Explained: Bulimia, its symptoms and how to overcome it

If you have bulimia, you're probably preoccupied with your weight and body shape. You may judge yourself severely and harshly for your self-perceived flaws. Because it's related to self-image, and not just about food bulimia can be hard to overcome. But effective treatment can help you feel better about yourself, adopt healthier eating patterns and reverse serious complications

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What is bulimia nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa, commonly called bulimia, is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with bulimia may secretly binge-eating large amounts of food with a loss of control over the eating and then purge (forcefully vomit), trying to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way.

To get rid of calories and prevent weight gain, people with bulimia may use different methods. For example, you may regularly self-induce vomiting or misuse laxatives, weight-loss supplements, diuretics or enemas after bingeing. Or you may use other ways to rid yourself of calories and prevent weight gain, such as fasting, strict dieting or excessive exercise.

Bulimia is of the most detrimental eating disorder causing adverse effect on physical and mental health which has become very common in today’s era and the counseling, as well as developing a positive relationship with food can help people overcome this disorder.


  • Forceful vomiting.
  • Excessively exercising.
  • Laxatives and diuretics.
  • Having an avoidance for food.
  • Depression.
  • Avoidance to mingle with people.
  • Eating voraciously, even when not hungry, and then low self-acceptance filled with guilt.

Who can suffer from bulimia?

Any one at any age or gender especially under stress or depression or with the fixed mindset paranoid about their weight? They actually look underweight due to eating less or avoidance and ignorance of bodily needs of nutrition.  External causes could be advocated by media, pear pressure to stay slim, taboo in society or endorsed and greatly influenced by society.

Listen to your mind body and soul

It’s only you who can heal and treat your body to normal with the help of a food coach or a nutritionist. When the secret ingredient to a healthy recipe is love, and when you love yourself for being fit; hunger urges will subside down and you would know your satiety point.

It’s not the food itself that cause you to binge or fearful events or anxiety but it’s about how you look at the food and your thoughts. Stop labeling food as good or bad and let not food control your mind.

Food is the major source of energy and when you consume the recommended food portion daily especially high quality proteins like tofu, fish, eggs, chicken, curds and paneer, avocados, rajgira, ragi, couscous, quinoa as well as essential oilseeds and fiber rich veggies like dark green leafy veggies and fruits and berries;  you uplift your mood and well-being.

Sit down to eat always and eat mindfully, concentrate and chew well being aware of what you eating while you savor the taste, texture considering food is as your friend and as vital to sustain your strength immunity and wellness.

Make a list of healthy foods and also incorporate so called most liked but labeled as bad foods occasionally can help you to stop craving for it. Initially this can cause something called as ‘bulimia bloat’ which is a part of recovery phase where in you tend to put on 1 or 2 kgs. But when you eating consciously under the supervision; this is just a muscle gain necessary to bring you to the desired fitness quotient.

When you plan your meals ahead of time and know your potion size consumed at regular intervals, you never stay hungry and starve or crave for the food.

When you learn about miracle of nutrition and the powder of certain vitamins and minerals, your understanding of food improves and phobia for food subsides down and metabolism will rise. Celebrate small victories during recovery phase with the support of an expert.

Stay in front of the mirror every morning and praise yourself for adhering to the regime. When you are enlightened; you can help others to come out of this dark tunnel of vicious cycle.

The author is a sports nutritionist and clinical dietician