Just when I thought I have heard it all, another diet appears on my radar. This time it’s the werewolf diet, also know as the lunar diet. And of course it has become popular because supposedly there are celebrities who are following it, including Demi Moore and Madonna.
This is the deal: There are actually two diet plans for those wishing to lose weight. The first one is called the basic moon diet plan, and it consists of a 24-hour fasting period in which only liquids, such as water and juice, are consumed. According to Moon Connection, a website advocating this diet, the moon affects the water in your body, therefore the timing of your fast is very important and must occur exactly—at the very second—when the new moon or full moon occurs. Also per this site, you could lose up to 6 pounds in one 24-hour period. Since you would only be fasting once a month, really no harm done. You would lose water weight but then probably gain it back immediately. [Tweet this fact!]
The second diet plan is the extended moon diet plan. In this version, all phases of the moon are covered: full moon, waning moon, waxing moon, and new moon. During the full and new moon phase, 24-hour fasting is encouraged same as the basic plan. During the waning moon period, one can consume solid foods, but with around eight glasses of water a day to “encourage detoxification.” Then during the waxing moon, you eat "less than usual" without starving yourself and are advised not to eat after 6 p.m., when “the moon’s light becomes more visible." With this plan you would be fasting more and therefore putting yourself at risk for side effects such as fatigue, irritability, and dizziness, in addition to impinging greatly on your social life. (Not eating after 6? I don’t think that would work for most.)
I have many problems with this diet, but the main issue is there is no conclusive scientific evidence that supports the claim that our bodies need a detox program or cleanse. We have kidneys, which naturally remove waste from our bodies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without the need for a liquid fast. And furthermore, I couldn’t find any research to support the relationship between the lunar calendar and our body water.
To me, this is just another fad diet that restricts calories. Any weight loss would most likely be temporary due to difficulty sticking with this plan, as well as the fact that any pounds lost are likely water weight, which is quickly regained when you return to normal eating. Let’s leave this diet to the celebrities—or better yet, the werewolfs. The rest of should know better.