Reflections on No-S and BLE

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

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kccc
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by kccc » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:20 pm

Hello all. Some of you may remember me... I'm a long-time no-s-er, but don't post much anymore. Usually I pop back in just before the holidays to clean up my habits.

This year I didn't. And I was sorry.

For the first time in years, "lose weight" was on my list of New Year's Resolutions. :( Worse, I didn't seem able to re-instate my normal No-S eating habits. I started overeating on Halloween (also a family birthday) and just kept going, with sporadic efforts at sanity.

During that time, the BLE videos talking about the role of the brain in overweight caught my eye. I studied cognitive science as part of my graduate work, and am fascinated by it. So, I watched them. And ended up trying the program. It worked well for me to break the bad habits I'd fallen into.

There's a lot there that's useful... and some that's not. Will post some thoughts in this thread, comparing the two.

Here's the summary:
1) There's a lot of overlap between BLE and NoS - about 40-50%, in my opinion. So the research that supports those parts of BLE also supports NoS. Yay!
2) The originator of BLE chose to turn it into a for-profit business. That means...
(a) The ratio of marketing hype to usable info is much inflated. (I feel the same way about WW, for the record.)
(b) It's costly. I'm rather staggered by how much people pay for it. (I did it "on the cheap" - checked out the book from the library, and signed up for the 14-day challenge, which was $29 when I found it.)
(c) We all owe Reinhard a great big thank-you for not going that route.
3) I'm not sorry I did it as a reboot/detox... but I find it a bit OCD and won't stick with it 100% in future. Moderation is good.

kccc
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by kccc » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:39 pm

Okay, for those of you not familiar with "Bright Lines Eating," or the originator's story, here's a summary.

Susan Pierce Thompson (SPT) was a drug addict in her youth, and when she kicked that habit, became obese. She did the usual lose/gain/lose on various diets, and finally lost through a program that treated food as an addiction - Overeaters Anonymous. During that time, she also earned a doctorate (and eventually tenure) in neuroscience, focusing on addiction. She left academia to create BLE based on her research.

The big ideas:
- Overly refined substances can play havoc with our biochemistry. (Example: Indians can chew coco leaf and not get addicted, but cocaine is highly addictive.) Not everyone is equally susceptible, but for those who are, refined flour (all types) and sugar are addictive substances.
- When exposed to addictive substances, the brain reduces receptors for them in an effort to regulate. That's why addicts need continuously higher doses. When the addictive substance is withdrawn, the brain will eventually restore receptors... but that "eventually" period can be rough.
- The brain also develops habitual paths. She uses the metaphor of water running down a hill... eventually it will create channels, and dig them deeper over time. To extend the metaphor, to create new habits you have to both dig new channels and dam off the old ones. The bad news: the old ones are still there, like dry river beds, and if your dams weaken you can fall into old patterns. (Perfect description of my holiday lapses.)

Based on her research and experience, she draws four "bright lines".
- No flour
- No sugar
- Regular meals (3 recommended), no snacking. (Does that sound familiar?)
- Measured amounts of food. (She uses weight, not calories, in her food plan which is somewhat better. The food plan includes specific categories of food at each meal, and a TON of vegetables.)

Sticking to the plan for a few weeks was enough to put me back on track. Interestingly, a LOT of it felt like No-S... what others seemed to struggle with the most (no snacking, meals), I found familiar and actually comforting.

What I found most valuable is the compilation of research around creating/sustaining habits. And that's the stuff I'll add here (later, out of time). What I found least valuable was the rigid OCD approach. It was fine short-term, but not long-term. I do not intend to weigh food at restaurants, nor do I think that I need to avoid all sugar/flour the rest of my life... I've done well for years on a more moderate system, tyvm!

More later. Other comments welcome.

automatedeating
Posts: 3226
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:16 pm

Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by automatedeating » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:10 am

Hi KCCC!!!! so wonderful to see you posting. I love this forum, and it's amazing when the old-timers pop back in and share with the rest of us. Thank you so much!
Month/Year-BMI
8/13-26.3; 8/14-24.5; 5/15-26.2; 1/16-26.9; 9/16-25.6; 8/17-25.8; 11/17-26.9; 3/18-25.6; 8/18-24.5; 10/18-23.8; 1/19-23.4; 2/19-22.7; 3/19-22.1

margot17
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:14 pm
Location: France

Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by margot17 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:08 am

Hello! I am Margot and I am a noob, although not a noob to the dieting dilemma. You said other comments welcome and so I go for it, hoping I am not overstepping, and if I do, just let me know.

I do have opinions on the carbs factor, as well as more philosophical ones on dieting, addictions etc.

I think this carbs addiction idea that is so rampant today especially in US has truth in it, but it's a bit of an exageration.
Carbs are vicious pied pipers only when they're very refined and/or when eaten alone, but when those carbs are whole grains, or just good old white wheat eaten in moderate quantities and associated with foods rich of fibers (vegetables and beans), they become quite tame. Think in terms of avoiding a blood sugar spike on the lines of old dear GI diet, and looking at the meal as one unit that may include some bad guys and some buffers. We all know this, and even think that it's true, but execute it inconsistently, and that's why more radical ideas of throwing it all away come along, as it seems the only way, but it's not imo. So finding mods on that line of thinking could be a "moderate" way to go about it all. Something like, if I eat pasta or pizza, it has to be with lots of vegetables, I can eat bread but not at the beginning of a meal, or I can have the carby snack but together with an apple. You find your own angle, making sure the rules you establish are clear in a green/red way because we know that that works.

It is really easy to downplay the relevance of the buffers, because like I said, this is something we have known for a long time and it didn't make anyone thin. But my personal experience says otherwise, if I check in my past the periods when I wasn't hooked on food, they are all periods when I (maybe unconsciously and due to environmental factors) was extremely consistent and not half-assed in marrying the carbs with the buffers. For a period, I was all about whole rice cooked longly in the pressure cooker like they do in macrobiotics, maybe together with barley or spelt and red rice or quinoa millet etc. It was a pseudo-vegan moment, I went on eating dairies but my typical meals were whole grains and veggies or even whole grains alone, and it was a time I was in super-shape without even trying to. Another time, I had spent the winter in Thailand and eaten lots of white rice, but always together with luscious vegetables and curries and huge salads, also because I wasn't the one cutting the vegetables, they even sold peeled pineapple on the street who would refuse it? again best shape of all. So I know it's a thing for me. I do not have personal examples of periods when I felt good and ate a lot of proteins with carbs, because proteins are not too popular with me, I have to remind myself to eat them, but my MIL, who's a gorgeous norwegian lady in super-shape, has always eaten a lot of meat and fish (nordic people tend to, it's the climate) accompanied with potatoes or very dark bread and steamed vegetables or salad and I know it works very well for her.
I might also add that in France and Italy everyone is thin a part from me :lol: and carbs are eaten with abandon, but never in isolated manner. And I don't think the biology of french and italians is all that better than the americans, if ever you should have the advantage of coming from a lot dna crossings, which is biologically a stronger overall makeup.
I am really convinced that it's not necessary to throw the baby with the water, I've gone the keto route and I was miserable. If you really want to go really very scientific about it, you can buy yourself one of those little things that monitor blood sugar (they're kind of cheap) and explore what foods and combinations and what habits get your blood sugar to rise and find your way around the concept.

I'll spare you the more philosophical reasonings, as I've been already longwinded enough!
Glad to have the privilege to be talking with a long-time Nos-er!

kccc
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by kccc » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:32 pm

Hi Margot,

Totally agree with you on the difference between refined carbs and whole grain. That distinction is one of the things that attracted me to BLE. (I wouldn’t do Keto or paleo on a bet.)

margot17
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Location: France

Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by margot17 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:40 pm

In BLE whole grains are permitted?

Yes whole grains. I love them! But what I'm saying is that even evil white flour and derivates, when eaten in moderate quantities and in combination with fibers aka vegetables, can be totally fine, imo.

kccc
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Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by kccc » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:35 pm

One of the useful aspects of BLE corresponds to a feature of No-S - an emphasis on creating new habits. There are some re-phrasings of familiar ideas that I found helpful.

All of us have to coping with some sort of "lapse" at times. The catch-phrase used in BLE is "Re-zoom" (a cutesy spelling of "Resume" meant to make a point). There are "4 S's" associated with that.

- SPEED. Get back on track fast. As soon as possible. Now, not tomorrow morning, next Monday, next month. Immediately.
- SELF-TALK. Don't waste time/energy beating yourself up. Move on. Encourage yourself to do better. (My rule of thumb: Talk to myself as I would a friend in a similar situation. I would never say "you are just a failure" or any variant; I would remind them that they've succeeded before, they've GOT this, etc.)
- SOCIAL SUPPORT. That's this site (or the BLE equivalents), and maybe some people in your real life. It helps to get encouragement.
- SEEK THE LESSON. What led to your lapse? Are there environmental triggers/cues that you can avoid in the future? Can you make a plan for similar situations?

Nice summary... all of which relates to No-S practices.

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Merry
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Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by Merry » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:08 am

kccc wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:20 pm

(a) The ratio of marketing hype to usable info is much inflated.
Thanks so much for posting about this! A friend's husband (no longer local to me but I knew them years ago) lost a ton of weight (150 lbs. in about 9 months) doing BLE, so I have been curious. I did notice the overlap and also that it was more strict (something I didn't think I could stick with long-term--and I'm very committed to trying to mainly make changes I can stick to long-term so I don't yo-yo again). But wow...the amount of spammy-sounding marketing blah-blah-blah that you have to read to get to a pittance of information--if I hadn't actually known the guy, I'd have written it off as snake oil. I'm not convinced it will work long-term because it's so strict, but I don't know what they do for maintenance.

At any rate...hugely thankful to Reinhard!

Like you, I went off the rails this holiday season (I started going off around Thanksgiving, and haven't had a full week on No-S since then...looking to get back on track!) Anyway...welcome back!
Homeschool Mom and No S returnee as of 11-30-15.
2 years and counting on No-S.
29 lbs. down, 34 to go. Slow and steady wins the race.
Respect Moderation

automatedeating
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Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by automatedeating » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:52 pm

Hi Merry! Welcome back and so glad to see you posting! :-)
Month/Year-BMI
8/13-26.3; 8/14-24.5; 5/15-26.2; 1/16-26.9; 9/16-25.6; 8/17-25.8; 11/17-26.9; 3/18-25.6; 8/18-24.5; 10/18-23.8; 1/19-23.4; 2/19-22.7; 3/19-22.1

Soprano
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Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by Soprano » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:37 pm

Welcome back Merry, it seems common theme to have slipped over the Christmas period. I've struggled to get back on it too!

Jx
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

kccc
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:12 am

Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by kccc » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:15 am

Hi Merry! So nice to "see a familiar face," so to speak.

Yes, the marketing hype is annoying. I tended to put on a video/vlog while I was doing other stuff that didn't take all my attention. But if you're willing to dig, there's some very useful stuff.

I was also in the "can't get my good habits going again / can't stop the bad ones" cycle. The description of "dry river beds" in the brain (see my post above) helped me a lot. (Well, so did novelty. I have a friend who thinks diets only work once, because the novelty is what makes you stick to them...) Anyway, that metaphor helped me focus on "building my dams." In addition, when I was tempted, I would think "these are NOT the habits I want to reinforce," and that helped. Plus, having no flour or sugar for 14 days was the detox I needed to get back to "normal" eating.

But all the emphasis on habits? A LOT of that seemed very similar to No-S.

I'm not sorry I did BLE. Even though much of it feels too strict, there are parts of it that I'll "keep" long-term.

For example, you eat a LOT of veggies - so much that I sometimes looked at them in dismay and thought "I will never finish all of this!" That stifled any feelings of deprivation that I might have had, and I think that I want to keep having very large servings of veg.

Another really powerful strategy was separating decision-making about food from hunger/eating. Each night, after supper, you'd write down your plan for the next day. The goal was to stick to it completely... but I tend to treat my plan as "intelligent dietary defaults." Even so, having it in place has proved really helpful. Sometimes I figure out that I need to prep food in advance - take something out to thaw, or pre-cook something for the next day. Sometimes I realize that there simply isn't "good food" in the house, and a grocery-store run is in order. And it's SO nice not to be thinking "what is there...?" when I'm ready for a meal.

ladybird30
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Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by ladybird30 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:23 am

Thanks for this run down on BLE, and great to have you posting again KCCC. Welcome back to Merry too.
Three meals a day - not too little not too much, but just right

Thisisnotabadidea-
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Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by Thisisnotabadidea- » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:55 pm

kccc wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:15 am
Another really powerful strategy was separating decision-making about food from hunger/eating. Each night, after supper, you'd write down your plan for the next day. The goal was to stick to it completely... but I tend to treat my plan as "intelligent dietary defaults." Even so, having it in place has proved really helpful. Sometimes I figure out that I need to prep food in advance - take something out to thaw, or pre-cook something for the next day. Sometimes I realize that there simply isn't "good food" in the house, and a grocery-store run is in order. And it's SO nice not to be thinking "what is there...?" when I'm ready for a meal.
I got into this habit with No s and it helps TREMENDOUSLY. The last few days I haven't been doing that and I've felt very lost when I come to eat, I need to do that again. It's like mental meal prep so you know when, what and how to do the next day and it's easy to stick to a plan because it's already there for you :D

automatedeating
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:16 pm

Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by automatedeating » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:56 pm

Agree about the food planning thing. Critical to green days for me is planning out the WHOLE week in advance. I already know what I'll have for each meal, for the most part.
Month/Year-BMI
8/13-26.3; 8/14-24.5; 5/15-26.2; 1/16-26.9; 9/16-25.6; 8/17-25.8; 11/17-26.9; 3/18-25.6; 8/18-24.5; 10/18-23.8; 1/19-23.4; 2/19-22.7; 3/19-22.1

Thisisnotabadidea-
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Re: Reflections on No-S and BLE

Post by Thisisnotabadidea- » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:30 pm

That's actually pretty smart to plan out the entire week, I normally plan out dinner meals for the week so it wouldn't be hard to add in the other two since I'm already half there, I'd just worry about getting too locked down and then one day realize I need to eat something before it went back or I'm almost out of bread and I don't have time to make more :P

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