A Plan of Eating

A Plan of Eating is a tool to help the OA member maintain abstinence.


“As a tool, a plan of eating helps us abstain from compulsive eating, guides us in our dietary decisions, and defines what, when, how, where and why we eat.There are no specific requirements for a plan of eating; OA does not endorse or recommend any specific plan of eating, nor does it exclude the personal use of one. (See the pamphlets Dignity of Choice and A Plan of Eating for more information.) For specific dietary or nutritional guidance, OA suggests consulting a qualified health care professional, such as a physician or dietitian. Each of us develops a personal plan of eating based on an honest appraisal of his or her past experience. Many of us find it essential to take guidance from our sponsors to develop a plan of eating that reflects an honest desire to achieve and maintain abstinence. Although individual plans of eating are as varied as our members, most OA members agree that some plan—no matter how flexible or structured—is necessary. This tool helps us deal with the physical aspects of our disease and achieve physical recovery. From this vantage point, we can more effectively follow OA’s Twelve-Step program of recovery and move beyond the food to a happier, healthier and more spiritual life.” – The Tools of Recovery pg1

There are as many plans of eating in OA as there are members and each members’ plan may change over time. The pamphlet A Plan of Eating will help you begin the process, and Dignity of Choice has samples of some of the many plans OA member’s use. (MORE)

An effective Plan of Eating helps the member stop eating compulsively and move toward or maintain a healthy body weight. For a member to stay stopped requires more than just a Plan of Eating! Working the Twelve Steps and using the Tools of Recovery brings a return to sanity around food and a fuller recovery experience spiritually and emotionally.


Free to Change!

I came to OA in 1993, weighing in excess of 250 pounds (113 kg). No Dignity of Choice pamphlet existed. In fact, talking about food was taboo and rumors abounded of colored sheets available in the back alley after the meeting. I wondered if the food police would pop out of nowhere if a newcomer mentioned the round thing with a hole in the center! (MORE)

At my first meeting, it became clear I needed a sponsor and food plan.I wanted to be abstinent, though I was not clear what that meant. My sponsor suggested I call her the next day with my plan for the day and not eat sugar. It was that simple.

My first food plan was calorie counting more or less. With time, I recognized the need to abstain from certain foods. My plan has evolved as needed. It began as a weight-loss tool, but it became a maintenance tool when I reached a goal weight.

In my eighteen years of recovery, I have increased or decreased food to compensate for health issues, exercise, and aging. Doggone it; I don’t need as much food today!

Weighing my food helps me know I am eating the right amount for my physical recovery. I plan the evening before, write it down, and report it to my sponsor. Then I don’t have to worry about food, leaving much more time to live my life.

The most important thing I can share with a newcomer is that a food plan is just a tool that helps me gain, lose, or maintain weight. Like any tool, if it’s not working, I can fix it (with my sponsor’s help) or get
a new one. I’m not married to my food plan until death do us part. As my life
has evolved, so has the quantity I eat. My abstinence is not my food plan, but having a good food plan helps me stay abstinent.

Taste of Lifeline pp. 69-70

Literature and Pamplets