Does throwing up make you lose weight?

Catherine Liberty's picture

To most people the answer to this question seems obvious. If you throw up the food you eat then you’re going to lose weight, right?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but thats wrong.

The fact is that ultimately, throwing up does not help you to lose weight, and that actually, over time, it could cause you to gain weight.

Shocking, I know. But in reality, the theory that throwing up after eating helps you lose weight is just another common misconception that we desperately need to raise awareness of.

While it is true that sometimes when you first start to throw up you can experience initial weight loss, it’s so important to realize that this is usually due to dehydration and is almost always impossible to sustain.

The first time I learned the surprising facts about self-induced vomiting I found them difficult to accept. After all I’d been bulimic for over a decade, convinced that purging was allowing me to maintain my weight, certain that my weight would balloon out of control if I stopped. But I was wrong.

Now, as a recovered bulimic I may seem a little biased, so I don’t just want you to just take my word for it, instead let’s take a look at some solid scientific facts.   

What researchers have to say...

In a study conducted at the Pittsburgh Human Feeding Laboratory, 18 bulimic women were asked to binge and vomit as they normally would, while the calories they consumed were carefully monitored. 

After vomiting, researchers calculated the amount of calories purged and compared it to the amount of calories eaten. They discovered that while the average binge consisted of 2131 calories, the women only managed to purge an average of 979 calories by vomiting.

So even if you believe you’re throwing up all the food you eat, the chances are that your body will retail at least 50% of the calories consumed.

This study is not a one off either, countless scientific research studies have proven that all methods of purging are highly ineffective at removing calories from the body.

Two more reasons why throwing up won’t help you lose weight…

  Firstly, when your body realizes that your food is being restricted (vomiting has a similar effect to restricting) your metabolism lowers and you quickly convert the calories you do absorb into fat stores.

 Secondly, throwing up causes binge urges to skyrocket, meaning you’re likely to consume more food than ever.

Throwing up just a couple of times can and does lead to full blown bulimia.

It’s important to understand that the process of vomiting after eating quickly becomes an incredibly addictive process. Although you may convince yourself that you are in control at first, it is not something that you will simply be able to stop at will. Brain imaging scans show that we actually react in the same way to bingeing and purging as we would if we were to take heroin!

So right now, whether you are already bulimic, experience urges to vomit after sessions of uncontrollable eating or are perhaps considering throwing up in an attempt to lose weight, you owe it to yourself to embrace the true facts about throwing up and weight loss.

If you would like to know how to maintain your natural, healthy set point weight and remove all urges to binge and purge forever then please do check out our FREE eCourse to show you how to stop throwing up after eating.

You may also be interested in reading our articles on “The truth about bulimia recovery weight”  and “How bulimia leads to weight gain”.


Hillers's picture
Hi themilady, Thanks for your

Hi themilady,
Thanks for your post.
I've been bulimic for approximately (I honestly can't say when I started) the last ten years. Earlier this year, I decided to tell my parents about my problem, give up my career in London and move back in with my parents in order to recover.

I know exactly what you're feeling - I've recently been through those intense emotions of feeling that whatever nutritious food you consume will only make you gain weight (be it spinach or chocolate). I can honesty say that, since making myself eat three times a day, with snacks, I have actually lost weight. The meals I have eaten haven been healthy (i.e. oily fish with steamed vegetables for lunch) and I have avoided my "trigger foods" during the period but feel so much more energised by the the nutritious food I do consume. It's quite a struggle to keep this up but I feel so much healthier and positive than I did when bingeing that I can't imagine doing so at the moment. Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't expect a slip up in the future! However, I certainly feel more confident that I will have the essential energy to deal with it in a positive way.

Believe me, I know hoe difficult it is to function when your stomach feels uncommonly full but, you will feel the positive difference sooner that you think.

Please email me if you need any support in the future.
Very best,

Letgoandletgod's picture
You know, my weight just goes

You know, my weight just goes up and down, like a rollercoaster ride with bulimia. I'm never steady and never happy. Not to sound rude, just saying that I really dont care at this point in recovery process if it goes up or down

caliwb's picture

I think the reason why you are sometimes lighter is cuz of the water leaving your body. when you eat, your body creates saliva out of whatever water is in your body, and when you throw up, that leaves your body as well. that's why we bulimics have dehydration.
I used to weigh myself religiously before and after a binge, and I sometimes noticed I was lighter, but only by a few 100grams, which I could explain by that. if you're lighter by the pounds, I dunno what could explain either way, throwing up is bad, and so is stepping on the scale!

BlondeGirl's picture
yep, i have decided to give

yep, i have decided to give it up for good, and not even attept to binge, but somehow i feel it's so damn hard,i also dont understand why some girls eat whatever they want, whenever they want and still they are so slim and slender and i only look at an apple and i feel like gaining weight. the thing with laxatives and throwing up also messed up my digestive system, anyone have any ideas in how to make it healthy again?

caliwb's picture

I think the reason why some people can eat whatever, whenever and still be slim is cuz they eat!! and maybe genetics...

when we give ourselves a good supply of food, our bodies happily burn it up, so we dont gain or lose. B/p-ing upsets that balance, and the only way to restore the damage is to eat, eat, eat. I'm currently testing this theory out, hopefully I'm right! Our bodies can heal amazingly, if we let it, so we gotta eat. Try not to worry about the initial weight gain, I hope to prove to myself that set point weight thing really is true! Wanna join?? :)

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
I would have to agree

Im at a stage in my recovery where I am not overeating/bingeing at all and so I can be one of those people who eats what ever they want!! The difference is, is that im not eating too much, so I might have cake, or chocolate or something really unhealthy but the rest of my diet is good so it doesn't matter.

Believe me, I never thought I would get to this stage because for the entire ten years I've suffered with bulimia, if I ate like a normal person for even one day, I would gain weight! Its because our bodies are so messed up, but honestly by listening to what your body needs and feeding it (although this is so hard at the start) you can get to a stage where you can eat anything you want to aswell. It doesnt have to be this hard forever lovely, but you have to give yourself permission to recover x x

BlondeGirl's picture
the thing is if i start

the thing is if i start eating normally, and i gain weight, i will go crazy and i will go back to my stupid ways again, so it would be better if i lost some weight and get back on track slowly, anyway im afraid if i am not bulimic ill be anorexic, i mean in behaviour, because i am not skinny, anyway i am takeing supplements like magnesium witch have helped me with insomnia and a little bit with anxiety..

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
Aww hunni I know how you feel

But honestly its that thinking that took me this long to start recovery. And its so hard because when youre in a position where you know you will go back to your old ways if you gain weight how do you even start to recover kind of thing?

I don't really think it would be a good idea to try and loose weight first, alot of people actually loose weight during recovery, you would be surprised, Im at the lower end of a healthy weight range and I even lost a couple of pound since starting recovery.

But you have to be willing to give yourself a chance, but if you're in a headspace where you still want to be skinny more than you want to be healthy then it must be so hard. I had to get to the point where I knew I was going to die, Id abused my body for ten years and I was being sick and bingeing at least 10 times a day, it was the worst hell. I decided that my life was more important and that if I had to get bigger in the process then I would becuase I would not live another day in that bulimic hell.

Recovery is different for everyone, some peoople will gain weight and some will loose and some will stay the same, but while you can't let go of these thoughts and obsessions and the needs recovery will always be so much harder. Maybe try working through some of the sections on this site about beliefs and body image and see if they can help you at all x x

lianarose's picture
I'm exactly where you are....

I want to stop but not at the expence of gaining weight. I can't handle the thought of gaining any weight...I don't binge by definition really. I don't eat alot...anyone would say I don't eat enough yet I'm a normal weight at 5'4"108-110 lbs. I don't want to be an once heavier...this is my struggle. I even exercise 6 days/week 60-90 min. religiously...not as a means to purdge just love the gym. My email is if you ever want to chat. Good luck on your journey to recovery...we will get there one day... :)


BlondeGirl's picture
for me it's wired, ive been

for me it's wired, ive been anorexic at first 6 years ago, then i gained weight, i was so destroied, and sad all the time, then lost it again, gained again, but never lived a healthy life, and for 1 year now im bulimic, throw up, abuse laxatives, overexercise, but sometimes i cand even run because i feel too exhausted from all the vomiting..i just dont know where to start, it's like im afraid to do anything and i tend to get attached to people, i have the feeling that if i depend on someone it will be better, but it never is, because people are mean and you can never count on anyone..i need to find a way to get out of this cyrcle and to recover, im afraid to get a job because i feel like im a disappointment to all, and i wont be able to be competent, also i have started the masters degree this year, and i had thoughts of quitting because i dont trust myself anymore, i used to be so confident and bulimia brought me to this..

caliwb's picture
been there too

I thought I would lose weight till I was like 5 kg under a healthy weight, then try and recover. but it was impossible for me to lose those 5 kg, and it actually fueled my bulimia more. so I can tell you from experience, it probably wont work!

and I learned that recovery is something for me, so I gotta do it by myself. Of course there are always people around that support me, but ultimately, I am the one chooses to b/p or not, I am the one that acts on recovering or not! Its tough I know, and studying for a masters sounds like a really tough thing to add. I had to put a lot of things behind so I could put all my attention into recovery. I know it will be worth it though, cuz then I can focus 100% on my goals, and with bulimia I was never at 100%.

you know what your life can be w/o ED, dont let it win!!

bellastella's picture
Trying to be optimistic

I really don't think losing weight will help. I'm starting my recovery, like literally I'm on my second day lol, and I had the same idea - to lose weight, then try to eat normally and recover to my previous weight. But what happened is that I did lose weight, and liked it, and I was scared to gain it back. So now I'm thinner, more unhappy, and more scared to gain it back. Hell.

But I know EXACTLY how u feel it's scary, I feel like I'm reading your posts and they describe my thoughts. I want to eat healthy and be free of bulimia so badly, but what's holding me back is the terrible fear of gaining weight. I'm not sure but I think it's unavoidable to gain some weight, let it be a few pounds of water weight or actual weight, if u know what I mean. In any case, I realize I probably will gain, and I know it weighing more wouldn't be a tragedy because I'm underweight now. But it freaks me out, and I wonder if I'm strong enough to ever get over that fear, it's too early to tell because I'm at the beginning and early stage of recovery.

So I think time will tell, for both of us. I think the important thing right now is to stay optimistic and keep trying. Not to be 100% and try to avoid binges at all costs, but allow some space for slips - the important thing is to pick ourselves up afterwards. I'm sure binges will eventually decrease, and maybe someday we WILL be 100% free of bulimia. I need hope, something to believe in - I need to trust that my future is bright, because if I let myself fall into despair I won't ever get out of this and the fact is that bulimia can take your life. I don't want to lose it.

Keep holding on to the DESIRE to recover, and if dark thoughts like the ones about gaining weight come around, try to remember all the positive things - why, for whom you're doing it, try to picture your future without it. And if you binge, don't give up! One lost battle doesn't min that ED wins the war. Right? We can do it:)

(hahaha I can't believe how positive I sound, believe me I don't feel nearly as confident but I need to believe and saying things with absolute certainty, confidence and sureness that we will make it helps)

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. - Robert Collier

jwhite0526's picture
We all feel like we cannot

We all feel like we cannot tolerate gaining weight but we have to accept it as a possibility. As long as we hold on to the obsession with gaining weight we will not recover, we will not even come close. I had the same thoughts of 'i'll lose weight and then recover' but that will not work. You will just be feeding the b/p cycle, and then what if you gain more weight back once you're in 'recovery'? Are you going to throw out recovery for a week to lose some weight then go back to it? Thats not recovery!! I think we all have these thoughts at first, trying to make it okay for ourselves to hold on to a piece of our disease but the bottom line is it is not okay. It's taken me a very long time to get to the point I realize that but I feel like I've made so much progress even though I have so far to go. So throw out that scale and get started!

side note: we lose literally pounds of water weight when we purge. It's not real weight at all.

BlondeGirl's picture
i know you girls are right,

i know you girls are right, but i know that my biggest fear in life has always been gaining weight...i have been running for 11 years and had my ups and downs, but i think beside the fear of gaining weight bulimia is not only about the food, is that in combo with other emotions.For example in my case, i've been through some bad relationships and whenever things went bad i blamed my weight or the fact that i was not skinny enough.i know it sounds silly but i dont feel confident if i dont have my dream weight, i will try to achieve it though through exercise and moderate eating, there have to be ways of losing the weight and get rid of bulimia, and be healthy, there are so many athlets or other ppl look great and they dont suffer from any ed and they are healthy and skinny.

aquana's picture
I don't want to bring you

I don't want to bring you down, but if you want to get rid of bulimia, you will have to give up the whole dieting mindset. You might lose weight when you start eating properly, but as long as you restrict, purge, overexercise etc, you WILL be stuck in the cycle.

BlondeGirl's picture
i know, but i just can't

i know, but i just can't accept the fact that i will gain weight.

caliwb's picture

I know I had a hard time accepting weight gain. I actually still havent accepted it fully, I imagine myself only happy with recovery when I start to lose weight by eating naturally... but then again, I'd rather be happy with my body rather than wasting precious time, money, health and relationships just for seeing a number I like. I've finally realized weight gain in recovery is necessary!!

ask yourself why you cant accept weight gain. At your current weight, what makes that so great? are you a better person cuz you weigh a few pounds lighter? Has being at a certain weight made your life just the way you wanted it? Would gaining a few pounds (which will eventually come off), and getting rid of an ED, not open new doors and make your life better? These are some stuff I asked myself when I was trying to deal with the weight gain. Hopefully you will find something in your life thats worth it, that you can hold on to when it really seems tough to accept those few extra pounds...

groovy chick
groovy chick's picture
Vomiting usually gets rid of

Vomiting usually gets rid of between 30-50% of the calories consumed during a binge (meaning the remaining food is retained and digested).

The retained food will therefore likely lead to weight gain, although this is dependent on the composition of the food in question (carbohydrate, fat, protein etc.).

When you start eating normally, the composition of foods is vastly different mainly made up of carbohydrates with smaller amounts of fat and protein. Eating three meals a day along with snacks is normal, healthy eating and will not result in weight gain.

Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.

sklong22's picture
Battle with recovery

I am in the same place right now as well. I was an inpatient/outpatient at a treatment facility 10 months ago and I am still b/p anywhere from 4 to 10 times a week. I started seeing a therapist, though, about a year and a half ago and just recently stopped because I am at a point where I feel like I have all of the tools to succeed...I just need to use them!!!! It has been an extremely slow process for me but as everyone on here as said, it won't happen until I want it to happen and until I want to be healthy. If it is for my parents, for my friends, for my boyfriend or because I don't want to die, it won't happen. I have to WANT to be happy all of the time and want to put the effort into fighting those nasty ass urges!!! About the gaining weight? I have been bulimic for 9 years now. It started with just throwing up my dinners to now, and for the last 4 years at least, ordering the most food you can IMAGINE and eating it all in my room and doing whatever it took to get it up. When i was younger, and my metabolism was still active, the weight gain wasnt noticeable. But now, it IS! I gained over 20 lbs in 6 months. That is when i took myself to a treatment facility. I then got a trainer to try and work out to get healthy and i didnt lose a pound for a month. It was very frustrating! Not a single pound and I was doing everything i was supposed to! Except I was still b/p 4 times a week. i then gave up on the working out and now, four months later, this is where I am at. My clothes are getting tighter again...and these are the clothes that I bought when i gained weight the first time and i am just fed up! I am sick of it! I am tired of relaxing my stomach and having it stick out 2 feet bci am sooooo bloated! or not sleeping, or being light headed after a purge or my jaw hurting from chewing so much and purging. should i go on? bottom line is...bulimia is in no way, shape or form going to help lose weight. it eventually catches up with you and mixed with 8 years of laxitive abuse can really F*** your insides up. Getting my digestive system, my weight and everything else back to normal is going to take time...and I havent been ready to handle it yet...until now....I hope. Today is day 1....again.

~Live Healthy~

sklong22's picture
one more thing

Forgot to comment about what you said about dating. I, too, dated complete @$$es all of my life. My success was judged by their happiness in our relationship and if we were getting along. When something went wrong, I blamed it on myself. I had failed once again. Over the past year, I have realized that a man HAS TO DESERVE ME. I would rather be single than be that miserable, feel that worthless and that useless in this world as I did with those guys. Why do I let people walk all over me. STAND up for yourself!!!! Your opinions and what you are looking in a man are what makes you YOU! You will not change anyone! So don't try! You will not succeed. You will never find a man to love you until you love yourself. The last part of this i have left is to stop the act of b/p. I have learned to love myelf. I have portrayed my self confidence and found a great man because of it. I know i am worth everything and gosh darnit that man better show me that I am. This is your life! Do what will make you happy! and never let anyone tell you what that should be!

~Live Healthy~

BlondeGirl's picture
i know what you are saying

i know what you are saying and you are totally right, but i feel too low all the time to make that huge of a change, i tend to think i will never be able to change unless a miracle happens, or someone will come along and save me, but that is very unlikely to happen.i love the guy that im dateing but sometimes he is just calling me names and makes me feel awful, but he does love me, that is his way of being...anyway i am drinking some kind of green tea that is for constipaiton at the moment so i dont feel so bloated all the time so i dont tend to binge as often,i just hope something will happen and my life will change in good...i was looking in my pc the other day and i saw a picture of myself from 4 years ago, i am so sad, so depressed, i have wrinkles now, and im only 24, i feel useless and hopeless, this is what ed and the wrong people do to you..

m_e_'s picture
bikram yoga and intuitive eating

you might have initial weight gain with getting back into a normal eating pattern but you will balance out. i've been b/p free for over two months now. the combo of dbt therapy w/ a good therapist, getting into yoga, and not restricting what i eat has lead to this recovery. i've since lost weight, gained energy, and i'm STRONG again. even if i was working out during all of the b/p cycles, i was so lethargic feeling and drained and depressed all the time... additionally the glands in my neck got puffy which made me even more self conscious about looking fat.

plus, with the yoga, it's not just about the physical fitness (although it does WONDERS for that, too), but it's about health of the mind and the soul as well. i feel so much more emotionally stable now. so perhaps this might help you out.

one more thing... after a good yoga session, the only food that sounds appetizing is food that truly feeds vegetables full of nutrients, lean meats, and whole grains... at least for me anyway. hope that helps.

“A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader.”
“With love and patience, nothing is impossible.” -Daisaku Ikeda

m_e_'s picture
bikram yoga and intuitive eating

you might have initial weight gain with getting back into a normal eating pattern but you will balance out. i've been b/p free for over two months now. the combo of dbt therapy w/ a good therapist, getting into yoga, and not restricting what i eat has lead to this recovery. i've since lost weight, gained energy, and i'm STRONG again. even if i was working out during all of the b/p cycles, i was so lethargic feeling and drained and depressed all the time... additionally the glands in my neck got puffy which made me even more self conscious about looking fat.

plus, with the yoga, it's not just about the physical fitness (although it does WONDERS for that, too), but it's about health of the mind and the soul as well. i feel so much more emotionally stable now. so perhaps this might help you out.

one more thing... after a good yoga session, the only food that sounds appetizing is food that truly feeds vegetables full of nutrients, lean meats, and whole grains... at least for me anyway. hope that helps.

“A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader.”
“With love and patience, nothing is impossible.” -Daisaku Ikeda

BlondeGirl's picture
i'm glad you found something

i'm glad you found something that helped you, i think what frightens me the most is weight gain, i know that is the worst fear of my life and i think the only thing i could do is eat healthier and try takeing supplements(vitamins/minerals) and get healthy and slim.

probationnc's picture

I have been reading your posts.You talk about the weight gain but that is not the real issue. Has your weight or the way you look made you happy. I look at you and I think OMG I wish I looked like her!!!! As women we have to get past the fact that a man or people in general will treat us differently based on the way we look. The majority of my happy friends are overweight. That is because they are happy with who there are regardless of their weight. Sometimes I sit back and think how can you have a great husband, great children and a great life and you are a size 16. Because it is not about the weight but about how the person feels inside!!! We hate ourselves inside and out, that is why we abuse our bodies. I am in day 3 of recovery, I had one slip up today but I learned from it and said, next time I will know what to do better. I saw a former c0-worker that I have not seen since I gained 30 pounds!! She looked at me from head to toe, I could see her focusing on the size of my hips!!!! So where has all the b/p gotten me, no where. I don't care what people think anymore,I want to be healthy!!!! To maintain my current weight I need to take in 2100 calories a day. I don't take in but about 900 and then purge so my body stores everything as fat. I know that until I balance out my body, I am going to gain because my body is trying to prepare my stupid brain for the binging. Once my body knows that I am really not going to starve it, then it will start to burn the fat!!!!!

jwhite0526's picture
I agree

As long as we think we 'need' to be slim in order to be happy we are going to remain sick. We need to focus on letting go of our food and weight hangups, which means no dieting, no diet pills, no nothing!!

kerriluvslife's picture
Gain! We still keep around

Gain! We still keep around 1,200 calories, even after vomiting, no matter what size the binge is!

alexi's picture
i think its both. its

i think its both. its different for everyone. i lost a stone when i started out and then it kept me at my okish weight. sometimes i would gain x pounds and soemtimes i would lose. its to early in recovery for me to look back and compare really. im not sure if i was suppose to say this but im just saying what happend to me.

Start to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.

BlondeGirl's picture
yep it all depends,anyway

yep it all depends,anyway even if induced vomiting would help you lose weight no doctor would addmit to that just because vomiting does so much damage to a person, it destroys so many things it's not worthit, anyway, i tend to believe also doctors wont addmit to this because there are ppl sick enough out there that would just vomit all day instead of doing something healthy like eating right and doing some exercise.

kachina's picture
eating small consistent meals

eating small consistent meals throughout the day keeps my weight lower than when im bping by far. eating every 4 hrs helps to stave off the urge to binge. def. add some veg. and protein to your diet and keep yourself consistently nourished-never getting too hungry, too tired, too cold. be gentle and nurturing to urself u r beautiful and u must start to see beyond the illusions of a number on the scale-you deserve to be healthy and happy-me too! btw, probiotic like acidophilis will help digestion, and medicinal yogurt with enzymes will help too. u may be gaining because your body does not trust that it will be fed. feed it \and u will feel better. best of luck

Angie Vldz
Angie Vldz's picture
i gained weight, but i think

i gained weight, but i think its muscle, ive been working out everyday, messed up few times but i see muscle, my belly looks firm :) still i gained weight n i hate that


lianarose's picture
Its sooo hard...

I weighed myself 3x's at the gym last night because I was 2 lbs. more than the day the time I left it was 1 lb. more...As I write this my problem becomes more undeniable...but I have to believe I can and will recover from this. We all need to hold onto this belief even if its takes a few tries...


dborows's picture
i gain about 10 to 15 pounds

i gain about 10 to 15 pounds when i start b/ping this is a huge jump and i don't understand why i keep doing it but when ever i stop i do loose all the weight i gained but I just do it all over.... the never ending cycle :(

mandsep's picture
I know how you feel, I b/p'd

I know how you feel, I b/p'd last night and am now sporting five lovely extra pounds because of it... it's so frusterating, I know, because you went through all that effort to get it out and still ended up gaining AND feeling bloated. At least that's how I'm feeling about now. But the extra weight is not you, it's your complex! Eat normal, healthy, regular meals, and your body will recover. Eventually, even eating a very large meal should not cause a normal metabolism to gain weight. Right now our bodies are just clutching onto the food because it believes it won't be getting anything else for a while.
You can get there! :)


too_much's picture

I was anorexic before bulimia, so bulimia made me gain weight.
Now I'm still fairly focused on my weight (v. hard to break as you all know!) but I'm not working on moving that focus to being healthy and fit, even if that means that I gain muscle weight!
Ultimately I wana recover and not think about weight gain~ ~ ~

best of luck to all!

kachina's picture
bulimia makes me gain weight

bulimia makes me gain weight

ch2392's picture
I didn't notice much a of a

I didn't notice much a of a difference. I think it has to do with your body's natural set point. However, I do notice that I feel thinner and better when I'm eating normally and being healthy about it. I know it's hard to let yourself eat without worrying about b/p..I'm still where you are. Somehow knowing that I will feel better if I DON"T b/p doesn't stop me from doing it. I hope you find a way to beat this! Good luck and message me at any time if you need someone to vent to! =]

"Remember how far you've come, not just how far you have left. You may not be where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be."

BlondeGirl's picture
lettme tell you something

lettme tell you something girls, well this is what happens, you eat, the stomach knows that the food is there and will want to process it, well in case you are a good purger, like me, i can vomit everything out after a binge and i know exactly how, you will not gain any weight, but there is a problem, the body knows there was food there, and when it want to digest it, guess what the food is all gone, so it goes into a starvation mode, which will slow your metabolism down..which will make it harder for you to lose weight and the whole digestive system will be upside down, so that is why bulimia is such a bad only makes things worse..i wish i could quit while im not seriously ill..

Ann's picture
I can relate

Reading this thread was like reading the story of my bulimic life.

I too would feel lighter and thinner after a binge/purge episode. However, over the 3 years of severe bulimia, I gained a significant amount of weight. It didn't come all at once, but it certainly was there.

I was finally fed up with the cycle. I had gone four months without bingeing/purging once, but had a very severe relapse. After many more months of bingeing/purging several times a day, I finally decided to make a change. I made the decision to get healthier, and would not allow myself to stress out about weight gain.

The first couple weeks without bingeing/purging, I did "gain" weight. It sucked. I realize now that this was probably water weight and the fact that my body actually had food running through it. Once my eating became fairly intuitive (took about two months), my weight eventually stabilized. I am at a very normal weight now, but it was SO difficult to not slip back into behavior when I had that initial "weight gain".

Knowing that bulimia will wreck my body and metabolism (and the time & effort it will take to restore it), it is much easier to fight off the urge to binge/purge.

rapunzel826's picture
I wish I had your strength

I too always feel lighter after I purge yet my weight increases. I wish I had your strength to begin intuitive eating. It sounds great on paper but I literally canot fathom it in my brain. Since I was little there was good food and bad food. It has never been what do I want to eat but what should I eat. I cannot imagine eating someting bad and not feeling a huge sense of guilt.

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -Roald Dahl

BlondeGirl's picture
thanks for shareing that with

thanks for shareing that with us..lately ive been b/p once a week, before i did it every day,..but i just cant seem to lose any weight and i tend to get so depressed:( any advice?

drross's picture
Awww, babe. Trying to lose

Awww, babe. Trying to lose weight while trying to recover from this awful disorder is just not a good idea. If you are focused on restricting your food intake or amping up your exercise levels to drop a few pounds, you'll only end up more focused on the things you shouldn't be focused on. I think it's healthy and reasonable to simply focus on MAINTAINING for now, now that you're in recovery mode. After you feel more stable at your weight and have reduced binge-purge episodes dramatically, then you can maybe try to lose weight slowly -- that is, if you actually need to.

drross's picture
My weight has actually

My weight has actually remained stable during the past two years of dealing with bulimia. I haven't been trying to lose weight, but I've definitely been trying to avoid weight gain. I think I have a pretty good idea of how many calories I binge on, how many calories I retain, and how many calories I should eat on my "good" days...and that's what is keeping it all stable.

BlondeGirl's picture
hmm, how can you tell how

hmm, how can you tell how many cals do you retain after a b/p?

Angie Vldz
Angie Vldz's picture
hmm i dont binge that much

hmm i dont binge that much anymore in fact ive binged once since i started my recovery over a month ago n i have purged 8 times. i dont think thats bad at all n ive been working out, i eat but not a lot because im trying to control myself. what i noticed is that ive lost weight. i was bloated for like a week n then it went away. so i think the best thing we can do is just eat when we need to n workout because i believe thats healthy. i dont overexcercise, if im tired i give up :) so we have to eat n find moderation.


OrganizedChaos's picture
I can empathize...

Yup. I've gained weight too. Even though I'm only eating one BIG meal a day- which I purge afterwards, I've gained about 15 pounds in several months! ...I think it has a lot to do with my body absorbing calories as soon as I chew them. I read in one of the Bulimia Truth articles that once you begin to binge/purge regularly, your body enters survival mode and hoards every calorie it can...starting when you put food in your mouth. The article said your body will typically absorb about 1200 calories from each binge.

But I know exactly how you feel. I, too have extreme difficulty breaking my Binge/Purge cycle. Even though I KNOW that it's making me gain weight in the long run. It's very frustrating. Before I relapsed, I was eating healthy, I wasn't bingeing/purging, and I was eating several meals a day. I guess my body knew it was going to get food, so it felt it didn't need to store as much. ...I need to get back to that. I'm tired of this downward spiral =[

"Bulimia, that state of fear and desire, that violent crashing back and forth between hunger and the abortion of hunger, between taking in and throwing back what is most needed and instinctively desired: food. The bread of life." -Marya Hornbacher

triona's picture
me 2

for me the fear of gaining weight prevented me from starting recovery for so long. Having started recovery and gone 8 days without purging I have not gained nor have I lost any weight. the thing is though I have noticed that through structured eating and doin small 5 minute bursts of yoga around 3 times a day my stomach has really flattened out and toned up. now I dont know if that is even possible after just 8 days but I am slowly starting to accept the body I see in the mirror and I dont want to screw it up by going back to purging! stay strong hunni best of luck Im thinking of u!

anonmy's picture
i know exactly what you all

i know exactly what you all mean, Ive had to buy new bigger clothes today, I was really upset,. because I thought,. these clothes are for fat people! I cried and cried, but it is what it is and I have to accept it
6 months ago, I was severyly underweight, I was literarily a bag of bones,. it seems my body hasnt recovered from that and is STILL holding on to every calorie I eat in case i go on a severely restricive diet again.
My energy levels are Just evening out, and for the first time in months, I have energy to work out!

Weight loss is a by product of health not a goal, I think of my body's health now rather than my weight, and that seems to be a better detterent from binge eating/fasting/restrictive behaviours than weight loss alone.

Weight gain is because you havent listened to your body, fed it when it was hungry, and given it the correct foods, instead we have binged and stuffed our faces and then we demand perfection from our bodies?
Our bodies are not the issue, they are there for us, and loving us and keeping us alive 24/7 even when we are harmfull and hatefull towards it. Your body only reflects back what you do to it.

Just take a more loving attitude towards your body, that would completely change the way you see food.

HTH xx

Goneforever's picture

Well When i started making myself sick i was just maintaining as i was eating other meals aswell as. But as it gradually got worse i was losing weight at a rapid amount. I never keep much down so this is probably why. Everyones different though it all depends on the person x

kazza26's picture

at first yes i was losing weight but i think my bodys defense system has come in to play because i cant seem to vomit as easy as i once did.i think after a while your body stores calories faster then you can vomit

susie-q's picture

im not sure if i want to answer this as it may be encouraging. BUT hopefully you are asking for clarification from the reult of your body and weight from bulimia.
at first i lost a lot of weight and was underweight. THEN i gained it back and more. i am in recovery 45 days b/p free and i have gone up 3 dress sizes and hoping to come back down 2 onve it settles. I screwed my body up and wouldnt wish this disease on anyone
i feel miserable form it and disgusting. its taking a while to get back into my body and know what it feels like to have one and not live out of my head and constant highs and lows.

Scottie_B's picture
I don't know if anyone has

I don't know if anyone has said this yet, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE THROW AWAY THE SCALE!!!! This stupid little machine is hindering you from getting better. Your worth is NOT based on a number. The best advice ANYONE can give you is eat well and only until you are satisfied, workout most days (and not excessively), don't weigh yourself (eating right and working out will show you where your body should be), and pursue things that make you happy. We all know that sticking to these things will make us better, we all know the foods we need to nourish our bodies, but we constantly punish ourselves. Why? Because we think we aren't deserving of a happy life and that our only asset we have to offer is being skinny. It's so stupid... so, so stupid. Life on this planet is not indefinite... we have a limited amount of time. I don't want to waste another second of my precious life with my head in a toilet. WE HAVE YOUTH ON OUR SIDE RIGHT NOW. OUR 20s AND 30s WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. THROW AWAY THE FUCKING SCALE!!!!!!

Coach Jen
Coach Jen's picture
Gain. Throwing up always made

Gain. Throwing up always made me gain, although I did it to lose.

Miss H
Miss H's picture
I agree with

I agree with Scottie_B.
Simply no scales allowed. I weigh myself approx once a month. and it's generally around the same recently. although it did creep up a lot last year.
I can't imagine how obsessed I might get if I had scales in my house. The real reason I know I have put on weight is because my clothes are too small. but what is a number really.
half the personal trainers out there in the world would be classified obese because of their weight. when in fact it's all muscle. and 60% of our body weight is WATER

onthemend's picture
When I first started recovery

When I first started recovery I gained a very very small amount, probably 1 kilo. But now that its been 5 weeks I have actually lost weight. Not a huge amount, a couple of kilos, but I'm not bloated any more so all my clothes just fit better. I'm within a healthy BMI and now my weight doesn't fluctuate at all... Its just at the point it wants to be i guess. Everyone's body has a set point that it will always revert to if you just listen to it. Its what it will do naturally. The problem is everyone wants to be super skinny so we fight the set point for too long and destroy that instinct, as well as destroying our metabolism. It takes a long long time to get that instinct back... i'm on my way there, but i'm not going to waste any more time sweating the small stuff, i'm trying my best to love what i have now, not wanting something else.

Giant Fluffy Bu...
Giant Fluffy Bunny Rabbit's picture
i would say it makes you gain

i would say it makes you gain weight overall. if you read about bulimia the signs often say that someone with bulimia is average or above average weight. thats not to say its always the same for everyone, but from personal experience, i gained weight from this bulimia fiasco.

bulimia is the worst thing that has ever happened to me and nothing good can come of it. its only now that ive stopped purging that my weight has started levelling off and my moods are stabilizing. anyone reading this who thinks that purging every now and then is a good way to maintain or lose weight...STOP and think. it has ruined my life and so many other peoples on this site.

june's picture
even if you think you are

even if you think you are throwing up everything - it may help you lose weight temporarily - but in good time your body learns to absorb calories through your mouth, through your throat and almost as soon as it gets to your tummy as a defense mechanism. because your body is in starvation mode already from losing so many calories, your body ends up finding ways to keep calories and instantly turns them to fat so that your body has at least SOME stored energy - thus in the long run - not matter how much you binge and purge it will lead to weight gain, potential a coma from loss of electrolytes, esophageal/stomach tears, sever dehydration, cardiac arrest, tooth decay and eventual death... a long, drawn out, very very slow and painful death and a pitiful existence (mine included). what is an existence when you spend more time thinking about whats wrong in your world instead on focusing on what is right. what a waste of our beautiful futures. I know we can make it to the other end - you just need to let go, and let your body be. your body does not deserve that kind of abuse ever. Whenever I feel like I am out of control I look at a photo of me and my brother when we were young, and I cant believe I have hurt that little girl so much.


unperfectisher's picture
It depends on how efficiently

It depends on how efficiently you purge. Obviously purging is bad in the first place, but to answer your question, everyone is different and some people can bp and lose weight because depending on your body, some people actually are able to purge everything. I saw a show about a 60 pound bulimic, so there's some proof. But some people with bulimia also can gain weight because your body is trying to hold onto everything, or you aren't purging the majority of the binge. Either way, bulimia sucks and no one deserves it and screw the weight thing, it's all hell! Be strong, best wishes! <3

Irochka's picture
Somehow I can't believe that

Somehow I can't believe that the body retains appr 1200 calories. At my worst times I've bpd 5-6 times a day and I was still losing weight which would be impossible if my body absorbed 5000 calories a day. Probably it's just my body.
However, whenever I stop throwing up (and at the beginning I always eat huge portions), I start losing weight. Weird.

"If you want it... so you should."

jredwards's picture
u lose!!!

After 2 weeks without b/p after 11 years of struggling with this, I am surprised to find out that I am actually losing weight. I just had my gallbladder out two weeks ago also, which has helped with the bloating and horrible indigestion!! (should look into that, bulimia makes a lot of things out of wack that could be making the road to recovery harder) I saw a doc today for an unrelated reason, and was surprised to see that I had lost 3 pounds. It is amazing to learn that eating more (have been eating 3 meals a day the last 2 weeks and then some) can actually make you lose. AND I am not puffy anymore!! I thought for sure as much as I've been eating lately I had to weigh a TON. But I dont, and that realization is important! If you can get through the stomache aches and bloatiness the first week or so brings when you are learning to actually leave the food you eat in, you will be amazed to see the unexpected results. I rewarded myself with big slice of chocolate cake today, and was glad to see that even it stayed down!!


fractured_girl's picture
i gain cuz

purging just leads to more binging w/me, idk @ other ppl. :( i just wanna stop it. i could go back to being relatively healthy if i could stop.

if i could babysit 24/7 i'd never do it. i have a strict moral code @ not emotionally disturbing kids, so having kids around keeps me in check.

sugar585's picture
I'm also struggling with

I'm also struggling with bulimia. after i had my second child, i gain so much weight. the first time it was super easy to lose the weight. but this time it was way harder losing weight . i looked ugly in everything i wore. then i started a really good healthy diet and lost weight fast. the last five pounds was the hardest, so i started throwing up to help lose it and maintain the weight, now i cant stop. everytime i stop i seem to gain a few pounds back. its getting out of control and nobody knows that hell im putting myself through. my sister-in-law just had a baby two months ago. and was back to normal within a month, it took me ten months to get back to normal weight, but i still have a tiny gut and little love handles. my sister in law looks like she never was pregnant. she haves no stomach and her waist is so tiny. i cant help to be jealous of her. i hate myself for feeling this way.. i wish i can just be happy with how i am

Anonymous's picture
I eat 10000-15000 calories a

I eat 10000-15000 calories a day and purge 20-30 times. My BMI is 14.7. I haven't defecated for 3 weeks (sorry for the candid.) how can it be true that i'm retaining 50%?

Anonymous's picture
Please help me please I am

Please help me please I am lost

Anonymous's picture
I don't know wha to do no

I don't know wha to do no more I am only 13 and I already throwing up cause I weight like 130-140 I am super over weighti don't know what to do I have benn throwing up for about5-4 months now nd when ever I do it my back hurts and my fat belly does to but ever since I been throwing up I have been losing a lot of weight but nobody knows WAT I am doing so iam scared I think this is the only easy way to lose weight.
I need someone's help but now please help me please!!!!!!..........

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