All humans are beautiful. All healthy lifestyle changes are beautiful. And for those who choose to pursue a goal of losing weight for the right reasons, there is a new ingredient showing promising and scientifically factual results — Psilocybin.
While known for mental and spiritual enlightenment, psilocybin’s benefit can transcend into the physical realm by way of mental health, as well as biophysically. Read further as we discuss the mental reframe that can support a weight loss regime and how microdosing psilocybin has appetite suppressant properties and is becoming a tried-and-true way to lose AND keep the weight off.
How can psilocybin help with weight loss?
Already, a mounting body of research from scientists at Johns Hopkins and New York University suggests the drug can help with anxiety and depression when traditional antidepressant medications don’t work or folks want a natural approach to mental health. Psilocybin quite literally rewires neural pathways in the brain. Through this magical substance, be it with microdosing or macrodosing, our brain’s pathways, which get entrenched with repetition (habit), are antagonized in a way that introduces new neuron connections. These new connections welcome new perspectives and behaviors and make it easier to snap out of old habits. “Psilocybin has the potential to serve as a new and different tool to help people lose weight and maintain their weight loss by changing neural pathways,” Dr. C. Laird Birmingham said in a press release emailed to Daytryp. Those neural changes could teach the brain to stop linking “life stress and trauma to eating behavior,” he said.
Using psilocybin to target the roots of obesity
In some cases, obesity can be attributed to overeating, especially in the US where it’s considered an epidemic.
Certain diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome and Cushing’s disease may also contribute to weight gain, and antidepressant medications and food insecurity have also been shown to contribute. In those cases, using psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, to create a mindset change would get to the root of the issue, quickly.
But the drug could potentially help with all kinds of behavior- and addiction-related maladies, including overeating and under-eating, according to Matthew Johnson, a Johns Hopkins researcher who has published various studies on psilocybin ‘s mental-health benefits.
His team is in the process of completing their own study on how psilocybin could help people with anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder that affects about 328,200 adults in the US.
An Appetite Regulator
Psilocybin binds to the 5-HT2C receptor which influences appetite and has been shown to reduce caloric intake in humans. This is especially true during large doses, but the effect is present in microdoses too. When on a microdose of psilocybin, people simply don’t want to eat that much and if they do get hungry, the medicine encourages people to make healthy eating and drinking choices. Not only because, well it’s the healthy thing to do, but the research suggests that eating healthy also helps the medicine “kick-in” or work better.
Any lifestyle change is easier when it’s done with respect, compassion, and intention. Psilocybin works with our being on deeper and more spiritual levels and can radically help us pursue regimes like weight loss with self-love rather than self-loathing or any feelings of negativity for that matter. Sometimes, this mindset can be the hardest thing to change in a regime. Mind over matter, right? Psilocybin helps us stay true to this bit of wisdom. Some people have a very real inability to shed weight — and that’s okay.
There are so many cases where obesity or weight gain has nothing to do with your diet and lifestyle. It could be genetic, hormonal, or just more nuanced that even the most rigorous protocols don’t result in weight loss, or don’t result in sustained weight loss. Society needs to let go of our expectations of how bodies should look. That’s the real step 1 to a healthier life – acceptance. Not just of other people, but more importantly of ourselves.
If microdosing psilocybin can’t help break lifestyle habits that cause weight gain (because maybe there aren’t any habits to break) it can at least, and most profoundly, help with the acceptance and self-love so many of us desperately need.