Morning Banana Diet Rules
Every diet has rules. If a diet works for you, it’s simply because the rules have had the effect of making you eat less food (nothwithstanding whatever magical claims a diet may make). Diet rules generally do this by making eating a little harder or less convenient, through restricting when or what you can eat. Throw in a little “scientific theory” for motivation, and you have a diet. And remember, no diet works for everybody. So what are the Morning Banana Diet rules? Here’s a synopsis collected from various sources:
If you are a health reporter, dietitian or blogger intending to write about the diet, please read this page carefully and also check out this blog post before you write a kneejerk “just another fad diet” article. Thanks!
Eat a banana for breakfast
- You can eat more than one, and in fact the inventor of the diet often ate four (smallish Philippines) bananas in the morning, but don’t stuff yourself to the point of fullness or discomfort.
- Eat only raw, uncooked, unfrozen bananas.
- Other fruit may 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 30 minutes after your banana, you can eat other food (the Japanese inventor of the original Asa Banana Diet sometimes ate a rice ball two and a half hours later, about 200 calories worth; Morning Banana forum members have suggested oatmeal, although it’s not as portable as a rice ball).
Eat normally for lunch and dinner
- Dinner must be eaten by 8 p.m. at the latest (6 p.m. is better).
- There are no explicit limits on the types of food you can eat for lunch and dinner, or the amount. But in practice dieters report on Mixi that they try to cut the amount of rice they eat and find substitutions for fried foods. As with many diets, the mere fact you have decided to go on a diet tends to make you more aware of what and how much you are are eating and how healthy it is. The diet avoids strict food rules to prevent a sense of deprivation.
- However, you should not eat a dessert with dinner or any of your meals; you’ll need to satisfy your sweet tooth during a snack, but we’ll get to that later.
- At all meals you should eat only until you’re satisfied but not full or stuffed. The Japanese have a proverb, Hara hachibu ni isha irazu, “A stomach eight-tenths full needs no doctor.” American dietitians define this level of fullness or satiety as a 7 on a 1-to-10 “hunger scale,” and they teach their clients to recognize this feeling.
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; frequent consumption of milk products is discouraged.
- On social occasions you may drink beer or wine.
Eat your food mindfully
- Chew your banana and other food thorouoghly 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 and some Japanese who are very hungry in the afternoon substitute a filling, fist-sized rice ball for sweets.
- A good alternative if a salty or more filling snack is needed is popcorn according to Morning Banana forum members, but watch out for excessive fat content.
- 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.
- Try to aim for a four-hour period between your last meal or snack and bedtime (which is why 8:00 p.m. is the latest you should eat dinner).
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.
- But try to get some walking in every day if possible (but again, don’t force yourself if it stresses you out).
- If you want a traditional Japanese light workout, consider taking up the kendama.
Keep a diet journal
- Because the original Japanese banana diet was developed on the internet, many successful Japanese dieters naturally documented their daily food intake and progress online via blogs, forums, or social networking services, and they felt this gave them extra support (we have prepared a Morning Banana Diet Forum with individual food blogs for your use).
- Because of the diet’s emphasis on digestive processes, some Morning Banana Diet journalers record a bit “too much information” — so remaining anonymous may be advisable.