Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the FAA Food Plan?
2. What is the difference between FAA and other 12 Step Programs that deal with food?
3. Do doctors support the FAA food plan?
4. Won't I feel deprived?
5. How can I eat out?
6. What about traveling?
7. What do I do if there are no meetings in my area?
8. Don't I have to be abstinent to start a meeting?
9. If I binge and purge, can FAA help me?
10. What do you do for a sandwich?
11. Do I have to buy special foods?
12. Where can I get literature?
13. When and how did FAA start?
14. What are some ways to cope with preparing non-abstinent meals for
children/family and still keep our own abstinence?
15. Where can I find some abstinent recipes?
16. Breakfast is too much food for me. Do I have to eat all of the food?
17. Where can I find a sponsor?
What is the FAA Food Plan?
The FAA food plan is a well-balanced guide to sound nutrition, and includes all major food groups. Although it is not a diet, those who are overweight may expect to lose weight on the plan. Those who are underweight may expect to gain. By following the suggested food plan, we learn to make healthy choices. We achieve freedom from cravings when we eliminate foods that are known to cause cravings in most food addicts. We find that it is easiest to understand the food plan using the full text from "A Guide to Abstinence,"which can be ordered by going to the FAA Store and going to "Pamphlets", by calling our World Service Office at 561-967-3871 or by simply printing out the food plan which is printed on this website under the FAA Food Plan.
What is the difference between FAA and other 12 Step programs that deal with food?
In FAA we have learned that food addiction is a biochemical disease similar to alcoholism or drug addiction. It is a part of our genetic makeup. Although many food addicts have compulsive behaviors surrounding food that need to be dealt with, FAAs initial focus is on treating our physical addiction by abstaining from the addictive substances. Compulsion is the behavioral component of food addiction and is addressed as we continue working our program of recovery.
FAA has a suggested food plan that is intended to eliminate the addictive substances. Many who follow the FAA food plan have craving-free abstinence.
In addition, unlike some other programs, FAA is not a shame-based program. There are no rules, only suggestions. There are no weigh-ins. We realize we are food addicts and this is a cunning, baffling and powerful disease. We strive for progress, not perfection.
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Do doctor support the FAA food plan?
We suggest that you consult with your physician before starting the FAA food plan. Show him or her your copy of A Guide to Abstinence. Since the FAA food plan is a well-balanced guide to sound nutrition and includes all major food groups, many doctors and health professionals agree that it is a healthy guide for eating. The food plan as it is written is only a suggestion and has helped many, many people.
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Won't I feel deprived?
In FAA we focus first on what we can have, instead of what we can't have. Then we are able focus on how wonderful it feels to be free from cravings, bingeing, and shame. When we follow the FAA food plan as written, we do not feel deprived because by eliminating the addictive substances, the biochemical aspect of the disease is addressed and the physical urge to eat more is removed. We deal with our other feelings with the help of our sponsors and by working the 12 Steps of the program.
How can I eat out?
We learn to order food that is sugar, flour, and wheat free. In this day and age, it is quite easy to get everything we need. We order our food in a very specific, clear and polite manner...i.e. "I would like my salad without croutons and no marinade on my steak or vegetables please." Wait people are usually more than happy to accommodate a person's needs.
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What about traveling?
When a food addict is convinced that abstinence is the answer to recovering from food addiction, she/he will be able to go anywhere and remain abstinent. Traveling abstinently does take extra planning to ensure that we have the foods we need when we need them. Discussing travel plans with a sponsor and with other recovering food addicts can provide us with an excellent source of ideas for solutions to the challenges of traveling abstinently. Many of our members have traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad and have remained abstinent.
What do I do if there are no meetings in my area?
FAA has several phone meetings daily. If you have e-mail, you can join the FAA On-Line Loop. You go to FAA Online Support and register. The loop is a place where food addicts can share on FAA Steps and topics of interests and questions/comments about the experience, strength and hope of FAA membership. The only requirement for joining is that you have the desire to stop eating addictive foods.