Originating from Japan, the Morning Banana diet became a craze back in 2008, causing shortages of bananas in food stores for a short period of time. Created by a farmacist named Sumiko Watanabe for her husband, the diet rapidly gained popularity because it’s flexible and very easy to follow by most people. While all this may sound good, the real question is if the Morning Banana diet can actually work.
At first, the rules were only the ones below:
1. Eat bananas at breakfast. You can have more than one. Hitoshi Watanabe, the first person that tried the diet ate four small bananas at breakfast.
2. Drink water whenever you feel the need to.
3. You are allowed to have an afternoon snack.
4. Dinner should be taken before 8 P.M.
5. You should go to bed before midnight.
Since the Morning Banana diet actually allows you to eat whatever you want at lunch and dinner many people used this freedom in wrong ways, which led to overeating. That is why more rules where added, not to turn this diet into a restrictive one, but to ensure that the dieters were following the best practices and that the diet will be successful.
1. You can only eat raw, uncooked bananas.
2. You can eat other fruits during the day. Some variant of the diet advise eating only one type of fruit per meal.
3. Even though at lunch and dinner you can theoretically eat whatever you want, it’s advisable you try to avoid fried food and excessive fat.
4. Eat slowly and only until you’re satisfied. Avoid getting full. With other words, finish your meal when you’re not hungry anymore but you feel like there’s room for more in your stomach.
6. Small quantities of coffee, tea and other beverages are allowed.
7. Drinking alcoholic beverages on occasions is also allowed.
8. An afternoon snack of your favorite sweets is allowed midway between lunch and dinner. This is the only time during the day when you’re permitted to have sweets.
9. Exercise is not a must, but you can do it if you want to. Also, you should choose the least stressful types of exercise.
How the diet works
Banana’s weight loss effects are attributed to its contents of dietary fiber and resistant starch. Dietary fiber has the ability to escape digestion and pass through the intestines carrying out some of the ingested calories. Resistant starch, also known as the third type of dietary fiber, has some of the benefits of soluble fiber and some of the insoluble fiber. Several studies have also shown that resistant starch may improve fat burn and reduce fat storage by improving the fatty acid metabolism.
Both fiber and resistant starch (which acts like fiber) increase satiety and improve digestion and defecation. This is very important as the dieters will be less prone to overeating even though they have the freedom to choose what to eat at lunch and dinner. Also their digestion will be improved, allowing the body to flush out the toxins more efficiently.
Bananas have other health benefits except weight-loss, as they are a very good source of vitamin B6 and also contain moderate amounts of manganese, potassium and vitamin C.
The Morning Banana Diet comes with a clever mix of proper eating rules, flexibility and the nutritional and health benefits of bananas. The only problem of this diet is the flexibility when it comes to lunch and dinner. Not for everyone, just for people with unrealistic expectations that think the banana breakfast can “hide” their oversized, unhealthy meals. Also, even if exercise is only mildly promoted by this diet, doing it regularly will surely improve its results, but also your aspect and overall health.