Bulimia describes an illness which contains a range of very specific behaviours. Typically are regular episodes of “Binge” Eating, usually in private, of foods believed to be fattening and therefore in some way “forbidden” to someone conscious of needing to control their weight. Foods typically eaten during a binge will include biscuits, chocolate, crisps, bowls of cereal, large amounts of toast with butter, chips, cakes, tubs of ice cream, etc. Eating continues until the urge to eat is gone, tension is reduced, physical satiation is reached (often to the point of pain), or the person is interrupted.
Sometimes the food is enjoyed, but it is more likely to be eaten quickly and without tasting, and the definition requires that this kind of eating will be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, guilt and remorse. Following a binge, but not always immediately afterwards, there will be an attempt to get rid of the calories absorbed by making oneself sick, and/or by taking laxatives. Some bulimics try to contain their weight by indulging in excessive exercise and additionally by starving for periods of time.