Struggling with constant food thoughts – a form of buffering?

I am constantly thinking about food at the moment. For a while I had a clear protocol (I want to lose 12 pounds) that was relatively “easy” and straight forward– basically just an eating window. I did it for 1 week and lost 4 lbs immediately. Then I sort of started thinking I should really also have calorie goals and that maybe I could speed it up buy cutting out food groups. (I have been watching more of Brooke’s materials and thought “oh I should really remove flour/sugar”, etc). And basically now I am finding myself CONSTANTLY thinking about food and worrying about what to eat, changing my mind about what my protocol should be, panicking about when I could have the weight lost by and looking at recipes and planning food for the following days – that I do not stick to. I am not even sticking to my eating window, which initially I had been really liking. I am also just eating a lot more than I had been before creating a protocol, and in an emotional way. I have gained the weight back that had effortlessly fallen off and I am constantly worried that I’ll keep gaining.
As I write this I am remembering that the weightloss was meant to just be a sort of side event that I would use to learn about myself, but I knew I did not want to turn it into something, like past diets have been, where my whole life becomes about food/not eating and self-loathing. My goal had been to make food a less big / exciting part of my life and somehow the opposite has happened.

The other important context here is that REALLY my actual goal at the moment is finishing my thesis. I am 3 weeks away from my hand-in deadline, and there is a lot of work left to do. I was trying to have a “chill” protocol of just eating within a window for the final stage of the PhD just to sort of warm up for properly focusing on weight loss once I have handed in.

Now I think I am letting food and weight be a buffer from working on my thesis. I know this intellectually, and I spent a lot of time writing down my thoughts about food (which usually becomes obsessive planning about food/weight) and the whole thing is taking me away from my goals and doing my work, at apoint when really all that truly matters to me is the research.