Take Charge of your Eating Habits with the Help of the Moon
Autumn is a great time for a quick detox after the summer’s escapades, or to kick-start a healthy eating and exercise programme and establish good habits for the coming winter. With a host of planets in Virgo and Libra every year - signs concerned with health and beauty - it is no surprise that we turn out attention to restoring our world to order and harmony.
But dieting is not always simple! Have you ever noticed how it’s sometimes a stroll in the park and at yet other times an uphill struggle? If you keep vowing to go on a diet ‘next Monday’ and repeatedly go off the rails by Tuesday, then try something new: dieting by the Moon's phases
Attune your Body to the Waxing and Waning Moon
We are all creatures of nature: just as the Moon waxes and wanes, so do our bodies go through cycles of accumulation and elimination. As the Moon waxes our bodies accumulate and store energy and vital nutrients. As the Moon wanes, our bodies go into elimination mode, getting rid of toxins. Amid all this, the Full Moon and the New Moon mark the high tides: that’s when the composition of our cells is at its most fluid and our bodies at their most malleable. Paying attention to the lunar phases and adapting our nutritional behaviour accordingly supports our body’s natural rhythm, strengthens our organism and enhances our capacity to burn fat and release toxins.
When the Moon is Waxing
During the waxing phase of the Moon - when the Moon starts growing in light from New to Full - our body tends to absorb everything we eat, storing energy and using nutrients to grow and gain strength. We need to be more vigilant during this phase, closely watching what we eat, as it is easier to pile on the pounds when the Moon is waxing. This is a good time to establish good habits, giving our body the strength it needs to remain in good health.
If you are thinking of starting a diet, use this phase to build up your energy stores and strengthen your system in preparation for the big push. Eat healthy foods, cut down excess and replenish your electrolyte, vitamin and nutrient levels. This way, when you start your diet in a few weeks’ time, your body will be better able to cope with the changes. (On the contrary, if you are trying to put on weight, build muscle or recover from illness, this is the best time to start a healthy eating plan that builds your body’s strength and assists healing.)
If you are already on a diet, this period will test your resolve. You may experience cravings just at the time when weight is more easily piled on and harder to lose. So you will need to be strict with yourself now and follow your programme closely. The same holds if you are on a maintenance plan. The key is to eat less than usual during the waxing Moon. Avoid sweets and fats as much as you can. Try to not eat in the evening, when the Moon is high in the sky. The scales might get stuck at that point too, as the body is in accumulation mode, storing everything you eat away for a rainy day... But don't lose heart – stay strong! Soon you will be onto a winner!
The First Quarter Moon or ‘half-moon’ – the half-way point between New and Full Moon – is often a point of crisis. If you have been eating badly, you are likely to see the effects of your behaviour now, spurring you to take action. If you are on track, then make sure to renew your resolve when the Moon becomes half-full: you only have one week more to go before you notice tangible results!
When the Moon is Full
The Full Moon is the culmination of the waxing, cumulative part of the cycle. This might be accompanied by a feeling of fullness and satiety and you might also experience bloating, odd cravings and sensitivity to certain foods. The Full Moon is a day to eat lightly and prepare your body for the elimination process that is to follow.
If you are ready to start a diet and are experienced in liquid fasting, then you can kick-start your diet by embarking on a brief (1-3 day) detox now, consisting of fresh organic vegetable juice and vegetable broths. Keep away from milk, coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks and drink plenty of water (at least 8 tall glasses). You can start your fast on the eve of the Full Moon – or a couple of days before, depending on how long you want to fast for – planning to break your fast on the day after the Full Moon. Do so gently, eating light meals that consist of fruits and vegetables to ease yourself back into solids. Doing a fast when the Moon is Full will cleanse your body of recent excesses and allow it to enter elimination mode with a lighter step, ready to tackle toxins that have been accumulating for a while.
If you are already on a diet, then try to avoid heavy foods, sugar and fat during the Full Moon. Minimise salt, coffee and alcohol to keep your body light and fluid. Drink plenty of water to retain elasticity and minimise water-retention. You are now preparing for the elimination part of the Lunar Cycle, so do all you can to make it a strong one!
When the Moon is Waning
Now we get to the best part: the waning Moon. That’s when the body begins to naturally detox, breaking down fat-cells and eliminating the toxins stored therein.
If you are thinking of starting a diet and need the moral boost of a quick initial weight-loss early on in your efforts, now is your time to give it a go! This way you can benefit from the body's own natural elimination processes and give yourself a head-start. Do make plans that will allow you to strengthen your resolve and stay on track, however, for when the Moon starts waxing again, testing your commitment!
If you have been on a diet for a while, feeling frustrated as the scales seemed to be ‘stuck’, you can now see a welcome and rapid drop in weight! If you kept yourself on track during the previous waxing phase, you will be really pleased with the results over the next couple of weeks as you see all your hard work pay off! Drink a lot of water to facilitate the quick elimination of toxins now. It is harder to gain weight and easier to lose it when the Moon is waning, so you should be able to see your weight go down even if you follow your diet more loosely. So you could allow yourself the odd treat or two. (If you stuff yourself repeatedly however, you may block the body’s natural elimination processes, leading to standstill - or even weight-gain - further down the line.) While you can get away with being less vigilant during this phase, if you feel up for it then use this phase to really maximise your fat-burning, toxin-elimination and weight-loss capacity! Results should start becoming truly visible by the time the Moon hits Last Quarter or 'half-moon', half-way through the waning part of the Moon’s cycle.
When the Moon is New
Like the Full Moon, the New Moon is a time when the body is at its most fluid as it prepares to shift gears from elimination- to assimilation-mode. Try to eat lightly during the New Moon phase, giving your body a chance to adjust to the changing tides. Doing so is likely to increase your resistance to temptation over the next two weeks when the Moon is waxing.
If you haven't started your diet yet, then make a commitment on the New Moon to take charge of your wellbeing. Set a goal to begin your diet when the Moon begins to wane – or just before, at the Full Moon, if you are ready to go in all guns blazing. Build your body’s nutrient reserves, observe your habits and put yourself in the right mind-set for the plunge. While New Moons are associated with new beginnings, it is best to start your diet as the Moon becomes Full or during the waning Moon when the body's own elimination processes are about to start or already underway.
If you are already on a diet, use the power of the New Moon to embark on an exercise programme, introduce vitamins to your eating-plan or simply establish new and healthy long-term habits. Doing so will renew your commitment, build your strength, curb your cravings and carry you through the challenging, waxing phase of the Moon.
Once you have gone through each phase of the Lunar Cycle you will have experienced all the stages of a diet. You will have eliminated toxins and began to build your strength. More importantly, you will be well along the way to establishing new positive habits, as you will already have been going strong for a month! And that’s how it goes… little by little, taking it step by step.
Stay in touch with the Moon’s phases by checking our daily Today’s Special horoscope.
28 Hour Lunar Detox
Even if you are not dieting, you can take advantage of the body’s ‘high tides’ at the New and Full Moons by going for a short one-day liquid detox, starting on the eve of the New- or Full Moon day in question. Drink vegetable juices and broths, avoid all solids, as well as milk, alcohol, caffeine (if you can), and all manner of sugary and ready drinks. Drink lots of water (3-4 litres). Make sure to ease yourself into solids the next day with light meals of fresh fruit and vegetables. This should allow your system to rest and rid itself of toxins, boost your energy levels, improve your mental state and give you glowing skin!
Refine your Programme:
The Moon's Transits through the Signs
Once you get a good rhythm going, you can refine it by paying attention to the Moon's transits through the Signs. Have you noticed how certain foods weigh you down sometimes, while at other times your body can assimilate them perfectly well? You can choose the right foods for your body on any given day based on the zodiac sign that the Moon is transiting.
Each of the 4 elements (fire, earth, air and water) is associated with a different type of food:
The Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are associated with carbohydrates. When the Moon is in these signs, our desire for comfort food, sugar and starch is at its strongest. Instead of stuffing yourself, try and opt for light seafood and vegetables that are high in nutrients, fibre and water-content. These will help ease cravings, cleanse the kidneys and ease the load on your digestive system. Dark green leafy vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus and the like work well.
The Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) are associated with Minerals. Avoid salty foods during these times, as sodium is more easily stored in the body causing water retention. Drink plenty of water that is rich in minerals, to keep your body fluid. Also avoid excessive caffeine on those days to prevent dehydration. You can now have anything that grows in the earth such as carrots, mushrooms, radishes, celery, garlic, onions, potatoes and the like.
The Fire Signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) are associated with Protein. These are the best times to have red meat and other high-protein foods such as pulses, nuts and seeds. Protein is more easily digested when the Moon is in a fire sign, giving your metabolism a boost and firing up the body's fat-burning furnace! So make sure to give yourself proper sustenance now.
The Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) regulate the glands that produce the body's hormones and are associated with Fats. Avoid heavy foods and animal fats during this time and eat light meals. Fruits and raw salads are favoured, as are vegetables such as broccoli or artichoke. Dress them with highly nutritious cold-pressed oils.
Check out our daily Today’s Special horoscope to see which sign the Moon is in and whether it’s waxing or waning.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy life-style requires commitment and slow, sustained effort. Aligning your body with the Moon’s cycles can render this process more effortless by breaking it down into natural and manageable chunks, all the while reminding us that it is cyclical and on-going. All you have to do is fall into step!
Disclaimer: This article is written by an astrologer and is in no way intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before you embark on a detox or long-term nutritional programme – especially if you suffer from any deficiencies or medical conditions.