Restrictive eating

Richard Kerr's picture


Restrictive eating is common with bulimia and can happen after a binge episode.

You might think:

"Hold on, I don’t restrict my food intake, I binge on food"!

Do you find that after binging you either purge, starve, skip meals, over-exercise, or engage in your diet mentality until the next binge comes around? This is restrictive eating! It means your body is not getting enough nutrition and is deprived of calories due to a continual cycle of starving, binging and purging.

Restrictive eating leads to further binging - therefore you are only feeding your next binge and continuing a destructive cycle!

Many people with bulimia have reported that they virtually starve during the day so they feel ‘entitled’ to eating in the evening, most of the time this ends up in a binge session. It is a good idea to look at patterns of meal skipping, dieting and restrictive eating and assessing them next to each binge episode. You can do this by using your food journal on a daily basis.

Food restriction can lead to binging

There is plenty of research that shows that restrictive eating increases an interest in food and promotes our natural drive to eat, this natural drive can lead to a full on binge. You are probably well aware that as soon as the word diet is mentioned you feel instantly hungry for the very food you are trying to stay away from.

Isn't it strange when we try and avoid forbidden food it all of a sudden becomes more enticing and tempting!

It is human nature to binge

It's human nature to binge eat after a period of food restriction. Knowing this can help pinpoint one reason that might trigger of an urge to binge. Food restriction can lead to physical and mental symptoms that are surprisingly similar to the physical and mental symptoms found in eating disorders.


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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