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What are the four Bright Lines?
The four Bright Lines are sugar, flour, meals, and quantities. In other words, no sugar (whole, fresh fruit is okay, but fruit juice and dried fruit are not, nor are any artificial sweeteners or added sweeteners such as honey, agave, stevia, maple syrup, dextrose, sucralose, aspartame, saccharine, and similar products); no flour (of any kind—not even whole grain flour, oat flour, almond flour, or coconut flour—because it's the processing that dictates how it will affect our brains); eating only meals (for most people it's three meals a day with nothing in between—snacking and grazing are not allowed); and weighed and measured quantities (food is either weighed with a digital food scale, or a "one plate, no seconds" rule can be adopted).
Will I be hungry or feel restricted?
The quantity of food on the weight loss food plan is pretty large. Most people find it to be an ample amount of food. In fact, we get more people saying it’s too much food and they can’t finish it all than saying it’s too little food and they’re hungry. In terms of hunger: some people feel no hunger at all and some experience a lot of hunger, but the most common report is some mild tummy rumbling right before it’s time for the next meal. Feelings of restriction vary too. Some people feel liberated right from the start. For others, the amount of focus it takes to break their unhealthy habits around food—learning new patterns of food shopping, preparation, and eating—results in feelings of restriction and hyper-concentration. These feelings lift after the new habits become automatic.
Can I get a copy of the food plan without joining the Boot Camp?
Currently, the Bright Line Eating food plan is only available to those who join the Boot Camp.
I can't afford to join the Boot Camp but I really need help. Are there any other options?
We truly understand finances may prevent you from participating in the Boot Camp. Fortunately, there are viable alternatives that are free. These come in the form of 12-step programs for food addiction and compulsive overeating.
The program we recommend the most, because of its staunch commitment to the four Bright Lines and its strong track record of success, is Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA). You can find them online at www.foodaddicts.org.
If you check out one of these programs, go to a few different meetings to get a feel for the amount of recovery in the room. Are the members in slender bodies? Have they released their obsession with food and dieting? Do they have a sparkle in their eye and an obvious sense of peace about them? Did they make you feel welcome? Are there sponsors available? Be discerning. If the majority of the people in the room are still heavy despite attending for years, find a different meeting or a different program.
I live outside of the U.S. Can I still participate in the Boot Camp?
Our Boot Camp is an online program and you can participate fully from any country in the world, as long as you have internet access.
Are there coaching calls during the Boot Camp?
There are weekly group coaching calls during the Boot Camp. These are two-hour group conference calls which include all current Boot Campers who wish to attend. The calls are recorded so you can listen to them at your convenience. You can even submit questions in advance to possibly have them answered on the call!
What is the cost of the Boot Camp?
The cost of each Boot Camp varies. This information becomes available once registration opens for the next Boot Camp.
Is the Boot Camp available in any other language than English?
At this time the Bright Line Eating Boot Camp is only available in English. We do hope to begin the process of translation into other languages in the future.
Can I make multiple payments for the Boot Camp?
Yes. The Boot Camp cost can be broken into three equal payments. The first payment is charged at registration, and the remaining payments occur monthly on that same day for the following two months. There is a finance fee included in the payments, so if you have the means, paying in full is the more economical option.
What is your refund policy?
Unless otherwise stated, we offer full refunds for all product purchases made from Bright Line Eating. (Please refer back to the order page you used at the time of purchase.) If customers are not satisfied with a digital product purchase, they must inform us within the specified applicable refund period by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Refund” in the subject line and provide the email address you used to purchase the product so we may process your request.
Does the Boot Camp only help people with overeating, or will it help people who have eating disorders as well?
It depends on the person, the eating disorder, and the severity of symptoms. Someone with severe anorexia is likely not a good candidate for Bright Line Eating. We do have a few people in our community for whom restriction was their primary go-to behavior, and who have found freedom and health through Bright Line Eating.
If someone with anorexia has a background of binging and, at one time, was overweight, then Bright Line Eating might work for them, provided they feel drawn to this approach, their doctor is on board, and they are very willing to recover. Generally, though, someone with Anorexia has too many “bright lines” already and will do better with a different style of approach.
People with bulimia and binge eating disorder are relatively common in Bright Line Eating (Susan herself had both disorders), and are good candidates for the freedom that’s on offer here. For those who have a history of bulimia, we add a 5th Bright Line of "no purging." We recommend those with eating disorders work with their doctor and/or treatment team to come up with a plan that works for them. Bright Line Eating is only likely to be a helpful and effective approach if the individual is very aligned with its philosophy, and their doctor and/or treatment team are supportive of the program.
What happens after the Boot Camp?
We understand you will need the BLE tools and ongoing support to continue living Happy, Thin, and Free, long after the Boot Camp is over. For this reason, we make sure you have indefinite access to the Boot Camp website and your House in the Online Support Community at no additional cost. This includes all the tools, documents, recorded coaching calls, bonuses, and module videos.
How long is each Boot Camp?
Each Boot Camp is eight weeks long.
Bright Line Eating Lifestyle
Do I have to exercise while following the Bright Line Eating Plan?
Although exercise is excellent for overall health, scientific studies show it is not effective as a weight loss tool. Additionally, exercise uses up a tremendous amount of willpower. For this reason, and the fact that weight loss is taxing on the body and necessitates additional rest, we recommend you do not begin an exercise program during the weight loss phase of the Bright Line Eating plan. However, if you already have a habitual exercise program solidly in place which doesn’t tap your willpower, you can continue, but you may want to consider cutting back on the intensity.
I know sugar is not allowed, but what about other sweeteners like honey, Stevia or artificial sweeteners?
No, they are not Bright Line Eating friendly. 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.
Is the sugar in fruit an issue?
Whole, natural fruit is 100% wonderful and can be consumed at meal times according to your food plan. The fiber in the fruit slows down the absorption of the fructose. Additionally, in Bright Line Eating, we always eat fruit with a meal—never alone, so the protein, vegetables, and fats blunt the effect of the fructose in the fruit. Take care to avoid forms of fruit that artificially concentrate the sweetness (such as dried fruits like raisins or dates), and avoid anything that messes with the fiber of the fruit (like fruit juice or all-fruit jams).
I am a meat eater, is the Bright Line Eating plan only for people who are plant-based eaters?
No, the Bright Line Eating plan includes plenty of choices for omnivores as well as plant-based eaters.
I am vegan. I prefer to follow a whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle. Will the Bright Line Eating food plan work for me?
Yes. The Bright Line Eating food plan has plenty of options for vegans and WFPB eaters. In addition, many people in the Bright Line Eating community have adapted their way of eating to be aligned with the teachings of Fuhrman, McDougall, Esselstyn, Campbell, and others. You will feel right at home.
What if I don't need to lose weight?
Many people are drawn to Bright Line Eating who don't need to lose weight. They come for the freedom this way of eating provides. If you don’t need to lose weight, you can start on the maintenance food plan and adjust from there so that your weight remains stable. You will find much here in the Bright Line Eating Boot Camp to increase your energy, motivation, and peace. The tools of the Boot Camp, the connections you make, and the internal work you do will help you identify the role food has played in your life. Along your journey, you can expect your food obsession to be lifted and to experience a freedom you never thought possible.
What is Bright Line Eating?
Can children participate in Bright Line Eating?
Bright Line Eating is only for people who personally feel drawn to this way of living. We strongly caution parents against pushing their children to do Bright Line Eating. (For that matter, we discourage spouses from pushing their spouses, children from pushing their parents, roommates from pushing their roommates, and so forth.) We “keep our eyes on our own plate.” Children who are old enough to decide for themselves, have voluntarily expressed a strong desire to do it, and have their pediatrician’s support and supervision, are welcome in our community.
For parents who are concerned about their child’s eating or weight, we suggest the book Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming, by Ellyn Satter. Please note that she does not believe in food addiction and instead advocates an approach called “Competent Eating,” which includes eating all foods in moderation. For this reason, adults who are high on the Susceptibility Scale may find her approach problematic. But for parents wanting to learn how to feed children, Ellyn Satter’s work is research-based and effective. Susan covers the topic of feeding children, as well as many others, in the video modules included as part of the Bright Line Eating Boot Camp.
Is a Facebook account required for the Online Support Community or Boot Camp?
Our Online Support Communities are currently hosted through Facebook. We chose Facebook because they have an incredibly streamlined, stable platform which has been perfected and refined over the years. Facebook is very user-friendly, available to everyone, and allows participants to participate as much or as little as they wish. That being said, we understand some people are very firm in their resolution to not join Facebook. We want to assure you that although it’s very beneficial, a Facebook account is NOT required to participate in the Boot Camp. Hundreds of people have successfully completed the Boot Camp without a Facebook account. A phone/email list will be compiled (strictly from willing volunteers who decide to participate) for each Boot Camp, and this list can be used to make connections and get support along your journey. You still can get tremendous value from the Boot Camp even if you decide not to participate in the Facebook group. The bulk of the program, including all the video modules, bonuses, and coaching calls, are delivered online on a private Boot Camp website entirely separate from Facebook.
Should I take the quiz to find out where I fall on the Susceptibility Scale?
Absolutely! Knowing your Susceptibility Score is incredibly helpful and empowering. When you answer the questions honestly, you discover how susceptible you are to addictive eating and learn what type of program is likely to be the most effective in helping you to achieve your health and weight loss goals. The higher you are on the Susceptibility Scale, the more you will need clear boundaries with food (Bright Lines) as a part of your solution. To access the quiz directly, please go to foodfreedomquiz.com.
Why does the Susceptibility Quiz ask me to answer the questions from the vantage point of a 3-month stretch of time in my life when my eating was at its WORST? I don’t eat that way anymore. Can’t I answer the questions from the vantage point of how my eating is today?
Yes, it’s true—the quiz starts out with instructions to think back to a time in your life when your eating was at its worst, and to answer the questions as if you were living back then. There is a scientific reason for this. A large body of evidence shows that once your brain has been wired for any behavioral or emotional response pattern, including food addiction, those fiber tracts in the brain never go away; they will always be there, waiting to be activated again. You can come to behave and feel very differently about food over time, and enjoy freedom and neutrality around your eating, but the underlying susceptibility is always still there.
In other words, if you once were a 9 on the Susceptibility Scale, you’ll always be a 9, because you’ll always need to be more aware and vigilant around food than someone who, at their worst, was a 5.
You can take the quiz a second time from the perspective of how you respond to food today, but it would be unwise to use that score to guide the construction of your Bright Line Eating plan.
Remember, out in the general population, fewer than 1% of people who have a lot of weight to lose will succeed at losing all their excess weight and keeping it off long-term. A big reason for this is that once a healthy pattern of eating is established, people get complacent and forget their underlying susceptibility. Long-term weight loss, and all the happiness, health, and freedom that goes with it, require keeping your Susceptibility Score firmly in mind and molding your eating habits accordingly.
Do you offer personal coaching outside of the Boot Camp?
Yes, we do offer personal coaching. To find out more, please email us at .
What is included in the Online Support Community?
Our Online Support Community is made up of secret, anonymous Facebook groups for people who are committed to using the four Bright Lines (sugar, flour, meals, and quantities) to lose all their excess weight and live Happy, Thin, and Free. In our experience, ongoing social connection with others following the Bright Lines is the number one factor in long-term success. People use the Online Support Community in a variety of ways—to publically commit what they’re going to eat for the day, to ask questions, to get help with meal planning, to get support around traveling or navigating tricky social situations, to celebrate successes, and much more. It’s a very loving and non-judgmental group.
Is the Online Support Community private?
Absolutely. The Online Support Community is actually a “secret” group in Facebook, which means it enjoys a level of anonymity beyond a mere “private” group. People who are not in the Bright Line Eating group will not be able to see anything posted in the group area. This means you and your fellow Bright Line Eaters will have a safe and secure place to hold discussions and give and receive support from one another, and no one else (including your existing or future Facebook friends) will see these discussions on your Facebook timeline. Beyond that, other people cannot locate the group with a search in Facebook, and your membership in the group will not appear on your profile. To anyone who is not a member of the group, it’s as if the group doesn’t exist.
Is there a book on Bright Line Eating?
We are excited to announce Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., has completed Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free. The book is currently expected to be released on March 21, 2017. Download the Free Report at http://HappyThinandFree.com to get a preview of what’s to come. This will put you on our mailing list so you’ll hear all the upcoming updates and book announcements.
What are Susan's credentials?
Susan Peirce Thompson earned her BA in Cognitive Science from U.C. Berkeley in 1997, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She received a full scholarship to attend graduate school at the University of Rochester, and earned her Master’s in 2001 and her Ph.D. in 2003, both in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. After earning her doctorate, she completed two years of postdoctoral training in Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
Susan's first professorship was a two-year appointment in the Psychology Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. In 2007, she accepted a position at Monroe Community College where she was a psychology professor for nine years, ultimately earning tenure and being promoted to Associate Professor. She taught courses in Positive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Introductory Psychology, and The Psychology of Eating, Body Image, and Wellness. In 2011, she received the NISOD Excellence Award, a prestigious honor bestowed annually on select professors in the United States for their outstanding contributions and leadership.
In 2015, Dr. Thompson helped found the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss, a non-profit foundation whose mission is to conduct and disseminate research on the science of effective and sustainable weight loss. Shortly after Dr. Thompson founded Bright Line Eating Solutions in 2014, it became clear that supporting people in Bright Line Eating would ultimately require her full-time attention. In 2016, she resigned from her professorship and now devotes all her time to her family, and to growing and spreading the Bright Line Eating movement.