Diet Plan for Overeaters Anonymous

Overeaters anonymous, or OA, is a group movement in which those who have a compulsive eating disorder offer each other support and fellowship with the goal of not overeating 2. OA doesn't promote any specific diet approach; the basis of the program is abstaining from the behavior of compulsive eating.

Overeaters Anonymous Overview

The official organization defines OA as a fellowship of individuals who are recovering from compulsive overeating. The body weight of members can differ from obese to underweight, but all members share compulsive eating behaviors.

Diet and OA

Abstaining from the damaging behavior is the foundation of the OA program’s philosophy. Members are to admit they are unable to control the behavior and work to completely eliminate the compulsion one day at a time. OA does not promote dieting strategies and cautions against restrictive diets that can exacerbate the tendency to overeat. The OA program is similar to the “12 Step” programs in place for other addictions. In step 1, according to, the members must admit powerlessness over their addiction -- food, for overeaters -- and admit that their lives have become unmanageable 1.

Balanced Diet Recommendations

Adopting a balanced, healthy diet is important for normalizing weight and changing food behaviors. In the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends limiting solid fats, added sugars and refined grains 3. Further, the guidelines encourage eating nutrient-dense foods such as:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • low-fat dairy products
  • seafood
  • lean meats

Beans, peas, nuts and seeds are also an important part of a healthy balanced diet.

Healthy Eating Behavior

Healthy eating involves both the nutritional quality of your food and the way you experience eating. Eating is often social, and food should be enjoyed mindfully, in the company of others. This awareness can help you to improve both eating habits and weight.

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