gsa abstinence feature

Abstinence and the Food Plan

What is GreySheet Abstinence?

GreySheet abstinence is defined as:

  • Weighing and measuring three meals a day from the GreySheet food plan as explained by a qualified GreySheet sponsor;
  • Committing those meals to a qualified GreySheet sponsor before eating them;
  • Doing this without exception, i.e., there is no situation where we do not weigh and measure;
  • Eating or drinking nothing in between those three meals except black coffee, tea, zero-calorie soft drinks, or water.

This definition is included in our GSA Group Purpose:

"We require that our meeting leaders be abstinent for at least three months on the GreySheet, which we define as three weighed and measured meals a day from the GreySheet with nothing in between but black coffee, tea, or diet soda."

What is the GreySheet Food Plan?

The GreySheet food plan (frequently referred to simply as "The GreySheet") is a low-carbohydrate food plan, originally published in 1972. In 2008 GreySheeters Anonymous World Services purchased the copyright to the GreySheet food plan from OA and republished it in 2014 and updated with a disclaimer for digital distribution in 2022. The GreySheet itself says:

For carbohydrate-sensitive people, manmade sugars and starches create a craving for more of the same. Therefore, these foods cannot be eaten at all! This plan provides for complete abstinence from man-made sugars and starches and from any foods not shown on the food portions list.

In addition to the lists of abstinent foods and foods we avoid, the GreySheet contains important guidance on abstinence, which your sponsor will review with you.

Where can I get a copy of the GreySheet Food Plan?

  • The GreySheet food plan comes with a sponsor. To get a copy of the food plan, you need to find a sponsor.*
  • The food plan is distributed to those who are willing to work with a sponsor and become abstinent as we define it.
  • The GreySheet is not a diet. It is A Way of Life. As the food plan itself states,

Remember...ours is a three-fold illness. These suggested eating plans can guide us on the physical level, but we need the 12 Steps to remember our recovery on the spiritual and emotional levels as well.

In order to remain abstinent long-term, we need more than the food plan. We need the entire program of GreySheeters Anonymous. That starts with finding a sponsor and going to meetings.


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