Recommended reading for bulimia recovery

Catherine Liberty's picture

What’s the best eating disorder recovery book you’ve ever read? 

Those of you who’ve gotten to know me over the past couple of years shouldn’t be too shocked when I tell you that The Bulimia Help Method sits firmly at the top of my “favourite recovery books of all time” list. 

But of course being a bit of a bookworm I’ve managed to work my way through mountains of recovery-type books over the years and I’d love to share some of my other favourites with you today.

So here are just a handful of my favourite eating disorder recovery books...



By Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
Intuitive Eating, 3rd Edition

Intuitive Eating was first published in 1995 and since then has become one of the most popular resources for people desperately wanting to make peace with food. Although not specifically a book related to eating disorder recovery I just had to include it here!

As many of you will know one of the final steps in recovery here at Bulimia Help is learning exactly how to trust your intuition around food, to eat when you are hungry and stop when you a full. Speaking from personal experience I can tell you that becoming an intuitive eater offers you the ultimate freedom. Even today I still stop in amazement at how natural, “normal” and intuitive my relationship with food has become. 

This book takes a detailed look at how to reject dieting mentality forever, how to experience emotions without using food, how to tune into hunger and fullness, how to achieve a happy relationship with food and much, much more. 


By Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb
8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience (8 Keys to Mental Health)

“A unique and personal look into treatment of eating disorders, written by a therapist and her former patient, now a therapist herself.”

I remember the first time I read an article written by Carolyn Costin, I was totally blown away. Her approach to recovery and belief in full life-long recovery really echoed my own recovery experiences and beliefs. It’s safe to say she is one of my heroes and this book, co-written by her former patient Gewn Grabb certainly does not disappoint. 

8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder offers compassionate support for people at every stage of recovery, providing hope, invaluable expert insights and real wisdom on how to free yourself from your eating disorder forever. It’s a really interactive reading experience too, as writing assignments are provided throughout. 


By Shannon Cutts
Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back

Don’t let the title mislead you, this book is not just for people struggling with anorexia! I had the pleasure of reading Beating Ana a couple of years ago before becoming a recovery mentor at Shannon’s online community MentorConnect and despite the fact that I was already recovered, I remember feeling so empowered and inspired by her words!

Shannon takes you on a journey through various techniques, exercises, motivational affirmations and journaling techniques that enable you to develop the skills to say "NO" you your eating disorder and "YES" to your life. 


By Rick Kausman
If Not Dieting Then What?

"If not dieting then what" by Rick Kausman is again not technically an eating disorders recovery book; but it holds so much value and is an especially great read if you worry what life without dieting and restricting will be like in the future. 

I remember the panic that hit me once I realized that if I truly wanted to recover from bulimia then I would never be able to diet again.  It just didn’t seem plausible. The idea of dieting is so widely accepted, so “normal”, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These days I take a lot of joy and pride in the fact that I will never diet again. 

Dr Rick Kausman is considered the pioneer of the non-dieting approach to healthy weight management and in this book he shares lots of invaluable information, like how to eat food without feeling guilty, how to increase eating awareness and how to maintain a healthy, comfortable weight forever without dieting or being deprived. 


JoBlogs's picture
Eat, Drink, and be Mindful:

Eat, Drink, and be Mindful: How to End Your Struggle with Mindless Eating and Start Savoring Food with Intention and Joy by Susan Albers is also very good.


Sadie345's picture
Eating under the light of the

Eating under the light of the moon - great book for recovery from disordered eating.

The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover isnt about recovery but its a great book for guidance on appreciating yourself as a female and living a healthier, happier and more fufilling life.

mara's picture
Huge thanks, Catherine! This

Huge thanks, Catherine!
This came at exactly the right time. I'm moving slowly towards intuitive eating and I bought the first book. Just started reading and it's spot on! I will see how things go.

Also, in general I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the work you do for the program and the community on here. You guys have made such a difference for me. I'm still pretty far from cured and still have a lot of things to learn and challenges to face. But I can say that now I feel free, calm and happy with myself most of the time. I never would have thought this was possible just three month ago.
Many, many thanks!
Take care,

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
Great suggestions Jo and

Great suggestions Jo and Mika, thank you so much, I'll definitely have to check some of those out too!

Mara I'm so glad it was helpful! Yes that transition to intuitive eating can be such a tough time, I remember questioning everything at first, worrying I was slipping back, that I couldn't trust myself and so on. But once you make it there, wow, what a life!

Thank you so much for your kind words too Mara, to know that this site has really made such a difference in your life is truly amazing. What a blessing to feel free, calm and happy most of the time too, as much as the bulimia help method has guided you, you definitely owe yourself all of the praise here! You're the one who put in the time and effort and now you are the one reaping those recovery rewards :)

Take care,
Catherine x x

freeed22's picture
brain over binge by Kathryn

brain over binge by Kathryn Hansen
great book

sussy9's picture
Hi guys... please help... I

Hi guys... please help...
I have just joined.. and really want some advise at which book to get .. there is indeed so many.. I would welcome your advise , this is my situation.. Bulimic since 11 now 38, trying to get better by myself.. .. I do feel a bit better now .. binges are lesser.. purges are lesser.. however the thoughts are still there.. sometimes I try to think of a date when I could finally do it again.. , I eat carefully through out the day.. comes to dinner time 5pm I would small meal and follow by my owned designed little binge of low calorie foods .. sugar free lollies and chocolates.. followed by a few coffee cups (3-4) , I sit on one spot, with my foods and eat them slowly little by little... diet foods mixed with little serves of ice cream and this goes one for about 1hr until Im so full ( i believe is the liquids..) it is uncomfortable.. but somehow... i dont worry that much cause I know it was all low calories foods, but I am uncomfortably full... I follow this ritual .. everyday.. after my dinner plate.. 3 times a week.. I keep it to a minimum due to the fact I have to go training at 8pm .. and back at 10.. so I am back to the same thing... I need help... anyone can recommed a book... to help me tackle this.. or put an strategy to start healing this behaviour..??? I wourl really appreciate your advise and guidance on this.. Thank you to all... Lots love Sussy9

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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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