In the interests of preventing copyright violations, I am in the process of rewriting this page.
When I first started program, my food plan was given to me by my sponsor. However, the reality is, there is no “one size fits all.”
Developing a food plan requires rigorous honesty and awareness about your trigger foods.
I abstain from eating flour, sugar, and wheat, in addition to other food restrictions due to health issues. I eat 3 weighed and measured meals a day, and any food changes I clear with another sister in recovery with long term abstinence. I feel liberated by my food plan. Everyday I feel so grateful to be free from the obsession to compulsively overeat.
Practically, I thought I would share on the blog how I measure my food portions:
Protein portion measurements:
4 oz meat/chicken/fish = 6 oz beans (including tofu) = 2 oz hard cheese = 2 oz nuts = 2 eggs = 8 oz milk or yogurt = 4 oz cottage cheese or farmer cheese
2 oz dried fruit = 6 oz fruit
I also use the following guidelines for portion guidelines:
1 oz uncooked grain = 4 oz cooked grain
For dry or uncooked protein:
1.5 oz raw beans = 6 oz cooked
5 oz raw chicken or meat = 4 oz cooked meat/chicken
1/2 oz nuts = 1 fat = 1/2 oz fat
10 oz. raw veggies = 8 oz cooked veggies
I know we are not a diet and calories club, but I did calculate the calories per ounce of various food groups.
These are average measures. I will try to attach more specific measures for those who might be interested in a future post.
Fruit: 16 Calories per oz
Animal protein: 50
Adjusting and Adapting to Aging:
As I age, and my metabolism slows down, I am in the process of making new adjustments to my food plan.
Among the things I have learned from my sisters in program:
- Whatever changes one makes need to be done slowly.
At this stage, if I drop my food too much or too fast, I have been told that my body will adjust (sigh) and then I will not know the effects of the choices that I am making.
Slow and steady wins the race.
- For me, I need to make choices that I can live with in the long run.
I had to really ask myself: what is really important for me?
It is a very personal decision. Besides, as addicts, I believe that we are allergic to people telling us what to do.
At first, I made the decision to keep the structure of my meal plan but adjust my portion sizes.
That was still too much food. So, now, I have 3 oz. of grain and 4 oz. of fruit for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, however, I have 10 oz. of cooked and raw vegetables and no grains or fruit.
Other people will make different choices.
So, more is always being revealed!
In addition, level of activity also makes a difference. Exercise is a very important part of self-care. In fact, I consider it to be a necessary part of anyone’s wellness plan. I only wish that I did it more often.
I have known many sisters in recovery who as they age, they increase their level of activity and exercise, if nothing else, to speed up their metabolism. When I exercise, I feel so much better!
This is one of my older food plans:
Here are diagrams to explain serving exchanges and how to create a healthy food plan:
The above document from cookingfromthetimechallenged.wordpress.com, which is reposted with permission from the author.
I highly recommend Full of Faith, which is a Christian 12 Step Recovery From Food Addiction Group for their excellent food plan.
Pamela Messhardt who is the founder of the group, also wrote a book, Sweet Surrender.
This is a link to the original Weight Watchers Diet from the 1970’s.
Here is a link to the OA Dignity Of Choice Food Plans.
For professional help, click on the link.
Some people find it beneficial to go to a nutritionist instead. However, if you go to a nutritionist, I suggest that you go to one who is familiar with food addiction.
Personally, when I sponsor other people, I do not like to get into control issues around their food plans. Although I am happy to share my food plan with other people, I do not feel that my sponsees need to eat the way I eat.
The most important thing is to surrender to a food plan and commit to following it. If I knew how to eat intuitively, I would not need to be in program.
Developing a Food Plan
Someone recently asked me “how do I develop a healthy food plan?” I discovered that a great place to start is by going to MyPlate Checklist Calculator
Then, here is a link to a great resource from the USDA, which describes various meal plans and amount of portions, based on age and level of activity.
This is the link for Canada’s Food Guide, which will also personalize a food plan based on age and gender. However, it would need to be adjusted for height, weight and level of activity, in addition to food preferences. I am sensitive to sugar, so, I prefer to have less than their recommended carbohydrates, and more protein. But, it is a very personal decision, based on your trigger foods and personal preferences.
This is the most comprehensive article that I have found on creating a food plan for weight loss.
Here is a link to the DASH diet, which I consider to be one of the healthiest, with each food exchange adjusted for various calorie levels.
After that, I recommend adjusting according to triggers and other health concerns.
As food addicts, we have an abnormal reaction to certain foods. Therefore, unlike normal eaters, there are certain foods that we must abstain from eating, if we do not want to trigger the phenomenon of cravings.
As you can see, there is an incredible amount of information available online for how to develop a healthy plan of eating. It is amazing how much information that is now available!
Please note: This is not to be considered medical advice. I am merely passing on information that I have accumulated over the years. Everyone is unique and has their own personal experience. For any questions or concerns, I recommend consulting your health care provider.