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The Bulimic Diet

By: Tollie Schmidt

The crew here at Tollie International received the following question via email yesterday. Actually it is more of a statement or her resolution to use Bulimia as a diet option. Here is the question.

“Well i wanna lose weight and the only way i think would be better was
bulimia, even though i am only 16 years old i am 144 pounds. unlikes
other people they are like 100.”

Now I’m sure you think I am going to sit here and tell you why bulimia is a bad choice as a diet. However, at 16 when so many other girls her age are using bulimia as a lifestyle choice and knowing firsthand from my personal experience struggling with bulimia I know the temptation. So, let’s honestly look at bulimia and see if it sounds like a real diet option. Think about it for a moment it sounds great, we want to lose weight and be skinny yet we have no control so the idea of eating anything and then slumping over a toilet puking up a meal sounds good. C’mon talk about a guilt free meal, bring on the next course. So at this point the only down side would be the purging part of a bulimic diet right? Is there anything really bad about a bulimic diet?

Mom, Please Help – a True Anorexia – Bulimia Story

So what is Bulimia?

Bulimia Nervosa
Men and women who live with Bulimia seek out binge and purge episodes — they will eat a large quantity of food in a relatively short period of time and then use behaviors such as taking laxatives or self-induced vomiting — because they feel overwhelmed in coping with their emotions, or in order to punish themselves for something they feel they should unrealistically blame themselves for. This can be in direct relation to how they feel about themselves, or how they feel over a particular event or series of events in their lives. Those suffering with Bulimia may seek episodes of binging and purging to avoid and let out feelings of anger, depression, stress or anxiety. New research indicates that for a percentage of sufferers, a genetic predisposition may play a role in a sensitivity to develop Bulimia, with environmental factors being the trigger.

Here is my problem with the bulimic diet. Let’s say at 16 a teenage girl decides to use the bulimic diet and it works. Let’s say she loses the exact amount of weight she was looking to lose. I mean now that she has lost the amount of weight she was looking to initially lose is gone, she can just easily transition into a healthy eating lifestyle and life would be great. However, here is the problem with the bulimic diet. You may be skinny, yet I have the feeling you will and go look in the mirror and still see the original “fat” girl staring back at you and still be unhappy. See while your body may be “skinny” your mindset is still a emotional and unhappy train wreck! Because bulimia and anorexia as the two most prominent eating disorders have a common link and stem from one main mental dysfunction.

The most common element surrounding ALL Eating Disorders is the inherent presence of a low self esteem.

The bulimic diet will cause a weight loss, Yes! However a bulimic diet will also cause you to trap yourself into a further illusion of hopelessness and a self imposed hell. You will have no control over your life, because you gave up all control. You have told yourself that your are fat and disgusting and since you have no control over your life you will take the easy way and just eat and throw up. The bulimic diet is now a lifestyle because to maintain your weight you must eat and purge, eat and purge this is the only way to sustain the weight loss through a bulimic diet. However, you start gazing into the mirror and you lost all that weight, so losing more would make you feel even better right? Of course losing more weight will make things better, because your still unhappy, you still have no control over your life and your emotions because the bulimic diet has no end. The only end to the bulimic diet is being hospitalized from malnutrition or death.

Men and women suffering Bulimia are usually aware they have an eating disorder. The typical teen on the bulimic diet are fascinated by food they sometimes buy magazines and cook-books to read recipes, and enjoy discussing dieting issues.

Some of the behavioral signs can be: Recurring episodes of rapid food consumption followed by tremendous guilt and purging (laxatives or self-induced vomiting), a feeling of lacking control over his or her eating behaviors, regularly engaging in stringent diet plans and exercise, the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, and/or diet pills and a persistent concern with body image can all be warning signs someone is suffering with Bulimia. See Also, Signs and Symptoms.

“… my need to do this… it is almost instinctually protective…. a mechanism shielding out the real me in my mind… and I don’t think I even know who the real me is… ”

It is important to realize that what makes a person Bulimic — as opposed to Anorexic — is not the purging, but the cycle of binging and purging. Purging may be using laxatives or self-induced vomiting, but there are Bulimics who use other inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as compulsive exercise (ie., excessive jogging or aerobics), to attempt to burn off the calories of a binge, or fasting the day following a binge. It is not uncommon for a man or woman suffering with Bulimia to take diet pills in an attempt to keep from binging, or to use diuretics to try to lose weight. A sufferer will often hide or “store” food for later binges, will often eat secretly and can have large fluctuations in their weight.

[smartads]

STOP!

Right this moment imagine you have prescribed to the bulimic diet. You have given up all control in your life, you have to trust me from personal experience that when you look in the mirror you will still be unhappy. You will only feel the need to go further, lose more weight, take more pills, be even more critical of your appearance. You are now trapped in a self imposed prison of darkness and lies all be-told through an illusion of perfection.  Truth? Here are a few of the other wonderful side effects of the bulimic diet.

Chronic binging and purging leads to many health problems—some of them life-threatening. The most dangerous side effect of bulimia is dehydration due to purging. Vomiting, laxatives, and diuretics can cause electrolyte imbalances in the body, most commonly in the form of low potassium levels. Low potassium levels trigger a wide range of symptoms ranging from lethargy and cloudy thinking to irregular heartbeat and death. Chronically-low levels of potassium can also result in kidney failure.

Other common medical complications and adverse effects of bulimia include:

Source: National Women’s Health Information Center

  • Weight gain
  • Abdominal pain, bloating
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness
  • Broken blood vessels in the eyes
  • Swollen cheeks and salivary glands
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Tooth decay and mouth sores
  • Acid reflux or ulcers
  • Ruptured stomach or esophagus
  • Loss of menstrual periods
  • Chronic constipation from laxative abuse

Throwing Monkey Wrenches Into The Bulimic Diet:

There is no single cause of bulimia. While low self-esteem and concerns about weight and body image play major roles, there are many other contributing causes, including social, psychological, and biological factors.

Major causes and risk factors for the bulimic diet include:

  • Poor body image – Our culture’s emphasis on thinness and beauty can lead to body dissatisfaction, particularly in young women bombarded with media images of an unrealistic physical ideal.
  • Low self-esteem – People who think of themselves as useless, worthless, and unattractive are at risk for bulimia. Things that can contribute to low self-esteem include depression, perfectionism, childhood abuse, and a critical home environment.
  • Dieting – People who diet are much more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who don’t. The deprivation of drastic dieting can trigger binge eating, leading to bulimia’s binge-and-purge cycle.
  • Appearance-oriented professions or activities – People who face tremendous pressure to look a certain way or stay thin are vulnerable to developing an eating disorder. Those at risk include ballet dancers, models, gymnasts, wrestlers, runners, and actors.
  • Major life changes – Bulimia is often triggered by stressful changes or transitions, such as the physical changes of puberty, going away to college, or the breakup of a relationship. Bingeing and purging may be a misguided attempt to cope with the stress.
  • Biological factors – Eating disorders run in families, indicating a genetic component. Research also shows that low levels of serotonin play a role in bulimia.

The binge and purge cycle of the bulimic diet

Bulimia’s destructive cycle of bingeing and purging is triggered by dieting. A bulimic diet is driven by a desire to be thin, people with bulimia go on strict diets. But the more rigid and restrictive the diet plan, the more preoccupied they become with food. They obsess over what, when, and how much to eat, what they shouldn’t eat, and how to avoid eating. The bulimic diet at the same time, their calorie restriction triggers physical cravings—the body’s way of asking for the nutrition it needs.

As the tension, hunger, and feelings of deprivation build, the compulsion to eat becomes too powerful to resist: a “forbidden” food is eaten; a dietary rule is broken. A bulimic diet is the all-or-nothing mindset of bulimics, any slip-up is a total failure. They’ve already blown it, so they might as well let go and enjoy an all-out binge. But the enjoyment of a bingeing is soon replaced with feelings of guilt, revulsion, and self-loathing.

In an effort to regain control and make up for the excess calories eaten, most bulimics purge to make up for their bingeing. So what is the mindset of the bulimic diet?  While purging is intended to counteract binge eating, it ends up reinforcing it. It’s harder to say no to temptation when you think you can avoid the consequences. “This is the last time,” people on the bulimic diet tell themselves as they launch into a new diet. In the back of their minds, however, they know that they can always throw up, pop a water pill, or use laxatives if they lose control again. What they don’t realize is that purging doesn’t come close to wiping the slate clean after a binge.

Purging does NOT prevent weight gain another bulimic diet illusion myth

Contrary to popular belief, purging isn’t very effective at getting rid of calories, which is why the bulimic diet result is usually at the end of the day gaining weight back over time. Vomiting immediately after eating will only eliminate 50% of the calories consumed at best—and usually much less. This is because calorie absorption begins the moment you put food in the mouth. Laxatives and diuretics are even less effective. Laxatives get rid of only 10% of the calories eaten, and diuretics do nothing at all. You may weigh less after taking them, but that lower number on the scale is due to water loss, not true weight loss.

The Bulimic Diet NOT for you? Try These Proven Systems.

People are confused more than ever about how to burn fat.  They are confused about the best way to go about achieving the body they want.  They are confused about what works and what doesn’t, and the reasons why.  There are countless individuals slaving away in gyms and fitness centers around the country right now.

The Mass Confusion Sorrounding Fat Loss

As with a good majority of the things we do in life, we rely heavily on our vision or eyesight as the determining factor in whether or not we believe something.  And this is unfortunately the case in trying to burn fat as well.  What’s the old cliché?  A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Seeing Is Believing If You Want To Burn Fat – Or Is It?

Articles and Resources:

The Fat Loss Mindset

Teen Depression and the Scary Truth

Immediate Depression Relief

Teen Weight and Popularity