Fad Diet Series: The Werewolf Diet

The Werewolf Diet is a new fad diet that combines research on intermittent fasting with long-time superstition and a dash of postmodern hokum to claim that you might be able to lose up to 6 pounds in a day. But actual evidence of its effectiveness for weight loss is lacking.

How Does It Work?

The Werewolf Diet is like a cleanse diet, but it is intended to be practiced intermittently for long periods of time. During the new and full phases of the moon, about twice a month, you are supposed to fast or cleanse for 1-3 days (although some say as much as 6 days). Most of the time this cleansing diet consists of a variation on the cabbage soup diet, essentially vegetable broths and the like.

The reason for conducting these fasts at this time is twofold. First, there’s the ages-old superstition that humans’ minds and bodies are inherently tied to the phases of the moon. There is perhaps some justification that in the time before artificial lights our ancestors practiced certain “night moves” more often when the light was a little better, which might have led to a relationship between fertility cycles and phases of the moon, but it’s unclear how much of this is an enduring connection and how much it’s been obliterated by the presence of artificial lights. It’s also unclear how much of an effect this has on other things like mood and attitude.

The second reason for fasting at these times is that the tides of the Moon are greatest when the sun and moon are on the same or opposite sides of the Earth, which occurs on the new and full moons. This helps the body retain water and release other compounds, including fat. So if you fast at these times, you’ll lose less water weight and more actual weight.

Does It Work?

As with any calorie reduction, this diet might help you lose weight, if it actually is a calorie reduction. People have a tendency to binge after coming off a fast, so it’s quite likely that someone on this diet might actually eat more calories overall than someone who is following a traditional diet.

In addition, the intermittent fast periods might actually work counter to the diet’s purpose and encourage your body to store more of its calories as fat against the next fast period. There is essentially no research on whether this diet, on the whole, helps with weight loss.

On the other hand, there is some research on intermittent fasting, but it’s all pretty mixed. Some studies show that intermittent fasting might increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which might help combat type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, there’s also evidence that intermittent fasting might lead to heart problems.

For Science-Based Dieting Recommendations

If you are looking for help with weight loss, Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Denver can help. We will give you science-based recommendations and put you on a doctor supervised program that will help you lose weight safely. Please contact us today for more information.

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Dr. Angela Tran