What Is Abstinence?


In Overeaters Anonymous (OA), the Statement on Abstinence and Recovery is “Abstinence is the action of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight. Spiritual, emotional and physical recovery is the result of living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve-Step program.” Many of us have found we cannot abstain from compulsive eating unless we use some or all of OA’s nine tools of recovery to help us practice the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

The nine tools of recovery are:

  • A Plan of Eating

  • Sponsorship

  • Meetings

  • Telephone

  • Writing

  • Literature

  • Action Plan

  • Anonymity

  • Service

An abridged version describing the tools of recovery can be found here. A full version about the tools of recovery can be found on the official OA website here.

For more resources on abstinence, please feel free to view our Abstinence Literature Resource Guide.