It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy



Ask Dr. Gourmet

Is throwing up a good way to lose weight?

Can you lose weight eating and throwing up? What things should I be considering before going ahead? Any info much appreciated.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a teenager lying on their bed looking at a laptop computer

Certainly you can lose weight this way, but it is incredibly dangerous. The medical term for this is Bulimia, and causing oneself to throw up in an effort to lose weight can have serious short and long term consequences. The only thing that you should be considering before you go ahead is to not do this at all.

The short term problems include ruptured esophagus, electrolyte disturbances and possibly heart rhythm problems which may lead to death. The long term issues include these but also hormone problems, loss of bone and muscle density, and damage to tooth enamel.

Here's a place to help you get started eating healthy for weight loss that'll work for the long term and keep you healthy.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet