Other Banana Diets
The Morning Banana Diet is not the first weight loss banana diet. There have been various word-of-mouth banana diets over the years that work a bit differently from the Morning Banana Diet. Their goal was to discourage you from overeating at meals by having you eat a relatively satiating banana before all meals to fill you up, rather than limited bananas to breakfast.
In this sense these older banana diets were variations on the Grapefruit Diet or the Cabbage Soup Diet. Grapefruits and cabbage soup fill you up, the latter with liquid. (Grapefruits also affect your sense of taste to make eating food immediately after less pleasant.)
Reporter Mary-Liz Shaw of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a 2003 article traced banana diets to the late 1970s, when they paired banana eating with old-style diet foods like cottage cheese.
A January 2003 revival of the Banana Diet by “slimming editor” Sally Ann Voak of the UK’s Sun newspaper caused a brief resurgence. Touting a potential 14-pound weight loss over 28 days, the “medically approved” diet provoked a one-day increase in banana purchases of 30 percent at UK food retailer Tesco.
Shortly after the Sun’s series on the diet ended, in classic UK tabloid fashion the paper panicked their loyal, dieting readers with a story predicting the imminent destruction of the entire world banana crop due to a vicious fungal disease called Sigatoka. The only hope to save the fruit, according to the Sun, was in developing a genetically modified fungus-resistant Frankenfood banana, a fate particularly horrifying to the GM-food-phobic UK public.
Thankfully, bananas are still with us.
The Amazingly Simple Banana Diet
In 1995 writer Clifford Thurlow, known mostly for ghostwriting a book about Salvador Dali’s sex life, branched out into diet books with his book The Amazingly Simple Banana Diet. This book outlined a rudimentary diet program, padded out with banana recipes, a botanical history of the banana, and a bizarrely detailed (for a diet book) account of the banana’s role in world historical events, including the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The book sunk without a trace.
Another Japanese Banana Diet.
With various publishers in Japan trying to capitalize on the banana diet boom, variations are beginning to branch off from the original “Asa Banana Diet” developed by Hamachi. A recent example is publisher Izumi Shoten’s Banana Plus Detox Soup Diet book. This book is based on a diet variation devised by a Dr. Kazuyoshi Fujimoto, who prescribes a banana with water before every meal.
Jumping on two bandwagons at once, Dr. Fujimoto also recommends a detox soup made from six super-veggies (tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, green peppers, and celery) for some of the dieter’s dinners. This sounds like the soup that Master Cleanse dieters eat when they are coming off of their maple syrup lemonade “fast.” In addition to “detoxing” you, the soup is conveniently low calorie, presumably resulting in additional weight loss.