There are a lot of ineffective ways to purge, and a few ways that work well. Today, we’ll cover the basics. These are my guidelines and some might have different tips or use different methods
First, a lot of people swear by starting off a binge with a “marker” food — something bright colored and noticeable so when you see it in your vomit, you know you’ve gotten it all out. Stuff doesn’t come out in exactly the same order it went in. Do your physics homework, guys. If you’re drinking a lot of water, what’s gonna come up first is whatever is lightest and least dense. What’s going to come up last is what’s densest and heaviest, i.e., meat, dried fruit, etc. . I don’t trust a marker food alone. You know you’ve gotten it all out when all you’re purging is clear liquid. Thus, that brings me to my first tip.
Tip #1: WATER, WATER, WATER!!
If you want your purging to be smooth and problem free,water is crucial. Fill a huge plastic cup with water and chug before you binge, keep drinking periodically throughout your binge, and chug right before you purge, until you feel sick. This serves a couple purposes. First, it will make the food come up much more easily — you won’t be choking on chunks. Second, it fills up your stomach and helps you get to that “I’m sick” full feeling much faster (read: your binges will be smaller and thus cost a lot less). Third, chugging water til you get nauseous makes it much easier to induce vomiting (see Tip #2). When you chug right before purging, warm water is especially effective. I will go through about 3 huge cups of water during a typical binge/purge.
Tip #2: Trigger Ye Olde Gag Reflex
Some lucky suckers can purge simply by contracting stomach muscles. I, however, cannot. I have a minimal gag reflex and it took some trial and error before I figured out what worked for me. First, I make it easier by getting nauseous first. It’s much easier to gag when you feel sick. Hence, I chug water and if that’s not working I chug diet Coke. If I’m planning to throw up dinner, I sometimes drink a beer with it in gulps (makes me nauseous). Using fingers is iffy for me (doesn’t always work). I prefer a toothbrush. Start with the smooth end and get yourself going. Try not to strain too hard and breathe in between. Contract your stomach muscles. Then, when you feel the gag kind of kicking in, switch to the bristly end. As soon as the first load comes out, hit your throat with the bristly end again until you can’t barf anymore. Then, chug another huge cup of water and repeat until your puke is clear. Some foods will be much easier to get out than others. Which brings me to Tip #3…
Tip #3 Choose Thy Food with Care
Some foods come out easy, some foods are a pain to purge — it takes trial and error to figure out what works best for you. Generally, anything soft, anything moist/liquid, or made of very small particles is a safe bet. Things like cheese and peanut butter will form globs that are hard to get out, but simple carbs more easily dissolve in water. Ice cream is quite possibly THE best binge food ever, and as a bonus, it doesn’t taste like shit coming out. Keep in mind that with enough water you can purge anything, but I try not to make purging more painful than it needs to be, and if you have trouble purging, start w/ easier foods. Another tip is to chew your food as thoroughly as you can — it also makes purging easier.
Here’s a brief rundown on some of my favorite purge-friendly foods that regularly find their way into my purging regimen:
Easy to Purge:
- Ice cream
- Kraft Mac and Cheese
- Hamburger Helper (some people hate purging meat — I actually find it easy)
- Small pastas cooked extra soft
- Pretty much any packaged cookie (Mother’s Cookies are my fave…Circus Animals make my barf pretty pretty pink!) I like to soak em in milk first to make it even easier.
- Rice (as long as it’s with plenty of liquid)
- Milk shakes, smoothies, McFlurries, etc.
- Cereal and milk
- Frozen waffles with lots of butter and syrup to soften en up (frozen pancakes are a different story)
- Pillsbury Toaster Scrambles
- Mountain Mike’s pizza and Thrill of the Grill pizza– only. Probably because their crust is not so dense and doughy (every other pizza has a been horrible experience).
- Scrambled eggs
- Ramen noodles or chow mein noodles (chewed well)
Notably Difficult to Purge:
- Bread (huge globs — ugggh)
- Tortillas (makes a big glue ball that stops up your throat)
- Most fast food — bummer cuz it’s so easy and good
- Many kinds of Pizza
- Peanut butter
- Chocolate candy — will NOT come out
- Anything with dried fruit or nuts in it
- Anything you don’t chew up well or don’t drink water with
There we go. Happy purging my friends
The most obvious tip would be to binge and purge when you’re alone/when no one else is at home. But, that’s not always feasible. So, here’s a collection of hints and ideas for keeping your shit hidden from the people around you.
My main philosophy has always been, hide the evidence. People can come at you all day with suspicions (“I heard you barfing!”), but if you’re a decent liar, you can play it off with a variety of excuses (food poisoning…nausea…blah blah blah) or just plain deny it, and it’s your word against theirs. Trouble comes when you get confronted with evidence, i.e., empty food packages, leftover purge in toilet, clogged up drain, etc. So I make very sure to leave no (or, as few as possible) traces behind of what I’m doing.
I’ve had great success purging in the shower. First, I like that I can see everything that comes out much more easily than in the toilet, so I have a better idea of when I’ve gotten everything out. Yeah, gross, I know — but honestly if you’re here reading about bingeing and purging, then “gross” is kind of a given. Second, everything is right there…lots of water, toothbrush, soap and shampoo to mask the smell, and clean up is so easy, just push it down the drain with your foot!
The only problem with purging in the shower is clogging up the drain, which is actually a legit concern — I keep a large Tupperware in the bathroom (I store it under my sink w/ my nail polish and stuff and claim that I use it for “soaking my nails for a manicure” in case anyone asks why I have a Tupperware in the bathroom). I bring it in the shower with me, and if I’m purging something chunky or stringy (i.e., dinner) I either a) purge into that or b) scoop up the big clumps before they make it down drain, pop em in the Tupperware, and then carry it to the toilet, dump, and flush when I’m out of the shower. I also keep a big bottle of Drain-O under the sink and clean out the shower drain at least once a week to make sure nothing backs up. I’ve been doing this for years and so far, nothing…
The shower is also great because you avoid that “just purged” look — I never walk out with slightly streaked makeup, watery eyes, tell-tale smell, etc, because I have time to wash it all off in the shower first, and I can come out looking nice and fresh.
But, sometimes the shower isn’t an option, and my family does start to wonder if I take more than like 2 showers a day. The toilet is an old staple. I always make sure I clean up carefully (make sure to get the inside of the rim in the bowl super well — if anyone in your family cleans your bathroom for you, they will start to notice the build up if you purge in the toilet regularly). I use those flush-able wipes or some Fabuloso cleaner on a piece of toilet paper to clean any splatter around the outside of the bowl/lid and then flush it down when I’m done — you don’t want to leave towels stained with purge cleanup for people to find. And I run the water or fan to cover the noise, and try to look composed when I come out.
Also, make sure you hide your used food containers, etc — it’s a dead giveaway. I usually wash them out carefully if they’re messy (ants are gross!), hide them in a trash bag inside a suitcase in my closet, then wait until the day of trash pickup in the neighborhood, when everyone puts their trash cans out on the curb. The night before, after everyone has gone to bed I seal it up, sneak outside and put the bag in one of my neighbor’s trash cans, then at like 4am the next morning the trash gets picked up and away ti goes. Or, I’ll put the bag in my trunk of my car and throw it away in a Dumpster somewhere — any apartment complex will usually have a Dumpster you can use discreetly.
If you throw up in any type of disposable contained, again, make sure you throw it away far away from home. One episode of Intervention had a girl who used to purge in Ziploc bags, hide them in her closet, then throw them away in a Dumpster on her way to work. She’d even hide them in a box (like from a vacuum cleaner) so it looked like she was just throwing away some random box. Pretty smart.
In general, I try not to binge on food my family has in the house, or if I do, I try to make it seem like an amount a normal person would eat or eat foods that aren’t that noticeable, like stuff out of a big container or stuff they don’t use that often. Like, I’ll buy cereal to binge on and use their milk, or buy waffles and use their butter or syrup or something. I wash dishes by hand and will reuse them (the same bowl for cereal, ice cream, and soup in a binge) to avoid suspicion of why I am using so many bowls for one “meal”, etc.
Also, it’s possible to binge in public view without notice if you are crafty about it…I’ll go buy 3 pints of the same kind of ice cream and hide them in the outside freezer behind a bunch of stuff, take out inside, eat it in front of the TV. My mom may wander in and out, nothing out of the ordinary about me eating some Ben & Jerry’s out of the carton. Then I finish it, wait til she goes up stairs, go out to the garage, toss empty container in trunk of my car, grab next pint, return to couch, keep eating…if she walks in again she thinks I’m still eating the same pint of ice cream. Careful, if your family is too observant they might catch on to this one. Mine are pretty not, so it’s easy to do.
When people are home and may walk in on me, I like to be careful about how much binge food I have “out” at one time — hiding empty containers right away, not leaving cupboards open, using minimal dishes, etc. Even in my room, I keep what’s in sight to a minimum. If I’m not eating the chips at that moment, they go in the drawer. I want to avoid having a pile of binge food or empty wrappers in front of me. If anyone walks in, I want it to look as normal as possible. Just me, having a little snack. Yup.
Some More Tips I’ve Learned from Various Places:
- If you have a car and can drive, just binge in your car, drive somewhere deserted, and purge there
- In Wasted, she used walk to school and would just purge in the creek behind her house on her way — what a great way to get in touch with nature!
- In Wasted, she also used to clog up the drains in her house on a regular basis which is how her parents caught on very quickly. So be very careful not to do this.
- Your car is a great place to hide binge food and stash trash before throwing it away
- All-you-can-eat buffets are a great, cheap place to binge away from home– then come home and purge (thanks Intervention!)
- Purge in a trash can (plastic bag of course) in your room with the music up, then throw away later)
- I usually smuggle binge food in the house in my overnight bag coming home from my boyfriends and in my backpack