Chew & Spit Diet

The chew & spit routine may be old hat to pro-anorexics, but it is likely new to you. How do you enjoy the taste of the foods you love, without gaining weight?

You got it, chew, spit, repeat. I wish I was kidding. Here is a post from a pro ana asking for tips from her cohorts:


The first I heard of the chew & spit routine was from Brittney, in the THIN Documentary. The precious, young girl, who screamed “I just want to be THIN!” and reminisced about how she played the “chew & spit game” with her mother.


When you have your your own mother teaching you how to chew & spit your food, do you have a snowballs chance in hell developing as a normal, healthy, girl?

I doubt it, especially since the Dove Global Study: The Truty About Beauty proved the main person a girl looks to for advice and mentoring is her mother. Second in line is their peers.

Mothers, we have a huge responsibility here. But we also have an opportunity. An opportunity to change the tide, and not let our daughters grow up with the beauty and body image issues we had.

  • Pay attention to what your daughters are doing online. Go to google and type in pro ana, or ana and mia. The prevalence of the forums that are dedicated to disordered eating is simply staggering.
  • Watch your own eating behaviors and comments. If you ask your husband, “do I look fat” know that your daughter is listening and will soon be looking at her own reflection in the mirror wishing she looked better, or thinner, or prettier.
  • Support each other. Aging is wonderful. With age comes wisdom, and peace of mind. Be a role model of how to age gracefully, instead of trying turn back the hands of time.


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26 Responses to Chew & Spit Diet

  1. sIM'One. says:

    but who doesn’t want to be thinner, better & prettier? almost no one unless you’re, like, a buddhist monk? (and one of my crackpot ideas was to join a monastery)
    i have moments of that. but in this world it’s seems like you have to make a harsh choice between being isolated from the mainstream or wishing (or secretly wishing) you could be one of THEM.

  2. danyel says:

    good to hear from you :)

  3. danyel says:

    haha, random thing about me growing up! we had a scale in the kitchen and we still do, there is also a mirror on the refrigerator. my mom said, sometimes maybe we’ll look at it and decide maybe we weren’t really hungry. . .
    lol now we both have issues

  4. It is a common misconception that disordered parental behavior creates disordered kids, but it is really more complex.

    Eating disorders are a mental illness, not something you choose or someone gives you.

    If the parents have an eating disorder then it is more likely the child will, too.

    That said, what we do as parents matters! If we have EDs we need to get treatment. If our children show signs of an ED we need to get them treatment.

    We can’t cause an eating disorder in our kids – but we sure can’t help them much if we’re not behaving rationally and healthily ourselves!

  5. Joey says:

    The total joke of the chew-spit routine is that it actually leads to weightgain in the longterm, just like purgeing. Seen it time and time again.

    The things some mothers of anorexics do and say are truly horrific. I’d have to disagree with Laura – eating disorders can be mainly triggered by the behaviour of the parents – not always, but often.
    A friend i have has a mother who was so high on drugs that she has no memory of her daughter being hospitalised for anorexia a year ago, and now she is encouraging her daughter to starve herself and get “skinny like you used to be”. The girl has a heart condition and is/was severely ill from her eating disorder.
    I can’t imagine these anorexics have much hope of recovery with that kindof influence.
    Often the mothers have an eating disorder themselves – the girl i mentioned above suspects her mother has an ED, and mine had orthorexia.

    Lastly – that isn’t asking for tips is it? It doesn’t look like it. Asking for tips is banned in my community now.

  6. J says:

    I really find this video related, to this way of eating, hope no one’s offended:

    Tyra’s Tasty TidBit diet, Tyra goes to buffet and eats a tiny little pice of everything, This is just for anorexic minds:

  7. Niika says:

    I have heard that if you chew and spit for long enough, your glands will actually start digesting more of the food while it’s still in your mouth, so you will absorb more calories!! Crazy, hey?

    I’ve chewed and spit before, but not all that often. I found it more bothersome even than eating and purging, as terrible as that probably sounds.

  8. M says:

    as an anorexic girl, i can say for certain that mothers who talk about their weight, asking if they;re fat, etc, etc, is awful. probably what made me the way i am.

    i chew and spit. honestly i think its a lot better than purging. just saying, if you gotta do something…

  9. Chantal says:

    I’ve been reading you for a while now. I’m 40, divorced with 2 beautiful children. I started bingeing & purging the day after my mother died, which was March 26, 2004. It’s more under control now. But reading your blog has helped me immensely. I have a 10-year-old beautiful daughter and and 8-year-old sweet boy….these children are my saving grace.
    My daughter is at an age where her appearance is becoming more prevalent in her life. I see her stepping on the scale and being happy that she weighs less. It appalled me and made me take a harsh look at my own obsession with weighing myself every god-given day. Although I am deathly afraid of gaining weight again, I have taken a small step in ending at least a part of my obsession with how much I weigh…I used to obsessively write down every single portion of everything I would eat during the day, in advance. This week, I’ve stopped doing that, and concentrate on putting good food in normal quantities into my body, without it coming back up. So far so good…..hopefully I’ll be able to throw the scale out sooner rather than later. For my children’s sake.
    Thank you for your thoughts that you share with us. I pray for all these girls.

  10. mamavision says:

    Hi Chantal: Thanks for telling your story and for reaching out. It is so very important as a mom to get yourself on track. I too have a daughter and a son, and there is no doubt in my mind that our daughters especially watch our every move.

    As you know, ED life is living hell…. its the last thing we would ever want to pass on to our children. I recall before I was pregnant with my first, I was so scared to have a girl because I wondered if I was truly over my ED issues.

    Sure enough, my girl came into my life, and I am so blessed to say that I am recovered. Since my issues stemmed from modeling, I tend to think recovery was easier for me, plus I never purged, my issues were exercise obsession and restriction of diet…but not to anorexic stage.

    I actually worry about the opposite now- with my blog and all my efforts to make known the issues surrounding body image and beauty, I have to be careful not to try to “implant” too many things in her head about the negatives about beauty. I want her to just be a normal girl, and the best chance she has at that is for me to be a normal mom.

    Back to you. it sounds like you are on the right track, a few things to think about:
    1 Have you considered therapy? Just regular talk therapy can help immensely, this is what helped me make the turn the right direction.

    2 Do you know the core of your issue? Again therapy would help you work through this.

    3 Chuck that scale, and don’t look back. Freeing yourself from this habit will help.

    4 Check out Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, great info for moms and daughters.

    Take care!

  11. hazel8500 says:

    This chew and spit thing isn’t new.
    Mamavision, if you want to help parents recognize disordered eating in their children, a big clue is how many times do they get up from the dinner table to go to the bathroom. Bulimics will often excuse themselves after dinner to purge. (but I guess thats an obvious one)

    I started chewing and spitting at at age eight.
    I’d use a paper towel or napkin at meal time, and slip to the bathroom to empty it two or three times. i don’t know why I did it. I think I was angry and this was the only protest i had at my disposal. to refuse the “nurishment” offered by the people I was most angry with.

    Later, I guess it evolved. I enjoyed the “clean” feeling I’d get after two days of not eating. After two days, things got even groovier. I now know through resources from this blog that the “clean” feeling i became addicted too was the feeling of my body eating itself. After a couple days you go into a fuzzy comfortable cocoon where nothing (emotional) touches you. This I think is why i did it to myself. Later it gets worse, because if you want to eat, you find you can’t. You just can’t! You can’t swallow, your stomach doesn’t know what to do with the food anymore and thats when things get scary because thats when you (I) know you’ve lost control. And control, hey wasn’t that what started me down this path in the first place? I think so.

    Anyway, no answers here, just trying to figure it out. Maybe my limited experience here can help someone else, somewhere else, help someone else.

    Take care.

  12. hazel8500 says:

    Re: Parental roles in ED’s.

    I’m not an expert on anorexia but I am very confident the way i was parented had everything to do with me developing an ed. I’m not talking about my parents, they didn’t parent me.

    On the other hand I am convinced my mother is anorexic, and she has never received any help for it. I’m very very concerned for her health i know her myriad of health problems are inter related. And am relly worried about what’s down the road for me. I’m very aware that when we hang out (not often we live far apart) my disorders kick in big time and have become very conscious of this so as to try to combat that tendancy. I am aware this is a mental illness with genetic componants to it, but mental illness is not only genetic, environmental factors are pretty big too.

    Anyway, thanks for this site MV. Its been very helpful to me personally and to my mom (because we talk about it.) I’m not your target market (teens) but the info here is good for me too. And I appreciate it.

  13. Jane says:

    i do believe that parents play a huge role in helping to set the mind of a child, be it in a positive way, or as in cases like this, negatively. One of my dearest friends has a young sister, aged 4, who constantly asks me “Do I look fat Jane?” or else states, “No, I can’t have that Lolly pop, I’ll get too fat.” – SHE’S 4 YEARS OLD! i didnt even know what fat was then! It makes me angry, because in some ways i blame the mother (who is on a diet atm and is somewhat obsessive about her weight – although i know she would never mean to influence her daughter like this)
    Personally, the only time i think i could ever even try to recover from my ED is going to be that day when i hear the news that i am pregnant (assuming at that point i will be able to have kids). i never want my kids to be scared of eating, or not able to enjoy being a child.

  14. Lynette says:

    I am a 53 yr. old female having had eating disorders since I was 12. I spent the first 13 years with anorexia, the next 28 years chewing and spitting. I have tried on several occassions to stop, but the longer I tried to not C&S, the desire to do so was unbearable. Then I would spend several days making up for it. I have ruined my teeth over the years. I have almost all crowns. I developed a hiatal hernia , dealt daily with severe bloating and indigestion. I think I have now found the answer to a life long problem. I bought a book called the GI Diet by Rick Gallop. For 2 weeks I have been on this weight loss plan. Through the years I had not lost any weight until now AND I no longer have the desire to C&S. Chewing and Spitting often causes weight gain because the high sugar carbs and fattening foods that we crave to chew and spit causes insulin to be released in our bloodstream as the digestion process begins in the mouth. After you read the book and understand the relationship of insulin and weight gain, you will begin to understand the dynamics. The GI diet is very healthy and there is so much you can eat. If you do not desire to lose weight but just stop C&S the chapters in the book will tell you how to maintain. I am not a large person to begin with, 117lbs. and now have lost 4 lbs. in less than 2 weeks, but the bonus is that for once in over 40 years my relationship with food feels normal and I have no desire to C&S since I am constantly full of good food. This diet makes you feel full and satisfied and stops the cravings.Good Luck to any who decide to give it a try and be sure to not cheat on the foods given. It is easy to follow. If you have been depriving yourself through the years as I have, this is more food than you can imagine. My enery levels have skyrocketed. Again, Good Luck ( you can get the book at

  15. tish says:

    Right now I’m ready alo about all sorts of eds. I am thankful for all of your honest input. Thank you and keep them coming.

    • Pretty says:

      I think its more the other way around…they binge and then guilt thlevmeses into running more later. I LOVE to eat! I LOVE to run. They go hand in hand. Because I run I get to eat more than the average person. I don’t run just to eat more but I do take advantage of the benefit. I will also admit that every Thanksgiving morning while I am running…Im thinking of what I will be eating (and how its ok….because I already got my run in).

  16. Alyssa says:

    i want to loose weight. i started chewing and spitting a couple of weeks ago, does it make you gain weight? i think i am obsessed. i eat my 500 calories then its on to chewing and spitting. i stop when my mouth gets tired. lol can anyone answer my question?

  17. PFC HARROD says:


  18. anonymous says:

    i used to be anorexic and did c&s. i still do it and i don’t feel bad about it because i am not taking in as many calories as if i was swallowing the junk food.

  19. Cindy says:

    I’m a producer for an award-winning documentary series on WEtv (Women’s Entertainment Channel)
    We are doing an episode on eating disorders and want to profile a woman struggling with the chew/spit disorder. Anyone interested should email

  20. Jackie says:

    Im trying to find help with C&S if anyone would lend some tips through email it would be exttttreeeemmely appreciated.

  21. niki says:

    OK, how true is it – really – to gain weight chewing and spitting? I can understand if you consume 1000s of calories, you will ingest, or your mouth will absorb some, but very minimal, am I wrong? Does anyone know? this is ALOT better than binging and purging, as with that I’m positive I’ve still got tons of food left in me, and I’m sick of doing it. But this C&S thing seems to be ok…but I am super bloated. you know what helped a little – Xenadrine Detox – 14 days, a natural laxative, and you really do loose alot, quickly. Anyway, any advice on this would be great. thanks!

  22. Jamie says:

    chewing and spitting is awful. don’t ever start doing it. i have no idea when it went from being something i did basically “just to do it” to something i HAD to do. i think it’s how i punish myself for “loving food too much.” the best defense against this, if you are struggling too, in my experience is to just eat reasonable meals and space them far enough apart that you are never ravenous. eat reasonably every 3 hours. and you know what? i’ve always been interested in nutrition, and i’ve counted calories for as long as i can remember, even before i had any problems with eating- just because i thought it was a healthy thing to do. IT’S NOT. don’t start counting. just make good choices and don’t worry about numbers.. once you start getting to familiar with what’s “in” everything.. you may never be able to eat in a relaxed way again. you’ll always “have to know.” it’s really sad.

    the tragedy is, we’re all beautiful.
    please know it and try to love yourselves..

  23. vertigo says:

    Chewing and spitting isn’t necessarily a negative habit/behavior depending on the context and circumstance. Working as a culinarian involves sometimes tasting more foods than it would be healthy to consume in one day (or even in a week), I’ve used the chew/spit method countless times (but never while IN the kitchen). Just don’t replace meals with it

    Jamie is absolutely correct about counting calories -just adds stress and leads to weight gain.

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