Banana diet plan, or a banana island, is an easy and sweet way to detox, start your weight loss journey and aid your body’s healing.
I’ve done several banana diets (or banana islands) myself and have also coached other people through their own banana cleanse.
Today, I am going to talk about all the ins and outs you need to know about this process and how you can do it yourself.
Here is a video about it:
The benefits of bananas
Bananas are one of the world’s healthiest foods. One of the greatest things about bananas is that they are available year round anywhere you are and they are also cost effective, if you look at the calories that they provide.
Bananas are rich in B vitamins and magnesium and they contain zero cholesterol. When ripe they are also packed full of simple sugars and a great way to give your body an energy boost.
Bananas are high in potassium – a mineral that allows you to maintain healthy blood pressure and heart function. A medium banana contains 400+mg of potassium.
Studies (1) show that a diet rich in potassium helps you prevent high blood pressure and protects against atherosclerosis (heart disease).
Bananas also improve your digestion due to them being high in fiber, which helps regulate the speed of digestion and allows for regular bowl movements.
Bananas contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – a unique type of carbohydrate that helps maintain “friendly” gut bacteria in your lower intestine.
There was a study done (2) where participants ate 2 bananas per day for 2 months and this led to a significant increase of bifidobacteria, leading to a much better digestion and nutrient absorption.
What is a banana diet?
The banana plan is very much what it sounds like – you eat bananas for a period of time.
I’ve personally done the banana diet myself several times, lasting from 3-12 days and I often get questions from people that ask: “Should I just drink bananas? Can I add milk to my smoothies? Can I drink coffee? Can I add sugar to my smoothies?”
The point of a banana island is that you eat bananas.
In saying that, I would now definitely recommend adding greens (like lettuce, celery, micro greens) and even coconut water to your banana meals.
In this way, you will be getting more minerals and other nutrients.
Other than that, you don’t eat any other foods or substances. No coffee, sugar, spices, or any other foods other than just bananas, greens and coconut water. That’s it — simple and sweet.
How long should a banana diet last?
If you wanted to give your system a quick re-boot, you can do a one day or a weekend banana cleanse, starting on Friday and finishing on Sunday evening.
One thing that I have to point out is that you shouldn’t do banana islands all the time. In fact, you need to receive a diversity of nutrients in your diet.
So 1-2 times per year, for example in the spring or in the autumn can be an idea, if you wanted to cleanse your body with the help of a banana island.
Also, be sure to rest enough during your cleanse as your body will be going through a deeper detox and restoration.
Your bananas need to be ripe, which means soft and spotty, as unripe bananas will upset your digestion.
Does the banana diet work?
Yes, however only if you continue with the healthy, whole-food plant based diet that includes plenty of raw foods following the banana cleanse.
So go on a banana diet to reset your body so you can then switch to a healthy meal plan, which we talk about in detail in Thrive On Raw: Easy And Practical Guide To Starting And Succeeding On A Raw Food Lifestyle.
Here are some benefits that you can get from going on a banana cleanse:
- helps you detox
- can speed up healing and recovery
- can result in natural weight loss
- increases vitality, energy levels and mind clarity
- can boost your fitness level and sports performance
- one of the best ways to switch to a whole food, raw or high raw food diet
Banana diet for detox and weight loss
“Don’t eat bananas because they will make you fat!” “Bananas are loaded with sugar!”
These are two popular statements that you can often hear. However, they are not true.
Both Paul and I have been following a fruit-based raw food plan since 2009 and bananas are our staples.
We’ve had a healthy level of weight all these years and know plenty of raw foodists who are in great shape and eating bananas daily.
Bananas can only promote weight gain if you over eat on calories. The same is true for any other food – and not just bananas.
A banana island is a great way to help your body shift excess weight and help your body detox.
The main reason for this is that you won’t be consuming the kinds of foods that lead to weight gain, such as processed foods (even if they are vegan!).
A banana island is also a tool to help you transition to a much healthier diet that’s vegan and loaded with raw fruits and veggies.
If you want to create a beautiful body and stay lean long term, the secret is a whole-food, plant-based diet, including other lifestyle factors, such as exercise, sleep, stress management, etc.
My banana diet results
I’ve now done several banana cleanses and I enjoyed them all.
Here are some of the benefits that I personally experienced:
- Felt AMAZING throughout the whole “journey”
- Experienced very sharp clarity of mind, which allowed me to restructure tasks and activities in my life and set goals for new projects
- Felt balanced, in fact, discovered the kind of balance that I have never experienced before
- Been even more positive than ever
- My skin got even shiner and silkier
- Ran 22km up and down a very steep mountain called Doi Suthep in Chaing Mai, Thailand during my 7-day banana island. Recovered in double quick time, did not have any leg soreness. Also set a new PB for my 5km running!
- Energy, energy and more energy! Did lots of fitness – cross-fit workouts, cycling, weight-training, dancing – didn’t want to stop!
- Body felt more flexible than ever
Here is a video about my 12-day banana only detox diet and what happened to me (nearly 4 million views!):
Banana diet plan
The great thing about a banana island is that it doesn’t require you to restrict your calories. So you won’t feel hungry!
All you need to do is replace your regular amount of calories with bananas. A typical medium banana contains about 100 calories.
So if you are a female eating 2,000 calories per day – that’s about 20 bananas. If you are a male eating 3,000 calories per day, that’s about 30 bananas.
Divide your regular daily calories by 3 and you will get the amount you need to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For example 2,000 divided by 3 = approximately 660 calories, or about 6-7 bananas per meal.
Ready to give the banana island a go to help rejuvenate your body? We’ve provided a sample banana island meal plan cheat sheet for you, which you can download via the form below.
How do you feel about the banana island? Are you going to do it? Have you done it already or are thinking of giving it a try? Post your comments below!
Of course you cannot just do a short banana diet cleanse and shift and keep the weight off for life.
A whole-food, plant-based meal plan that is as much raw as possible is going to help you not only shift any extra weight and keep it off long term, but also boost your health and rejuvenate you on every level.
We give a step-by-step plan to switching to this lifestyle, including meal plans, shopping lists, recipes, and more in Thrive On Raw: Easy And Practical Guide To A Raw Or High Raw Lifestyle.
- Gylling H, Plat J, Turley S, et al. Plant sterols and plant stanols in the management of dyslipidaemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis 2014;232:346-60.
- Mitsou EK, Kougia E, Nomikos T, et al. Effect of banana consumption on faecal microbiota: a randomized, controlled trial. Anaerobe 2011;17:384-7.