Bulimia Nervosa is characterised by a binge, commonly lasting around 2 hours, which eventually results in compensatory behaviours.
People with bulimia try to control their body weight by restricting the amount of food they eat, they then binge eat large amounts before carrying out compensatory behaviours to overcome the calorie intake. For example, excessive exercise, vomiting or laxatives. This becomes a vicious cycle that can be hard to break. Life becomes a constant battle between the desire to lose weight and stay thin and the overwhelming compulsion to binge eat. People with bulimia can consume an average of 3,000-5,000 calories in one binge session but then feel guilty and ashamed afterwards. As a result they make themselves vomit or use laxatives as a drastic measure to try and ‘undo’ the binge. Interestingly, bulimia does not always involve purging, it can include over exercising, fasting and going on crash diets to make up for binges as well.