I have received an alarming number of messages about bulimia and eating disorders in the past couple of weeks. So, I felt this was an opportune time to post a few facts and stories that (hopefully) might prevent you from this as a course of action.
Note: I finished updating the Metabolic Repair Manual and actually wrote an entirely new book called Starve Mode. Check it out at: http://www.starvemode.com.
5. It doesn’t even work that well.
Ever wonder why there are fat bulimics?
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh PA 15213.
While caloric consumption during binge eating has been measured, it is not known how many of the calories are retained in the gastrointestinal tract after vomiting. In 17 normal weight bulimic patients, there appeared to be a ceiling on the number of calories retained after vomiting. That is, whether or not bulimic patients had small (mean = 1,549 kcal, SD = 505) or large (mean = 3,530 kcal, SD = 438) binges, they retained similar amounts of kilocalories (mean = 1,128, SD = 497, versus mean = 1,209, SD = 574, respectively) after vomiting.
4. You will have bad hair and teeth.
Bad hair: The hair loss associated with bulimia is called telogen effluvium. This is massive hair loss brought on by extreme stress and sudden physical trauma. Aside from the hair loss, your hair will also be robbed of moisture and appear dry and brittle.
Bad teeth: Throwing up causes the acid in your stomach to come up, and this acid can cause long term irreversible damage to your teeth. If you are thinking this is a myth or can only happen in severe cases, think again. Look at some of these accounts from real women.
I am on 2 years of being a bulimic, but my teeth already have the side effects. The enamel is very thin on my front teeth and bottom front teeth, they are so sensitive to different foods.
Hey, im a dental assistant, i have been bulimic forabout a year and i have to say i am just now starting to notice by teeth being affected.. a few of my teeth are really sensitive ESPECIALLY the day after ive purged alot, i am scared to get the dentist iw ork for to look at them because i think he might be able to tell im bulimic, do u knwo how long it takes for the erosion to start becoming noticable?
My gums have receded, I have heaps of decay and my front teeth are half-transparent from acid wear. They are also concave on the inside and streaky. It looks horrible but
I am so terrified of going to the dentist because it is sooooo obvious 🙁
Ive just been bulimic for 6 months now but my teeth are so sensitive! im even afraid to drink soda without a straw because its scaring the hell outta me!
Well you guys are all pretty blessed with the small amount of damage done.. Let me tell you it gets worse after 15 years.. I have had to have all of my bottom chewing teeth taken out, the ones one the sides 4 i think , so it is very hard to chew things well, leads to stomach aches, constipation,etc. Also my gums have word down so far on the top and the bottom, I have none to speak of AND from having the teeth pulled so long ago there is a large amount of gum loss.
3. Did I mention stomach ulcers, brittle bones, or losing your voice?
2. It’s useless as a long-term solution to your weight loss needs.
Even if you succeed at losing weight and not dying, at some point you are going to have to eat again. When you do, your body is going to react. Bulimia causes a downshift in metabolic behavior beyond that of normal dieting, even crash dieting. It also causes more severe issues with vitamin and mineral deficiency. It affects everything from your thyroid to your electrolytes in a big way. The only way to recover from all of this is to eat; and when you eat, you will store excess water, and your caloric intake needs are going to be less. You also won’t be sure how much long-term damage you have done.
If you are recovering from undereating, the best thing to do is to try to reintroduce food slowly back into your diet. As detailed in this article, you can follow the three week ease in model. While there are more detailed plans, this is a simple method anyone can use and start right away. It’s not a diet but it does provide techniques for refeeding. You can also get support and any questions you may have answered in the forums.
If fat loss is still needed, you can go about it after this but it needs to be in the right way. Remember, the right way doesn’t have to mean slowly or that you are accepting of “average.” You can learn more about this in The Fat Loss Troubleshoot if you so desire.
1. It could f**king kill you.
I could tell you story after story from my own life, not to mention the countless other people who have contacted me, about bulimia. It’s devastating. While this is an underlying psychological battle that goes much deeper than weight loss; at the very least, you need to understand that this isn’t a good method. It’s not going to help you and it could even kill you.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder please contact a local professional. When seeking advice regarding diet and nutrition in general, I urge you to be careful who you contact. The quality of treatment for this issue can be all over the place. It is better to let a psychologist aid in your mental recovery first, and then look for guidance from a nutritional expert. Sadly, most treatment facilities do not cover both; it is usually one or the other. I am not a doctor and can not offer any formal advice, but my door is always open for information on research and my experience with clients. The forums are also a safe and private space for support, if you so desire.
You can also check out my review of Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi; much of it is focused on her struggle with eating disorders.