Researchers have proven time and time again that a restrictive diet has the ability to induce every single physical and psychological symptom we associate with bulimia.
What may come as even more of a shock is the fact that this isn’t new information. The scientific community has been aware of the link between restrictive eating and the onset of bulimia for nearly 70 years!
Back in 1944 a famous physiologist called Ancel Keys conducted a large study and was able to prove that all of the behaviours we associate with bulimia can be accounted for by a restrictive diet.
The Ancel Keys study proved that symptoms thought to be specific to bulimia nervosa were actually the results of starvation.
Put simply, research has irrefutably proven that a restrictive diet can and does lead to every single symptom of bulimia. Here are the steps involved:
Any kind of restrictive eating deprives your body of the essential nutrients it needs for survival and as a result you begin to experience intense food cravings, strong urges to binge eat, obsessive feelings about food and psychological side effects such as depression and anxiety.
The urge to binge is so strong that it’s now impossible to resist using willpower so despite your best intentions you begin to regularly binge on food.
You feel disgusted with yourself after binge eating so in order to alleviate the feelings of physical fullness, and in an attempt to avoid any weight gain, you force yourself to purge.
Purging, restricting and not eating enough food puts your body in a permanent malnourished state. This further magnifies binge urges, eventually you give in and binge, this leads to more purging and you’re now trapped in the bulimic cycle.
All of the psychological side-effects we associate with bulimia can be attributed to restrictive eating as two large scale research studies from Oxford and Harvard Universities have proven.
These studies show that people on restrictive diets significantly deplete their serotonin levels within 21 days and when serotonin levels are depleted this directly results in the psychological side effects associated with bulimia.
So side effects like obsessive and compulsive behaviour, distorted body image, depression, anxiety, moodiness and apathy.
"Getting rid of dieting could wipe out at least 70% of eating disorders. Get rid of dieting!" (Dr Adrienne Key, Royal College of Psychiatrists).
“Dieting is a primary trigger of the downward spiral into an eating disorder” (Thompson & Sherman, 1993)
“Girls who severely dieted were 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder within 6 months than those who did not diet. And 2/3 of new cases of an eating disorder came from those who dieted moderately.” (BMJ 1999;318:765)
This is not our own interpretation or a best guess, it is scientific fact.
Think back to when you first became bulimic. Did it start with dieting or any kind of restrictive eating? If so then that’s really good news.
If a restrictive diet was responsible for trapping you in the bulimic cycle then The Bulimia Help Method can show you the way to achieve full lifelong recovery.
It doesn't even matter what led you to restrict your food in the first place. By feeding your body the nutrition it needs you can reverse ALL of the psychological symptoms associated with bulimia and achieve full, life-long recovery.
Get access to our FREE mini course to end binge eating
The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.
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