Why Some Doctors Warn Against The Werewolf Diet - Exclusive

Can you lose weight just by tracking the moon? That's what Moon Connection claims with the werewolf diet, which has also been called the moon diet. However, experts have serious doubts about the results this fad diet promises to deliver.

According to Moon Connection, the diet entails a water or juice fast for 24 hours on the day of the full and new moon; that's when they claim the moon and sun's combined gravitational pull will give your body a weight-loss boost. This diet will allegedly not only help remove toxins from the body but can help you "lose up to 6 pounds" in one day.

Christian Dyuraffur, president of the International Federation of Phyto and Aromatherapy, told Medical Daily there is some science before the werewolf diet. According to Dyuraffur, during the full or new moon, there is also an atmospheric pressure change. It is believed to support lipolysis — "the decomposition of fat stored in cells" — and is supposed to help shed water weight more efficiently, though there is little evidence to back up this claim.

Water fasts and cleanses not only offer false promises of magical weight loss, but they can lead to disordered eating habits. Keri Gans, a registered dietitian and author of "The Small Change Diet," told TIME that, sure, you'll lose weight when you fast, but your body will shoulder that cost. As simple as this diet sounds, many experts warn not only against the effectiveness of fad diets but also against the health dangers of fasting.

The effectiveness of the werewolf diet has been called into question

While studies consistently show restricting caloric intake reduces weight, there is little to no evidence that the werewolf diet is the magic eraser for unwanted weight. Moon Connection's own description of the diet is dubious of its effects. It relents that while you may be able to lose six pounds, people normally lose less. Additionally, "at least some of this is water weight."

The results of this "diet" can vary greatly depending on where someone is in their menstrual cycle, British Dietetic Association spokesperson Jeanette Crosland told with the Daily Mail. She said not only does water retention vary during a menstrual cycle, not everyone's cycle is synced with the full moon. She added that, while you may lose water weight on this so-called diet, water weight loss is almost always temporary.

You also run the risk of your body automatically retaining more water, especially if you continuously yo-yo between staying hydrated and not, per Women's Health Magazine.

There's also a major misconception about whether the body actually needs any help detoxifying. Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist, an assistant professor at Emory School of Medicine, told Health.com that our livers do plenty of natural detoxifying work. Fasting or what phase the moon is in won't help support this process, Dr. Berquist says. What can help is getting enough nutrition — especially fiber and healthy fats — as well as staying hydrated.

The werewolf diet and other intermittent fasting diets can be dangerous

We asked Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld, the founder of Gateway Wellness Center, about the dangers of fad diets like the werewolf diet, and she explained that it's not just the werewolf diet that's dangerous. "[A]ll efforts to restrict [calories] intentionally are harmful," she explained. She went on to point out that these diets are not only "bound to fail," but they "create physical and psychological deprivation," which can also potentially cause "lasting eating issues."

With the werewolf diet combining intermittent fasting and water or juice cleanses, the dangers outweigh any positives the diet may temporarily provide. The Denver Weight Loss Clinic points out that research is still mixed about whether intermittent fasting is healthy for you; much like with the five-bite diet, there are serious health consequences of depriving your body of the nutrition it needs.

For older adults especially, the consequences of malnutrition can be lethal. Registered dietitian Kathy McManus, the director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital, told Harvard Health that too much weight loss, "can affect your bones, overall immune system, and energy level."

Not only can you develop serious heart problems if you stay on these types of diets for long periods of time, but Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist told Health.com that you also run the risk of slowing your metabolism, becoming dehydrated, and suffering from headaches and irritability.