Binge eating (possibly followed by vomiting in bulimia) relates a lot with great fluctuations in eating, fasting and massive reduction of food consumption. Similar to anorexia, the fear of overweight is very important. To estimate whether your body weight is normal, i.e. optimal, you can use orientation BMI (see here for more information).
Overeating connects also with various physical and mental problems, a number of which may directly threaten your life (see here for more information). It is known that a repeating „roundabout“ of fasting, overeating and vomiting leads to development of depressions, it decreases self-confidence and increases body weight. This naturally boosts the fear of further weight gain and bulimic problems grow significantly. The patient becomes addicted to overeating followed by vomiting as if she were a drug addict.
Proper food handling may markedly help in breaking the vicious circle in order to facilitate further treatment.
1. Regular eating
Division of daily food intake into five meals is very advantageous both for the body and for the change of wrong eating habit. It is crucial to comprehend that I will not gain weight if I eat regularly, but I will certainly put on weight in case I reduce food, then overeat and vomit. It is necessary to get rid of eating extremes and to reach balance. If I fast or extremely restrict food choice, I markedly raise the risk of overeating or getting a bulimic attack.
It is not suitable that our yesterday diet affected today´s life – we must start every day from the beginning otherwise we never break through the vicious circle!
2. Gradual widening of food selection
The menu of mental bulimia patients is often very poor and stereotypical. The aim is to enrich their menu so that is becomes varied and balanced, and there are less restrictions. It is good to list meals or foods that the patient has forbidden herself and that she avoids, and order them by difficulty. Then we choose meals that are suitable for including on the menu again and we start with the easier ones.
It is not necessary to start eating food one has never eaten before. Everybody is entitled to personal taste preferences and to not eating some stuff, but such a thing should be exceptional. On the other hand it is advisable to exclude junk food (like chips or peanuts) and temporarily restrict food that often triggers bulimic attacks.
3. I know what I eat
Apart from menu composition and regular eating, we can prevent overeating by being aware what and how much we have eaten. It helps a lot to put the food on a plate, sit by a table and do nothing else but eat – we let nothing else to disturb our attention from food.
It is unsuitable to eat directly from a cooking pot as we cannot estimate the portion size. Another bad habit is to eat by TV – we do not concentrate on food and we eat more than we really need.
4. To reduce food in a fridge
It has proven useful to temporarily change a way of grocery shopping in one´s household, to restrict food stocks to a minimum. This also relates to food planning for a following day.
A full fridge markedly increases the risk of bulimic attack at the time of „weakness“.