Eating Disorders

I have bulimia - well I used to have bulimia now I have ‘atypical bulimia’ but I’m not sure how relevant that is.

TL/DR: trying to become healthy, is this viable for someone with an eating disorder? Professional opinions or opinion from experience really appreciated.

I desperately need to lose weight but I’ve been trying for years and always end up in a b/p cycle (over eat so throw up so over eat…)

I’ve managed to get some of the purging under control after CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) but the over eating is still there and if anything is getting worse.

Over the past two years I have gained about 4 stone and I was already over weight.

I currently weigh approx. 17.5 stone and I’m 5’3 and female so I’m dangerously overweight. But I have a very bad relationship with food. I struggle with an addiction to sugary sweet food and drink, binge eating and large portion sizes. I’ve tried all sorts of diets, had therapists and nutritionists and I’m at the end of my tether.

Has anyone with an eating disorder tried this healthily? And I don’t mean to achieve weight loss goals of the disordered mind; I mean to help them maintain an actually healthy diet and head towards a healthy weight (if they aren’t already of a healthy weight).

I can’t afford to latch on to another thought disordered idea, become more ill, and spiral again. But if there is a chance this could help me kick my addictions I need to know.

If you know anything about diet, nutrition, addiction, eating behaviour etc please let me know?

Thank you



Huel could be part of your meal plan and could be a useful part of it if you have purging under control. The sweetness of Huel may help sweet cravings.

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you though, that Huel will only be part of a much bigger picture and you should continue to utilise the support of your clinical psycologist and maybe discuss Huel with them and your dietitian.


OMG huni BIG hugz coming your way! :kissing:
I could’ve written your post! :cry:
I’ve not been bulimic for 20yrs now - save a few isolated stressy binges - but have had disordered eating all my life :confounded:
I’m 42, 5’2" and 5st over weight :grimacing:
I lurch from one diet and exercise programme solution to the next. I’ve managed to control my day eating it’s pm’s alone in PJs behind closed doors that are the issue for me - too easy to order Dominoes via the app with PayPal :angry:
I decided enough was enough a couple of weeks ago and am trying to have Huel for dinner to negate the decisions paralysis I have over evening meals that leads to binges.
So yes it could potentially help but no tbh - with MUCH love - you need to get back to counselling and sort out the feelings that you are eating.
I had a course of counselling earlier this year and it was great, answered a lot of Qs but more over made me question my behaviours and strategies.
ML Fi xx

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Wecome to the Huelarena :>)

I hear you; You’re not alone, I’d searched the forum for ED related topics without much mention, looking for identification & hope for recovery. The closest I came was reading some posts in “weightloss 28- days later” so I then wrote under that topic that I wasn’t going to buy any more food (other than UU HUEL) & have been living off my stock piles of foodstuffs in cupboards, fridge & freezer since then…That was march 26th,

So I’m a little under 2 months in, most of the foods are gone, Huel is a major part of my life now & I’m still really positive that it can help me BUT my over reliance on food & misguided beliefs that all will be well / made better / more manageable blah blah blah if I just eat xx+yy+zzz etc etc. Also the debilitating partial days when all I want to do is eat, still overcomes my thoughts & paralyses me into isolating, obsessing & binging.

I realise its not going to be a quick fix, there is no Fairy Huel Godmother who can wave her magic wand for me, or a bearded Huely wizard in the sky (if only) :kissing_heart:

Personally I cannot know what I weigh, as its a real trigger for me to see the numbers on the scale; I either go “woo-hoo its not as bad as i expected so i can eat extra” (which leads to eating more & more & I can’t stop) or if its worse then expected “so whats the point? I’m never going to be able to shift the weight or get control of my eating”.
Either way I end up binge-ing with incredible shame disgust & self loathing. Which I can only rectify by trying to eliminate the excess food from my stomach by purging.
So I don’t have numbers to guage & track my progress but am sure i will be made aware as & when my attutude to food & eating are changing its just not happening for me yet… wish I could report it was! :pensive:

So my experience is still very much ongoing, & I expect will continue to be a winding path for many years to come, but with Huel as companion.

What ever you try next I send you all the best for freedom from this disease xxx

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After many years of struggle I recently found this site To cot a long story short, the advocate treating bulimia as a physical illness and the emotional distress is one of the symptom of a body starved of calories. I’ve been using Huel to get my body out of starvation as I knew from experience if we’re to try making 3 meals a day I would binge like a demon. I have 3 Huel meals a day and 3 snack as my meal plan which encourages eating 6 times. So far it’s working. It’s been a month and my body is getting used to feeling sated without panicking. The fear of putting on weight is still present, but I am noticing some changes - I’m not relying on coffee as much to stay awake, not as cold. There is some bloating too. The binges are fewer so far. The estimate 3-6 months for your body to come out of starvation mode. It’s obviously more complex than this as they do talk about the mental health implications.
I was worried about the use of Huel as part of my meal plan which is why I searched and found this forum online. I am vegan and admire the Heul concept and figured that my body would need all the help it can get in terms if nutrition but does it encourage dieting, which is not my goal right now?

Huel doesn’t encourage dieting at all. I eat between 2000 and 3000 calories of Huel per day depending on time of year (bulking/cutting cycles).

I know nothing about eating disorders, so don’t mean to come across patronising here, but have you considered getting into fitness? That helped me when I had severe addiction to food. Learning about nutrition and learning what caused a body to lose weight or gain weight broke me out of the cycle and killed my addiction. From there I was able to start a balanced weight loss program and get my mental health under control when it came to food.

Into fitness? You mean like working out 6 times per week obsessively for years until burn out fitness? Yes I have. That’s all part of the ED. I have gone way beyond burnout, to working with injury. That’s how I know I need to get out of starvation mode to stabilise my moods and emotions. That’s what I’m using Huel for. Once I’m there hopefull the binge urges will be less and I can start with regular meal prep. I’m not punting calories with Huel. That that point. It’s making sure my body gets what it needs.

Also, before you ask, I just do aerobic cardio. I’ve trained in a few martial arts, and moved on to lifting - Starting Strength program gradually increasing the weight. My bulimia always ruined my efforts so I’ve cut back working out to work on it.

Well then as I’m sure you appreciate yourself, you were not into fitness if that’s the case. You were into obsessive cardiovascular exhaustion.

In that case, not sure what to suggest, nor will many people here.

I know literally nothing about eating disorders so won’t go down any kind of advisory routes.

It’s hard to explain, but you’re right - you don’t know anything about eating disorders. I wasn’t expecting you to. My comment was really in response to the OP regarding their journey with ED, and how she was using Huel which is why I joined the forum. I love fitness. I travelled and trained in Muay in Thailand for the love of the sport, not to lose weight. EDs turn into a coping mechanism and it is rife in the fitness and athletic world. It’s also notoriously difficult to talk about for fear of judgement and incorrect assumptions.


I get it…!

Yup, hard to talk about, but yeah I have an Eating Disorder too, it sucks especially as I’m a guy, I’m recovering pretty well at the moment, so at least that’s something,

Orthorexia would be a good term to explain what I go through, it’s always obsessing over dietary perfection, absolutely sanity consuming, I use huel as an aid to stop over thinking food and give me a break from it all, so far has proved to be invaluable, it also good for attempting to bump up calories controllably.

I also burnt myself out pretty bad over the last few years too so I know where your coming from there, I was determined to get to a set weight when I married my wife, so I did this to the extreme and ripped both hamstrings majorly. I had a stick on hand for my wedding day… Not cool. Tons of other injuries too, so I really do get it, your story sounds similar minus the bulimia. But to be fair at my worst I’d workout extra to compensate for eating so yeah…

I mainly lift and since starting to recover I’ve gone from 120lbs to 175lb @ 6 foot tall. Still have abs, still lean, and huel has been a massive help to achieve that. (to be fair I had hypogonadism to contend with as well, so the weight increased a tiny bit to do with TRT, just didn’t want to sprout numbers and be called out for it).

It’s sad which ED’s are still to hard to talk about, like you say especially in the fitness world, as people always seems to get the wrong idea, since healthy eating is kind of part of it, so people often get confused between the too and it can be difficult to explain, if you know what I mean? Drives me mad.

My problem is now that because I ‘Look’ fine, it doesn’t mean I am 100% fine, it still poses challenges when going out for a meal for example.

Anyway I just wanted to say this.


I’m not currently treating people, but I do have a background in psychology and a special interest in eating disorders, so I may be able to offer some help here.

First of all, I strongly recommend not going into any dietary change with a focus on weight. Bulimia especially tends to focus on not only weight generally but an “ideal” weight and body type. Even if clinically your BMI is overweight, focusing on changing your weight is likely to enable your bulimia, and for something so difficult to treat you want to stay away from that as much as possible. I’d also second the recommendations to stay away from fitness - eating disorders can manifest, or even transfer completely, to an equally unhealthy obsession with fitness. Move when you want to because it feels good, to show yourself that your body is capable (swimming can be good for this), but I’d recommend staying away from fitness and nutrition communities and exercise that focuses on milestones or the exercise itself, like gyms or long distance running.

Personally I think Huel could be an excellent tool in the treatment of eating disorders. It allows for a a fairly rigid structure around food that actually makes sure you are getting the required nutrients and calories, which probably sounds scary to you but that energy will help you and your body to heal. Discuss it with your psychologist/psychiatrist and your doctor, of course, but I see no reason it couldn’t be used to help. Make sure to consume enough Huel to meet your caloric requirements - if you stick to the recommendations of 4 regular meals a day and don’t deviate it could help you get used to the idea of eating in a more regular, controlled manner. It will also do a lot to help your body and metabolism heal, which is of utmost importance when recovering from bulimia. I suggest getting rid of any scales in your house, as frequent weighing is known to trigger relapse. When you have made it several months (and I mean months!) on a carefully balanced Huel diet, only then would I suggest considering tailoring your intake to focus on weight loss. Again, discuss it with your psychologist etc, and make sure you have coping mechanisms in place for if you recognise intrusive thoughts about weight that may be triggered by reduction of calories. I strongly recommend leaving it at least 6 months (ideally a year) before beginning to reduce and doing so very slowly, to allow your metabolism to heal as much as possible and to allow you to get a handle on intrusive thoughts. I also recommend continuing to not weigh yourself when reducing calories - ask your doctor not to tell you what you weigh, and focus on how your body feels. There are various exercises to help with this - dissociation exercises can be beneficial, as well as thought exercises to focus on the strength of your body and how you can move in it.

Good luck!