Background: Eating disorders are a group of severe psychiatric diagnosis characterized by disturbed eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape. They especially affects adolescent girls and young adult women. Today there is no agreement upon a definition of recovering from an eating disorder. Different criteria are used in effect and outcome studies, suggesting different rates of recovery. This makes comparison across studies troublesome. Objective: This literature study compares definitions of recovery in randomised controlled trials on psychotherapy for eating disorders. Method: A systematic literature search in PubMed gave 408 hits. 88 articles used in developing NICE-guidelines on psychotherapy for eating disorder were added. When duplicates and irrelevant articles were removed, a total of 151 studies were included. Results: Out of the 151 included articles, only 24 articles had a clear definition of what it means to recover from an eating disorder. 10 studies about anorexia nervosa, 8 about bulimia nervosa, 5 about binge-eating disorder and 1 about both bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. The definition of recovery varies from study to study. Different combinations of weight, eating disordered behaviour and cognitive aspects, menstrual status and length of remission are used. Discussion: A common definition is needed for clinicians, researchers and patients. It may seem reasonable to include a BMI of 18.5, absence of eating disordered behaviour, and normalization of cognition in this definition. Because of increased risk of relapse the first months, the patient should be symptom free for at least 3 months before recovery is stated.