People addicted to food need extensive support in order to work their way through recovery from their condition. You may find this support from family and friends. But it is often the case that the extraordinary amount of support that you need is too much for family and friends to supply, even if you are also being supported by a healthcare or allied health professional experienced in dealing with food addiction. If this is the case, a peer support group of some kind, such as those described below, may prove to be helpful.
They can be a place to find a concentrated number of food addicts actively working on their own recovery, a number of useful publications and regular support meetings. But it is important to realize that all peer support groups are not the same, even those that are part of the same network of groups! When looking for a group that will meet your particular, very individual needs, here are some things you might well want to consider: Is the group committed to abstinence-based recovery from Food Addiction?; Does the group have members who have several years of abstinent recovery?; Are abstinent members willing to coach or sponsor someone new?
12 Step Groups
12 step groups (or “fellowships”) look at addiction as a physical, emotional and spiritual disease. Each person is encouraged to develop their own understanding of spirituality. But these programs are not religious. Most individuals – whether religious, agnostic or atheist – can adapt them to their own particular beliefs. Immediately below you will find information on a variety of 12 step groups. You will see that each group has is a little different when it comes to the foods eaten or avoided. We have gathered some information about each group to help you begin your search for the right group for you. Remember that trial and error in searching for support is something that many food addicts find to be necessary in their journey seeking food addiction recovery.
The oldest, largest and most diverse food-related 12 step fellowship. There is no requirement to weigh and measure food. Does not endorse a specific food plan. Has Dignity of Choice pamphlet that outlines several suggested food plans.
Named GreySheet because originally written on grey paper. Defined abstinence actual plan given by a sponsor w/over 90 days of abstinence. Food is weighed and measured, as agreed upon with a sponsor, without exception, under any and all conditions. No sugar, grains or alcohol.
Provides a copy of its food plan on its website. Specific food plan, not a reducing diet. Food is weighed and measured. No sugar, alcohol, flour, wheat, caffeine, sweeteners, starches or grains.
The focus is on the program of recovery as outlined in the Big Book. The focus is not on food or specific foods. Individuals rigorously work the steps and take others through the steps. Food is not weighed and measured. No elimination of any type of food. The focus is on eliminating the “behavior” of compulsive eating.
The primary focus is the utilization of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions as developed in Alcoholics Annonymous to recover from addictive eating and to help others achieve recovery.
Focus is on program of recovery as outlined in the Big Book. Focus is not on food or specific foods. Individuals rigorously work the steps and take others through the steps. Food not weighed and measured. No elimination of any type of food. Focus is on eliminating the “behavior” of compulsive eating.
Focus is on a program of recovery as outlined in the Big Book. Individuals rigorously work the steps, take others through the steps with a focus is on spiritual growth. A large repository of online recorded meetings. Individuals work with a nutritionist to develop an abstinence-based food plan.
Bible immersion and a Shepard program Specific food plan is worked out with a sponsor. Food is committed. Facebook group and phone meetings available. Foods are eliminated based the individuals need.
Non 12 Step
Create Your Own Peer Support Group
Create a peer support group in your own community to support each other. There are many food addicts in your local community and some may be friends, coworkers, or family members. Begin talking to them about food addiction and share the FAI resources with them. Food addicts need extensive peer support to build their lives around their recovery.
You can start a vibrant peer support community that will support you and others. The following are ideas on how to start a peer support group:
- Call one or two others and invite them to invite one or two others to participate.
- Agree on a time to meet weekly for 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
- Use a free conference call service (phone bridge) or online zoom or skype platforms to “meet” up even if not geographically close.