It’s no surprise that some of the most creative or restrictive diet fads are developed in Japan. After all, the country is known for its campaign against obesity. One of the more interesting diet programs popularized by the Japanese is the Morning Banana Diet. This diet program was developed by preventive medicine expert, Hitoshi Watanabe together with his wife, Sumiko, a pharmacist.
The Morning Banana Diet became popular in 2008. At the height of its popularity, the diet caused a shortage of banana in local stores. What won people over this diet program is the fact that it’s not restrictive at all. Dieters could still eat whatever food they want to eat during lunch and dinner.
How the Morning Banana Diet Works
Essentially, you have to consume an unlimited number of bananas with room temperature water or a serving of milk during breakfast.
From lunch to dinner, you can eat anything you want. But you need to snack on a banana or more in between meals. No other types of desserts are allowed when adopting this diet. Dieters should also stop eating after 8PM. By midnight, the dieters have to sleep. The rules are pretty straightforward too. Eat one or more bananas in the AM, eat another banana for lunch with a salad, sip water whenever you feel thirsty, and have a banana as evening dessert.
Is the Banana Diet Effective?
When you look at the scientific basis of the diet, it does indicate that the diet may help you lose weight. Banana is a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Two bananas for breakfast contain six grams of fiber. Fiber bulks up in the stomach, causing a person to feel much fuller for longer. It also inhibits calories from being absorbed completely through the bloodstream. What’s more, a type of starch triggers fermentation in the digestive track that increases the body’s fat-burning abilities by up to 25%.
Benefits and Drawbacks of the Morning Banana Diet
Banana is an incredibly nutritious fruit. It’s full of potassium and essential vitamins that help keep the body healthy and jumpstarts your weight loss efforts. When you eat banana during the day, it prevents unhealthy snacking. The diet itself helps train dieters to eat right and never skip meals.
Unfortunately, bananas are also calorie-dense. A large banana has about 120 calories and eating bananas on top of your other meals may gradually lead to weight gain. Dr. Melina Jampolis, physician nutrition specialist for CNN.com, highlights how fruits tend to have 3x the caloric value of non-starchy vegetables.
What’s more, bananas are very high in sugar. Bananas have a glycemic index of 51 and its glycemic load is 13, which is a higher value than apples, oranges, peaches, and other fruits. When you eat foods with high glycemic index, there’re more chance of experiencing a spike and dip on blood glucose level throughout the day. This will cause you to snack more.
Finally, too much consumption of bananas may lead to constipation because they’re so full of soluble and insoluble fiber. If you’re trying this diet program, make sure to increase your water intake.