There is no one preferred or mandated OA diet. A “diet” tends to be a short-term restriction in our food in order to lose weight. Once the weight goal is reached (and often before that), we go back to our old eating patterns and rapidly return to our original weight plus even more. The OA “plan of eating” is one of its nine tools and a permanent part of how we work the OA Twelve-Step Program.
Each person develops his or her own plan of eating. Consulting a doctor or nutritionist is encouraged, as is working with a sponsor to develop and refine the plan.
In the newcomer packet (free of charge at our meetings) there are three pamphlets dealing with plans for eating:
- A Plan of Eating
- Dignity of Choice – Sample Plans of Eating
- The Tools of Recovery
Don’t be confused by any statements made at meetings by members saying that they don’t eat certain foods, foods with particular ingredient substances (such as sugar or flour) or whole food groups. This is an individual choice, not an OA requirement.
Some members develop lists of “red light,” “yellow light,” and “green light” foods, where red indicates a highly dangerous trigger or binge food, and green indicates a food that can be consumed with no problem. Categorizing foods in this way is individualized. What is perfectly safe for one person, can be a “red light” for another.
Although there is no preferred plan of eating, most members agree that some plan, no matter how structured or flexible, is needed. A favorite member slogan is:
Fail to plan = plan to fail.