Morning banana diet

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The Morning Banana Diet is a weight loss diet. It was popular in Japan in 2008, causing shortages of bananas in food stores. Niigata University School of Medicine Professor Masahiko Okada described it to be a fad diet due to lack of nutrient balance.[1]

The diet plan allows consumption of unlimited bananas as they want with room temperature water or a serving of milk for breakfast. Lunch, and dinner food choices are unrestricted. They can have one or more bananas as a snack between meals, but no other desserts are permitted. Nothing is eaten after 8 pm, and the dieter must go to bed by midnight.[1]

Creation and promulgation

The diet was created by Osaka pharmacist Sumiko Watanabe, for her husband Hitoshi Watanabe, who lost 37 pounds (16.8 kg) in weight. He popularized the diet when he wrote about it on Mixi, one of Japan's largest social networking services. Over 730,000 Morning Banana Diet books have been sold since March.[1]


  1. Eat a banana for breakfast (you may eat more than one, the original dieter had 4 small ones for breakfast)
  2. Eat a banana for lunch with a small salad
  3. Sip water whenever you require (room temperature only)
  4. Have a banana for an evening snack
  5. Take the dinner before 8 pm (normal dinner)
  6. Go to bed earlier than midnight

Scientific explanation

Possible problems with the diet include the misuse of the unregulated lunch and dinner. "Whenever you have a diet that says eat all you want, there's the possibility that people who are prone to overeating will have problems" reports the American Dietetic Association.[2]

Bananas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. The six grams of fiber in a two banana breakfast can reduce caloric intake in two ways. Fiber bulks up in the stomach, lengthening feelings of fullness, and pulls some calories through the digestive system before they can be absorbed.[3] Resistant starch, one of the fibers found in bananas,[4] ferments in the digestive tract, creating by-products that increase fat-burning by 20%-25%.[3] Increased resistant starch consumption can increase fat burning and decrease fat accumulation.[5]

Effects on banana market in Japan

The diet caused bananas to become scarce in Japan for a short period, with retailers unable to meet the demand.[6]


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