Anyone using keto for Overeaters Anonymous food plan / need more structure



I have been keto on and off for ages (and originally did Atkins in 2007). I have a history of anxiety, depression, PMDD and binge eating. I want to use keto as the basis of my OA food plan, but struggle with the flexibility. I feel I need more structure as I will exploit any loopholes, unfortunately, and end up binging. Lots of OAers weigh and measure / have a certain set meal times etc.

I’d love to hear from anyone who uses keto in a structured way - including built in fasting. Or if anyone knows of any stricter keto plans that could be used this way.

(bulkbiker) #2

Would carnivore OMAD work for you?
Only eating animals products once per day. Pretty structured.
I do that in a lax kind of way.

(Robert C) #3

Please consider listening to at least the first 2 minutes of the video linked below.

Jordan Peterson (a clinical psychologist) is very smart and gives this advice in several of his videos.

Notice that it runs directly counter to how most people to IF - waiting as long as they can during the day before they eat.

If you are not an anxious person, that may be fine - but, the structure provided by the plan outlined here - consistent waking time, consistent starting of the circadian clock, etc. might be exactly what you are looking for.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #4

I haven’t tried OA yet, but I have known several members over the years and have been wondering essentially the same as you.

My own experience is that satiety doesn’t eliminate sugar/carbohydrate cravings for me, though it does make them easier to manage. I also notice that, the times I have yielded and eaten something sweet, I didn’t end up bingeing on it, the way I used to before keto. This is reassuring on the one hand, but on the other hand means I have to be very careful not to become complacent. Interestingly, I am finding that as my insulin resistance heals, my satiety signaling is growing far stronger.

Dr. Georgia Ede, the psychiatrist, suggests from her clinical experience, that a ketogenic diet has positive mental effects, and is a useful part of treatment for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Many people on these forums have noted that they no longer need their anti-depressant drugs after time on a ketogenic diet. While this is probably not the case for everyone, given the high rate of individual variability and our still-limited understanding of the causes of mental problems, there nevertheless have been studies showing that a well-formulated ketogenic diet can often help with the regulation of serotonin in the brain. Furthermore, Dr. Chris Palmer, another psychiatrist, has successfully used a ketogenic diet to treat patients with schizophrenia.

So I would say that the odds are high that a well-formulated ketogenic diet might be very helpful to your OA program. If you feel you can risk it, try eating to satiety, instead of to a pre-determined caloric intake. I have no data for this, of course, but it really seems to me that eating disorders were vanishingly rare before the introduction of the dietary guidelines, and not simply because they weren’t being diagnosed, either.

(Hyperbole- best thing in the universe!) #5

have you looked at Dr Westman’s page 4? It is a list of foods to stick to on keto. Many people use it without tracking macros. I don’t know a lot about OA so feel free to dismiss this if it doesn’t apply. But if you want to use page 4 along with tracking and structured fasting, perhaps that is what you are looking for?

(Janet) #6

I agree with Ruina, have followed “page 4” for nine years (loosely now). But the plan was used in Dr. Westman’s Clinical Trials based on Atkins. So the optional or later add-in foods that can cause cravings are just not allowed. e.g. No nuts in the plan until goal. Fatty proteins are unlimited, but tricky trigger foods are limited. Cream 2T, Mayo 2T, Cheese 4oz. Even vegetables 3 cups max. In some ways the Foods are flexible, but with enough Guardrails you won’t go over the cliff.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #7

Did you gain weight while doing a ketogenic diet?

One way to do keto that some people find easier for controlling binge eating is by eating the same thing a lot. Overeating looses it’s appeal. And keep food simple, single ingredient cooking. Steak and broccoli, chicken and a salad, stuff like that. Tasty but not too enticing.

As @MarkGossage suggested eating Carnivore is easier to keep binging in check. You can only eat so much beef or meat before you tire of it.

@RobC had a great suggestion in using intermittent fasting and sticking to that if you can follow rules you set for yourself. I have found a TMAD schedule easy to stick with. If I get a hunger pang I just think nope, not my eating window. Do not keep any snack foods like nuts, pork rinds, keto treats or fat bombs in your house.

I don’t cook much large batch stuff and when I cook I make an appropriate amount of food. Not any temptation to “finish that bit of extra off” instead of putting it away for later. I see a lot of people in the food thread who cook a bunch of something with the intent of “tomorrow’s lunch” only to post “but I ate it all!”. When you get the snack urge have a cup of coffee or tea instead, or drink a glass of water.

I realize it’s a food eating disorder that you are dealing with, I have never had that. But these are just some strategies that came to mind and might be helpful. Good luck. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Dominique Leclerc) #8

Dear Baarb,
I am a compulsive overeater, orthorexic, bulimic in recovery and have been in OA for over 8 years now.
Went from Kay Sheppard’s food plan to relapse, then started Keto in December 2017. It was so much better. But not enough. The macro counting was making me crazy. And I still craved some foods…berries, nuts, and had stomach issues (probably the 10+oz of greens I had each day!)…
I kept on investigating and I am now carnivore since May 2020. No cravings, no need for my Carbmanager anymore. Freedom from the food scale, the measuring cups and spoons. Just letting go of the nuts made a huge difference. I don’t miss the veggies nor the fruits. I have time to live life in between meals!!!
And I eat and can respect my satiety for the first time in 40 years. I am so grateful for this WOE and I do not feel deprived or restricted. I still need to call my sponsor every other day and attend 2-3 oa Zoom meetings weekly.
Yes, I think Keto can be part of an OA food plan. Each member has their own abstinence, and their own food plan. The BB reminds us to keep an open mind and to experiment until we find what works for us.
I have two meals most days and do OMAD when my body wants it.
Hope that helps!
Dominique ♀️

(UsedToBeT2D) #9

Weighing and measuring are part of keto for beginners. You need to make your own structure. Discover the flexibility by starting simple and looking at 100s of recipes on this forum. And take charge of your own health. Nobody has a magic pill or diet plan.

(Laurie) #10

I’m a food addict, and I attended OA for years. Keto is good because one doesn’t “feel hungry” all the time. I find it best to stick to animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese.

Why? For me, vegetables, nuts, berries, keto snacks, low carb sauces, and keto recipes form a slippery slope. Today a 3-carb keto snack, tomorrow a 7-carb treat, next week a piece of birthday cake. Or lettuce today, sweet potatoes tomorrow, then out of control. You get the idea.

I don’t track what I eat, although I know enough about food to be aware in a general way. Having strict, non-confusing parameters works for me.

I’ve reached a point where I just won’t eat at other people’s houses. Too much pressure/temptation. I’ve known recovering alcoholics who won’t attend events where alcohol is served. I can relate to that.

I intermittent fast (IF) most days, 2 meals within a 6-hour window. (I sometimes eat a third meal, if I feel I must.) Just a personal preference, as it keeps me from thinking about snacks and food all day.


I’ve been in OA for 16 years, and have struggled lately with my food plan post-menopause. I’ve tinkered with keto and IF, but IF really made me lose my serenity and then lose abstinence. However, The original Grey Sheet food plan is not that different from Keto. They just didn’t make the fat important enough! And had a piece of fruit. So I’m thinking it was founded on something close to keto.


Really inspired to hear that you are doing this and finding it works. Makes me want to go that little bit further into keto with my food plan.