Have you struggled with weight, dieting, or body image in the past? If so…

Your Brain May Be Blocking You From Losing Weight.

How susceptible are you?

Navigating Intense Cravings

In last week’s Vlog, I talked about the process of letting go of our favorite binge foods, and in the comment section below that video, a viewer offered a brilliant analogy that I want to share with you today. He suggested that we should think of our cravings from the perspective of an outsider so that we’re a witness to them instead of being a victim of them. Watch to hear my response to his astute observations.

Podcast Audio

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating. Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.  Read Susan’s Full Story

Join the Conversation

Comments

  1. Monica Dean

    Great Vlog! I needed to hear this, especially in the grocery store when I pass my triggers. I’m definitely going to try the chair method with my trigger saboteurs.

    Reply ·
  2. Jenny Snyder

    I am have been doing BLE for 1177 days and very successfully at it, I add with pride. I am very curious though about what constitutes the meal time. For me a meal is from the time I plate my meal and sit and eat it at my place at the tabke or bar from the time I sit till the time I take my last bite. So what if I have an appointment and we know we can’t eat our entire meal so we resort to a emergency pack of nuts (full protein portion) eat them in the car waiting for our appointment and then commit to ourself we will finish meal when we get home.
    What defines the meal from start to finish without breaking the 3 meals a day line?
    I feel like when I see others talk about eating 1 part of their meal (not really a written planned part but just a quick I’ve got to eat something because I will be starving by the time I get home 45 or more minutes later) but then eat the other portions of vegetables when they get home. Does this way of looking at a meal work or is it just our way of pushing the boundaries of only 3 meals a day?
    Many times I’ve contemplated trying this but my gut and my heart tells me NO because its just my minds way to try and get me to give it something unplanned and really snack feeling if I grab those darn nuts.

    Reply ·
  3. Marinela Hertzug

    Thank you!
    Faith is indeed the most important part!
    Faith is believing! I think Believing in God is believing in you!
    Believe emotions will go away, craving will go away, forgive yourself if you indulge once and believe this was a lesson for greater future faith! A lesson that our innate power wants to unfold and express itself through believing!

    Reply ·
  4. Laura

    Thank you Susan and thank you James! This was a useful bit of mental gymnastics. I live with two retired racing Greyhounds who are constantly advocating for their next meal or treat. You helped me realize that some of things I say to them can be applied to my craving monster too. I’ve been struggling on my BLE journey lately and your VLOGs are a huge help.

    Reply ·
  5. Geraldine Morgan

    Thank you for this comment from James I appreciate both of you for helping me in my journey to look at food in a different light.

    Reply ·
  6. Denise Jacobs

    I am a lifelong overeater. 470 pounds was my highest. Lost my career in registered nursing. Couldn’t walk, could barely do my own hygiene any more. It was time. Do it or die. I had gastric bypass (lost 300 pounds). After my bypass, I had an emotional response, intense mourning , over the loss of my ‘best friend’, Food (note the Capital F). Empty calorie Food. I’d lost my husband and didn’t feel the sadness I was feeling over Food!! I mourned the loss of my crutch, my go to companion through ALL of my life events! Cheesecake and candy (by the bag) never called me names, never gave me side eyed looks or pointed it’s finger at me or made vile comments. I stuck to it for several years but soon pummeled back to my high sugar all fat eating patterns. Gained back almost 200 of my lost pounds. Sugar/Carbohydrates are drugs to the endocrine system. The empty calories fuel the need, or signals, the brain sends to the ‘team’ and has withdrawal effects, physical effects but are often shoved aside. Fighting the emotional impacts every step along the path. Started BLE on Monday.

    Reply ·
  7. Denise Jacobs

    I am a lifelong overeater. 470 pounds was my highest. Lost my career in registered nursing. Couldn’t walk, could barely do my own hygiene any more. It was time. Do it or die. I had gastric bypass (lost 300 pounds). After my bypass, I had an emotional response, intense mourning , over the loss of my ‘best friend’, Food (note the Capital F). Empty calorie Food. I’d lost my husband and didn’t feel the sadness I was feeling over Food!! I mourned the loss of my crutch, my go to companion through ALL of my life events! Cheesecake and candy (by the bag) never called me names, never gave me side eyed looks or pointed it’s finger at me or made vile comments. I stuck to it for several years but soon pummeled back to my high sugar all fat eating patterns. Gained back almost 200 of my lost pounds. Sugar/Carbohydrates are drugs to the endocrine system. The empty calories fuel the need, or signals, the brain sends to the ‘team’ and has withdrawal effects, physical effects but often shoved aside, emotional impacts! Started BLE on Monday.

    Reply ·
  8. Tracey Marie Mc quoid

    Thank you so much Susan the information in this vlog has been a game changer for me .. I have been on and off listening to the indulgers thoughts and giving in to occasional cravings here and there, but yesterday after listening to you I finally sat myself down .. in two separate chairs and had a good chat with myself and my indulger ..😅 it worked 💃🏻🕺🏻💃🏻🕺🏻 🙏🏻 Thank you so much for everything you do 🥰🙏🏻

    Reply ·
  9. Nakia Andrews

    The timing of this Vlog couldn’t be more perfect. Trying to figure out how to survive through the cravings has been on my mind a lot. I’ve been trying to figure out how to approach them, how to manage them and work through them without caving. The information in this vlog is brilliant! So enlightening! I am going to work hard to apply these principles and do this work, I believe it is the answer I’ve been looking for that will help me finally stay bright for more than two weeks.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      I’m thrilled to hear that this vlog arrived JUST when you need it, Nakia. Watch it again if you find yourself struggling with cravings and need a reminder. Cheering for you!🧡

      Reply ·
  10. Amanda

    Susan, was this the same James that you have interviewed a couple of times in the past about his ongoing success with using BLE to lose weight? I really enjoyed his story, and have been wondering recently how he is doing.

    Reply ·
  11. Marti

    Today’s vlog reminds me of Susan’s vlog of 7 November 2018 about Kathryn Hansen’s book, “Brain over Binge”. Kathryn Hansen teaches that you must view your urges to binge as neurological junk from your lower brain, and separate your highest human brain from your urges to binge – in order to stop reacting to and acting on your urges. There is a clear separation between your urges to binge and your real self. Susan used the analogy of putting your thoughts about bingeing “in the pen” because they are not you – you separate yourself from your urges to binge. I see similarities in this current vlog about cravings: stay alert and aware, witness your cravings, externalize your cravings, separate yourself from your cravings, and watch your cravings ebb and flow. All cravings and urges and emotions do pass. Just hang in there!

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi, Marti. Thank you for reminding us about the “Bring Over Binge” vlog. I love and appreciate your final sentence, “All cravings and urges and emotions do pass. Just hang in there!” So true.

      Reply ·
  12. Jane Bernheim

    I love this vlog and the previous one. This is like parts work where we take that part (the craving one, food indulger) and let it give voice to what it needs and what it is trying to do for us. Then we understand it better and try to make it feel useful without being dangerous to our authentic selves. I have been struggling with a craving the past few days and I am going to separate it from myself and observe it and give it voice. Once again, thank you for such a timely and meaningful message! For me, being in a BLE identity means being in BLE every day, whether on the road or in the ditch. Just keep being here! After three plus years in my BLE identity, I just keep showing up. I realized that he Sine wave is a ride, not just a point in the journey.

    Reply ·
  13. Don Benedik

    I’m with you. So true about addressing urges to break BLE. Thanks again

    Reply ·
  14. Dominique DeCrescito

    Dominique
    This is an excellent approach! It makes you address The craving immediately, it gives me back my control,,So important to have when you were on this lifelong journey., The past few days I had cravings and this approach I put into practice today and it’s extremely helpful! Thank you again I’m 20 pounds down in nine weeks, and I’m never going back! I have been battling my weight my whole life, you have given us the key to conquer Weight reduction mentally and physically physically

    Reply ·
  15. Anna

    Brilliant! Being an observer is key. Once you remove yourself and observe, you have so much more clarity about what is really happening. 🙂

    Reply ·
  16. Allison

    This may be the same couseling tool called “objectiying”. You take your issue out of your brain and put it in the chair next to them. They give it a name, a color, a texture. Then say something to it. What do you want to say to it.

    Reply ·
  17. Allison

    This may be the same couseling tool called “subjectifying”. You take your issue out of your brain and put it in the chair next to them. They give it a name, a color, a texture. Then say something to it. What do you want to say to it.

    Reply ·
  18. Janice

    I’ve had intense cravings this week. Thanks for helping me realize these will pass.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi, Janice. I’m so grateful this vlog was delivered just when you needed it—sending you love, encouragement, and support in the upcoming days.

      Reply ·
  19. Cate

    I love your Weekly Vlogs…always based on science, psychology and research. And BLE is the only thing that has worked for me, reversed insulin resistance and helped with my rheumatoid arthritis pain, alongside medical treatments. Most importantly, I feel like I finally have control over food now, due to automaticity and neutrality, rather than being a slave to it, so thank you Susan.
    I wanted to know the significance of the ring on your right index finger, if you are willing to share.

    Reply ·
  20. Sarah Perkins Cortese

    I love these blogs always seems to be in alignment with what I am needing
    I’m only on day 19 but as am familiar with addiction I know that fir me sugar and ( who knew) flour are by far the hardest to permanently quit
    This program … these weekly connections
    Anchors I call them
    Are such a godsend
    So grateful my new dr told me of your book and I’m here but 9 lbs less

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Anchors… I love that, Sarah! You’re doing GREAT!! You can do this. 🧡

      Reply ·
  21. Lisa Cain Hammerman

    Susan, thank you so much! This week’s vlog was totally in sync with Heavenly timing. I have been struggling lately with the whole issue of whether what I am feeling is hunger or craving. I am getting pretty close to what I have imagined is my right weight and size , and lately have been checking up on what maintenance is all about; clearly it is a dynamic thing. and one of the clear signs that I would be getting close to goal weight is that I am frequently experiencing actual hunger…. it is very chaotic! I am so wired to functioning according to my cravings and desires so… functioning according to actual nutritional needs? wow. the whole idea of NMF has kept me very clean since I came on board in 2018 (I am a slow loser), though at times in the journey I stalled. which was, though I didn’t actually call it that, a form of maintenance! so I have experience with it, I guess! I know that at this point, I am going to have to find a way to dialogue with myself, to clarify I what I am feeling is hunger or craving. and implement it in a clear and structured (bright lined) path.

    Reply ·
    1. Jane Bernheim

      Wow, Lisa! You have been on your journey since 2018. I too joined BLE in 2018 and was crystal vaser until July of 2019. During COVID shut down that year I struggled with my cravings, sometimes getting the better of them and then sometimes not. Joined Reboot Rezoom and have been bright mostly, but still struggle with falling into the ditch. I admire your tenacity so much! I am still 20 lbs from goal, but you inspire me to keep going. I think the key to living BLE is just to keep coming back to the program every day, no matter what. I AM a bright lifer!
      Jane

      Reply ·
      1. Bright Line Eating

        So lovely, Jane. We’re thrilled you’re here! Keep coming back, one day at a time–you can do this. You ARE a Bright lifer!🧡

        Reply ·
  22. Laura Kern

    SPOT ON Susan (and James)!! Had this exact experience today! SUPER stressed over Indiana-Jones-boulder events of the day, I headed out to run an errand just to get out of the stressful environment (um, so I wouldn’t EAT!) As I got on the road I started thinking of the places I would pass by that had my favorite food craves… I started talking to myself out loud in my car (essentially the empty chair) and giving voice to all the messages I was sending myself and how I was punishing myself for something that a) was not my fault, and b) I had no control over, and c) I should NOT allow to derail my BLE under ANY circumstances! I listened to what the ‘craving’ had to say and allowed it to remind me how much I loved this NMF, or that NMF, and all the yummy goodness that was available to me to make my ‘crap’ day end on a ‘sublime’ note! One of my errands even involved the GROCERY STORE (yeah, probably not the best choice) BUT I stuck to my very short list and made it all the way home without indulging (or CAPITULATING) to the stress-induced craving! I felt triumphant and even ’emboldened’ for my new BLE lifestyle. #magical

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Well done, Laura! Well done indeed. I love the “Indiana-Jones-boulder events” reference. A vivid image!

      Reply ·
  23. MS Barbara Worsham

    Hello Susan, I am at my weight goal following the Bright Line Eating Program. I started my journey August 17, 2016 at 195.6#. I reached my goal June 17, 2018 at 150# and have stayed there ever since.
    Listening to you blog about cravings reminded me of a craving i had after 2 1/2 months after being on program with no sugar. I went with a friend out for a senior meal at a local restaurant which ended our meal with a scoop of ice cream of our choice. Wow that hit me like something i never felt before. I choose chocolate chip mint ice cream and it tasted very sweet. my friend took me home and after he left I didn’t fall but collapsed to the floor, I crawled to my couch and slept for 2 and a half hours. Another friend heard about what happened and she warned me that I had experienced a sugar comma. She told me do not do that again because i might black out or even die… I have learned the hard way to leave sugar alone. Thank you very for the program..

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Wow!! Thank you for sharing your experience, Barbara. And, congratulations on your sustained maintenance. Well done!

      Reply ·
  24. Cathy

    This Vlog was amazing. I’m struggling with my eating as I’m building a home and living with my daughter and her family. It’s been 6 months and their eating habits are so very different than mine and I’m surrounded with NMF choices. This vlog has certainly changed my thinking and will change my approach to eating.
    Brilliant. James and hope you doing well after your
    “ Divorce “

    Reply ·
  25. Leigh Hanham

    My cravings show up like a child throwing a tantrum…..I want, I want, I WANT!!!!!! My inner adult had always indulged her because in life few people were giving me what I wanted, I was always the giver – as a mum, I also worked in service while also pastoring a church. Everything in my life was about helping others. And I loved all of that, please understand me. But my cup always felt like it was running on empty. So when the cravings flowed I’d indulge my inner child to help fill my cup. Somehow it legitimised my empty heart. I longed to be loved by anybody the way I loved everybody!
    After 40 years of doing that, I’m now single, living alone and still aching for love that hasn’t come. That all changed one day when someone said, write down all the qualities you’d love to see in the ideal partner. I did – it was extensive. Then they said, now go love yourself that way. My brain exploded! So THAT’S what self love looks like. Your book entered my life shortly after and the rest is history.
    My inner child sits quietly in the corner these days, satisfied and happy, because she is being loved right now. She doesn’t need to express herself in tantrums anymore. She gets all the love she needs BEFORE she even knows she needs it. It’s a whole new world.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Leigh, this is beautiful. “…now go love yourself that way.”
      Truly life-changing! Thank you for sharing. 🧡

      Reply ·
  26. John Comrie

    Well once again Dr. Pierce Thompson you have nailed something of life and death importance at least for me. You should have an “Amazon” type system for people to rate your vlogs and if you did, I would put 5 gold stars on this one. As someone right in the middle of a very desperate binge/craving and trying to find a way out, this is very helpful. It strikes me as similar to the way we learn in the daily meditations with Monique Rhodes to look at our thoughts as they come and go and try to just let them go as we concentrate on our breath. In the process we are I think effectively externalizing these thoughts and I think we could apply this to a craving as well. Thanks again for this vlog and everything else you do. AFter 30 years in AA I have been told many times not to try to understand how it works, but I can’t help but think you have really started to understand the way addiction works, including how recovery works – whether its flour and sugar or drugs or likely any other addiction. – john c.

    Reply ·
  27. Karen

    Such a great topic. Thank you Susan and James. No question about it I’ll be watching my cravings as they ebb and flow.

    Reply ·
  28. Cynthia Chambers

    First of all, I am pleased to hear that you read the comments posted to the Vlogs. Second, I was so pleased to see such a thoughtful and detailed response to specific things that James said as well as his overall analogy. Finally I really appreciated the science behind the old AA saying: This Too Shall Pass. And yes this too shall pass, cravings and emotions and rotten things happening in the universe. This too shall pass. Thank you.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Thank you, Cynthia. Learning about–and sharing the history and science of sayings and quotes is fascinating. And, you’re welcome!

      Reply ·
  29. Margaret

    Brilliant. I’ve listened to this 2x and shared with my Mastermind Group.
    I will keep this blog readily accessible to listen to when the cravings attack! Thank you Susan, thank you James!

    Reply ·
  30. Cheryl Phillips

    I just want to say thank you, Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD, for these weekly vlogs and everything else you give us. Your book Bright Line Eating and the BLE courses and now membership have transformed not only my body (150+ pounds released from 1/1/21 to November 2021), but my mind and soul as well. I have made wonderful friends and am so grateful for such a supportive community.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Dear Cheryl, thank you for the lovely message. Congratulations on your inspiring success–the emotional, mental, and physical transformations! So fabulous! Hearing about your gratitude and joy in your beautiful friendships touches my heart. 🧡

      Reply ·
  31. Sharon

    That was good

    Reply ·
View All Comments ▾

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

 

Join Our Email List

By submitting this form, you’re agreeing to receive emails from Bright Line EatingTM. You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email address will NEVER be shared or sold.

Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions