The latest fad diet may have you howling on a full or new moon. The werewolf diet, also known as the lunar diet, reportedly followed by A-list celebrities Madonna and Demi Moore, helps dieters shed 6 lbs. in just 24 hours on a full or new moon, Yahoo Entertainment Singapore reported. But does the latest Hollywood craze have merit or does it fall short on the truth scale?

The Moon And Its Effect On Water Weight, According To Claims

The moon diet plan is based on the known effects the moon has on the earth’s oceans and rivers with its gravitational pull. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are in alignment during a new or full moon, there is a change in the atmospheric pressure and movement of the water. On these days, Christian Dyuraffur, president of the International Federation of Phyto and Aromatherapy says, the shift in atmospheric pressure has an effect on our metabolism, which allows for a faster removal of fat and toxins from the body.

Dyuraffur states at full moon, “the water from intercellular spaces to move inside cells and change in the reverse process occurs: the water to move out of the cells of the tissues.” This diet aims to expel toxins from the body, thereby ridding you of water weight, and to stimulate the process of lipolysis — the decomposition of fat stored in cells. It claims to stimulate the organism by helping it use the enzymes that are vital for breaking down food and absorbing its nutrients.

The Two Moon Diet Plans

There are two moon diet plans for weight loss hopefuls who wish to pursue this diet trend. While there are several variations of the diet, they generally involve a liquid cleanse a few days of the month; either during a full moon, new moon, or beginning of a moon phase. Choosing to diet on one or all of these days may reduce cravings, says MoonConnection.com.

The Basic Moon Diet Plan

Like its name suggests, this plan solely consists of a 24-hour fasting period in which only liquids such as water and juice are consumed. Dieters must do this cleanse during either the full moon or the new moon. Moon Connection claims the first 24 hours are crucial for the cleansing of toxins, where people can lose up to 6 lbs. of their water weight. Spring, boiled, and mineral water are best, but fresh juices also have diuretic properties.

The Extended Moon Diet Plan

In this diet plan, all phases of the moon are covered — full moon, waning moon, new moon, and waxing moon. The first phase is a replica of the basic moon diet that follows the fasting procedure described above. The second phase — the waning moon — is the period where the moon “encourages detoxification and the flushing of any extra water from the body,” while reducing the body’s cravings and maintaining weight loss, according to Moon Connection. Dieters are advised to drink about eight glasses of water each day of the waning moon, along with eating solid foods.

The third phase — the new moon — is known to have a great influence on the body. During the new moon, dieters must follow the same plan as they did on the full moon — fluids only — and no consumption of solid food. Metabolism-boosting green tea is considered to maximize this phase’s cleansing influence.

Lastly, the waxing moon period is where dieter’s food cravings tend to increase. During this phase, weight loss hopefuls are advised to be extra mindful of avoiding sweets and fats. Drinking fluids between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. reportedly helps you feel fuller and control any cravings that may strike in the evening before going to bed. However, eating after 6 p.m. is not recommended.

The Moon Diet: Is There Any Scientific Basis?

The link between the moon and our bodies is not completely understood by scientists. However, our moods and emotions tend to rise when there is a full moon and can yield several outcomes that affect our health. According to a study published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, patients who have heart surgery during a full moon, specifically acute aortic dissection (AAD), could reduce their hospital stay and boost their survival rate. In this instance, environmental effects on surgeries, such as AAD, can provide a better understanding of how rhythms of seasons and lunar cycles affect our overall health.

Furthermore, women are thought to have a connection with the moon, based on their menstrual cycles. British Dietetic Association spokesperson, Jeanette Crosland, told the Daily Mail, “There may be some evidence that fluid retention occurs at some points in the menstrual cycle, and therefore at other points in the cycle this fluid will reduce. However not every female will be at the same point in her cycle when a full moon occurs.”

The werewolf diet may result in weight loss because it is a diet based on fasting for several short periods, but it leads to a loss in excess body fat, not water. Detox diets are popular, but not scientifically proven, says the Mayo Clinic, with some diets aiming to do colon cleansing to empty the intestines of toxins. The clinic suggests the supposed benefits from a detox diet could simply come from avoiding highly processed foods loaded with solid fats and sugar. Dieters are advised to consult with their doctor before checking the lunar calendar.