What is the Banana Diet?

The banana diet is meant to provide steady weight loss, but it is still a fad diet.
Healthy versions of the banana diet suggest eating a banana with water before every meal.
The banana diet prescribes eating one banana for breakfast.
The banana diet found many followers in Japan.
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  • Written By: Kris Roudebush
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2015
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Imagine, if you will, a diet that is so popular it actually creates a shortage of the very food you need to follow the diet. The banana diet has done just that, in Japan, in the autumn of 2008. Some banana companies are struggling to increase their product fast enough for the whirlwind that has swept Japan.

There are several twists on this newest fad and while some of them seem healthier than most fad diets, it is still just a fad diet. Just like any fad diet, there are versions that are simply not realistic. Nearly all versions of the banana diet say it's not a quick fix, expect to lose weight slowly, despite the lack of a quick solution it’s hugely popular.

The banana diet usually has 4-5 rules and they are as follows: Eat one raw banana for breakfast, with some versions of the diet including a glass of room temperature water. Eat whatever you'd like for lunch and dinner. This includes fried foods. This advice is a not consistent with healthy eating; the healthier you eat the better your results will be. All the versions say no sweets for lunch or dinner.


Do have a mid-afternoon snack. Some versions of the banana diet suggest having chocolates and cookies. The idea is that you shouldn't deny yourself. You're allowed to have room temperature water at meal times, but only a little. If you should find yourself in a social situation, feel free to indulge in a little alcohol. However, there are versions of the banana diet which prohibit alcohol.

There are several versions of the banana diet which have a cut off time of 8:00 p.m. for dinner and strict bedtime of mid-night. Finally, and this may be a favorite with a number of people, don't exercise. That's right. Don't exercise. If you want to, of course, you are able, but only if you feel like it and don't cause stress to yourself.

Healthier versions of the banana diet suggest eating a banana, or another fruit, with water before every meal. Some say that you can eat what you'd like but keeping it healthy, and stick with a strict time schedule. Of course, these versions recommend regular exercise.

While eating a banana a day is a great source of many of nutrients, variety is the key to getting all the nutrients and phytonutrients that the body needs. Eating something low in calories and fat before a meal is always a good idea since you should feel fuller without having to eat as much as you might have. But don't limit yourself to fruit; indulge in a small bowl of broth based soup, a salad, or a serving of yogurt.

It is important to xercise regularly without overdoing it. Exercise has the advantage of moving blood around, boosting your metabolism, and working your heart. Eating before a certain time and going to bed by a certain time each night is generally sound advice. It gives your body a chance to digest before shutting down for the night. There are some good points in this fad and you should consider making them a habit. However, be healthy and toss out what isn't sustainable for the long term.


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Post 5

Bananas possess something called resistant starch, which is a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion. As such, it makes you feel fuller longer, and so you are prone to eating less. Ripe bananas have about 4 grams of resistant starch, while green bananas have closer to 12. According to Ellen Kunes (The Carb Lovers Diet), people should consume at least 8 grams of resistant starch per day, and the more the merrier.

Post 4

I could see how you would lose weight with this just by making yourself a little bit fuller before mealtimes with a low calorie food. A lot of people say that drinking a glass of water before a meal can make you feel fuller sooner so that you don't over eat, so I can only imagine how much fuller you'd feel if you ate something like a banana, or another piece of fruit before your meal.

Other than that I really don't see how it would help you lose weight -- is there something about bananas for a diet that I don't know about, some magical fat burning power they've been found to have? Seriously, I'm curious.

Anybody tried this banana diet from Japan, can you clue me in on how it works?

Post 3

There's another version of this called the bananas only diet. That one was big when I was in college; all the girls on my hall seemed to have tried it at one time or the other (yours truly included).

That version of the banana diet (not the banana diet from Japan) is just another fad though. Although a lot of us did lose weight on the all banana diet, it just came right back as soon as we switched back to normal food. And besides, eating that many bananas can just put you off the taste for life.

I still to this day cringe at the sight of a banana after one particularly bad week where I lived off of bananas, saltine crackers, and water.

But this banana diet actually sounds good -- I'd try it if not for my aversion to bananas.

Post 2

I have to say that I'm a little bit torn about the Japanese banana diet. Although bananas are a great source of nutrition, I think it's a little silly to say that you can really eat whatever else you want as long as you eat a banana with it.

Or maybe I'm misinterpreting it. I haven't really read any banana diet reviews other than this one, so I haven't heard about typical banana diet results.

Has anybody reading this ever tried the banana diet; can you tell me what your results were? I'd be really interested to hear from someone who has tried it themselves, since that's always the best way to find out if something works or not.

Post 1

One benefit of eating bananas is increased level of protection against colon cancer. Bananas contain vitamin B6 which has been proven to decrease the risk of colon cancer. So even though the diet might, or might not work, you still will be getting benefits from eating bananas.

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