Although bulimia can lead to short-term weight loss, it is not an effective long-term weight loss method, according to Bulimia Help. Bulimia is commonly associated with binging on excessive amounts of food and vomiting to get rid of the excess calories, however, there are other forms of bulimia. Excessive exercise and use of laxatives also are forms of bulimia.
When a person initially becomes bulimic, she may see some weight loss from purging the food she consumes. Bulimia is not effective for long-term weight loss, because the human body transitions to survival mode, Bulimia Help states. The body's metabolism slows and the body stores more fat. After the initial weight loss, many people with bulimia gain weight because of their slowed metabolism. Furthermore, vomiting is not an effective way to remove calories from the body. The body absorbs a significant amount of calories, even if the person purges immediately. Because the person is binging on more calories than someone with a healthy diet, she is absorbing more calories.
Many bulimics also use laxatives to purge after binging, Bulimia Help says. Although this can aid in weight loss, the lost weight is mostly water weight, and this also is not effective long-term.
The Mayo Clinic advises people with bulimia symptoms to seek medical help as soon as possible. If left untreated, it may get worse and take over one's life.