Does Throwing Up Make You Lose Weight? Yes or No? Let’s Find!

Puking and weight loss, the combination looks weird, right? But bulimics use this threatening way to burn calories and suffer a lot in the future! If you are the one going through it, then the question “does throwing up make you lose weight?” must have crossed your mind.

This technique of losing weight is generally known as “Bulimia.” It can surely help you lose weight temporarily but the after-effects can badly affect your physical and mental health. Throwing up after eating a meal will never benefit you. In fact, it can lead to severe complications which can be fatal. 

In this write-up, you’ll get to know whether throwing up can make you lose weight or not. So, to find out how bulimia can even lead to fatal consequences, read the whole article. 

What Is Bulimia? Is It Healthy? 

Bulimia Nervosa a.k.a. “Bulimia”  is one of the most life-threatening eating disorders in which the patient binge eats frequently and then tries to throw it out to avoid gaining weight. This psychological disorder can make a person emotionally unstable because such people are not obese.

what-is-bulimia

In fact, they lie within the normal weight range for their age group but they fear getting heavier. This binge eating disorder majorly affects females with the following signs and symptoms.

  • Abdominal problems
  • Disturbed menstruation cycle
  • Dry skin and nails
  • Damaged teeth
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep dysfunction

What happens is, you want to avoid bingeing but you can’t stop and then you end up overeating. Now, once you’re done with it, you’ll become anxious and would want to get rid of those calories you’ve consumed. In the trepidation of gaining weight, you use unhealthy means of losing weight. Hence, it becomes a challenge to balance the desires.

Such patients try to get rid of those extra pounds by using inappropriate techniques such as enemas, vomiting, exercising heavily, fasting, using laxatives, and diuretics. However, none of these ways can be beneficial at any cost! 

One of the frequently asked questions is, “does throwing up make  you lose weight?” Well, there are a few misconceptions about vomiting being associated with weight loss. Let me burst the bubble for you under the next heading. 

Does Throwing up Make You Lose Weight?

Vomiting intentionally with an aim to lose weight is highly unrecommended as it is both unhealthy and unnatural. It is something your body doesn’t want but you’re forcing it to do. The worst part is, throwing up won’t help you lose weight but can help you end up in the grave! Yes, it can even lead to fatal consequences.

does-throwing-up-make-you-lose-weight

One more surprising fact that you might not be aware of is that this concept of losing weight can lead to entirely opposite results. Vomiting after a large meal can eliminate less than half of the calories consumed. This is why bulimic patients end up getting heavier.

All in all, you can temporarily lose weight after throwing up but in the end, you’ll have to pay a huge price. So, putting your life at risk just to lose excess weight isn’t a good solution at all.

How Much Weight Do You Lose When You Vomit?

When you upchuck, your body loses fluids such as electrolytes which include salts, and minerals. Hence, you can lose a lot of water while throwing up leaving behind a severely dehydrated body. Low potassium levels and electrolyte imbalance are both severe complications.

Prolonged vomiting is followed by severe risks and complications. A sudden unintended weight loss might attract you to follow this way of purging but long-term side effects are something you’re ignoring. Throwing up can hardly eliminate fifty percent of the calories consumed. 

Benefits and Complications of Throwing Up

If you’re bulimic, you might be sad to know that throwing up doesn’t even show half of the benefits than complications. This way to purge can cause long-term side effects which can become a hurdle in your future weight loss plan. Following are a few benefits of throwing up.

Cleansing of the Stomach

The foremost advantage of throwing up is the cleaning of the stomach as every time you vomit, your body tries to get rid of all unhealthy foods. It’s a natural reflex, whenever you eat something bad, your body tries to throw it out.

However, in self-induced vomiting, it’s not your body but you who actually throws out. In both cases, the stomach is getting cleaned.

Get Rid of Toxins

When you ingest something harmful, the body tries to throw it out in a reflex action. This condition is usually referred to as food poisoning. So, vomiting can sometimes save you from infections because it helps you get rid of all the toxins.  

Feel Relieved

Once you’re done purging, anxiety spikes up! You become tense and guilty of binge eating. Now to revert the act, you throw up which makes you feel lighter and relieved. Overeating feels like an extra burden on the stomach which when gone leads to a huge relief.

As I mentioned above, multiple vomiting can cause severe complications. From damaging your teeth to the stomach, it can permanently damage the digestive system. It can also lead to abdominal disorders such as IBS, diarrhea, constipation, and even irregular menstruation in females.

Some of the most common complications of throwing up are mentioned below.

Dental Problems

When you vomit, the acidic contents of the stomach are expelled out of the mouth. These acids won’t affect your stomach but when it comes to teeth they can badly damage the enamel. Hence, erosion of teeth can lead to severe dental problems.

Dehydration

Self-induced vomiting leads to the loss of nutrients, water, salts, and minerals leading to dehydration. This loss can make the body suffer from electrolyte imbalance. Moreover, the loss of acids from the body might put you in a state of “Metabolic alkalosis.” When the body lacks fluid, the kidneys suffer badly. Prolonged dehydration can even lead to kidney failure.

Irritation of Esophagus

Due to multiple vomitings, the stomach acid continuously passes through the esophagus and causes damage to the mucosal cells of the region. Hence, the inner cellular layer might get inflamed which can lead to blood in vomit.

irritation-of-esophagus

Hoarse Voice

Throwing up can even damage the vocal lines and the surrounding cellular region leading to a scratchy and hoarse voice.

Swollen Parotid Glands

Parotid glands are specialized for producing saliva which not only helps in chewing but also protects your teeth. However, the glands of the bulimic patient might get swollen because of repetitive vomiting. Throwing up multiple times leads to over-stimulation of the glands.

Painful Sores

Similar to the throat, the mouth can also be damaged. The stomach acid can irritate the cellular layer of the mouth causing painful sores.

Most Popular Bulimia Weight Loss Strategies

Experienced patients tell that all of the Bulimia weight-loss strategies work initially only. However, people are trapped in this cycle of eating and vomiting. Based on a study in 2009, the crude mortality rate of one of the eating disorders “Bulimia Nervosa” was found to be 3.9%. 

People with bulimia follow several weight-loss strategies which include vomiting, usage of diuretics and laxatives, exercises, and others. Such strategies do nothing but give rise to abnormalities of fluid and electrolyte imbalance. Here, I’ll share with you six of the bulimia weight-loss strategies to help you decide whether there is any truth in weight loss or not! 

Self-Induced Vomiting

Does throwing up make you lose weight? Has this technique ever helped you? Well, it might have helped you initially but it won’t do it permanently! Throwing up after bingeing is the most common practice to lose calories.

The consumption of calories is initiated in the mouth as soon as you start eating. So, when you eat a lot and then throw it up, it does not even eliminate half of the calories consumed. This means, whatever you’ve eaten is inside the body and what’s actually lost is “Body fluids.”

Self-induced vomiting not only damages teeth, throat, and mouth but also leads to a syndrome known as “Mallory-Weiss syndrome.” Irritation near the gastroesophageal junction can cause bleeding which leads to streaks of blood in the vomit.

Usage of Laxatives

Laxatives are medications that are often used in constipation as they help in easing the passage of excretory products. However, people also use them for weight loss. People often confuse weight loss due to laxatives with fat loss.

This temporary loss is actually the loss of water and not the fats. So, the usage of laxatives for losing weight is an ineffective strategy that dehydrates the body.

Usage of Diuretics

To lose weight, bulimic patients also use diuretics which are supposed to increase urination. These drugs increase the excretion of salt and water from the body which makes the body dehydrated while physically you experience temporary but rapid weight loss.

Hence, the weight fluctuations in the body can be due to fluid retention. So, the usage of diuretics for weight loss is a big NO!

Strenuous Exercise 

Exercise is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism. But is over-exercise good for weight loss too? NO! This might look strange but heavy exercise after binge eating would harm your body. This is because of the lack of rest after the hard work.

Moreover, strenuous exercise might weaken your immune system and give rise to other kinds of infectious diseases.

Under-Eating

Undereating a.k.a restrictive dieting can impose severe threats to the body if it is not needed. Initial weight loss might make you happy but once it is over you’ll face an urge to binge eat. This is the impetus for the beginning of the eating and purging cycle which will directly cause weight gain.

Switching to Medications

Just like using laxatives and diuretics, people often switch to diet pills to lose weight. But is that a good option? NO! Diet pills can have long-term side effects leading to severe complications such as,

  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Severe nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Fits
  • Uneasiness

Most of these pills are addictive and contain dangerous ingredients. Since some of them are sold online, people can easily be trapped. Some of the side effects can be short-term which might go away easily but the long-term side effects are inevitable.

The Bottom Line

Your desire to eat food isn’t bad but bingeing and throwing up is something you must refrain from. One of the eating disorders, bulimia nervosa makes you both mentally and physically ill. Bulimics feel imprisoned in a never-ending cycle of eating and purging but is there a way out? Yes, there is.

Nobody can fool nature. Once you enter this vicious trap, you might face initial weight loss but remember it’s not permanent. In fact, after some time, your body might gain more weight. Hence, bulimia is a psychological problem that needs to be treated.

So, does throwing up make you lose weight? No! Definitely not. The aforementioned explanation provides you with all the details of how dangerous self-induced vomiting and other weight-loss strategies can be for your body. So, try to use your willpower rightly and break the binge cycle!

FAQs

How much weight does a bulimic person lose in one week?

Well, a bulimic person loses weight through different strategies with vomiting being the most common one. However, the exact weight lost varies from person to person and also depends upon the type of strategy being used. Each time you throw up, your body can not even get rid of half of the calories consumed.

If you throw up do you still count the calories?

Remember! Vomiting after eating will never undo what you’ve consumed. While throwing up our body gets rid of approximately ½ to ⅔ of the calories consumed which makes it near to fifty percent. However, the initial weight loss is temporary and might reverse when conditions are back to normal.

Do you lose protein when you throw up?

Whenever a person throws up, the liquid content consists of salts, minerals, and several essential ions such as chloride and bicarbonates. So, electrolytes and water are all that you can lose while vomiting.

Does throwing up make you lose muscle?

Bulimia adversely affects the muscular system as well. When you throw up repetitively, your body loses water and electrolytes which leads to dehydration. This loss of water leads to the weakening of muscles and can also burdenize the heart.

Does throwing up after drinking make you lose weight?

If you throw up after drinking then most probably your stomach isn’t fine that’s why you’re trying to eliminate what you’ve consumed. Puking after drinking is common but it doesn’t contribute to weight loss.

What happens to your body if you throw up?

While throwing up, the muscles of the stomach are pressurized and squeezed by the diaphragm. This motion expels the food content of the stomach into the food pipe. The contraction of muscles increases the pressure and the contents are expelled out of the body through the mouth.

Is it bad to drink water after throwing up?

Try not to drink any kind of fluid for the next 1-2 hours after vomiting. You can sip small amounts of drinks after a few hours of throwing up. However, juices of citrus fruits and drinks high in acidic content must be avoided to prevent vomiting.

Should you sleep after throwing up?

Try to sit after vomiting because laying down on your back might cause the acidic contents of the stomach to flow back into the esophagus. If you’re fine with sleeping then make sure to place your head 30 cm above the feet.

Mehrosh Ahmer

Mehrosh Ahmer

My name is Mehrosh Ahmer and I’m currently a student of MBBS at Jinnah Sindh Medical University. My passion for studying the wonder that is the human body and the desire to give back to my society has led me to pursue a career in medicine. As I research, I learn more about my field, and it improves my understanding. This is why I enjoy writing the articles so that more people might get to read about subjects that they otherwise might never encounter.

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