In the quest for improved physical, emotional, and psychological well-being, humanity has perpetually sought innovative strategies to bypass illness, alter the body’s performance, and decrease human suffering.
Among the plethora of approaches emerging in contemporary research and discussions are psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA, which have emerged as intriguing therapeutic agents.
Research endeavors have meticulously investigated the multifaceted effects of these substances, delving into their potential to catalyze transformation both on a physiological and psycho-spiritual level.
One of the intriguing domains under investigation is the potential link between psychedelics and weight loss—an intersection of mental, emotional, and physical health that permeates mainstream culture and industry.
In this article, we explore this fascinating connection between psychedelics—particularly psilocybin—and the prospect of achieving weight loss goals.
Our aim is to delve into this topic with health in mind, whether that be from the perspective of the non-physical factors that lead to obesity or from the general health risks associated with negative relationships with food.
Radical Self Acceptance & Psychedelics
Before we jump into research studies on this topic, we wanted to address an important point on weight loss:
Most importantly, it is our intention to share information that helps you advocate for your own health, wellbeing, and satisfaction.
This article is not intended to suggest that anyone should aim for weight loss or focus on that as an intention for their psychedelic exploration.
We encourage you to focus on feeling good in your body, treating your temple with respect and reverence, and acting from a place of freedom and self-respect.
Weight loss can be both a healthy and unhealthy endeavor, an act of self-love or an act of self-hatred. This article focuses on research-based and health-related information as opposed to cultural beauty standards.
Even when embarking on endeavors of self-improvement, it is important to maintain a mindset of compassion, radical self-acceptance, and appreciation for all that the body does to keep us moving through life.
Weight loss is often perceived as a physical journey, counting calories and shedding pounds. However, its depth reaches far beyond tangible scales and measuring tapes.
It is necessary to have a general understanding of our motivations, intentions, and the complexities of the human body, knowing that there are beautiful differences between each human which should be honored.
It is also important to acknowledge that our relationship with our bodies and food is deeply intertwined with our emotional experiences, past traumas, and self-esteem.
Delving into these psychological aspects allows us to uncover the underlying causes of unhealthy habits and empowers us to address them holistically.
Am I seeking a quick fix to alter myself, or am I aiming for a deeper transformation? Am I acting from a feeling of inadequacy or a deep desire to be at my best? How can I nurture myself while also embracing my imperfections?
These are good questions to be aware of when beginning any journey of self-actualization, especially when it comes to psychedelics. Let’s dive in!
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Beyond the Physical: Indirect Effects of Psychedelic Medicines on Weight
Psychedelics, especially psilocybin, have been proven to be effective tools for mental health conditions and illnesses as well as for general psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
When the motivation for exploring psychedelics transcends weight loss and is rooted in a genuine intention to improve overall well-being, the transformative potential amplifies.
Establishing a healthy relationship with food isn’t just about physical nourishment; it’s about understanding how our emotional state affects and is affected by our relationship with food.
Psychedelics can play a role in this transformation, inviting us to see ourselves through a compassionate lens, fostering acceptance and encouraging a nurturing relationship with our bodies.
These mind-altering substances have been shown to benefit the following conditions, which may have an indirect effect on obesity and weight gain as a comorbidity:
As we will discover in the next section, our neurochemistry and neuroplasticity play such a pivotal role in the development of both the conditions listed in this section and the various factors that contribute to obesity.
It isn’t hard to see how, through altering serotonergic systems and improving the brain’s capacity to adapt, psychedelics could similarly improve habitual maladaptive behaviors which contribute to weight gain.
Scientific Research on Weight Loss, Obesity, & Psilocybin
While we are still at the forefront of research efforts, there have been a few developments in the past couple years which point to psilocybin specifically being a relevant potential treatment for weight loss.
For instance, in 2022, Huang and colleagues compared the effects of low and high doses of psilocybin, metformin (which is a blood sugar medication known to have effects on body weight), and placebo on mice.
Because metformin is a known “positive control” and placebo would be a “negative control” when gauging the effectiveness of psilocybin, researchers were able to find a baseline for the study’s questions around psilocybin.
Not only was body weight analyzed but also high calorie food intake, fasting glucose levels, and glucose tolerance were also included.
Huang and colleagues found that “both the low and high dose psilocybin groups caused a significant decrease in changes in body weight compared to controls.”
While mice who were instead given metformin “produced a greater decrease in change in body weight than either psilocybin groups or controls,” psilocybin has been shown to have no serious adverse side effects in comparison.
“In the present study, we evaluated the effects of chronic treatment with three different doses of psilocybin (including a ‘microdose’), as well as a single dose of the oral antidiabetic drug metformin, on change in body weight in a rat model…
The principal finding of the study was that both doses of psilocybin resulted in significantly decreased relative weight gain compared to high calorie diet-fed rats…
Metformin also caused decreased relative weight gain, with a greater magnitude than either of the psilocybin doses. Both the high dose psilocybin and metformin groups ate less of the high calorie diet.”
They concluded that “These overall findings suggest that psilocybin may have modest weight-loss properties, which could feasibly extend to humans.”
Another study conducted in 2022 explored commonalities between addiction and obesity, hypothesizing that because psilocybin “targets a neural circuit involved with the sensation of craving” and is “believed to be a treatment option for addiction,”
that “similar therapeutic approaches could be applied to the treatment of obesity and addictive disorders, and psilocybin presents a promising candidate due to its remarkable ability to alter synaptic architecture” (Fadahunsi et al.).
The serotonergic systems and processes in the brain and gut are important modulators of food intake impulses and cravings, and it has even been postulated that addiction-related behaviors are linked to a lack of neuroplasticity.
This study by Fadahunsi and colleagues again tested the effects of psilocybin on mice, and while they did not find any direct effects on energy metabolism, body weight, food intake, or binge eating behavior, they did find a decrease in sucrose intake.
This finding could suggest that “psilocybin may be of benefit for treating compulsive-reward-seeking behavior or excessive consumption of sweet foods,” which is obviously linked to many health issues including weight gain.
One correlational study from 2021 surveyed “respondents who reported having tried a classic psychedelic at least once in their lifetime” and found that those who answered yes had “significantly higher odds of greater self-reported overall health and significantly lower odds of being overweight or obese versus having a normal weight” (Simonsson et al.).
While more research is still needed and some conflicting results have popped up in already available data, there have been plenty of positive results suggesting a strong potential for psilocybin mushrooms as weight management tools.
Psychedelics & Self-Love: Psychedelic Therapy & Who We Are
Bottom line…psychedelics are powerful objects which help us tap into the deepest aspects of who we are. It illuminates our shadows; it loosens the parts of us we thought were solidified; and it helps us re-enchant our mundane reality.
When it comes to these medicines, having the right setting and support makes a massive difference in how positive and impactful the experience can be during a vulnerable time.
Here at Psychedelic Passage, we offer professional support so that your journey is as safe and positive as possible. Our pre-vetted psychedelic guides can help you navigate the depths of the psychedelic experience.
Not only do they sit with you during the journey itself, but they also offer support around preparation, integration, and microdosing consulting. No matter your goals and intentions, having the right guide makes all the difference!
Enhance Your Psychedelic Journey With Personalized Guidance
Hi there! We sincerely hope that you’ve found valuable takeaways that resonate with your current intentions. To explore research-based education, stay updated with psychedelic news, and benefit from practical how-to articles, we encourage you to head over to our resources page.
If you’re seeking personalized advice and are prepared to take the first step toward a therapeutic psychedelic experience, we invite you to book a consultation with our team of experienced psychedelic concierges.
This consultation is more than just a conversation; it’s an opportunity to be matched with a trustworthy local facilitator. You’ll be seamlessly connected to our rigorously vetted network of psychedelic guides, ensuring potential matches align with your needs.
Psychedelic Passage offers confidence and peace of mind by alleviating the burden of having to guess who’s right for you. If you want to discover how Psychedelic Passage can help you, we empower you to learn more about our services and check out client testimonials from those who’ve gone before you.
Your healing path is uniquely yours, and our commitment is to serve you at every juncture. Psychedelic Passage: Your Psychedelic Concierge — The easy, legal way to find trustworthy psilocybin guides, facilitators and psychedelic assisted therapy near you in the United States.
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FAQs About Psychedelics & Weight Loss
Q: Can psychedelics like psilocybin really aid in weight loss?
Research suggests that psychedelics, particularly psilocybin, may have direct and indirect influences on weight loss. Psilocybin has been proven to have positive alterations on an individual’s mindset, behaviors, and emotional well-being.
These alterations can contribute to adopting healthier eating habits, somatic awareness, and increased physical activity, which, in turn, may support weight loss efforts.
While more research is still needed to conclusively say whether or not psychedelics are effective for weight management directly, hypotheses and results from already available research suggest a strong potential.
It is believed that through increasing neural plasticity and altering the body’s serotonergic systems which are responsible for craving and food-intake impulses, psilocybin and other psychedelics may change maladaptive eating habits.
Q: Are there specific psychedelics known to be more effective for weight loss than others?
While research has primarily focused on psilocybin, other psychedelics like LSD and MDMA may also have potential in addressing underlying emotional issues tied to food and body image indirectly.
Like magic mushrooms, LSD may facilitate a shift in perspective and self-awareness, helping individuals confront emotional challenges related to their eating habits.
MDMA, known for its empathogenic effects, could assist in processing past traumas or negative experiences linked to food, potentially leading to a healthier approach to eating.
However, it’s essential to note that the research in this area is still evolving, and the effectiveness of different psychedelics for weight loss may vary from person to person.
Q: Can psychedelics help in addressing emotional factors contributing to overeating or binge eating?
Yes, psychedelics have shown promise in helping individuals delve into and process underlying emotional factors that contribute to overeating or binge eating.
These substances can bring suppressed emotions and traumatic experiences to the surface, allowing individuals to confront and work through them in a therapeutic setting.
By gaining a deeper understanding of these emotional triggers and developing healthier coping mechanisms, individuals may achieve better control over their eating habits.