL.

    I do eat almost exclusively simple whole plant-based food with small amounts of condiments and ground nuts but I do love adding spice and heat (chili, curry, turmeric, dijon etc.) Things are going very well for me and I am very powerfully maintaining. I have no experience of hunger. But then, I am eating 3000 calories a day in order to gain lean mass at the gym. It’s pretty hard to feel hungry with that amount of food.

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  37. Charlie

    That is so interesting. I have noticed that on the days I am really busy and just throw together my planned ingredients, I have trouble finishing them because it is so boring. BUT, I still feel satisfied when I finish. I’m on day 33 of BLE, and my taste buds have settled into “enjoying” the vegetables more and more. This is definitely “food” for thought! Thank you.

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  38. Susan M. Murphy

    Susan,

    I have comments both about the quality of your blog and the information.

    As a speaking coach, I recommend that you write out what you plan to say and practice it, even if you have to read so you’re not looking up every other sentence to think about what you want to say. Maintaining eye contact is one of the two ways you emotionally connect with your audience. I found myself reading comments as you spoke because it took you so long to get to the point and every time you looked away, you broke connection with me, your audience.

    The 2nd way to make an emotional connection with your audience is to use the word, “YOU,” more often than “I.” You spoke about yourself for the first few minutes of your blog. I asked myself, “So what? Who cares?” Who your audience is really interested in is them! See how you can turn your phrases into “You” statements vs. “I.” Making it all about you!

    Most of us are overwhelmed with data. Telling stories is a way to make the data stay. Just telling stats makes the data stray. I got lost when you said, “In 1965 this study was done…” and then went on to repeatedly tell us about the people in the hospital ward. Yes, it was a story, but not tight and and succinct. I got it the first time. Then, you said, “In 1975, 5 years later…” I thought, “What? ” To make a compelling impact, think about what you’re going to say, write it out, edit it, practice it and video yourself. Watch for eye contact and listen to how many times you say, “OK?” (I’m sure I’ll get many criticisms for saying the above. I say it from wanting to help you be a more effective presenter. I would have moved on after the first 5 minutes, except that I’m new to listening to you and I wanted to hear your message.)

    Re the content. I’m a binge eater and know that diets don’t work. I worked for Thin Within in the early 1980’s and have read all of Geneen Roth’s books on eating what you want, when hungry, and stopping when you’re satisfied. I’ve also been on every diet imaginable and know that for every diet there is a corresponding binge. Like many of the comments, above, I highly recommend that you don’t stress that people eat “bland,” food. If you don’t enjoy your food, chances are you’ll go looking for something to eat that you will enjoy. I agree with Bonnie Stump that eating quality food is very tasty. Given the leadership position you’re in, I believe it’s critical that you think about the words you, use as clearly you’re a big influence on a lot of people.

    Thanks for listening.

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    1. confused

      thank you for your comments! i rarely watch the blogs anymore for many of your reasons (and a few more). i have them on in the background once in a blue moon -and pick up a piece or two of things. if experience tells us anything, your comments won’t be appreciated! but worth a try!

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      1. Mind Blown!!!

        Thanks for sticking around just to be critical…wow! Basically here is what you just said…I side with the publicly critical person that lacks manners, I rarely watch for so many reasons, I use Susan’s vlog for background noise (how casually condescending of you), I generally get next to nothing out of these vlogs, and I am unhappy with Susan’s lack of attention to my expert advice… Again…WOW!!!

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    2. Joy

      Susan,

      Comments for your comment — if this is a way to seek coaching work, it is not effective. Her vlog is an informal, conversations vlog, not a speech. I think it’s nice it more loose, and informal. I get your points, but for a formal talk, not this.

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    3. Beverly

      It would have been kinder to send Susan a message such as, “I am a speaking coach and would like share some useful information about your blog with you. Please contact me if you are interested.”

      Personally, I do not have a problem with Susan’s blog. I think she is interesting and charming. Sometimes a highly polished “performance” is not the best approach. She is real!

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    4. Wen

      I totally disagree. I find the opposite to be true. I don’t want to hear a bunch of stories…Get to the research and present it. That is when my ears really perk up. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you know what they say…I wonder what your credentials are? You are rude. Thanks for listening.

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    5. Mind Blown!!!

      Are you for real? Send a private message or something for Pete’s sake! I like Susan’s Vlog for the very “flaws” you (in your infinite wisdom) called her out on publicly. When you get your own vlog after finding incredible success in your personal life, weight loss and career I’m sure you will be absolutely spectacular….but until that happens maybe you should actually LISTEN to what Susan is saying instead of thinking how you could do it better. Seriously….wow!

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      1. Helen

        Totally agree! Her remarks were snide to say the least. To me, Susan’s vlogs are life-savers and I have a 112-lb
        body (from a high of 170 lbs) to prove it.

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    6. Gwenda Eliason

      Susan M. Murphy. What you just watched is the authentic SPT. Granted, you are new to watching her. It might be interesting to gauge her style by it’s impact and results rather than by what you already believe you know. My advice, should you choose to accept it? Be patient. Watch more. Look deeper. Stay open.

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    7. Vee Clarke

      Susan, don’t listen to her. You are charming and natural and you’re getting through to thousands of people. I LOVE your authentic style. We’re all here BECAUSE you are an effective and intelligent speaker, leader and coach. Don’t change a thing.

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  39. Linda

    So any idea how long you need to eat the bland diet in order to get your adiposity set point reset?

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  40. Joelene

    Great! I love learning. Ordered the book

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  41. confused

    i need more info! this might be sad – but it might not. i don’t eat salt, sugar, flour, oil – and have adapted to LOVE the tastes of natural whole, unprocessed foods. however i love spices, garlic, crushed red pepper, ginger, herbs of all kinds. is that “bland” ? I’d like to have more info and understand better. I feel i’d be one of the rats that starved myself if offered only an unpalatable processed shake.

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  42. Eleonora

    Thank you Susan for your blog. I read already the book last year but my question is: it is the simple and palatable food that the majority of the time, pushes us to break the lines and to reach more sugary -fatty food. How can we manage this? Thank you

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  43. Susan Parrish

    I’m now in week 5 of Boot Camp. First 3 weeks, I couldn’t eat all the veggies for dinner. No way. Even felt nauseous thinking about it. That changed, and now, my huge bowl of crunchy goodness mixed with lemon juice and tahini, often topped with beans straight out of the can (rinsed, tho), tastes like heaven, and I eat every bite. Admittedly, I’ve eaten simply for most of my adult life, so maybe it’s easier for me than others. Yes, I am really hungry about an hour before meal time, but I find an activity to fill that hour, and when dinner time comes, it all tastes wonderful. So, I don’t see this message as bad news. Rather, I see it as indication that my brain is healing, which is just as, if not more, exciting than weight going down. If I was going to be sad about losing NMF and NMD, I probably would have given up immediately, or not begun the plan at all. I’m HAPPY! Tastes great!

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    1. Someone

      But what SPT is describing is an eating style that would not allow the lemon juice and tahini, for instance. I have to admit that I’m not sure I can make myself eat all my food plain; I love adding lemon juice and vinegars and such to my veggies!

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  44. Joy

    For the watchers — I would take this with a grain of salt.

    Several points:
    — This was a couple of studies a long time ago.
    — There are a lot assumptions made about what was happening. For instance, perhaps the thin people needed to have that level of caloric intake to maintain their normal weight because they didn’t have extra reserves, where as the obese participants need not need to eat to not be underweight/starving because they had extra energy on their body. It may not be due to the flavor of the food, but rather the actual bodies needs.
    — I don’t think it is accurate or responsible to say that flavor is a bigger factor than processed or not.
    — Let’s be aware of the implications of discussing this like it is indisputable fact, and what they may make people do in their diets. This is one piece of information, with certain conclusions drawn. Nothing to be mind blown about.
    — We don’t need the science in order to be healthy. Knowledge isn’t the problem. Interesting, yes. The problem, no. People maintained normal weights long before they knew anything about the brain or nutrition because they ate real food. Not because they chose tasteless food. Let’s work on things that are the problems, and not focus on things that are not.

    My 2 cents.

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    1. Cynthia Machado

      Yay! Well said, to like healthy food is to make it tasty and healthy.

      Reply ·
  45. JustAGirl

    I have several questions, and am hoping someone can tell me where to find the answers. First, does this mean we cannot combine foods? I often have peppers, carrots, and cucumbers dipped in hummus for lunch. Would that be allowed in the bland diet (and I use “diet” to mean the food we eat, not as a weight-loss plan)? Second, how does this apply to salads? Should we be eating the veggies raw and without vinegar/dressing? Third, does this mean I can no longer add fresh herbs to my foods, to adhere to the bland eating style? I’m not sure I’m up for this, but want to try to understand what does/does not constitute palatable food in this sense.

    Reply ·
    1. Joy

      I’d say don’t worry about any of it. Eat healthy, real food. Period. Don’t fix what ain’t the problem.

      Reply ·
    2. Beverly

      I doubt that herbs, vinegar, etc. are a problem – but hummus usually has a fair amount of salt in it and some oil. I doubt that eating a variety of veggies at one meal would be a problem. It is when we start adding sugar, fat, and salt, that we run into cravings. In fact, True North Health Center calls it the “No SOS” diet. (No Sugar-Oil-Salt)

      Reply ·
    3. Heather

      I think the answers go- No-Yes. Second No- Third No and palatable could be construed as a BLE version of an ordinary meal e.g. mashed potato with milk and butter, green beans tossed in oil salt and garlic with slices of marinated pork with a little of the pan juices. I.E. every thing in its proper weight and portion but including all the niceties rather than just steamed potatoes and beans and plain pan fried pork fillet cooked in the tinniest bit of oil. and a salad with no oil or mayo because the oil quotient was used to cook the pork.

      Reply ·
  46. Frankie

    That’s absolutely fascinating! Thank you!

    Reply ·
  47. Enid

    This is SO helpful! When I go on a long meditation retreat I eat the blandest food possible and never crave anything. If I have a cooky then all i think about is cookies. Skip the cooky (whole grain, no sugar, etc)- no craving. Now I know why! Fantastic.

    Reply ·
  48. Debbie Moran

    You can get the audio version of this book on Hoopla your library. Just got it yesterday. Can’t wait to listen to it.

    Reply ·
  49. Marianne

    Now I understand!! That is great news, even when it hurts to let go all that nice eatable stuff… which is my biggest fight, let go all that junk. I remember as I started to eat just plain food which was on the list the doctor gave me. It looked like nothing and I felt horrible reading the tiny list and reading the huge list with all the frobidden food (I have lots and lots of allergies…) And then I started to apply the lists and lost weight, about 40 pounds. (And I still have to loose 80 pounds). But then I got stuck ove christmas eating sweets and chocolate and cakes and and and… It is 15 months since that christmas and I couldn`t go back on track… But now I understand how I have to do it!! thanks Susan!! The problem which still is: I am living with friends and they still have their junk food – and when I see it the cravings are huge…

    Reply ·
  50. Callie Welch

    I loved this vlog!!! What a wealth of information so needed! Thank you, thank you. I actually love to eat simple. But I felt that I wasn’t doing enough for my family when I cook simple meals!

    Reply ·
  51. Julie Greenman

    You are so cute! This was powerful and explains why I was thinking of food all the time before BLE! Thank you!

    Reply ·
  52. Beverly

    This is quite interesting. It never occurred to me that being interested in tasty food could be a handicap – but I was coming to that understanding a few days ago. I’ve been on a whole food plant-based diet for about 10 years without added oil, hardly ever any added sugar, and not many nuts or avocados, BUT after initially losing 40 pounds, my weight started to creep up.
    Worse yet, my blood pressure is too high.

    I just started considering Dr. Kempner’s “Rice Diet,” because of the great results he got. I thought that a clear-cut limited diet might be just the thing for me. Now it makes sense – with such a limited palate and no salt added, the novelty factor is gone. Nonetheless, I don’t think this diet is bland, although it might seem so, compared to eating lots of sauces, sweets, ethnic varieties, etc. I discovered that after one loses the habit of eating highly seasoned food, even steamed veggies have unique delicious tastes – but they don’t seem to have the addiction or novelty hook. So, I don’t think that those of us who are “hard-core” food addicts need to resign ourselves to a lifetime of blandness. Natural, simple food is delicious…once you get used to it!

    Reply ·
  53. Julie Cabaniss

    Wow is all I can say. Thank you for putting this out there.

    Reply ·
  54. Susan

    I loved this blog and I learned a lot and that was fascinating. Thank you.

    Reply ·
  55. Diane Lewis

    This makes so much sense to me and is consistent with what I’ve been thinking about the last few days. I’ve noticed that meals are becoming more “businesslike” and less “sexy”…that is, it’s more about getting the right quantities of protein, grain, veggies, fruit and fat and less about “Ooohh! I’m so excited about eating this.” And isn’t that the essence of food addiction? As you said or implied in your vlog a few weeks ago, we don’t do recipes in BLE because it’s about not getting high off of sexy, hyper-palatable food. I feel like I’m changing from someone who lived to eat to someone who eats to live…and for that we don’t need exciting, stimulating food, we just need healthy, wholesome food.

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  56. DL

    Thanks Susan- NOT ! lol -but in this case (kiss) keep it simple sweetie is truly key. We may not like it but knowledge is power!! Hide your cardboard it’s dinnertime!

    Reply ·
  57. Narelle Cassar

    Great vlog! I thought I was just lazy loving my simple food, it is so good to know that I can put another spin on it (ha, ha). Thank you!!!

    Reply ·
  58. Lauren Vollare

    Repeatedly eating the same limited choices of vegetables and proteins, unadorned, was starting to make me gag and dread my BLMs. A month or so ago, I began searching for and trying out new recipes using different spices and methods of cooking and lo and behold, I started enjoying my meals again. Maybe with time, I can learn to eat more simply, but for now I don’t want to jeopardize the peace and stability I have around food by making myself feel deprived & like I’m on a diet again. For me, the whole eating sanely/healthily thing is an evolving process. Baby steps. This is great new, interesting information which I will keep in mind and possibly incorporate into my eating style over time. Good to know.

    Reply ·
  59. Heather

    You never cease to amaze! Thanks for doing the research and sharing this vital info.

    Reply ·
  60. C

    Somehow we’ve always been subconsciously aware. How long does it take on average for those in the research to down grade their Adiposity Point with bland food.?

    Reply ·
  61. Elayne

    This appears to makes sense, and I wonder if this could be why people who smoke don’t have as many weight problems. Since smoking ruins your taste buds and sense of smell, food wouldn’t be as intense or addictive an experience, Conversely it could cause smokers to excessively season their food since they can’t really taste it.

    My question is if it’s the actual objective rich/sweet/salty/flavorful qualities of the food or the subjective experience of the eater that triggers the hypothalamus to change the set point?

    Some cultures known for their super rich food – like the French and Italians – don’t have an obesity crisis like we do in America Nor did countries with super tasty or spicy food – as in Asia and South/Central America – have a majority of obese people, at least before McDonalds invaded. But could that be because the food isn’t processed? Is there some other reason I’m missing?

    Reply ·
  62. Lenora

    Unbelievable. This vlog is very interesting, one of your best. Thanks to you and your team for all you do to help people regain their lives back.

    Reply ·
  63. Roberta Walters

    I love you….thank you….so good…I can see this in myself for sure!!!!

    Reply ·
  64. Natalie

    What an amazing study! Thanks for the new information!

    Reply ·
  65. Helen

    So one of my questions regarding this is “Was lowering the adiposity set point for the obese subjects a result of eating fewer calories on a bland (not exciting) food plan?” I am wondering because I stick to my bright lines and eat about the same number of calories every day. According to this research if I keep calories the same but switch to less interesting food (cut out flavorings, salt) will my set point lower? Not sure about that but would love to hear Susan’s take on that.

    Reply ·
  66. Helga

    Hey Susan. Again I love love love your vlogs. Definitely keeps me on the straight and narrow BLE path. I think I just found out about why my body is very reluctant to drop any more weight. I do love tasty food. It is my mantra. Food has to be tasty no matter what. I would not care to eat tasteless food. But that is the point. Ok I have a new goal. Heathy unadorned food. Thank you so much for this info.

    Reply ·
  67. Cass

    Wow, that’s an insight into my weight loss journey. Very helpful. Thanks Susan.

    Reply ·
  68. Riadh Ghanma

    Food addicts would feel guilty if they eat fancy looking, good prepared food, because they value themselves less than other humans who deserve that kind of food, thats why an addict should keep it simple, so as not to go the shaming guilty zone, that zone shakes his abstinence

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  69. Losing Hope

    So, after listening to this vlog here was the email I sent in response to my mother’s email to me and a few others in our family that are struggling with weight issues in which she simply typed, “Ouch”:

    Yes…ouch, but if we are being honest with ourselves somewhere down deep we all know that is true instinctively. No matter what diet we choose we go for the most flavorful food we can find. I am eating all natural, which automatically means my food is not going to have the same flavor as say…a cream filled donut. BUT, I love the sweetest peppers, put honey in my coffee, etc. And this is one of the big reasons people almost always gain their weight back and then some. We can force ourselves to do whatever it takes to lose the weight but once we get there our brain lets go and pushes us back to what we truly want – flavorful food. And once the wall is down it is nearly impossible to stop that freight train. So…what is the answer??? I have absolutely no idea but I think it has to do with breaking up with food emotionally. If you can somehow divorce yourself from the enjoyment of food and truly view it as a necessary tool for survival and nothing more then you may have a good chance of success. Doing that in our society, which is deeply tied to its view of food as a celebratory, calming, and social reward, will be next to impossible.

    If you were told that starting tomorrow the only foods you will ever be able to have are veggies with absolutely nothing added (no salt, no oil, no spices) and the only thing you would ever drink from that time on was water, a few things would probably happen – first, you would go out and get as many of your favorite foods as possible and enjoy them like never before. Second, you would enter into despair/depression at some point as the reality of your situation sank in. Hopefully it would be a temporary stage. Third, you would most certainly become a different person with different goals, and a different outlook on your future. Lastly, you would lose every excess pound and keep it off because food was not even the slightest focus beyond basic nourishment.

    That scenario makes me sick in my stomach and sad because I think that level of divorce is exactly what it takes for me to be thin again (not just a slightly lower weight but actually THIN) and I don’t know if I can ever do that. I do love food and regardless of what I do or try, that one fact will not change and at some point that one fact will be lying in wait to grab me again.

    Sorta makes me want to eat whatever I want and just die when I’m gonna die and deal with it. My wife and kids love me, I am fairly active and workout three times every week, am fairly mobile, and in general I enjoy my life. I am just going to die earlier than I would like and it may not be pretty getting there.

    Reply ·
  70. Ann

    Herbs and spices not only provide flavor but also micronutrients. I know that health and nutrition are not the focus of BLE. Cutting up fresh thyme on my steamed green beans and adding some fresh garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon… to me thats simple… not bland.

    Reply ·
  71. Lesley

    I’m not about to give up fresh herbs and salsa on my green beans. I have found great success eating whole, healthy foods on BLE, and have never felt better. I’m choosing to stick with my three meals, and continuing to keep them simple yet delicious. Maybe bland is relative. Thank you, as always, Susan!

    Reply ·
  72. Patricia

    That was one darn interesting vlog – i am learning so much about what makes me tick (the wrong way of course) and how i can make a change by eating bland food – not so spruced up – and funny thing is that i do better when my meals are boring. That’s one thing I know for sure! Thank you Susan – your laughter is contagious 😁🤣

    Reply ·
  73. Carol in San Diego

    I have intuitively realized over the years that if I ate foods that were too fun or too exciting, it could be a slippery slope (even simple whole real foods). Thank you for sharing this book & this information !

    Reply ·
  74. Stephanie

    It makes sense. You eat something very tasty and your mind starts thinking that sure taste good I want some more. You may not eat it right then but the next time you might have a larger portion.

    Reply ·
  75. Katie Gates

    Hi dear Susan,
    I’m curious about this topic in relation to the susceptibility. It seems to me that your BLE susceptibility scale might be correlated with the amount of blandness required to turn off the craving/food obsession/hunger response. I think that would be an interesting research topic. I hear a lot of 10+’s talk about how important simple food is. I’m mid-range (7 ish) and I really can tolerate a higher threshold of sugar and flour, and my abstinence is more about degrees than zero tolerance. I get the most peace when I am 100% compliant with all the bright lines, but it doesn’t send me into a tailspin to venture into grey areas and to let my food be sexy from time to time. I’ve been maintaining my goal weight for over a year and I have learned where my boundaries are, and they are pretty different than yours or those of a 10++, but I consider myself a bright line eater, and a very successful one at that. This whole topic is so fascinating to me, especially since I do create and share recipes in the BLE community. I always have so many mixed feelings about doing so, because I see and worry about the perspective of those higher on the scale, but want there to be resources and support available to those more in the middle, like me. Thanks always for the knowledge. <3
    Much love,
    Katie

    Reply ·
  76. Meri Fatin

    Shared this vlog Susan – I love that you said it was breaking news from 1965 haha! Definitely confirms my experience of losing weight over the last two years. I eat only what I need of the bland meals I make. I could live with out a single cookbook in my house. Thanks so much – love you and love your work ( from Perth Western Australia)

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  77. Sondra Garvey

    I love your love of research but I think there is a missing piece here. Isn’t this just the same principle as pet food? Same bland food all the time, the only reason to eat it is because one has instinctive survival motivation? I wonder how well would that work in real life. I am choosing not to over-react to this vlog because you are living proof that one can jazz up your food within your current guidelines, enjoy your food and become/stay slender. This is only somewhat Interesting to me because obviously by your example, it is not necessary to restrict oneself to bland food. I am a 10 on the susceptibility scale, am 11 days “crystal vase” successfully into the 14 day challenge and have had (starting from day 1) zero cravings and virtually no hunger! This works as it is!! As you so have astutely stated about this program, the BLE compliance and habit changes are hard enough, without removing palatable choices from the allowed food list. I have hope for the first time in decades. God bless you!

    Reply ·
  78. Din

    Yes, indeed mind blowing. Isn’t it amazing, after u hear a discovery u see how obvious something should have been! Thank u once again Susan for spreading KNOWLEDGE,

    Reply ·
  79. Beverly Zuchlewski

    Huh! Amazing revelation! Thank you so much. That certainly is “food for thought”.
    Perfect timing to hear that info because I have been trying to be more creative with my food!
    Thanks for saving me from going down a bad path – haha!

    Reply ·
  80. ED question

    I had watched a TED talk years ago about how the hypothalamus maintains an increased weight but would never learn to accept a lower weight on a person. It was alarmingly discouraging to hear this and I repressed it for years. I am so happy that you at least provide a potential solution. I look forward to your weekly vlogs every week. I read the BLE book and loved every word. Although your book touched on anorexia/bulimia, I wonder if you could provide more information. I am trying to stay within my bright lines, however I am apprehensive about weighing and measuring my food as I can become obsessive very easily. I also don’t weigh myself very often either. I lost about 8-9lbs since two and half months of semi-bright lines. I am not happy, thin and free yet. I want to be, but I am afraid I will trigger compensation behavior if I start to weigh and measure anything. Any advice?

    Reply ·
  81. Debbie Hill

    I enjoy the spontaneity of your blogs! I don’t want to listen to a rehearsed speech. You are just our friend, “tellin’ us some stuff”. Thanks for being real.

    Reply ·
  82. Cilla

    Thanks Susan!
    This is good news.
    I personally enjoy eating simply.
    It makes life so much easier.

    Reply ·
  83. Karen

    Ouch!!! The comment regarding how you present your vlog is biting. I LOVE how you talk to us and I feel like I am listening to a friend. I really respond to your words and demeanor and believe you are a big part of my success. I have been on BLE since October of last year and have lost enough weight to go down several sizes. I have to pinch myself to make my brain realize I do not need to buy my clothes in the women’s department but in the misses. I have about 25 more pounds to go and find BLE to be the best way to eat and I, at the age of 75, have tried many, many diets. Thank you, Susan for developing and sharing this program that has allowed me to be successful and my five sons proud, not to mention my husband!

    Reply ·
  84. Mary

    The person above who was critical of how SPT presents her vlogs is obviously out to lunch. Her amazing presentation and open/honest informal and spontaneous style is what drew me to BLE.

    I really want to get that book from the library. This really explains why if I am eating junk food I just can’t eat any healthy vegetables at all. It gives me added motivation to continue keeping my food very simple and bland. I don’t use any condiments, and now I won’t be falling into the trap of thinking I better spice it up in order to maintain. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!

    Reply ·
  85. Nalida

    Fascinating! Why I keep it simple. It works! Thanks for sharing this information!

    Reply ·
  86. Deborah Sullivan

    This is so interesting. (I have done a boot camp and was a Lifer. I have been eating Bright Lines for a few years now.) I have always had a problem with the Quiz because I am not a binger. I am a creeper. I AM A CREEPER! My weight inches up quite easily. And I also notice that my physical well being accepts a slow gain. I might be uncomfortable for a day and then I am comfy with an extra pound. And I think this Adiposity really explains The Creeper. Wow.

    Reply ·
  87. Deborah Sullivan

    But if you find pleasure in simple food. Doesn’t your brain respond to that and increase your adiposity?

    Reply ·
    1. Deborah

      That would be my question!

      Reply ·
  88. Suzanne

    Thank you thank you thank you, Susan!!! I am still trying to figure out weight maintenance. This information explains at least some of my struggles. It will help me sooo much. I will put it into effect immediately.

    Reply ·
  89. Deborah

    B – Bright
    L – Lines
    A – And
    N – Nothing
    D – Delicious

    Our new mantra! yea! LOL

    Reply ·
    1. Joanne Hinsperger-Scott

      I think I see where you are going with this. And sort of like it.
      For me, I think I would change the last one to something like …

      … And Nothing Decadent (meaning heavily laden with stuff we don’t need)
      OR:
      And Nothing Destructive (De-railing / Damaging / … — as in destructive or derailing to ones Bright Lines )

      For me, raw veggies ARE delicious! So I am keeping those.

      Reply ·
  90. Andrea Moss

    Yes, this vlog was indeed a “downer.” I feel bad for the hoardes in your movement trying to lose weight. In fact I felt the need to reach out to a friend who is desperately trying to lose weight on the BLE program to run interference, because I knew she would be discouraged by it. Logically, the premise – eat bland to stay thin – makes perfect sense because it’s an iteration of “eat to live” versus “live to eat.” The folks who feel that way ARE thin their whole lives. Absolutely, if food is enticing we’d want to overindulge and our body and mind would be screaming MORE. While it all makes sense and the “set-point” correlation is fascinating, I’m not buying into it for my life. Eating bland is just an unnecessary additional restriction which would make it that much more difficult to stay on plan. It’s highly de-motivating.

    I’ve lost all my excess weight and kept it off for over 15 months now by eating healthy, whole foods which are simple but extremely tasty. Perhaps my set-point has changed because I really don’t crave the bad stuff and pretty much eat what I like within my own bright lines. I am a huge fan of yours and thank you for sharing this information, but I think I’ll keep this nugget of science on the back-burner for now!

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  91. Marty

    How I interpret this, is not bland, but tasting food purely for what it is, ie not needing cream sauces or butter/oil on veggies, syrup laden fruits, etc. Simply using spices or S&P if necessary, but tasting food for what it is, breaking the habit(s) of always doctoring food. I guess I feel fortunate to enjoy fruit, veggies, my legumes just as they are. It’s made my cooking so much easier and less time consuming following BLE.

    “Bright Lines Always Naturally Delicious” my new motto.

    Reply ·
  92. Sandy Lotz

    Thank you Susan, interesting info for sure! I’m wondering how quickly does the brain re-set the adiposity set point? Is it hours after eating the bad foods,or days,weeks?

    Reply ·
  93. Joanne Hinsperger-Scott

    WOW! At the start, I had to squint my brain to follow along, but I get it!

    Recently, I have been seeing videos (that somehow show up on my Facebook page) of bizarre food recipes heavily laden with sugars and fats, and basically junk foods. And, these ‘recipes’ are being sold in recipe books and sold!!! I want to scream out to them — DON’T EAT THAT ! As if they were baking a batch of evil. Yes, it looks pretty and I bet it tastes sugary sweet, but really?! Where is the common sense and responsibility. Twenty years ago, I would have baked and eaten such things not knowing any better. So, so glad I know better now, and am continuing to learn more so I can make better food choices. Thanks Susan for sharing this interesting info in your vLog. I feel like I have a new piece of armor to wear that helps me navigate the ‘food traps’.
    This knowledge makes embracing “BLAND” food choices with a whole new appreciation. Let me strap on my new sword!

    Reply ·
  94. Maurer Burns

    I Totally understand the Power of a Higher palatable Meal might Trigger a change or threat in igniting a possible Saboteur Moment. This goes hand in hand with training your Tastebuds. Making your Meals bland can only help keep that level of success and transcend your Goal much easier. Happiness is Bland I guess.

    Reply ·
  95. Cindy Smith

    Very interesting vlog! I concur that I am happiest when I keep my food simple. I’m having a hard time convincing others that I am fine with plain veggies, etc. So this info will be great to share. I am wondering if you might want to add to your monthly BLE Research Questionnaire a question or rating about blandness or simple food vs. spicy or level of tastiness of what we ate the past month. It might be worth monitoring relative to all the other factors like stress level or sleep time.

    Thanks again for this vlog and for all you do Susan!

    Reply ·
  96. Barrie Andrews

    Thank you Susan. This fits roughly with my experience: eat very simply, with a few things I can clearly see in the fridge–without nurturing scarcity consciousness and being able to plan a bit ahead without a ton of choices. My body feels better with simplicity,–and modest variety over a longer period of time. The Blog makes me wonder about the wisdom of other cultures that include bitter and other taste sensations as part of their essential repertoire.

    I am impressed that you are looking carefully at research. May I suggest a book for you?

    Nutrition and the Autonomic Nervous System. Dr. Gonzolez used a spectrum of dietary regimens based on the autonomic nervous system. This is perhaps not as direct information for BLE as you might wish; however, it has a profound impact on what diets are helpful –especially regarding the prevention of, development and treatment of major diseases– for different individuals. I believe this is a paradigm shifting and important approach for consideration, in addition to your very important BLE prescriptions, in as far as you are exploring refinements.

    This dense, science and clinically based book has a profound impact regarding the relative usefulness of carbohydrates for different individuals. Irrespective of eliminating sugar and flour (easily supported across the spectrum of these diets, in my opinion,) this is important information. For sympathetic dominant persons, carbs can arguably play a vital role in slowing down the autonomic nervous system–and these people tend to be lean to begin with. I personally have already come to the conclusion that I thrive with very low carbohydrates, minimally “dressed”–and only in part because I previously followed the wrong diet types for my parasympathetic dominant system. The three times in my life I have come close to death (involving hospitalization, surgery, and autoimmune diagnosis) were preceded by attempting to commit to the wrong diet for me. If I had understood this spectrum, I would not have tried the dietary regimens I did. Carbs of any type save “non-starchy” vegetables make me crave more carbs and all food and my digestion tanks.

    As to taste relating to our cravings, simple carbohydrates are so involved in addiction, the relationship of gut dysbiosis wherein carb craving bacterium sabotage the brain, and because fats are positively implicated in satiety, that we should understand how both simple and complex carbs are involved for different populations, as well as what fats are best utilized for changing the set point. Also, because fats carry taste/odor, we should be able to maximize flavor with minimal food and maximal satiety. Much more opportunities for research, here.

    Thank you for your consideration. Keep up the research.
    Barrie Andrews

    Reply ·
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