Most people would guess that being a regular pot smoker might make you put on pounds thanks to frequent cases of the munchies.
But a Canadian woman who lost over 100 pounds says smoking cannabis actually helped her shed the weight.
Toronto resident Ayan Ikra, 28, believes that puffing on two joints a day allowed her to reach her target weight of 161 pounds — down from 268 pounds at her heaviest — in just over two years.
Ayan had spent 10 years trying to lose weight on more conventional diets, but it was only when she started smoking weed regularly that she gained the motivation to eat healthy food and exercise three times a week.
‘I was always trying to work out. I’d start for a month or two and then I’d fall off the wagon. I wasn’t seeing the results,’ she said.
‘I tried the Jenny Craig diet, the Atkins regimen, and I even only ate vegetables for a time. But none of them ever stuck.
‘I would work out for an hour but the next day I’d have a binge and eat fast food,’ she said, noting that her diet often consisted of burgers, pizzas, potato chips, pasta, chocolate bars, and Nutella sandwiches.
‘In 2013, I weighed [269lbs.] and I wore a US size 18. I felt so ashamed that I weighed more than my dad. I was a good 100 pounds heavier than him,’ she said.
‘I was only 30 pounds away from 300. I knew I had to make a change, I didn’t like it. I didn’t feel like myself.’
In February 2015, Ayan decided to see if her love of marijuana could help her lose weight.
‘I hit on the idea of using weed. I have always liked smoking weed. I had my first joint when I was 19,’ she explained. ‘It gave me a clear head and allowed me to envision what I wanted. So instead of just smoking socially, I decided to incorporate it into my diet regimen.’
She started smoking two joints a day, and after she smoked, she’d go to an exercise class or use the treadmill.
‘I would work out for an hour but it doesn’t feel that long when you are high,’ she said.
The change was an eye-opener for Ayan, who said she’d always been ‘big’ and had been struggling to lose weight for a decade.
She also found a way to combat the munchies, the sudden hunger that pot-smokers can feel after indulging in the drug.
‘I would always smoke right before dinner or lunch and when the munchies hit, I made sure I had a prepared salad or healthy meal like scrambled eggs and green peppers or a cucumber and spinach salad with lime and salt instead of a fatty dressing,’ she explained.
Whereas previously she’d scarf down Nutella sandwiches for breakfast, she now eats oatmeal and yogurt. She’ll have a tuna wrap for lunch over McDonalds, and quinoa and veggies for dinner. If she want’s to snack, she’ll munch on grapes.
Ayan soon noticed the weight fall off — and her confidence soared.
At first, her friends and family were skeptical about her method of weight loss, but as they saw the results, they were soon won over.
‘My friends obviously knew about it. They were so surprised. They saw me at my heaviest, struggling to go to the gym,’ she said. ‘They were shocked that it did work and of course they were happy for me.’
By June 2017, she had reached her target weight of 161lbs. and she could easily slip into a US size 10.
‘I’ve noticed more attention from the other sex. I get catcalled on the street and a couple of times guys have asked me out on the street,’ she said.
‘People are much nicer to skinnier people. I get better service. People come up to me and say that I could be a model.’
Last month, recreational use of marijuana became legal in Canada, but Ayan said there is still a stigma around smoking pot.
She wanted to reveal the details of her diet to showcase the positives of weed.
‘I went from being obese to being slim. I know that marijuana gets a bad rep but it has helped me,’ she said.
‘I am smoking weed daily and I’m happy with that. I hate the stigma around it. I want to show that smoking weed can help you lose weight.’