Review of Netflix’s Explained – “Why Diets Fail”

Recently, my team made me aware of a show on Netflix called Explained, because one of its episodes lumped Bright Line Eating™ in among numerous other diet plans that we know don’t work. Watch this week’s vlog to hear my response.

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  1. Edy

    Accidentally got to see the title of your YouTube video.
    Really spectacular video!

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  2. Sonia

    Thank you, Susan. Images are superficial, but not you: you are creating a depth of evidence one day at a time , one person at a time. Your book (in that first scene) is a signal of the change that’s coming for thousands more people. You can’t speak fast enough or loud enough for those who currently live – or should I say suffer – from the effects of modern, western disease caused by poor advice around diet and nutrition. This isn’t entertainment this is science. How many people who will “start another diet” tomorrow? Please let tomorrow be their first day with BLE. I salute you (8/08/18).

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  3. Helen McDonnell

    Thank God your still walking the walk talking the talk😃👍🏻In the Gideon Games ⭐️Happy Thin and Free loving BLE Celebrated my Anniversary with BLE at the start of the games August 1💫🌟
    I know I will be a statistic for BLE , success at goal for years to come because this works for me and the many !!!
    Thank you for the unstoppable energy you continue to put in day after day, night after night💖
    With Love and Much Thanks
    Helen McDonnell

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  4. Pam Wright

    Susan can you speak to the added ingredient insulin? I watch your vlogs and am considering the 14 Day Challenge. I use to use the gray sheet years ago and know it works and your plan seems similar, at least from the plan in your book. I like Qia creamy coconut gluten free oatmeal and I see the fifth ingredient is insulin. Not sure if this is considered sugar?


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    1. Vee Clarke

      That ingredient is inulin, not insulin. Your body makes the hormone insulin in response to injested foods.
      Here is the write-up at Wikipedia about inulin, a fiber:
      “Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants,[1] industrially most often extracted from chicory.[2] The inulins belong to a class of dietary fibers known as fructans. Inulin is used by some plants as a means of storing energy and is typically found in roots or rhizomes. Most plants that synthesize and store inulin do not store other forms of carbohydrate such as starch. In the United States in 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved inulin as a dietary fiber ingredient used to improve the nutritional value of manufactured food products.[3] Using inulin to measure kidney function is the “gold standard” for comparison with other means of estimating creatinine clearance.”

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  5. Heather

    Thanks Susan for sharing a good reminder in a nut shell, especially making no exceptions .

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  6. Leslie

    Hey Susan.

    I always direct my blog readers towards your program, as you really know your stuff regarding weight loss.
    I noticed you have never spoken about getting hungry before eating (or maybe you have and I missed it).
    I have been experimenting with only eating when I’m hungry, and I lost 8 pounds in two months, which made me realize that I was eating way too much.
    I now eat two times a day, maybe three, because I’m only hungry two, maybe three times per day.
    Is this taken into consideration in Bright Line Eating?

    Thanks for all your great videos. I’m learning so much about this most interesting subject.

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  7. Eve Mcwilliams

    Susan, I have heard you say elsewhere that there is disagreement among the experts about whether there is such a thing as food addiction. If I remember you correctly, you said that some psychologists don’t believe in food addiction, whereas most neurologists do. Could you go into this in more detail in a future blog?

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  8. Maria

    Thank you Susan and your team for all you. I’m finally losing weight Thanks to BLE after trying so many options since my Perimenopause came early after I was given drugs for a back injury.

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  9. Melody

    I lost 67 pounds in 6 months and have maintained that weight for a year. Thanks Susan and BLE. I have also guided others and they too are amazed how wonderful they feel and how much food they can eat. I’m sorry Emilia that you were unable to have that success. I wish others would see the BLE way. It really does work.

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  10. Fran Otto

    I appreciate your program and you have said it well. As a nurse who knows a lot about diets, this food plan is doable and must require a commitment for life. You emphasize this. Other plans don’t really address this nor do they encourage tools that support doing the program ongoingly. They play on the rhetoric that we humans so easily buy into only to lose, then resume our previous eating behavior and that regain the weight. Thank you for your commitment to this issue. We ultimately must be responsible for our own heavier. I appreciate the science you provide that helps to understand our behavior. This information and the susceptibility scale is not available in other programs. I hope that someday your research and information will be recognized by doctors and insurance companies

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    1. Ivana

      I totally agree with your suggestion that the medical establishment and insurance companies should look into this! There have already been calls for the doctors to focus more on keeping their patients healthy. BLE is absolutely one of the ways! To help people never to become obese should be their goal! I am considering myself lucky I happened on this program and I am keeping my BMI below 25 with it for last 2 years!

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  11. Ann Kiburz

    You are awesome. I think I’m about a 3 or 4 on the ss, but I LOVE ice cream. About 5 years ago, I stumbled on you on the internet. I believe you are a gift. Listening to your blogs and reviewing your rules has helped me cut way way way back on sugar. I’ve had ice cream maybe 10 times in the past 4 years. And I’ve lost a good 15-20 lbs. And I wasn’t even medically overweight to start, but now I’m 52 and rocking a great physique. And I move, act, sleep … FEEL awesome. Thanks for getting me on your path!

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  12. Teri

    I’m 62 and have been on many diets over the years that were great for a month or two, then weren’t. Each time I gained back more than lost. This is the first program that explains automaticity and approaches the problem from neurological rather than metabolism perspective. I’ve been on it four months and lost 30 lbs. I know it’s early, but it’s the first time I’ve felt enthusiastic about doing a diet long term instead of dreading having to.
    Food is my addiction, and recovery from addiction requires a lifetime commitment. For most of us, you either are or you are not “on the wagon.” Instead of “once I reach goal, I’ll be able to…”, I acknowledge that “this is the way I eat now .” Every time I start to forget this, Susan is there with her vlog or newsletter to remind me. Automaticity isn’t how we like to think about how to live our lives, but good habits are those that feel automatic and they take a lot of very consistent practice to become. Maybe I’ll make a framed sign of that word to hang on my wall. 🙂

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  13. Cat

    Susan, have you noticed the negativity around any lifestyle change coming from the food industry? It’s a backlash cushioned in a ” no one can change their lifestyle long term so the underlying messages become – why even try, you’re going to fail! So many scientifically backed blogs like Ocean Robbin series and many like it ( there was a great series on autoimmune disorders, and how so many diseases are caused by inflammation highjacking the immune system) that are trying to bring attention to the way the food industry, big pharma etc. has highjacked science. We need strong voices to counteract these messages, and with your background your voice is being added to a host of doctors, reasearchers etc. Thank you.

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  14. Ann Holley

    What a great way to start the day!

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  15. Nicole Williams

    Powerful! Thank you for including the “Explained” positives that you found and weighed in on. Thanks for broadening the conversation by including and highlighting more to that story—-the Bright Lines, sticking to a plan and the automaticity and the people making a difference in this personal and collective journey. You are creating a loving movement and I so appreciate all you do and everyone in the Bright Line community. A thousand thanks from me too!

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  16. Mercedes (from Argentina)

    I saw the documentary film on Netflix and saw your book there. But then I had the same thought as you did: “They don’t understand what this is all about.” . I welcome this vlog, because it confirms what I thought. Susan, you are the best. I love you.

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  17. Nancy Goss

    Thank you for the body of knowledge you share with us! This was a great response to the Netflix piece. I so appreciated it.

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  18. Roberta Walters

    Thank you for teaching us truth in a world where they got part of the truth but they don’t want to find the hard answer of not eating addictive food. Love you

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  19. Pia liphuijsen

    Are you going to approach the movie makers? Would be great ! Maybe a follow-up you have enough scientific infestications to wash their ears …

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  20. Anne

    I have been doing BLE since October of 2015. I have been in my right-sized body since January of 2016, at 117-120 lbs. Admittedly only a 3-4 on the susceptibility scale, and an occasional bite of something off the plan, but I consider this a way-of-life eating that is not going to change, and I really enjoy the food! I eat so many more vegetables with a greater variety than I used to, and am so thankful for having found you, Susan. I spread the word whenever I can.

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  21. Holly Algood

    What I most appreciated about this VLOG was your positive attitude in addressing what some might have considered a criticism of your program. I also appreciated that you spoke about the scientific facts about the sustainability of Bright Line Eating and how Automaticity differentiates your program from programs that rely on will power and are less sustainable. Bravo.

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  22. Sonja

    Thank you for this blog and for Bright Line Eating. It works!!! I lost 40 lbs. with just 10 more to go to reach my goal. Then…ouie vey…I strayed away and gained back EVERY pound I lost. Now, I’m back applying everything I learned and hopefully won’t stray again. I think the main killer for me was when I quit plannng my meals the evening before. It truly makes a difference! Anyway, thanks again.

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  23. Sarah Vance

    Hi there! I love your book and info! I’ve been following this way of eating for 3 weeks and have lost 17 pounds!! Crazy!! I’m eating better food than I have in quite a while. I’ve definitely been tired, but I recognize that’s the work of getting the body clutter swept out. Today I had more energy and it made so glad because, as a mom of 8, the bunny slippers just don’t often come out.😂
    Thanks so much!
    Sarah Vance

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  24. Emily

    I’m so proud of you for taking this on! BLE has stabilized my moods and weight as nothing has before. It’s a lifesaver.
    I hope Netflix responds with featuring you in the follow-up episode.

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  25. Liza Lightfoot

    Great vlog! Love what you had to say

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  26. Dale Walker

    Oh Susan, you’ve done it again! 🤗😘😀🤗. Loved your blog. Are you going to be in touch with the producers? Just a thought …who knows where that contact could lead!

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  27. Florence RICHON

    Hello Susan,
    Just want to react to what you said about heroin addiction. If I understood well, you said that we don’t know a way out of this addiction. I suggest you look up FASTEREFT /eutaptics. And the work achieved at Habilitât in Hawaii.
    I am sure this will interest you.
    For myself I went through food addiction thanks to you!
    And lost 25 pounds without gaining back during 6 months. But unfortunately as I gave up smoking at the end of that period I put on back 8 pounds in 2 weeks and keeping on my blé plan. Why is that? Is it “normal “ to you ?
    Hope you could answer to that question.
    Tks for everything

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  28. Joyce

    Susan, You should get Netflix to do Explained – weight Loss Success!

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  29. Pamela Adams

    I am on day 307 on my BLE journey. No other diet plan has ever worked for me nor have I been able to stick at any other diet plan for more than 3 months. BLE is a way of life rather than a diet plan. I am currently 205lbs, the lightest I have been for 3 decades and can truly say for the first time in my life I know that a goal weight of 130lbs is totally achievable where on other food plans I doubted I could even reduce down to my current weight. Susan and all the BLE team (staff, bootcampers, brightlifers) have saved this life. Thank you so much.

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  30. Ahwatukeegirl

    I love the all-or-nothing approach BLE offers. It’s a paradox, but I’ve discovered my greatest freedom around food while adhering to BLE’s rigid structure. It works and it’s easy to follow once you get the hang of it. Have not missed the unhealthy foods/drinks I’ve jettisoned from my life. Am never tempted to stray from the path. I’ve gained automaticity with the program, so I’m no longer reliant on willpower. I just do it! I recommend BLE wholeheartedly to anyone who’s in an ongoing struggle with their weight, especially those last 10 lbs. The culture is fantastic! Have met so many wonderful people through this group, and we keep each other accountable. Few people have the talent or skillset to accomplish what Susan’s been able to achieve, and huge congratulations to her the BLE team for the many lives they’ve transformed!!!

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    1. Zoe Zuniga

      Do it all the way but go further and cut out oil and meat and dairy so you don’t have any cravings to fight.

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  31. Jacque Cross

    Susan, I love your approach to learning your book was placed in a negative light on film! You are a class act! For the first time in my life, I have been maintaining a thin weight for more than 4 months after losing 58 lbs. I am approaching my 1 year anniversary with Bright Line Eating! Without you, I would have never recognized my food addiction! Thank you so very much for bringing this information to the masses. 🤟

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  32. Emilia Borrelli

    This didn’t work for me .It felt more like disordered eating and in fact made an old eating disorder rear it’s ugly head for me and several others that were on the program at the time that I was. Almost every single person in my ble group quit and or left the program. It all seems great and doable in the beginning but it wasn’t sustainable unless significant modifications were made to the program. Of couse once you do that you aren’t following the program any longer. I think it would be a better program if it wasn’t so ” all or nothing ” in it’s approach. I’m sure it works for some as do all diets or programs.

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    1. Pamela Adams

      For me it was the structure that I benefit from. I think we have to be in the right “head space” before any change can occur and for me I think my head and my heart and my brain were all in the same place at the same time and realised that what I had done before had never worked so perhaps I had to make a big change to my eating which is what BLE is. If I had not been in that right head space then is probably would not have worked. Hope you find a plan that works for you.

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      1. Emily

        Beautifully said!

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      2. Susan Ferrin

        I agree with Emilia. Bright Line Eating and my ‘mind set’ has been a perfect match. In the past I tried over and over again to get on the healthy eating path – at the time it was limiting sweets and chips – but over and over again I found myself saying,,,’tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow’. I did not do well with ‘moderation in all things’ either. It wasn’t until I heard about Bright Line Eating – the no flour, no sugar, no exceptions – that I was able to finally manage my eating choices. Truly a burden has been lifted from my shoulders and I no longer crave sugar and flour products. I don’t think about them at all and am so thankful to be able to experience the freedom this way of eating has given me.

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        1. Joseph

          Hi Susan Ferrin!
          I think you meant to say that you agree with Pamela.

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    2. Katherine Marine

      I’ve been following the exact program for 8 months, it’s very doable, feels easy and I’ve dropped 82 lbs. It has lots of flexibility for food choices as well. I’m sorry you didn’t feel it worked for you.

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    3. Joseph

      Emilia, something that Dr. Thompson says regularly is that BLE isn’t for everyone. All the best on your journey!

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    4. Ivana

      This way of eating totally worked for me and I am constantly surprised how come it didn’t become a way to do it for other people who are maybe even more motivated than me to lose wight (after all I only needed to lose the pesky 15lbs that I gained in my 70ties)! Maybe the fact that , as you said almost all the people in your group quit, has something to do with it. Herd mentality, supporting each other negatively, or something like that…

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    5. Isabelle

      It works when you don’t make “significant modifications” to it. Healing any addiction is an all or nothing approach. Would a smoker quit by modifying his use of cigarettes ? Would an alcoholic stop drinking but have drinks at special events to avoid being all or nothing ? Sugar and flour are no exception to the science of addiction . I’m sorry that the program hasn’t worked for you, unfortunately . However, I don’t hope that somehow you might give the program another try down the road if you end up trying orher ways to lose weight but don’t succeed. Good luck and please let us know which program ended up working for you !

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    6. Isabelle

      Emilia:Borelli: It works when you don’t make “significant modifications” to it. Healing any addiction is an all or nothing approach. Would a smoker quit by modifying his use of cigarettes ? Would an alcoholic stop drinking but have drinks at special events to avoid being all or nothing ? Sugar and flour are no exception to the science of addiction . I’m sorry that the program hasn’t worked for you, unfortunately . However, I do suggest that you give the program another try down the road if you end up trying other ways to lose weight but don’t succeed. Good luck and please let us know which program ended up working for you !

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    7. Zoe Zuniga

      Agreed Emily. You have to tailor it to your needs, I had already adopted a plant-based low-fat diet that was free of oil and all refined foods including of course sugar and flour so I was already losing weight rapidly without bright lines. I found the bright line of not snacking and doing three meals a day useful. But I had to heap on tons more food so I wouldn’t starve. And this made me feel weird, like I was cheating by not weighing my food and having to do 2 plates per meal instead of one plate. which is ridiculous because eating plants means eating a high volume diet so it was fine to modify.

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  33. Greg Korgeski

    Hi Susan,

    Great blog on 8/1. I’m finishing week 8 of boot camp and am very grateful for all your work. Just bought your book to give to my doc when I see him Friday about need to phase out some meds – for the second time I’ll be doing a med cut since starting the first 2 week program, 20 pounds ago.!

    I do have one comment and a request perhaps for a future vlog, if you have enough research to do this. You mentioned that people are 55 times more likely to succeed using your program. I’ve sent some notes in the research responses and a note to hopefully get to you before, but the more research of the program you can actually site, the better it will probably be over time. If there are things I haven’t seen looking through your book yet I’m going to have to find them, but as a psychologist myself I know that the way to impress professional peers, who carry a lot of weight in having programs get accepted, is to have those studies. Is that 55 number based on some data? Sorry if I haven’t seen it, and like I said it’s time for me to look into this. I have a particular interest in finding ways to help spread the word and to apply your program to the people I see, many of whom are seriously ill diabetics who are applying for disability.

    Please keep up the great work and again, a thousand thanks.

    Dr. Greg Korgeski

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    1. joseph

      Hang in there Greg. Your good question is bound to get answered.
      Joseph in Missoula

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    2. Lisa

      Hi Greg, check the Vlog from January 3rd, below that is a link to download the research.

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    3. Susan Peirce Thompson

      Hey Greg!
      The book went into print nearly two years ago, so you won’t find the latest data (that the 55x number is based on) in it. But here’s the link to the white paper with the numbers. And, like Lisa said, there’s a prior VLOG on it. But no worries! There’s a lot to catch up on in BLE land if you’re just 8 weeks in!
      And congrats on being all-in and totally unstoppable!
      With love,

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