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Does the Morning Banana Diet Work?

Is the Morning Banana Diet Bananas?

A Japanese weight loss plan known as The Morning Banana Diet (also known as the Asa Banana Diet — asa means morning in Japanese) has been around for a while, which means many people are finding success with it. Before discussing if it works, here are the guidelines for the diet:

  • For breakfast, eat one banana, or a few.
  • For lunch and dinner, eat what you want. There are no strict rules about what to eat or portion sizes. Eat until you are satisfied, but not stuffed. Don't eat after 8 p.m. (6 p.m. is better).
  • For all meals, sip room temperature water.
  • A sweet snack of chocolate, cookies, or the like is allowed at 3 p.m.
  • Allow at least four hours between your last meal and bedtime.
  • Work out only if you want to, but don't force yourself if it stresses you out.
  • Keep a food journal to document your daily food intake.

Wow. Basically you're encouraged to eat bananas for breakfast, and whatever else you want the rest of the day, as long as you stop eating four hours before you hit the hay? And exercise is optional? It amazes me that people have been losing weight this way, and what's with the bananas? To find out


One theory as to why this diet works has to do with enzymes found in nanners. They supposedly speed up digestion and elimination, which results in rapid weight loss. Huh? In my experience, bananas are know for their binding properties. Another theory has to do with resistant starches found in bananas, a type of fiber that supposedly promotes fullness and increases fat burning, but a medium-sized banana only contains about three grams of fiber — not breaking the fiber bank.

This diet may be having positive results since being on a diet in general makes people aware of what they're eating. It has nothing to do with the bananas though, since this fruit doesn't have any special powers when it comes to weight loss. Any diet plan that promotes eating unhealthy treats and optional exercise doesn't seem like a healthy lifestyle you can maintain, so it's not a diet you should even consider trying. If weight loss is on your mind, don't fall for this banana scheme. Eat a healthy diet full of lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and veggies, and get moving at least 30 minutes a day. That's the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

Image Source: Getty
pixiedusk pixiedusk 7 years
i like bananas but i cant eat it in the morning... it makes my tummy feels cold.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I don't like bananas. The texture is too mealy and sweet for me, so I don't eat them. Am I fat? No. Do I eat after 8 pm? Yes, often. The main thing is, you have to eat a diet that is rich in fruits and veggies, drink lots of water, and don't overeat in general. I can see this diet working well in Japan, but in the States, it's probably not going to work because people's idea of "eating anything you want for lunch and dinner" is VERY different here than in Japan.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
This isn't that far off from my life most days! I think it works because it doesn't force you to feel restricted. Like, I exercise because I want to, not because I'm on a diet plan that tells me I need to. Other than the occasional dessert, I have no desire to eat junk food or meat. But, I feel like if I were on a diet where I was told I couldn't have "bad" foods, I would want them more. I agree that the bananas themselves have nothing to do with it.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Don't get me started.
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
Didn't they go through some kind of banana shortage because of the popularity of this? I could have sworn I read something like that (that supermarkets just couldn't keep bananas on the shelf because people would buy so many at a time).
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 7 years
this honestly isn't that ridiculous (except for the BANANA portion). it sounds like it's a lot of moderation, and a breakfast of 100-400 calories. however, i think the factor that BANANAS play is questionable (which I guess is what sets this diet apart).
fauxcat fauxcat 7 years
The fact that you keep a food journal and don't eat after 6 or 8pm are why this diet works, I think. When I was actively losing weight, I stopped eating after dinner - no more random grazing on things while watching primetime TV, and the weight came off. I was also exercising regularly, but if I ate at night a few nights in a row, the weight would start to slowly creep up anyway. I'm still trying to lose my 'last 5 pounds,' and I know that if I go to bed with a slight growl in my tum regularly, it'll happen. Of course, I can't sleep if I'm starving, so I'll sometimes have a tiny evening snack anyway if I stay up late. But the fact is that we eat food for energy, and you don't need lots of energy when you're asleep or winding down from the day.
DivaDivine DivaDivine 7 years
I think this diet is successful in Japan because their diet and lifestyle is completely different from ours. The Japanese have always eaten smaller portions and when they do eat, it's usually chock full of veggies/fruits, whole grain noodles and rices and lean cuts of protein incl. tofu. The whole idea of gorging yourself is not appropriate and even without diets they've been taught to eat to satisfaction not fullness. I usually eat bananas as breakfast when I need to get *ahem* things moving.
michlny michlny 7 years
Fit - great synopsis! Your conclusion is spot on! IMHO :)
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
same, lemuse.... I am totally great with eating veggies, but getting enough fruit in my diet is a constant struggle, and there is a vendor outside my office who sells three bananas for a dollar, so I buy them each week and have one or piece of one with my breakfast. it definitely does keep me full
lemuse20 lemuse20 7 years
Woah, I've been on the "Morning Banana Diet" and didn't even know it hah! I eat a banana every morning followed by a huge lunch, I never eat a couple hours before I go to bed (for digestive reasons) and I always drink tepid water with my meals... who knew!
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