The banana diet, also known as The Morning Banana Diet, has become so popular in Japan that the fad has actually caused a nationwide banana shortage. Diet creators Hitoshi Watanabe who studied preventive medicine and Sumiko Watanabe who is a pharmacist introduced the banana diet to Japan and even to the world in 2008.
The Rules of the Morning Banana Diet
The Morning Banana Diet targets weight conscious individuals who want to lose weight easily and effectively. Followers of this fad eat as many bananas as they want but also need to strictly follow some rules. These rules include eating a finger (or more) of raw, uncooked and unfrozen banana for breakfast, eating normal for lunch and dinner, intake of room temperature water (not chilled or hot), taking an evening snack if necessary, taking dinner before 8pm, and going to bed early. The rationale why water has to be taken at room temperature is not certain but many theories believe that water that is neither cold nor hot improves digestion and reduces hunger.
Pros of Banana Diet
The diet is plain and simple. Perhaps one of the reasons why the Morning Banana Diet may work is that bananas can boost metabolism as well as improve digestion. Also, the high content of resistant starch in bananas promotes the feeling of fullness and blocks the absorption of some carbohydrates. Other benefits of banana diet include:
- Bananas are high in potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 and C
- Eating breakfast reduces that likelihood of overeating later in the day—the prime goal of banana diet
- Avoiding coffee at breakfast results to a more stable blood glucose level
- Refraining from eating after 8pm and sleeping early may reduce the tendency for eating high calorie mid-night snacks
- The diet combats constipation and discourages overeating
- Morning Banana Diet is cheap, unlike other popular diet programs
- The diet encourages its followers to sleep early, thus getting enough rest which brings several positive consequences
- The diet does not require you to take any pills or medications
Cons of Banana Diet
Bananas are essentially good sources of potassium but apparently, no food has all the required nutrients for your body. You also need protein, amino acids and fats for your diet. If you consume nothing but bananas, you will certainly miss some of the essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins that your body needs. For instance, a finger of banana only has 3 percent of your daily protein requirement. You have to take 33 of them to get enough protein that your body needs in a day. Apart from protein deficiency, bananas do not provide all other vitamins except for vitamins A, C and B6. Critics of the Morning Banana Diet stress that banana is never a “complete food”. Other health threats of banana diet include:
- Some critics believe that bananas are difficult to digest, therefore eating too much bananas can result to gastrointestinal nightmare
- Since dieters may take normal diet for lunch and dinner, it could be easy for them to consume excess calories
- The diet may not suit hypoglycemic followers
- The banana diet does not encourage exercise
- The diet cuts out dairy products hence there is a risk for calcium deficiency
- Eating too many bananas will lead to a major glucose spike, therefore there is a risk for diabetes
How to Effectively Do the Banana Diet
Diet plans such as the banana diet are used to stabilize and maintain body weight. If you are besieged by the Morning Banana Diet, perhaps it’s best to look at the diet plan and take into consideration the following guidelines.
For Breakfast: Eat a banana. While you are trying to lose weight, the Morning Banana Diet still allows you to eat one or more bananas for breakfast. The thing here is not to starve yourself to death for a slender physique.
For Lunch and Dinner: Eat your normal food plan for lunch and dinner while starting off with a piece of banana and a glass of water. Dinner must be eaten by 8pm.
For Snacks: a sweet snack of chocolate or cookies is allowed, while ice cream, a donut, or potato chips are not recommended. A good alternative for sweet snacks is popcorn, but watch out for excessive fat content. Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and diet drinks can create sugar craving which will consequently stall weight loss.
Exercise: The diet plan does not require rigid exercises, although a half-hour per day of walking is recommended. The creators of the Morning Banana Diet believe that stressful workouts could backfire overeating.
Restricting food may lead to nutritional deficiency, which is clearly bad for the health. Many people falsely believe that they are overweight when they are actually on a perfect fit. Here are some basic tips when following a dietary program:
- Buy a weighing scale and weigh yourself on a regular basis and at the time of the day.
- Make your diet to get support and increase your accountability.
- Stay positive. Diet results do not yield overnight.
- Reward yourself for achieving goals.
- Keep a spreadsheet of your diet and how much you eat.
- Eliminate one vice at a time.
- Always enjoy breakfast and do not be too restrictive on food
- Eat slowly. Savor your food.
- Take your time. You do not have to be on a diet for life after all.
As a general rule for dieting, before following any weight loss program, you need to submit yourself first for a thorough medical checkup to determine your suitability for the particular diet. Also, remember that no matter what dietary routine you choose to follow, none of that will truly matter if you are not determined enough to achieve the goal.