Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Morning Banana Diet

There seems to be a shortage of bananas in Japan and that's because of the Morning Banana Diet craze. The lastest fad diet to hit Japan. There are literally no more bananas in Japan and the Philippines can't keep up with the demand.

This is how the diet started:

A Japanese white-collar worker named Hitoshi Watanabe (currently 31 years old) had ballooned from his college days weight of about 135 pounds to about 175 pounds. Through various fitness and diet practices he managed to get himself back to 160 pounds, but he couldn’t get any lower.

Enter Sumiko. Hitoshi’s girlfriend was a pharmacist with additional training in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, yoga, and various natural and alternative health practices. When Hitoshi confessed that he wanted to lose that last 25 pounds, Sumiko suggested the ideas that became the core of the Morning Banana Diet: a banana for breakfast, room-temperature water to drink, and dinner well before bedtime.

Hitoshi lost the weight before his marriage to Sumiko, and he was so excited by the diet that he uploaded his before and after photos to the quarter-of-a-million-member Yaseru (”slim down”) community on Japan’s most popular social networking Web site, Many members tried it, asked questions, made suggestions, and the diet took off like wildfire.

I was kind of surprised by this since most Japanese people are quite healthy, unless they are sumo wrestlers. OK, maybe that sounded ignorant....Okinawa has some of the healthiest people in the world, who also happen to have the longest life span. So this banana diet sparked my curiousity, because you know, I am perpetually on a diet. What woman isn't these days?? Plus, I love me a good banana!! So I did a little research on the internet and found this website It's not a starvation diet and is much easier to follow than the Extreme Fat Smash Diet which I have done in the past. The Extreme Fat Smash is very limiting and I was always starving on that diet. The banana diet is much more reasonable. The rules are simple:

Eat a banana for breakfast

* You can eat more than one, and in fact the inventor of the diet often ate four bananas in the morning, but don’t stuff yourself to the point of fullness or discomfort
* Eat only raw, uncooked, unfrozen bananas
* Some variants of the diet allow other fruit to be substituted
* If other fruit is substituted, some variants require it be restricted to one type of fruit per meal
* If you are still hungry 15 or 20 minutes after your banana, you can eat other food (the inventor of the diet sometimes ate a rice ball two and a half hours later, about 200 calories worth)

Eat anything you want for lunch and dinner

* Dinner must be eaten by 8 p.m. at the latest (6 p.m. is better)
* There are no limits on what you can eat or the amount, including fried foods
* However, you should not eat a dessert with dinner or any of your meals
* At all meals you should eat only until you’re satisfied but not full or stuffed

Drink only water

* The only beverage allowed at most meals is water, preferably mineral or filtered
* The water must be at room temperature, not chilled or hot
* The water should be drunk in small sips and not used to wash down food
* There is no quota of water to drink, and you should not drink it in excess
* Outside of meals non-caloric beverages like tea, coffee, and diet soda are generally allowed but somewhat frowned upon, and in general water is encouraged as much as possible; milk products are not considered compatible with the diet
* On social occasions you may drink beer or wine

Eat your food mindfully

* Chew your banana and other food thoroughly and be mindful of its taste

You may eat an afternoon snack

* A sweet snack of chocolate, cookies, or the like is allowed at about 3 p.m.
* Ice cream, a donut, or potato chips are not recommended
* Some substitute fresh fruit for their snack, but if you want sweets you should not deny yourself
* Some Japanese who like salty snacks eat salted konbu (seaweed) snacks
* Some Japanese who are very hungry in the afternoon substitute a filling, fist-sized rice ball for sweets
* If you are hungry after dinner, you may have a second snack of fresh fruit, but this should not be a habit

Early to bed

* Go to bed by midnight. If you can manage to go to bed earlier, all the better

Exercise only if you want to

* Put no pressure on yourself to exercise
* If you want to exercise, go ahead: the test is to do what puts the least stress on you

OK, so I don't agree with the exercise only if you want to rule. I believe that exercise is key to a successful weight loss and lifestyle change. I'm going to be a guinea pig and try this diet. What have I got to lose but this tire sitting around my waist?? If it works, great, if not, I'm sure I won't gain any weight, right?
There are many health benefits to eating bananas, such as:

Bananas ease depression
Bananas treat anemia
Bananas help regulate blood pressure
Bananas are brain food
Bananas reduce constipation
Bananas cure hangovers
Bananas soothe heartburn
Bananas help avoid morning sickness
Bananas calm nerves
Bananas ease peptic ulcers
Bananas are a cooling fruit
Bananas help to quit smoking
Bananas help reduce stress
Bananas minimize stroke risks
Bananas help prevent cramping
Bananas help reduce swelling and irritation from mosquito bites
Bananas help kill off warts

So after my Italian class this morning, I went to my favorite grocery store Trader Joes and was thrilled to see that they had plenty of bananas. I'm going to start it on Sunday morning and see how it goes. I'm on a quest to get my bella figura back! I'll keep you posted!


fromtheworld said... can this diet really work? I mean the only thing that you have to do is eat one or more banana in the morning and don't drink soft drinks during meal and don't go to bed with your stomach full....I am really curios to know if it works. Let me know. I am still for the old school. Healthy food and lot of different kind of sports, so that all your muscles work. For sure bananas are healthy, so eating banana for breakfast can't hurt.
PS. I miss Trader Joes, I loved it.

Leanne in Italy said...

This dies sounds like the 5 o'clock diet that my friends sister used to swear by. The rules were that you could eat anything you wanted as long as you did not eat after 5pm because it is harder to burn off calories in the evening time. So she just ate breakfast, lunch and dinner earlier then others and claims the diet worked for her.
This seems similar, just with a banana for breakfast, and extending the eating until 8pm.
Hope it works for you!

Piccola said...

fromtheworld: I know, I'm not sure how it will work either, but it can't hurt anything to try. Isn't Trader Joe's great?? It's a lifesaver for me. Reasonable prices on everything :)

leanne: yeah, it seems to have some of the basic principles of other diets, but when the Italian is here we usually eat at 8:30pm. He won't eat earlier than that. I normally eat dinner between 6 and 7:30pm, so I better do this now before he comes back in January. Thanks!