One of the newest fads in celebrity diet circles is one that might have you howling at the moon. The werewolf diet, also called the Lunar Diet, touts that you can lose weight (2-6 pounds in a day!) and improve your immune system by fasting and dieting according to the phases of the moon. Here’s what the diet consists of, and our take on whether it’s hip or hype.
The basics: This plan consists of two main phases, according the website moonconnection.com, which appears to be the main source of information on this new plan (there’s no book that we could find or an author that seems to be taking credit). The premise for the diet is based on the moon influencing the water in our bodies just like it influences the ocean tides.
The first phase, called the basic plan, consists of drinking nothing but freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice and water for 24 hours during either a full moon or new moon. The plan claims that this helps rid your body of toxins and that you can lose up to 6 pounds of water weight in a day, although they say that 2-3 pounds is most common.
The second phase, the extended plan, covers what you should do during all phases of the moon: full moon, waning moon, new moon, and waxing moon. Following the full moon fast, during the waning moon period, it’s recommend that you drink plenty of fluids (64 ounces of water a day) and eat a “balanced diet”. During the new moon phase, another 24 hour fast is recommended. This is followed by the most rigid of the solid food phases during the waxing moon. Guidelines during this phase include eating smaller portions than normal to help control cravings, stopping eating before 6pm, and drinking fluids during 3-5pm in order to control the stronger cravings during this lunar time period.
The pros: The one benefit we see in this plan is that it may help increase your awareness of how different times throughout the month may affect how you feel, your energy levels, and the way you prefer to eat. For instance, you may crave certain types of foods during one week out of the month (sweets) and others at another time. Also, your appetite may be greater one week than it is the next. Being aware of this and paying extra attention to doing things to counter these changes (i.e. taking extra care to stay hydrated and eat balanced meals with plenty of protein and veggies during times you have higher cravings for sweets.) helps. In other words, it’s always good to pay attention to how your body is feeling.
The cons: There’s absolutely no scientific basis that eating by the phase of the moon will be beneficial in helping you lose weight or improve your immune system. Plus, the fasting phase has the potential to create an unhealthy dieting cycle and even slow down your metabolism if it happens regularly.
The bottom line: Hype! The diet idea is about as fictional as werewolves themselves (no offense if there are any believers out there or werewolves who read our posts.) If you’re looking for an effective weight loss plan, skip eating by the moon and focus on finding a 1500-1600 calorie a day, clean eating plan that works for your schedule and lifestyle. Then set some weekly and monthly goals to be more active –– you’ll lose more real (fat) weight this way and have a shot at keeping it off in the long run.