Today I’m answering the question, Will You Gain or Lose weight eating bananas?
Everyone has a different opinion on this topic. Some people tell you to avoid bananas as they will make you gain weight. Other people say eating only bananas is the secret to fast weight loss. So what’s the truth?
Will You Gain or Lose weight eating bananas? 5 Things To Consider
1) Your Body Needs Enough Nutrients To Release Weight
There are two aspects to sustained weight loss.
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Firstly you need your food to be the optimal food for the human body, otherwise the body starts to become diseased, get water retention and hang on to weight. If your body is malnourished because you are not getting the right amount of calories, your body will hang on to the weight as it thinks it is starving. This happens even if you’re severely overweight, and even if you’re eating way more calories than you should.
So yes, the first key to weight loss, is that you need to be eating optimal food.
What is optimal food? Fruits and vegetables are the optimal food for making sure you’ve got enough nutrients. When your body gets enough fruit in your diet, it will start to get enough nutrients. And when your body gets enough nutrients it no longer thinks it is starving anymore and doesn’t hang on to weight unnecessarily. So at this stage it will start to release weight. But only if a second condition is present in the body…
2) You Need To Eat Less Calories Than You Burn
Yes, even when it comes to eating fruit.
There are rumours out there that everyone should be eating 3000 a day of bananas and this will lead to fast weight loss for everyone who does it. But I’m afraid this simply isn’t true. There is no magic number of calories that will drop weight for everyone. Everybody is different. Some are taller, shorter, some do more exercise, some have a faster metabolism, some have major health problems causing different reactions in their bodies.
You need to do what is right for you. First you need to find out how many calories your body is burning in a resting state, and then you either need to burn more calories by doing exercise, or you need to eat slightly less than your body needs and put your body into more of a fasted state. This is calorie restriction.
Calorie restriction is not a good method of weight loss in the long term because it can lead to feelings of deprivation and binge eating. Some people can effectively use it for weight loss in the short term though but it does depend on your own personality.
If you are going to use calorie restriction for weight loss, I also suggest that you don’t restrict too much as this will slow down your metabolism, causing health problems and make it impossible for you to lose any weight at all, even on a very low calorie diet.
I personally much prefer to add extra exercise, and drop a small amount of calories, around 10% of my calories needed to maintain my weight. Exercise is good for good health anyway, and if you do weight training, you have the added benefit of a metabolism boost and extra calorie burn when you’re not at the gym. This is what I prefer to do and I notice I can eat a lot more food and still lose weight, than if I’m doing a lot of cardio only.
But if you’re feeling really sick, you probably won’t be able to do exercise to start with. If you’re really sick, the aim is not to get to your ideal weight to start with. The aim should be to get well.
If you have blood sugar issues, this may mean that you need to eat even more than your body needs to provide nutrients and help you get through the period where you’re craving other foods really badly.
If you are very overweight, you’ll probably still lose a lot of weight even if you’re eating more than your body burns to start with because your calorie intake will probably still be a lot less than you were eating previously which will lead to weight loss.
If you’re closer to your ideal weight, it’s a bit more tricky to lose weight and you need to be getting a bit more strict about logging what you’re eating at least to start with.
4) Eat When You’re Hungry and Stop When You’re Full
Counting calories can be very helpful in the short term so you have an idea of how many calories are in each piece of fruit.
When you first start eating a healthier diet, your body won’t have regulated itself enough to tell you when it’s hungry and when it’s full. And your cravings will send natural signals all over the place. This is why it’s good to know how much your body needs and how many calories you’re eating with each piece of fruit.
Here is a link to a great calorie weight loss calculator where you enter your height and how much weight you want to lose. It then tells you how many calories you need to sustain your weight now, how many you need to eat to lose weight and how many calories you need to eat once you have lost the weight. Click here to see how much you need to be eating for weight loss.
So with this in mind, will bananas cause weight loss or weight gain?
If you eat less total calories than your body needs, if a lot of that food includes bananas, you’ll lose weight.
But weight loss shouldn’t be our only objective, health should be our main focus, because without health, you won’t look your best anyway. If you only have a diet made up of just bananas, you’ll be missing out on other nutrients needed for optimal health, so yes you can lose weight eating ONLY bananas, but that doesn’t mean you should.
The mistake a lot of people make when trying to improve their diet is they take their existing diet which is probably making them gain weight and get sick. And they simply add some more fruit alongside it. They might have a sandwich and then eat a banana and declare their diet as healthy.
This will lead to weight gain because you are just adding more calories into a diet that is not optimally designed for weight loss.
So what’s the solution?
For example, I am quite small in height, so I generally need between 1600 and 2000 calories a day to sustain my weight depending on how much exercise I do.
So if I eat the following meals:
- Breakfast: 5 bananas
- Lunch: 5 bananas
- Dinner: 5 bananas
This is a total of 15 bananas, which assuming the bananas were round about 100 calories each. This is a total of 1500 calories consumed in a day, and is less than I need to sustain my weight, and therefore it will lead to weight loss. I’m not clogging my body up with toxic foods which cause weight gain.
This is over simplified and most meals will look more complex than this which is why it’s important to track everything you eat as you might be surprised, that handful of nuts that you forgot you ate, actually contained 500 calories. So no wonder you’re not losing weight if you’re snacking on high calorie foods like this and not even noticing.
Of course, I don’t just want to eat only bananas, so I might choose to have just one fruit meal a day, or eat half of my breakfast and lunch made up from fruit and have some extra fruit as a snack. But I will include all of the fruit in my daily calorie count.
What Makes Bananas Specifically Good For Weight Loss?
- Bananas are very low in fat which is very beneficial for weight loss.
- Bananas are high in fiber which means they fill you up quickly and get rid of cravings
- Bananas have a low Glycemic index (GI) which means they stabilize your blood sugar levels and don’t leave you desperate to eat the nearest thing in sight
- Compared to other fruit, bananas are fairly high in calories, which make them a perfect food for meals, or measured, planned snacks. But not for idle snacking just to relieve boredom or emotional eating.
5) Should You Do A Banana Only Diet? (Banana Island)
When you eat only one type of food for a sustained period of time, it is called going to the island of that fruit. For example, if I’m only going to eat bananas I say “I’m going to bananas island’ for 1 week.
Is this a good idea to only eat one fruit to lose weight?
For a short period of time, it is a much easier, simple and fast way to lose weight. It gives your body a rest from digesting the complicated meals you normally eat. And it’s simple to follow. You don’t need to decide what to eat as it’s already been decided.
All you need to do is make sure you’ve got enough ripe fruit to last you the length of time. So some organisation will be needed when it comes to going to banana island.
I have a great video showing one lady’s results when she and her partner did a banana only diet. You can watch this video below ?
I have had great results myself when I do a fast on one fruit at a time. Weight loss is always much faster and it is a great detox to clear your body of sickness, like a more gentle version of a water fast.
But eventually it gets boring and if you stay just eating fruit for too long you will be depriving yourself of other essential nutrients like essential fatty acids, proteins and minerals that come from vegetables and leafy greens. But eating a fruit only diet (banana island) perfect for a detox and fast weight loss.
So Will You Gain Or Lose Weight Eating Bananas?
Here’s a recap:
- Start by eating a clean healthy diet made up mainly of fruit and vegetables
- Find out how many calories your body needs and either eat slightly less if you’re not sick and close to your ideal weight, or ideally add in more exercise instead of calorie restricting. If you’re very sick or very overweight, just sticking to the calorie intake or even eating more until you are full is the ideal starting place.
- Bananas are a great food for weight loss but only if you replace your existing meals with fruit, not if you add bananas to your existing diet. Bananas are not a free food, that you can eat as much of as you like without gaining weight. If you eat more banana calories than you need, it will still be stored as fat on the body. And in fact, if you eat only bananas for a long period of time, you can end up slim, but what is known as ‘skinny fat’ because it is much easier to lose muscle and harder to build it by just eating fruit only.
- Doing a banana only diet, called going to banana island is a great way to lose weight in the short term or as a detox. But even if you do this, I would still track your calories because it is just as easy to undereat as it is to overeat.
- And if you’re hungry, do eat, as it’s too hard not to. Eventually your hunger signals will regulate and you won’t get hungry when you don’t need food. But to start with, eat when you’re hungry.
If you liked this article you’ll probably like some of my other posts too such as How To Tell When Bananas Are Ripe (And Good To Eat) or 10 EXTRAORDINARY Banana Nutrition Facts.
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