Bulimia: How To Stop Vomiting

If you are inducing vomiting in order to reduce your weight it is essential that you start recovery by stopping the purging first. It’s no good working on anything else until you have stopped the purging and stabilized your eating patterns. Bulimics binge because they know they can purge, so when you address the purging the bingeing tends to settle.

Key facts you should know about vomiting

  • Vomiting removes vital electrolytes within your body. As a result of loss of potassium your body becomes a fat making machine.
  • Regular vomiting causes severe health problems ranging from enamel erosion on your teeth to life threatening problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Vomiting triggers the binge cycle in bulimia, not the other way around. You have to deal with the vomiting before you can address the bingeing.
  • Vomiting is a purging strategy tried by many people, but only a small minority of people are actually successful.

Woman vomitingPhoto by Aikijuanma

If you vomit frequently or eat chaotically

  • Start by reintroducing one meal at a time. Expect that anxiety will be high before and after a meal. Use an anxiety chart to monitor levels of anxiety before, during and after a meal. Do this daily. Keep eating the same meal daily and when the anxiety scores are low then introduce the next meal and repeat until you are eating 3 meals and 2 / 3 snacks per day. Keep doing this regardless of whether or not you binge.
  • Make a list of snacks which you can eat with some degree of safety. Try to eat one of these snacks each day before 3pm. Slowly build up so that you are eating 3 meals and 3 snacks which will stabilise your blood sugar.
  • Plan ways of ensuring that you eat this meal so it will not lead to a binge. Could you eat with someone, plan relaxation before the meal is eaten or do something you enjoy after the meal?

Once you are eating meals and snacks only then can you move to this next stage

If you vomit infrequently or eat regular meals

  • Eat more of your carbohydrates earlier in the day which boosts your feel good hormone called serotonin.
  • Delay the vomiting by 20 seconds. The next time double the time you delay vomiting to 40 seconds. Keep doing this so that you are delaying the vomiting by longer and longer periods of time.
  • Change your routine of how you vomit. Do things like cleaning the toilet afterwards if you never do, or put some perfume on afterwards.
  • Use the food diary to see what triggers vomiting episodes. See if you can identify a pattern with certain times of the day, different feelings.
  • Identify whether the problem is meals that do not come to an end or binge occasions between meals. If the problem is with meals then slow up eating, relax before the meal and set up new triggers that signify the end of meal rather than vomiting. Think about a meal as having a beginning, a middle and an end. You could say a positive affirmation at the end of a meal or a prayer of gratitude for the meal you have just eaten. Then plan to do something you really enjoy at the end of the meal.
  • Work on relaxation / stress relieving exercises

When you read through the list of how to quit vomiting it may seem quite simple. However it is a very difficult process and something that you will need to keep perservering with. Aim for progress rather than perfection and look at everything that you have achieved rather than focusing on what you have yet to achieve.

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7 Responses to Bulimia: How To Stop Vomiting

  1. Weight Loss says:

    Fat loss? Is this feasible? I’m 5’7″ and presently weigh 9st 8lb.By April 10th I’d prefer to weigh 8st 6…do you believe that it can be potential to realize this on this time? Also, approx how numerous calories should certainly I be consuming inside of a day and the way a great deal exercise would you recommend.Thanks upfront :)

    • Alison Jenkins says:

      Your current weight at 9st 8lbs is within the normal weight range with a body mass index of 21. If you dropped your weight to 8st 6lbs this would take you to a very low body mass index which would be dangerous for your body. You don’t say whether you are struggling with an eating disorder or whether you compulsively exercise. I do not focus on calorie intake, instead focusing on the nutritional content of the food you eat. It sounds as though you are not happy with your body weight and I wonder whether what you are actually experiencing is body image distress. Why not take the body image distress test http://bingesolutions.com/2010/what-is-your-body-image-distress-score/ and then you can learn how to reduce the distress http://bingesolutions.com/2010/reduce-your-body-image-distress/ I would be very happy to work with you on this issue if it is something that you would like to do.

      All the best

  2. DL says:

    I Have a hard time with both binging and purging , I am now 21 years old , I started at 14 and was going through treatment for that among other things , I really wish I could learn to control my self , but in a way I feel like this is the only thing I can control in my life. I know I need to work hard on controlling the binging before the purging , but its hard to not purge period even when I drink a soda.

    • Alison Jenkins says:

      Keep working at it. Recovery is not easy and breaking these patterns can be really tough. But there is hope and many people have been able to break this cycle. Keep it in the moment and don’t view it as giving it up for life. Take each hour at a time and congratulate yourself each time you refrain from purging


  3. Ziz says:

    Hi, sorry for my English, but I have serious problem. I have really bad friend named bulimia. It lasts more than 2 years and I do not know how to stop. Whole day I am trying to feel good, eat slowly and healthy…very difficult are evenings when I cannot stop to eat and after that I get rid of it by vomiting. I am helpless, please give me some advice how to stop with this awful addiction :(.

  4. Irene says:

    Dear Allyson,

    I’m 27 and have been suffering from bulimia for 11 years now. I feel so trapped. I have finished my studies and I’d say I’m eager to have a life for myself: find a job, travel, etc. However, I think there’s a part of me that keeps screwing it all, bingeing and vomiting like crazy when I’ve planned to do other stuff such as spend the evening working. It’s a mess. I see myself able to eat my 3 meals (that’s what I do when I can eat healthily), but even when doing so, I can’t seem able to refrain myself from going to the supermarket, get myself some fatty food and do it again.
    I think it may be that I am scared of life as it is and I am trying to hide behind food, and even weight (i am not overweight though…) but I don’t know how to stop it. Do you think it is possible to recover after so long? Thanks,

    • Alison Jenkins says:

      Hi Irene

      Sorry for the slow reply as I have been inundated with spam mail again.

      Absolutely yes you can recover. I have worked with many people who have been in an active eating disorder for decades. The important thing is that you are willing to ask for help and commit to your recovery no matter how hard it seems. Breaking that vicious cycle isn’t easy – which you already know – as you would have been able to have done it alone.

      All the best Irene

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