Intermittent Reinforcement

Some time ago, I was doing a coaching call with a bunch of Bright Liners, and I ended up talking about this thing called intermittent reinforcement. Several people responded and asked if I would do a Vlog about it, so here it is!


Comments

  1. LindaVanderVeen

    Exactly what I needed to hear today. On BLE for 1 1/2 years bright, then off and in the ditch now for 6 months. Rezoomed 2 days ago and will keep on! Thanks Susan for your wonderful advice. I know it’s the only way for me. A 10 on the scale.
    Here’s to food freedom! Yay

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  2. Tam

    That makes so much sense. That’s how I stopped smoking, just kept saying no. And while I knew that the sugar was addictive and the demon was persistent, this made it click in a way that it hadn’t before. Thank you.

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    1. Em Crone

      New here and glad to be here! This is clearly real, no bs, helpful info and Susan is clearly the real deal! I am in the right place!

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      1. Em Crone

        Although I have heard of Susan and BLE several years ago but didn’t really dive in.
        I want peace!!!

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  3. Namcy

    Wow! Is that really true? I gave up sugar & flour about 6 weeks ago for good and I have a hard & fast rule of no snacking. But recently, I’ve started adding back in a bit of stevia to my morning coffee. No harm, no damage…right? WRONG! WHAT A SLIPPERY SLOPE! I’ve got cravings again! Susan what do you think about that?

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    1. Ruffa

      It is such a slippery slope! I can relate. I’ve done without meat and meat products for 21 days. I decided to treat myself to organic chicken on day 22 and the cravings for meat came back with a vengeance.

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    2. Marta

      Aparently artificial sweeteners hit the buds in your tongue and this is directly connected to addictives part of the brain and it triggers cravings. Maybe Susan can explain it better.
      To me stevia is basically like sugar, you want more and more to the point that you go like, why am I eating this fake flavour yogurt yet again? Try to quit!Your mind will be in peace 🙂

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    3. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Nancy! In Bright Line Eating, the Bright Line is not just for sugar, but for anything sweet other than whole, natural fruit and whole, natural vegetables. Concentrated sweetness is addictive. In rat studies, rats prefer sweet liquid (of any kind) over being injected with cocaine. This is even true for rats who are already addicted to cocaine. They still prefer the addictive hit of the sweetness hitting their taste buds. But do not worry—once your taste buds are trained to not need concentrated forms of sweeteners, your sense of taste will change and the sweetness in fruits and vegetables will be more than enough to enjoy the full bounty of food. 🥰

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  4. Lynn

    This is powerful. I learn so much from you Susan, I finally stopped drinking, so much peace and I’ve done IFS therapy, transformative, and I have lost 20 pounds that I never thought I’d lose. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  5. Lynn R Valentine

    So good it so makes senses! Thank you!

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  6. Mariana Mendoza

    I love this! I’m always amazed by your way of delivering information in a simple but very clear way! Love BLE.

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  7. Cheri Ward

    Great message! I am 50 lbs down since 5/28/20. Half way there! Wonderful reinforcement for me…
    TY, Cheri

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  8. Lynne Green

    The psychology of it all is fascinating and know that it’s what I need to move forward and be happy with myself and my eating! Thanks Susan!

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  9. Esmarie Cooper

    this has been the scariest video ever! This is my BLE path – giving in once in a blue moon 🙁

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  10. Vikki

    Thank you! I hadn’t realised that was what I was doing with my brain. I know about intermittent reinforcement when dog training and I know how it affects gamblers, but I had never made the connection with my own eating patterns. I’m now feeling much more confident about keeping the weight off. Very grateful. 🙂

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  11. Darek BIRTON

    I thought you did not believe in intermittent Fasting. Why the change?

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    1. Randy

      This vlog has zero to do with intermittent fasting. Did you even watch it??

      Reply ·
    2. Suzanne Crosdale

      This is about behavior and I can identify. Nothing to do with fasting at all. It is when we give in to a temptation and then the brain wants another one and it can wait forever to get it while it keeps prompting us to give in every minute or every day.

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    3. Shauna Okine

      This is intermittent reinforcement…not the same thing as fasting but eating the right foods

      Reply ·
  12. Hilary McCarthy

    Thank you. So interesting. Extremely Resistant to Extinction: ERE
    Would that it were not so.
    Wonderful information and presentation. x

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  13. Dawn

    Thank you! Exactly what I needed to hear today! I went off plan and unfortunately I am having difficulty getting back on track and this will help me so much. Love the science! Thank you Susan

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  14. paul Haskell-Cooper

    I couldn’t find a way to turn the volume down, and didn’t want to disturb the neighbours so unfortunately had to miss out on what could be valuable info’

    Reply ·
    1. Linden

      Paul you could try turning down the volume on your computer or if you are listening on your phone you can turn that volume down as well! 🙂

      Reply ·
    2. Bright Line Eating

      You can always come back and watch another day, Paul! 😊

      Reply ·
  15. Goldstein Susan

    Wow, are you talking personally to me?!?! I was floating on a perfectly fabulous journey in maintenance when that pesky brain made the decision to engage in a PECS incident. And although I was able to get my bright lines right back in order, my brain was all over the place, waiting to press that intermittent lever again! It makes so much sense!

    Thanks so much!

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  16. Nena Gray

    I really value these vlogs. Thanks so much for doing them. It is great to be able to check in every week and think about what I am trying to maintain. It’s been a few years for me now, and I have been up and down, but I am in a really good place now. This message is exactly the type of thing that I need to hear — you can sort of “forget” how hard it was to get free when you have been rolling along easily in the free state. Thank you!

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  17. Debby

    This could not have come at a better time.
    THANKS SO MUCH!!!

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  18. Nancy W. Goss

    Great vlog

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  19. steven

    Thank you Susan for these words of wisdom.

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  20. CT

    Thanks Susan, that so was reinforcing to hear this in relation to BLE and so timely too as the burnout from the stress of these time is hitting everyone. And while I knew about Skinner’s rats and the levers and I understand about slot machines and knew that that is how gambling worked. Food is so much more complicated in that you can’t live without food and there are some gray areas around food and nutrition. I came to BLE from 10 months on Eat to Live which has no quantity restrictions on fruits and vegetable and it allows whole grain flours in limited quantities. It was easy to allow S & F to slip in almost unnoticed.

    I’ve been doing BLE for 10 months been a crystalvaser the whole time. The peace around food is amazing! I now do the WFPB/MD plan with some tweaks. I did tweak some things in relations to fruit servings. I have more. I make the evening fat serving optional and I moved grains to evening, where I don’t always eat them. Yet these were always planned well documented changes, sometimes with coaching sometimes not. For me making the plan work for me and my needs is essential. I’ve never broken my lines.

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  21. Beverly Alexander

    To me, this is the most powerful argument not to give in, because when we make exceptions we are opening the door to a world of hurt.

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  22. Susan

    So true…. I’m Rezooming after letting life mess with me for too long! It is much harder this time – hard to ignore the chatter.

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  23. Toni-Jo P. Birk

    WOW!!! This came at the right time, very grateful to have viewed this today. Love the Science behind this program that is getting me to the point in my life of living Happy, Thinner and Free from food obsession. Thank you again SPT!!!

    Reply ·
  24. Phyllis Taylor

    Thank you so much for this topic today. So true I had rezoomed on July 4th with a “no excuses” mindset. Then at the 45 day mark I gave into a small NMF and now I’ve been in the ditch again. Finally crawled out Monday, Sept 21st and my brain is asking, asking, asking for something, something and I’m feeling so emotionally spent saying NO! This gives me encouragement to hang in there and “just follow the plan”!! My peace of mind and heart will return.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Keep on saying ‘NO!’, Phyllis! Now that you’re out of the ditch, you don’t want to go back in. We’re sending you love, strength, and support. 🥰

      Reply ·
  25. Suzanne Crosdale

    This has been fantastic for me because I didn’t understand how I blow it occasionally but regularly. This will give me the tool to ignore that craving knowing I am building a wall.

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  26. Laura Caswell

    Brilliant! I haven’t started yet (not my season, yet) and this is fantastic to watch and learn as I plan my start.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      If we may lovingly suggest, Laura, joining Boot Camp during Food Freedom is the *best* time to join because we offer awesome, exclusive bonuses that are never offered at any other time! 🥰

      Reply ·
  27. Karen Cole

    One of the most informative vlogs to date, I have been following BLE for 4 years and have definitely had some intermittent reinforcement to contend with. Thanks, Susan.

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  28. Noreen

    Thank you!!! As someone in the house just made brownies!!! And I am not eating them (even though the crazy addictive part of my brain wants them!) NMF…NMF…NMF

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  29. George

    Avery interesting presentation providing mush food for thought and contemplation. Knowing my brain it started applying the principle to other areas of human endeavour as well, not just food addiction and it extinction. It can apply to other areas as well including mystical beliefs and numerous other fields. I was considering the areas of musical expression I would like to explore but know that I lack the space and finances to explore them. How many appetites in the human brain can we “short circuit” and find ultimate peace? But your concern is mainly in persuading us not to eat and breaking the lever of addiction.

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  30. Kara

    Best vlog ever! I have been watching for 3 years. This hit home hard!

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    1. Susan

      So clear for me this time around! Thank you, Susan. Very grateful. Described my experience perfectly. So helpful.

      Reply ·
  31. Vicky

    Love my continually dropping weight, and the sense of peace , and dare I say , Freedom, from the constant desire to eat! After the first kinda tough first week of BLE, I started, easily eating on schedule, past junk food desires are almost nonexistent. And the ones of things I really liked are held in check by a firm “ that’s poison to me!”. Thank you, Susan! I appreciate you and your weekly vlogs.

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  32. Gail

    This intermittent reward is SO TRUE, it happened to me and now it’s Fall and Winter coming the most dangerous time for treats which will be my downfall if I don’t take control.

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  33. Kathryn

    This was so helpful. When I first started down this path with another program, I told myself, “Just follow the directions” and it worked for 2 1/2 years. Then I fell off and have finally got back to BLE for 10 days now. I aim to follow the directions to extinction and keep it that way. Thank you.

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  34. Nancy

    Peace of mind is priceless gift. I’m trying to regain that peace of mind. Thx Susan

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  35. Allison McEwan

    Awesome! I haven’t deviated from my BLE foodplan for 84 days. There is always that temptation to tweak it – add a bit here, take it away there and the one about when you weight something and it’s slightly over. BUT as Susan says, in order for me to maintain a peaceful life, I strongly resist that temptation and stay super strong. It’s just THE most important priority for me.

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  36. Lea

    “Be firm”- I like that👍

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  37. G

    This is exactly my issue right now. Great info ! Thank you Susan!

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  38. Gordon

    Thank you Susan. Your vlogs are amazingly well summarized and so informative. This is spectacularly good advise to heed and be midful of when feeling powerless to continue. Just occurred to me that I’ve been giving intermittent rewards to myself in most of my life for 50 years and that explains the challenges I’m experiencing now. Breaking addiction cycles is certainly harder when that damn little lever keeps getting pressed inside your head. Take care of yourself Brightliners and stay on the path.

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  39. Deb DenBleyker

    Susan, keep those VLogs coming! I have noticed that when I don’t listen to your pep talk every week that would be the week that I will eat something that I shouldn’t be eating or chewing! Yes, chewing! I thought I would just chew a piece of gum to satisfy my severe craving for sugar. Severn piece later, yes Severn , I had wished that I would have had a piece of candy instead. The Very Thing I was resisting!!! I am happy to say I am back on track with Bright line eating and yes I Will be watching and listening to your wonderful Vlogs!
    Thank you.

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  40. Paul

    Thanks for that. Very good, make sense now of my eating chocolate.

    Reply ·
  41. MR

    Thank you- that is extremely helpful. I know intermittent reinforcement also as the style of behavior classical chosen by abusers (like domestic violence or torturers etc) where sometimes they are nice and sometimes abusive that allows them to retain their victims (next time he’ll be nice etc). I’m going to try to think of snacking and BLTs as my abusers. Thank you.

    Reply ·
  42. Dee

    Hey Folks! This is just an example of the fantastic information Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson gives you in a Bright Line Eating Bootcamp. If you want to change your food, habits and life, watch the Food Freedom Video Series and sign up for the Boot Camp. If you’re serious about food recovery, it’s one of the best steps you could take to change the way you eat. And no, I am NOT a paid spokesperson. I am a Bright Lifer who has been in Bright Line Eating since March of 2017 and I want to share the peace and freedom from food addiction this program has given me.

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  43. Terez

    This should get added to the bootcamp videos.

    Reply ·
  44. jessi

    Oh dear. I so wish I could have read this EARLIER. I wish that the book had started, on page 1, with a link to this vlog.

    I feel defeated, right now. Not sure I have it in me to start over and then withstand the nagging for who knows how long….

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  45. Dave Hopkin

    This is exactly what is happening to me. I am having a hard time staying on the wagon.

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  46. Willy flom

    What I experience now after four months is a lack of joy around food. I have lost 27# still have 20 to loose and have no doubt that I will. I will also maintain the food plan. I used to have meal time to look forward to a shared meal together. I do not love the vegetable volume, it’s tedious. Meals are an incredible chore . I love the health benefit. I’m low on the suseptibility scale and didn’t eat sugar before this so that might be what’s different. I don’t feel like food addiction is my brain. I don’t have food chatter often..

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  47. Coralee shearer

    Really interesting. As I have been On track the past 10 months I have subconsciously told myself if I get into a situation and really want to eat something off plan that I can do that and resume afterwards. But it just hasn’t come. I have stayed off of sugar and flour. I think I just know it is not worth it and I feel so good being in control and peaceful. Thank you as always for sharing knowledge and research. My dad was a psychologist so I eat this up….so to speak LOL

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  48. Suzi

    So……. when for example, we try to balance complete adherence to the plan, but also allow for an exception at Christmas when grandma makes chicken paprika’s and you allow a reasonable portion, because it is not something that will regularly happen, does the brain react to this “exception” the same way as any i get exception,
    if PLANNED FOR AND ALLOWED beforehand?

    Or are we going into variable reinforcement with ANY exception?
    How do you safely incorporate ANY exceptions, if you are the kind of person who is not a 10 on the BLE ScaLe, and does better making ONLY occasional exceptions rather than complete denial?

    Is the key ….Planning ahead for the exception?
    And doing only exactly what you have allowed ahead in the plan?

    How do we avoid getting into the variable reinforcement trap, as humans will eventually not Usually be able to sustain total adherence forever,, total elimination, of ever eating off of the “ideal” plan?

    I try to make a guide… will I ever be able to taste this unique item again? Or in the next year or so? If not then I allow that exception, with a reasonable portion.
    I am not high on the ble scale tho. But I do worry about the strength of variable reinforcement, versus consistent elimination.

    Maybe a blog in this?

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  49. Josh

    Glad I watched this.
    I can tell I’ve built this kind of brain for many decades, now!

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  50. Kristie

    Ok this blog hit me hard. Amazing stuff. Thanks for sharing

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      We’re so glad this resonated with you deeply, Kristie. 🥰

      Reply ·
  51. Sherri

    Very timely vlog! This is what I am struggling with now. I think I need Reboot Rezoom.

    Reply ·
  52. Linda Montsion

    Wow, I know every word of what you shared is true. I am there now, and I didn’t learn the last time. I lost 40 lbs was so peaceful, and thought one bite won’t hurt. Oh what a slippery slope that was. Got back on track and lost 40 lbs and did it again. Having a very hard time getting back on BLE, I start every day with BLE breakfast. I really need to start again from the beginning. I know it works, but my brain is sick. Thank you so much for this.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Oh Linda, we’re sending you so much love. We hear you saying that you want to get your peace back. We wonder about your support structures and lovingly suggest you consider raising your support bar. What can you do that would help you get through a bright day, just one bright day? Start there–one day at a time. 💗

      Reply ·
  53. Pat

    Susan, all your vlogs are great but his one is a must for everybody. As someone who studied deeply BF Skynner when I was at the University, I still go back to behaviorism to explain to me many unexplainable things. This one is a really great and needed explanation that I want to maintain fresh in my mind. Many hugs and many thanks!

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  54. Bobbye

    This was so very helpful to my freedom journey. Thanks, Susan!

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  55. Susan

    For me, this is one of the most powerful VLOGs I have listened to. Ever. It explains so clearly why, IF, you go off plan it is so hard to get back on and stay on. It took me 2 years to get back to BLE once I had lost and regained my weight. Of course I regained because the pull of food and the constant nagging in my brain did not give me any peace. I have regained my peace and I now know the secret to peace of mind.

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