Achieving & Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging, especially as we age. And while the factors that contribute to excess weight are well-known, effective strategies for long-term weight control remain elusive. That said, I was recently motivated to read BRIGHT LINE EATING by Susan Peirce Thomson, PhD, after hearing about this program from some good friends and colleagues who found this program so helpful. Thompson is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester and an expert in the psychology of eating. Both her personal and professional experience with eating behavior and weight contribute to the practical strategies that she has developed to support achievement and maintenance of weight goals.

Thompson explains that “the modern diet wires our brain to work against us, but we can rewire it to work for us.” She gives you all the science you need to understand what is happening inside your brain that is blocking your weight loss, including the down-regulation of dopamine receptors through over-stimulation by sugar and refined carbohydrates. Thompson explains “how the Standard American diet hijacks our hormones and neurotransmitters, leaving us with insatiable hunger, overpowering cravings, and vulnerable to something that she calls the ‘Willpower Gap.’”

To overcome the “Willpower Gap,” Thompson explains four clear behavioral goals, which she calls “Bright Lines, defined by Thomson as “clear unambiguous boundaries that you just don’t cross.” These include (1) avoiding foods with added sugar (or artificial sweeteners); (2) avoiding foods made with flour (of any kind); (3) eating meals on a regular schedule (usually 3 daily) with no snacking; and (4) careful adherence to quantities (serving size) of recommended foods at each meal.

Lots of practical help is provided in how and why to adhere to these “Bright Lines.” I highly recommend BRIGHT LINE EATING – both the book and the support provided on the website This is a much-needed and effective resource to support weight control.

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