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Overeaters Anonymous Review - Does This Support Group Work? Are mixed experiences and difficulty finding meetings deal breakers?

By Summer Banks on Aug 11, 2016
Overeaters Anonymous Review

You’re about to learn everything you need to know about Overeaters Anonymous. We dug deep into the group mission, possible side effects, research and participant support. We also read stories from people who’ve experienced the program. Then, we summarized it all to give you the bottom line.

EDITOR'S TIP:

What is Overeaters Anonymous?

To start with, Overeaters Anonymous, also called OA, is a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. Participants identify trigger foods and work to abstain from them in order to take control of eating habits. The number of meetings you attend depends upon the level of support you’re looking for.

Overeaters Anonymous is based out of New Mexico, but there are meetings across the United States. It looks like the organization hit the internet in 1997, so they’ve been around quite a while. There doesn’t appear to be a charge to attend the meetings, but donations are encouraged. You can find a local meetup using the official website and there are success stories, but read on…

Mixed Experiences – “There’s Good and Bad”

The first thing we noticed with Overeaters Anonymous was that some people had great experiences with the program and others soon found out the structure was not what they needed. “OA is hit or miss,” says our Research Editor. “Some people immediately respond to the support and others just don’t catch on.”

Abstinence is a big part of the program. As one follower put it, “What happened to me is that instead of bringing me freedom, my abstinence became another manifestation of my eating disorder.”

Another woman saw results after a little time, “The first month was hellish. And then it worked. I dropped 20 pounds, and 80 percent of my crazy cravings disappeared.”

Meetings – “Are There Any Near You?”

There are three main types of meetings to choose from – face-to-face, telephone and online. This means everyone has access to the 12-step program, but traditionally the in-person option is what people look for. You can search the official website for a local program, but you won’t always find one.

“We searched several smaller towns and each time the meetings we found within 100 miles were no less than one hour away,” our Research Editor shared. “If it takes that long to get there, that’s more than enough reason not to go.”

Years of research have taught us that it’s the small things, like mixed experiences, that hinder any chance of success. If Overeaters Anonymous reviews are both good and bad, that could stop someone from giving it a try.

The Science – “Is There Research Behind the Program?”

Research has actually been completed on Overeaters Anonymous, in hopes of figuring out why it works for some and not for others. One problem could be that participants generally self-diagnose an eating disorder before attending meetings. However, according to testing, there’s no answer to how or why it works.

The Bottom Line – Does Overeaters Anonymous Work?

Should you look for an Overeaters Anonymous meeting in your area? Well, we are all for using support groups to better your weight-loss results. If you feel you are addicted to overeating, or even a specific food, a program like this can be helpful for some. We do have reservations because there’s no proven way to determine if it will work or not.

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About the Author:

Summer Banks has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

How Does Overeaters Anonymous Compare?

Previous Overeaters Anonymous Review (Updated September 1, 2015):

What You Should Know

Click Here To See Our Highest Rated Review

There is an official website for the US based group Overeaters Anonymous. We are told that this group aims to help those who have a problem with compulsive eating. The twelve step recovery system which is a core belief system used by groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous is also fundamental to the work of Overeaters Anonymous. Of course weight gain and other problems involving food and eating have a number of origins which differ according to the individual person concerned. The official website for Overeaters Anonymous contains a questionnaire which enables you to evaluate whether this group could be of help to you. We are told that Overeaters Anonymous was created for those who use food to fill emotional or spiritual voids.

Ingredients

Overeaters Anonymous is a support group for those who have a problem with compulsive eating.

Product Features

The official website for Overeaters Anonymous contains details of meetings in States all over the USA. The official website also has details of Overeaters Anonymous groups and meetings overseas. We are told that if there is no meeting in your area that you can take part in on line or telephone meetings. The official website for Overeaters Anonymous contains inspirational stories and recovery stories. Of course anyone who suddenly gains weight should first seek the advice of their family Physician as weight gain has many different origins some which can of course be medical. Those who suffer from diabetes or thyroid problems often experience weight gain. Furthermore a large number of women experience weight gain with the onset of the menopause.

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Advantages

  • There is a detailed official website for Overeaters Anonymous.
  • Online and telephone meeting are available for those who cannot attend meetings in person.
  • Overeaters Anonymous provides support to those who may have compulsive eating disorders.

Disadvantages

  • Not everyone who suffers weight gain does so due to a compulsive eating disorder.
  • This group will not address the needs of those who simply want to lose a few pounds and do not have an eating disorder.
  • Those who believe that they have a compulsive eating disorder should probably first seek the opinion of their Family Physician.
  • Overeaters Anonymous may not be suitable for those who are not religious as it involves a strong religious influence during treatment.

Conclusion

Anyone who gains weight suddenly should not automatically assume that they have an eating disorder as there are a number of medical reasons for sudden weight gain. Evidently Overeaters Anonymous is certainly not going to suitable for everyone as the vast majority of women who want to lose weight do not have a compulsive eating disorder. However for those who do have a genuine compulsive eating disorder Overeaters Anonymous may be a valuable source of support in conjunction with that given by your Family Physician.

48 User Reviews About Overeaters Anonymous

Leave comments below
  • 1
    JenMarie

    I am a member of OA and I am working the program as an atheist! If I can make this program work for me, anybody can! Ive tried doing this on my own. Overeating, binging purging, chew and spit, purging, laxitives, or restricting and over exercising whatever is your disease You Do NOT have to be alone ever again. We are waiti g for you at oa. This disease is deadly. We need each other! There are also meetings online! All meeti gs are different. Didnt like one? Try another. Hope to see you there.

    .

    [Reply]

  • 2
    madonna

    I went only to 3 meetings, just started. You do have to watch some people have traded one addition to another, and are so overly addited to weighing all items, it becomes another compulsive addition. I alk 2 miles every day, and since January 1st I have lost 7 lbs. Did you ever look at one lb of butter? One lb is a victory, so small steps are best. If you are happy with your inside, Who you are, then you need to have your outside match your inside.

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  • 3
    Debbie

    i need help please i useto binge 1 or 2 times a month now i do it almost everyday my health is getting bad i have dietbetes h.blood pressure copd my joints hurt i’m 5’10 and i weigh over 400 lbs

    [Reply]

    JenMarie

    Please check out a few mertings for oa you are not alone!

    [Reply]

  • 4
    Anonymous

    please help me find a meeting in rockland county, ny in
    the am hours

    [Reply]

  • 5
    CAROLYN

    Where is there a meeting in Metairie, Louisiana

    [Reply]

    Anonymous

    Find another meeting. Each meeting has its own personality. I wouldn’t fit at the one u went to at all!!! Hunt down another one and see if the fit is right. DON’T GIVE UP!

    [Reply]

  • 6
    tracy

    hi i am looking for my area a phone number for new jersey in the are code of 08835 which is manville nj

    [Reply]

  • 7
    sherrirushman

    Where can I go to a overeaters annonymous meeting in Waterford, Michigan?

    [Reply]

  • 8
    A.BOISVERT

    whre can i find overesters anonymous arond lowell massschusetts

    [Reply]

  • 9
    G Mckay

    Live in Plattsburg Mo want to find a meeting within 30 miles

    [Reply]

  • 10
    Richard Hill

    could I have a number to call.

    [Reply]

  • 11
    mary gautreaux

    I would like information on meetings and a contact number.

    [Reply]

  • 12
    Barbara Stephens

    Please tell me where I can find a meeting in my area. I live in port orange Fl.

    [Reply]

  • 13
    Barbara Stephens

    How do I find out where a meeting is in my area?

    [Reply]

  • 14
    Jean

    I went to my first OA meeting in 1977. Today I am 71, still a sugar addict, but grateful for almost 7 years since my last sugar binge. I am maintaining a weight loss of 85 pounds. OA is NOT religious; only requirement is a desire to stop eating compulsively and belief in a “power greater than oneself” that you define. I do not believe in any organized religion but I do acknowledge a power for good greater than I. Meetings that study the Big Book of AA may be difficult for newcomers but they adhere more completely to the principles of the program which are guidelines to changing your actions and attitudes toward food (and life). Meetings vary greatly

    [Reply]

    judith

    The review stated the meetings were highly religous…someone should actually attend a meeting before reviewing it. The meetings are spiritual and there are principles. It is up to each individual to take that spirituality and the principles as far as they feel comfortable with.

    [Reply]

  • 15
    PIET

    I live in Greeley, Co.& need to find meetings here

    [Reply]

  • 16
    Net

    There are a few flavor of Overeaters Anonymous. The HOW and OA90 have food plan, and are more structured; weighing and measuring all food. I need this stucture, and have lost 15 pounds in 3 months. Very excited, happy and full of hope. In OA, there will be a mentor/sponsor that will work with you personally. There is so much support in the program.

    [Reply]

  • 17
    sharon

    need to find meeting in blaine mn. thanks

    [Reply]

  • 18
    Michael W. Harris

    Info. I lost forty pounds in two months and I ate three meals per day using one exercise. It is the simple back bend and the same movement as touching your toes to stretch your leg muscles. In this exercise you keep your knees slightly flexed and just bend 90 degrees at the waist. Also this is the same movement as the sit-up but without the floor friction. It works your leg muscles, you hip muscles, your back muscles and your stomach muscles. All the places that need working. You will burn more calories than jogging and it comes off the places where the fat builds up. You will find that you will spent one-tenth the time exercising and burn off ten times the calories.
    This exercise is the best kept secret in the world. It will start shrinking your stomach immediatlely so you do not feel as hungry.
    Start out doing 100 per day. I can do 100 in one minute now. When you are ready increase the repetitions to 200 per day. I now do 500 to 1000 but I only need to do it one day per week to keep the weight off. With this exercise as long as you are moderately responsible with you calorie intake you will never worry about weight again.

    [Reply]

    Blonde

    R U serious? How much did you weigh and how much do you weigh now. what is the difference in inches in your waist? How did you discover this and pick this particular exercise?

    [Reply]

    tracy

    hi michael i read your little article and found it interesting but i have gained about 100 lbs due to quitting smoking and i find i cant seem to stop eating. i have looked for an overeaters group in new jersey but i cant find help. i am a lifetime memeber of weight watchers lost alot of weight bt then i quit smoking and now i am in big trouble with my weight and i mean big trouble. i went to my doctor and now i have high blood pressure because of my weight. i live in the bridgewater area so if you can find me a phone number to call for help i would be much appreciative of any help thanks for the input about the touching of the toes also. tracy

    [Reply]

  • 19
    ANNA HERRERA

    I LIVE IN ALBUQUERQUE NM AND NEED TO KNOW WHEN THE MEETINGS ARE

    [Reply]

  • 20
    debbie

    I’ve been to two meetings in my county and was highly disappointed. These people are like zombies! My first experience was teerrible. I walked in and no one was there to help me. I sat down and listened to the so called, ’12 steps’, which wouldn’t help anyone, and then asking for money for something in a basket. No one discussed why we were there, were not friendly at all, or said,”can I help?”, nothing! I recently went to another meeting in my town, walked in the room, and decided I’m not going to start talking…I walked in, everyone stared, but NO ONE said can I help yoy, or welcome..nothing!!! I statyed for about 8 minutes and NO ONE greeted me. Same thing happened at the first meeting. I would not recommend this site to anyone!! There in a world of their own!!

    [Reply]

    Anonymous

    oa wprks if you work it. maybe the people there are more sick than you. the fact that you are expecting something out of it tells more about you. if you find something better let us know.

    [Reply]

  • 21
    mary dever

    need to find a local meeting in allegan,michigan area.

    [Reply]

  • 22
    paula boucher

    where can i find the list of foods and amounts to eat online have looked every where and can’t find it. it is called the glenbeigh hospital of tampa food plan. please help me i need this as soon as possible thank you

    [Reply]

  • 23
    pnw

    it is religious and all are welcome

    [Reply]

    Sander

    OA is not affiliated with any religious organization. However, it is based on spiritual concepts. We have many agnostics and atheists in OA who have found recovery from obsessive eating, anorexia, and bulemia.

    [Reply]

  • 24
    FRANCES

    I JOINED MEETINGS MANY TIMES OVER THE YEARS AND IT WORKS. SPONSERS OF VERY IMPORTANT AND PEOPLE WERE GREAT.

    [Reply]

  • 25
    FRANCES

    WE NEED A MEETING IN THE RHODE ISLND AREA. NORTH SMITHFIELD, GREENVILLE, HARRISVILLE ETC. EVEN UXBRIDGE MASS IS OK THANKS

    [Reply]

  • 26
    Barbara Vendro

    I nead meeting information. I live in San Juan Capistrano and need to loose 30 pounds.

    [Reply]

  • 27
    Nancy

    What should I not be eating, I am a a troubled overeater and need help. There is not a Overeaters meeting in my Area. Dayton or Mont Belvieu,
    Texas.

    [Reply]

    Sander

    One of the tools of recovery in OA is a “plan of eating.” This is based on your personal knowledge of your dietary needs and your consultation with your own doctor and/or nutritionist. More information can be found by ordering “Dignity of Choice” pamphlet from oa.org. This pamphlet provides guidance to both new and longtime OA members in devising their own plans of eating. It covers topics such as:
    The difference between a plan of eating and abstinence
    Having a choice of plans
    Reviewing our eating patterns
    “Trigger” or “binge” foods
    Eating behaviors
    Structure and tolerance
    The pamphlet also provides six sample plans of eating (reviewed and approved by a licensed dietitian) with which some OA members have had success.

    [Reply]

  • 28
    Alice Fitzgerald

    HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT STARTING AN OA GROUP MEETING?

    [Reply]

  • 29
    Alice Fitzgerald

    How do you start a group meeting?

    [Reply]

  • 30
    fran

    looking for meetings in the fall river swansea aera

    [Reply]

    fran

    i just need to know where the meetings are so i can put it togther with my work schudeul

    [Reply]

    Becky

    I found a website to look up meetings for many states.
    oa.org/meetings/find-a-meeting.php#

    Good Luck 🙂

    [Reply]

    VICKI

    thanks so much, God Bless You ~

    [Reply]

  • 31
    mary

    where can i get the 12 step book or any thing about over eaters i have tried to find it in my area. thank you mary

    [Reply]

    Maggie

    Go to:
    oa.org.
    OA literature is sold on the OA website. So glad you’ve found OA! It has saved my life!!

    [Reply]

  • 32
    theresa

    Baltimore,Maryland 21201
    Near Inner Harbor

    [Reply]

  • 33
    theresa

    Need a meeting place

    [Reply]

  • 34
    Theresa Orsinger

    I need to find overeaters anonymous in Hershey, Pa. Please advise. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • 35
    Sharon Hyndman

    I haven’t been able to find any information about meetings in my area which is Los Osos, CA. In San Luis Obispo County. Please send me information regarding this. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Meg

    Hi Sharon,

    Please go to the world address http://www.oa.org. On the right hand side is the “meeting’s’ option. You can search by state to see what is near you. You also have the option of attending a phone or online meeting. You can also go to ‘documents’ and work on starting your own meeting if none are near. Thank you.

    [Reply]

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