Just when dieters thought they had heard it all, along comes the Moon Diet. Also known as the Lunar Diet or Werewolf Diet, this celebrity-endorsed plan is based on the idea that all you need to do to lose weight is to base your eating patterns around the cycles of the moon. And the people behind the diet claim the results can be drastic, allowing slimmers to shed up to six pounds in just one day.
Madonna and Demi Moore are both reported to be enthusiastic about the new plan, prompting an increasing number of lifestyle and fashion magazines to report on it. The diet itself is effectively a detox diet like many others, with dieters occasionally cutting their food intake and switching to liquids only for a short period of time.
However, the Werewolf Diet suggests a schedule that’s based entirely on the cycles of the moon. The basic version of the diet suggests fasting for 24 hours on the day of the full moon or the new moon, during which time only water or juice may be consumed.
In the extended version of their plan, dieters vary their eating plans according to the lunar cycle. The full moon is a day for fasting, and the waning period is to be used for balanced, healthy eating to be accompanied by at least eight glasses of water per day. The new moon is then to be used as another day of fasting, and while the moon is waxing dieters are advised to fast as much as possible.
Skeptics may have many questions about the Werewolf Diet, such as is it safe, and is it based on any kind of medical research, and what does the moon have to do with dieting? Dieters tempted by the chance to lose six pounds in one day will probably only have one question: does it work?
Madonna and Demi notwithstanding, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence whatsoever in support of the Werewolf Diet. Even the official diet website fails to offer so much as a testimonial, let alone detailed research.
The “science” behind it is also rather questionable. The official description of the diet cites anecdotal evidence of the moon having effect on human beings and large bodies of water, stating that the human body is 60 percent water (the water content of the human body varies from 50 percent to 75 percent).
The authors then go on to claim that the full moon and new moon have a combined gravitational effect which creates an effect that lasts for 24 hours. During the duration of this effect, weight loss supposedly becomes much easier. No evidence is cited for this effect, possibly because none exists.
Some experts have criticized the diet for putting people at risk of nutrition deficiencies. Others have pointed out that most diets involving extreme fasting are unsustainable and any weight lost is almost immediately put back on again. Feminist website Jezebel have already parodied the new plan, offering their alternative suggestions such as the Ghost Diet and Centaur Diet.
So it looks like there is no way right now for werewolves or normal humans to shed six pounds in one day, even if eating patterns are based on the cycles of the moon. As ever, dieting experts continue to recommend a mix of healthy eating and regular exercise. But that is not going to stop some folk from continuing to search for the silver bullet of weight loss.
Opinion By Bernard O’Leary