Banana Diet

The Banana Diet originated on the Japanese social networking site, Mixi, where it appeared in March 2008. Hitoshi Watanabe, a student of preventative medicine, and his pharmacist wife, Sumiko, invented this diet, which became so popular that the Japanese nation briefly experienced a banana shortage.

The Premise

The Banana Diet’s creators claim that drinking lukewarm water and eating bananas for breakfast each day can help you lose weight. You don’t need to change your diet in any other way. Just eat bananas for breakfast and drink water served at room temperature.

The Diet

The Banana Diet asks dieters to eat bananas and drink room temperature water for breakfast. Dinner should be eaten before eight PM, and dessert should be a piece of fruit. Dieters should always go to bed before midnight, and they should follow the Japanese method of eating until they are 80% full, and then stopping. You can’t have dairy products or alcohol while on this diet, and you should only drink water served at room temperature.

Eat your bananas raw rather than freezing or cooking them.

What to Get Excited Over

The Banana Diet apparently works. An overwhelming percentage of Japanese people who have tried the Banana Diet say that it led to significant weight loss. It’s true that eating breakfast every day can help keep blood sugar levels stable to reduce sugar cravings and overeating later in the day. Bananas are said to boost metabolism, and since they’re high in dietary fiber, they can help keep you feeling full longer to reduce overall calorie intake. 

Avoiding caffeine in the morning can help keep blood sugar levels stable to help you lose weight. Eliminating dairy products, alcohol and sweets from the diet also eliminates many calories, fats and sugars. Not eating after 8 discourages the nighttime snacking that can contribute to weight gain. Going to sleep before midnight every night prevents sleep deprivation, which researchers have connected to obesity and weight gain. Bananas are nutritious, high in fiber, and a sound and filling choice for a breakfast food.

Things to Consider

The Banana Diet encourages a breakfast made up almost entirely of carbohydrates, which may not be appropriate for many dieters, especially hypoglycemics. The Banana Diet can make it too easy for dieters to overeat throughout the rest of the day. The Banana Diet doesn’t teach dieters about appropriate levels of physical activity, and it doesn’t address any of the psychological factors involved in overeating and weight gain. 

The Verdict

Medical professionals believe that eating bananas for breakfast isn’t what makes this diet work for some dieters. In fact, the other rules of the diet, such as avoiding sweets, dairy and alcohol and eating only at specific times of the day, are what makes this diet a success for some who try it. The Banana Diet isn’t for everyone, and it may not work for you. If you try this diet, remember to follow all of the rules and monitor your calorie consumption carefully so that you don’t overeat at lunch and dinner.


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