National Eating Disorders Association

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Binge eating after anorexia

I’ve been struggling with binge eating for a few months and after finally deciding to not restrict everything I eat. I’ve fallen in and out of anorexia and have played around with losing weight due to stress. I came out of a stressful college environment a couple of months ago that I believe stimulated myself to binge eat. I have always been one to restrict for years but now it scares me on how much i don’t have self-control anymore with my eating habits. The other day at work someone commented how I used to eat super healthy and raw while I decided to have a dessert...I started crying as it reminded me on how I told myself and believed I hated them and that they were disgusting. I would always tell myself that I disliked certain foods and made it a reality. I don’t know how to bounce back to a normal appetite and I found this platform to just be able to write. I’ve decided to start exercising again so I hope that pushes me to maintain a well balanced diet.

binging after anorexia

Back in September I was hospitalized for anorexia and received treatment for 2 months. once I was released from the program, I still had minor setbacks on the daily but was ultimately stable in weight and was keeping on track. however, in January when I went to a check in at the hospital, I saw that I had gained weight from Christmas and I relapsed. Now, it's May and I have been really determined to stay on track but it has been getting more difficult and I weighed myself the other day and saw I am at the weight I pretty much was at when I stopped eating. lately, I have been binging and feel so out of control and unhappy with myself and I don't know how to go back on a steady path without completely relapsing again and being in a bad mindset.

Hit Me Like a Mack Truck

I am 47yrs. Began my struggle with Anorexia at 15, hospitalized at 31, struggled with cycles of relapses until I was 35. I met my beloved husband and I was good...healthy. My trigger is abandonment so with a man that loved me and continues to love me unconditionally, I just was really unaware of what was happening until yesterday. Three and a half years ago I began experiencing loss, death of my step-dad, 7mo later my brother, a job, spiritual leaders, and recently a best friend. To add to this was guilt and shame as I watched my daughter also go down the road of anorexia/bulimia. Then this Covid isolation. During all this time I was steadily gaining weight, I thought it was my hypothyroidism and to be honest I do not have a below the breast mirror in my house (subcontious decision really) so I had not seen myself and just how bad it had gotten. I was at my mum's and she has full length mirrors and I was astonished! My mum took the opportunity to share her concerns over my weight and said to me "Nicki, I don't think that you ever fixed the core issue with your eating and it is getting out of hand on the other end." She is right. I have gotten on the phone to arrange psychotherapy as I desperately need help. I am on this stupid app for eating but I am angry at it, I don't want to feel this guilt for eating...I don't like the feeling of hunger I had 20 years of it...and I feel it is pointless to add to my shame before I am in a safe space to help with the core issue. I am so angry, not at myself, I need to be compassionate there but at the situation. I am angry and frustrated.

Dear NickiB

We are sorry to hear you are struggling and wanted to leave some resources for you. Our confidential NEDA Helpline can be reached at 800.931.2237 M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET. You can also chat with us online M-Th9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. Our trained volunteers and staff can assist you with finding other resources and support in your area. Stay well and take care!

Hi Everyone

I can relate to the eating issues during anorexia recovery completely! I developed anorexia in 2011 while in college. I had been very active facing since childhood and always underweight. I started lifting in HS, finally hit Xlbs, gained a bit more weight when I stopped dancing but wasn't perturbed until I was alone away at college, had a very unhealthy long distance relationship, and started ritualized excessive exercise, very restrictive but consistent eating patterns and habitual weight taking. My weight never fluctuated ,I was in excellent cardiovascular shape but I lived off certain food. One time I ate something someone left in the garbage in my dorm building at midnight after a run. I could not help myself. Luckily because I was constantly exercising I never developed purging.

When quarantine hit I had been 2 years out from an awful breakup from the man I had been with in college after 11 years and step children. My anorexia came back horribly after having crept back for the 2 year post breakup (at that time I first developed binge/purge issues when I drank and laxative abuse not helped because I was experiencing legitimate chronic constipation), but in quarantine I stopped drinking alcohol, started ritualistic eating and would perform compensatory exercise after bigger than normal meals. As I've tried recovering I started eating, but I developed horrible purge disorder after basically normal eating. I have developed horrible swelling and my weight at the Dr.s office was Xlbs 2 days ago. So I can tell everyone here that your weight going up from purging daily will happen. It decimates your metabolism and the electrolyte imbalances will cause water retention. Ladies I understand the frustration, especially since now I literally keep nothing in and the scale has climbed and my body can change hourly. It is very emotionally and mentally challenging and the identity crisis is real.

I am also a registered pharmacist and have a BS in biochemistry so have a lot of knowledge on nutrition and body chemistry. The more I restrict the less control I have when I do eat and that is the issue because even after eating a "normal" amount of food then purging all the time I am "gaining" weight and my body is constantly changing, bloating, my face bloat really is alarming, and pitting edema is horrible, uncomfortable, and it literally hurts my skin to wear jeans.

I don't mind eating healthy, I developed gastroparesis from my restrictive eating so that prevents me sometimes from even eating healthy stuff without bloating which makes my brain feel like I'm gaining weight, but I understand that's hard for lots of people. The key then is to find "healthy"alternatives.

I would love to chat or help or commiserate with anyone that wants to! I have been very isolated due to my eating disorder and my parents don't understand at all. My mom was insisting they weighed me wrong at the dr office rather than listening to me that yes I can be eating like nothing, constantly purging, but still gain weight from metabolism crashing, electrolytes disturbances, and water retention. Please reach out. I have the knowledge to help and am going through the same thing as you!

Dear ecapel, we would like to

Dear ecapel, we would like to inform you that we edited your post to remove weight numbers, specific food items, detailed descriptions of disordered eating behaviors, and nutritionial advice, since they are not allowed on our forums and could be triggering to other users. You can review our community guidelines here. Thanks for your understanding!


This is one of the most triggering replies I have ever read. You are not a registered dietitian. The advice you are giving is very toxic and harmful, especially for people suffering from eating disorders. Posting your specific weight is highly triggering and unnecessary.

I want to feel content

Hello. I am currently binging right now, which is why I registered on this website tonight. I have binged on and off for about a year now. It came back this summer...I'm not doing any academic work so I don't really know what the problem is. Any words of wisdom?
Hello? Is there anybody out there? Plz help, Pink Floyd >.<


Hi Annie676, welcome to the forums, it's great that you posted. We're sorry you're feeling this way but the NEDA helpline or chat can offer you some support. You can call 800-931- 2237 or chat,  Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm EST and Friday 11am-5pm EST. We hope you find the support you are looking for and keep posting!


Hi Annie, Are you still out there? Sometimes the lack of activity in the forums is disappointing. I don't know if there are other forums that are more active, but another one I participate in is the same way. Very hit or miss. Especially if in the moment you just really want a living voice to "hear you".
So, this is a few days later but I'm out here and I hear you. I'd go ahead and start a new thread. I think it's interesting that this old thread from years ago was resurrected. I just think it's too easy to have lost replies.
Onto binging - Is there any other activity that can bring more guilt and shame to us as we deal with an eating disorder? It's like if I had cancer from smoking and then I continued to smoke while trying to beat the cancer. Well, that's the best comparison I could think of right now.
You aren't alone, though. I have anorexia and the constant state of deprivation I've put my body in has left me at risk of binging on almost a daily basis. I've listened to enough podcasts and read enough to know this isn't about just our own mental will power (or lack of will power), but a physiological response happening in our bodies. Our physical bodies are screaming at us to nourish ourselves better because we are suffering from deprivation, low energy and possibly many other physical problems related to malnutrition/starvation. Is it any wonder that our physical body sometimes "takes the wheel", and despite our best intentions, allows us to overeat? It (our body) just wants some fuel and it doesn't know if this time might be the last time or when the next time fuel might be available. Thinking of it this way does help me, sometimes.
Given that, though, this ed therapist I enjoy does say that while you learn all this and become more accepting of what's happening in your body, and then trying to heal it with better, regular nourishment, there will be an adjustment phase where you need to address the mental aspects of this and the habits that may have formed over time.
I hope that all makes some sense. You didn't say what ED you might be dealing with but I think they do overlap in some aspects.
I hope today finds you in a better place.


<p>Hi... So... Um... This is really hard to talk about... But I hate myself. If you may, I shall start from the beginning. All my life I've been 'the big girl' or 'the tall one'. I've always been bigger than all of the other girls. I was taller, had bigger bones and i got my boobs early! Ever since i was 6 i knew that i wasn't pretty. Looking back i only really started to get really big at the age of 8 or 9. Around that time my parents were never around and when my mother was there she would never really allow junk food in the house. Anyway, when my parents weren't around i would eat everything that was there, sometimes it wasn't even junk food. At that time, i hated my body. I was only wearing clothes that wouldn't show my skin and that were far too big for me. I also had really bad anxiety at that time and i was always scared of dying. Years past and i was not happy. Still didn't fell pretty. Then covid hit and we all went into lockdown. That was the year i started sixth grade. I had decided that i wanted to lose some weight for back to school so that more boys would like me (silly reason, i know). So, thats what i did. I started with dieting and meal prepping (mind i was also quite active at the time because i had school sports everyday). Over a few months i started to look smaller and i felt so good. Boys started talking to me and grown ups would say how pretty i was looking. That never happened to me before. So i kept going. I started eating even less and exercising even more. Sooner or later my mom noticed and then i got sent to a mental institution. But, nevertheless, i got worse. During my stay my kidneys failed and i had to get sent to a hospital to get something stuck in my leg (i honestly don't remember what it was). When i got sent home food was instantly being shoved down my throat. Literally! Slowly, eating became easier. It didn't take me an hour to finish a meal. Then, one day, it happen. I was watching a movie with my family and we had certain foods in the cupboard, freezer and fridge... And i ate it all! I was just so amazed, disgusted and proud of myself all at the same time. I don't even remember eating the food. Just that it was gone and that i could taste the sugar in my mouth. Then the guilt set in. I started hating myself. Why did i just do that?!?! I don't know... Eventually, i did it again. Then again. And again. And soon,it became a thing i do every week or so. And every single time i hate myself or i want to die. I went through a period of purging but then my mother found out and made me stop. Sometimes, i do still self harm to stop myself from purging or un-aliving myself. Right now, i am thirteen. I am in highschool and top in my grade. I have friends... I think. I have a crush on a boy. I do sports... Sometimes maybe way to much. I binge eat, i starve myself and i don't like myself. But im working on it. Im on medication and im speaking to a therapist. I have supportive parents and i am trying my best to get better. But... Im really tired. And im stressed. And im anxious. And im tired (again). But that's okay... I think?</p>


​​Hi AMP123, we are sorry to hear about what’s going on. We slightly edited your post to remove discussion of specific behaviors and foods - you can  review our community guidelines here. Your post mentioned self-harm so we wanted to post the following resources:

  You can also reach out to the NEDA Helpline to discuss resources and options for support at 800-931- 2237 or chat, Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm ET, Friday 11am-5pm ET. Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm ET, Friday 9am-5pm ET. Please stay safe and keep posting on the forums. You matter.

I'm sorry. No one should have

I'm sorry. No one should have to go through that. Have you tried going to a dietitian and setting up a meal plan. I had a meal plan to follow....I wouldn't starve or binge because I measured the food and had a guide.

Please don't hate yourself. No person should be hated. You are brave and strong. You are going through a lot girl!! Give yourself a break and do an activity that makes you happy and relaxed! Listen to music, take a warm bath, lay in the sun, drink some green tea. Your parents obviously love you if they are supporting you:)

Completely Understand

I'm struggling with the exact same thing. I searched Google because I wanted to ensure that I wasn't the only one with this issue. I want to go back to having anorexia full blown and I try to restrict but then I eat way more than I had planned. I think about food a lot and I can't seem to get satisfied after a meal. I end up hating myself afterwards and feel weak.
But (and I'm trying to say this to myself as well as you:) remember that you have a lot of people who know exactly what you are going through and it isn't abnormal or something to be ashamed of. I'm thinking it's part of recovery and your body is just so happy to get to eat without measuring and stuff like that. You arent weak or unlovable because you have a hard time controlling your appetite (you're human and that's normal). Also, find a hobby, book, or TV show you can get really excited about to get your mind off of the binge.
I'm supporting you!!
Prayers to everyone!

I know this post was posted

I know this post was posted so long ago, but please give me an update. I'm also recovering from anorexia and I feel hungry and craving unhealthy stuff like cookies all the time. I'm eating so much like over 20,000 calories but I'm still always hungry I can't do this anymore, did it ever get better?? Please reply I'm so desperate for answers

I know this post was posted

I know this post was posted so long ago, but please give me an update. I'm also recovering from anorexia and I feel hungry and craving unhealthy stuff like cookies all the time. I'm eating so much like over 20,000 calories but I'm still always hungry I can't do this anymore, did it ever get better?? Please reply I'm so desperate for answers

I know this post was posted

I know this post was posted so long ago, but please give me an update. I'm also recovering from anorexia and I feel hungry and craving unhealthy stuff like cookies all the time. I'm eating so much like over 20,000 calories but I'm still always hungry I can't do this anymore, did it ever get better?? Please reply I'm so desperate for answers