My name is [ Anonymous ], and I am a compulsive overeater. I weigh and measure three meals a day from the Cambridge Grey Sheet, write them down, commit them to my sponsor or another qualified person. I don't eat in between no matter what. Abstinence is the most important thing.
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Are you or a loved one struggling with binge eating, compulsive overeating, or another eating disorder? If so, you know that recovery can be difficult without the right support and resources. OA is an organization that offers recovery tools for people dealing with compulsive eating, binge eating, and other eating disorders.
The organization follows a step approach and is centered on group meetings and sponsors to aid with recovery. OA has created a Plan of Eating to help people end their compulsive eating behaviors, guide healthy diet decisions, and identify specific eating patterns.
The plan is individualized. There are no specific suggestions for foods, calorie totals, or other restrictions. The primary focus of the plan is abstinence from harmful behaviors rather than weight loss. Still, some members may choose to use their plans to get to a healthy weight, but on a steady and sustainable schedule. OA may be right for you if you:.
OA recognizes that compulsive overeating is physical, emotional, and spiritual. Your Plan of Eating should ideally be part of a holistic approach that includes working with the step program, attending group meetings, and using other OA tools for recovery.
Recovery from an eating disorder is a process. It may take several drafts to find the right fit for your lifestyle. When drafting your plan, remember to take into account eating out, weekends, and busy schedules. Planning ahead for these occasions can help you stay on track. A disadvantage of this plan is that it requires you to take stock of your dietary history and craft guidelines to follow.
Being honest with yourself is the best way to create a plan that will help you, but depending on where you are in recovery, it can be difficult. One way to ensure that your plan will be more helpful than harmful is to work on it with your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Start brainstorming, both alone and with your local group, and write down everything you think could be useful. Try to focus your plan on abstinence by writing out your own affirmation or vision.
Your plan might include eating three meals per day with two snacks or six small meals with no snacking. OA also offers a couple of pamphlets at a low cost that provide more guidance. These sample food plans are a good guide, but make sure you speak with a dietitian to come up with the right plan for you. What you consume and how much is ultimately up to you.
Focus on the following areas when writing up your plan:. Eating a variety of foods is the best way to get the nutrients you need. Be sure to include ingredients from all the following groups in your plan:. Cooking with whole foods is more beneficial for your overall diet than cooking with packaged alternatives.
It may even help you stay away from certain triggers. When choosing foods, also ask your doctor what ones you might need to avoid if you have health conditions like diabetes , high cholesterol , or high blood pressure. Some people like eating three meals per day breakfast , lunch , and dinner. Other people prefer smaller, more frequent meals, and others like snacking throughout the day.
The time you eat and how frequently you eat may be based on your daily schedule, your physical activity level, and any bingeing triggers. Controlling how much you eat at any one time may be the hardest of all these points.
The Rutgers Health Outreach, Promotion, and Education department outlines some tips for getting started with portion control, including:. You can learn more about proper food portion sizes at choosemyplate. Attend a local meeting and discuss the plan with your doctor and registered dietitian.
The two of you can work together to create a plan for success. Years after recovering from an eating disorder, I still find old thought patterns emerge.
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Is an Overeaters Anonymous Food Plan Right for Me?
GreySheeters Anonymous GSA is a Twelve Step fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other in order to recover from compulsive eating. Our primary purpose is to stay abstinent and to help other compulsive eaters to achieve abstinence. For that purpose we explore together the utilization of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous in arresting compulsive eating. We define abstinence as three weighed and measured meals a day from the GreySheet food plan, with nothing in between meals, except black coffee, tea, and diet soda. Our experience is that compulsive eating is set off by a physical reaction to the same foods from which alcohol is made grains, sugars, and starches and leads to an obsession with those foods.
Overview of the Grey Sheet Diet Plan
Distributed by Overeaters Anonymous to its members until , the Grey Sheet Diet was a meal plan that received its name from the grey-colored paper on which it was printed. The plan was designed to help control food addiction and promote weight loss. Although Overeaters Anonymous no longer endorses the Grey Sheet Diet, other organizations, including GreySheeters Anonymous , continue to encourage new members to follow the program through sponsors, or members who have adhered to the diet for at least 90 days. The diet may not be a healthy choice for everyone. Talk to your doctor before starting. Alternate versions of the Grey Sheet Diet may differ in certain specifics, but the basic plan is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Followers are instructed to eliminate all sugar and sugary desserts like cake or candy, alcoholic beverages and grain products such as bread, cereal or noodles from their meals.