95: The Science of Sustainable Weight Loss with Bright Line

The Science of Sustainable Weight Loss with Bright Line Eating

You’re about to meet Susan Peirce Thompson, creator of the Bright Line Boot Camp and author of the book (the book, in my opinion) on sustainable weight loss. Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free is all about the complex relationship between the brain and the food we eat.

It’s fascinating, life-changing stuff. I’ve been looking forward to this interview ever since reading Susan’s book and trying the program myself.

Sustainable Weight Loss … Finally Within Reach

Susan is not just someone who has an incredible personal story about weight loss (and addiction, too, which is more related than you might think). She’s an impressively credentialed neuroscientist with a PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, a professorship at the University of Rochester, and a specialty in the psychology of eating, body image, and wellness.

In 2015, Susan helped start the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss, a nonprofit foundation whose mission is research on achievable and sustainable weight loss.

You all know I’m a geek for science and research so I was willing to give this weight loss book a try. It’s made an amazing difference in my life, and I hope it can in yours as well.

In This Episode You’ll Learn

  • Susan’s incredible personal story on her road from serious drug addiction to health and weight loss advocate
  • the science of addiction (and why some people are more vulnerable to it)
  • how fighting your brain is like swimming upstream, and how to make it work for you instead
  • the healthiest thing you can do for your body … period
  • how modern society has hijacked the human brain and wired it to eat
  • the 2 secrets to being thin (yes, you only need two!)
  • Bright Line’s rate of success as compared to other weight loss systems (it’s staggering)
  • why your cravings might have nothing to do with your willpower … and where they do come from
  • hormesis: what it is and why you should want it to happen to you
  • the real effect of “failure” and how it leads to poor self-perception
  • the concept of automaticity and how to apply it to simplify food decisions (and avoid food pitfalls)
  • all about leptin, the crucial hormone that tells us when we’re full, and what can block it
  • what dopamine down-regulation can do to your diet
  • whether sugar and flour can really be had “in moderation”
  • the little-known reason why vegetables are so good for us (it has nothing to do with vitamins or fiber!)
  • biological reasons why your identity feels so different after significant weight loss
  • Susan’s take on how to set kids up for a healthy diet (and whether they should do Bright Lines)
  • how to handle social pressures and visual cues to eat trigger foods
  • Susan’s surprising countercultural advice about exercise

Resources We Mention


Book: Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free

Testimonials, and How to Work with Susan

Are you searching for a way to lose weight and keep it off? What has worked for you? Does Susan’s advice ring true?

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me mention them before. I have been using and loving and Instagramming their products for years. They have an amazing instant mushroom coffee.

I know it sounds weird, but hear me out! It’s not only the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried, it’s also pretty high up on the list of best coffee I’ve tried, period! It’s made with superfood mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga mushrooms. And these mushrooms have some big health benefits, plus give you energy and mental clarity without the jitters from traditional coffee.

If you aren’t a caffeine person, they also have a variety of mushroom teas and other caffeine-free products. I love them so much that I reached out and they agreed to give a discount to my listeners. So, go to foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and use the code “WellnessMama” to get 10% off.

This episode is sponsored by Kettle and Fire Bone Broth. If you love the benefits of bone broth but don’t love the time it takes to make and how tough it can be to find quality bones to make it, Kettle and Fire is for you! Their bone broth is a regular staple in my kitchen these days, and it was what I used to create the recipes in my new bone broth e-book (releasing later this year).

So they use only bones from 100% grass-fed pasture raised cattle that are never given hormones and antibiotics. It’s also unique because they focus on bones that are especially high in collagen, which is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body. You can find them in many Whole Foods on the west coast and you can also order online at Kettleandfire.com/mama.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. Wow! I rarely take the time to sit and listen to a Podcast in its entirety but I am so thrilled that I did here. This is a total game changer for me and so much that was discussed resonated with me personally. So much so that I became emotional at some of Susan’s talking points. Thank you to you both. Headed over to Bright Line Eating website now.

  2. Thank you so much for this podcast. In April, you posted a little blurb that you were going to try Bright Line Eating. I clicked the link, and all I can say is, thank you. Thank you for bringing BLE into my life. Since I have started, I now know what real health and vitality feel like. I actually listen to the book (Susan narrates) on loop many times. You truly have brought me to the very best version of myself. Much love.

  3. Wow! My DIL is headed for bariatric surgery next week! I want her to consider Bright Libe Eating instead! Hubby too! He is in stage 4 kidney disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol and over weight…..

    Thank you for this valuable and life changing information!


  4. Katie
    I am sorry to hear you backing BLE. I have respect for Susan P. Thompson’s struggle with weight, drugs, addiction. I admire her ability to communicate. But BLE is hard, really hard. It’s not easy to get even 1200 calories per day eating on the rigid plan. And SPT herself is constantly vlogging about how she isn’t able to stay on the plan. Sure, eat whatever you want, but 2 tbsp of fat each day total, nonmore. Small amounts of protein and huge quantities of produce. And Katie, are you eating grain? On the podcast SPT says she often eats all her food by 2 pm and then stops eating because the plan only allows her that amount. She plows through it and then stops eating. What about people with adrenal fatigue for whom long periods without food is not advisable. And Katie SPT eats vegan. She measures out little plastic baggies of freeze dried beans and nuts. She doesn’t even try to make it delicious or beautiful. That’s not the Wellness Mama I know and love. I think there’s more research needed.

    • I absolutely agree with your points and certainly, I don’t eat like SPT does. I should definitely clarify more if this was confusing. In general, I’m using BLE as a way to make sure I’m eating enough vegetables and I do feel better right now off flours and sugars, but I don’t limit my fats like she does, and I’m certainly not vegan. Thanks for pointing this out. I’ll work on adding to this and a follow up post that explains in more detail so it isn’t misleading.

      • Can I ask, when SPT says no flour is in no wheat flour, or all fours please? Thanks, love the podcast!

  5. I too received your email about BLE months ago, I have since started the program and 3 of my friends have also! I have so much respect for you Katie, so anything you are doing and sharing always gets my attention! I can’t say thank you enough for sharing about BLE. I am in my right sized body but my mind has never felt “free” from food cravings and addiction. So I am doing the program just for the freedom it gives me! Thanks again for all you do! My life is better because of you as all your research and information you share!

  6. Can you make bulletproof coffee with that mushroom coffee you talk about from Four Sigmatic? Using instant coffee would be so much quicker than having to brew a pot every day. I’m actually not a coffee drinker, but I am trying to get on board with this whole butter and oil in the coffee hype. I’m so curious to see if it works. As a result I never make coffee so a healthy instant type would be so much easier for me. And cut down on time since you still have to blend it. I was just curious if the taste would be different because of the mushrooms.

    • You absolutely could! Taste may be different but not bad 🙂

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