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Are Bananas Good for Weight Loss or Not?

5 mins read
Viktoriia Volyk
Written by Viktoriia Volyk on October 19, 2022
Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Ievgeniia Dobrynina is the Head of Nutrition and a fact checker at Unimeal.

The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.

Soft and sweet exotic banana fruit has a variety of nutrients. It can improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels and help you get rid of extra pounds. But to lose weight with the help of bananas, you have to know how the game works: when you can eat them and when is the hour to avoid them.

Do bananas make you weight gain?

Bananas are sweet, nutritious, and a good choice for a healthy snack. They are packed with vitamins C and B6 and some essential nutrients like manganese and potassium. Here are the nutrients for 100 g of banana

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  • Energy: 85 kcal
  • Protein: 0.73 g
  • Fat: 0.22 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.1g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Sugars: 15.8 g

One regular banana with peel weighs about 150 grams. 

Bananas contain a lot of protein, one of the main elements for tissue repairing and muscle building; that's why they are a good choice if you exercise. 

banana benefits
banana benefits

Bananas have a lot of carbohydrates: about 30 g for one medium banana. A 2008 study showed that carbohydrate ingestion 15 minutes before running enhanced endurance and increased time to exhaustion by nearly 13%.

Despite all beneficial properties, an excess of bananas harms the body. Bananas are not high-calorie fruit, but consuming them too much will cause unwanted weight gain. As mentioned above, the high content of carbohydrates in bananas can complicate blood sugar control for people with diabets.

When to eat banana for weight loss

bananas for weight loss
bananas for weight loss

Bananas, on their own, do not cause weight loss, but they have some properties that can help to reduce bloating, control appetite, and lose extra kilograms and centimeters around the waist faster. One research found that the daily intake of 24 grams of banana starch for four weeks caused weight loss of 1.2 kg while also improving insulin sensitivity.

On the other hand, eating fruit on a regular basis leads to weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing appetite. So, if you want to slim down, avoid sweets and opt for bananas.

start your day with banana
start your day with banana

The best time for eating bananas is in the morning. In the mornings, our body is more sensitive to insulin. Whenever we eat something, the body produces insulin, a hormone that accelerates the oxidation of sugar in the cells and helps to process food. Bananas, in turn, are a lot of natural sugar absorbed by the body much better, but anyway, it is sugar. Therefore, to help your body process the banana's carbohydrates easier and quickly, consume them until 10 a.m.

Start your day with bananas. Add them to the oatmeal. Firstly, like bananas, oatmeal is bland and easy to eat while providing the calories, vitamins, and minerals you need. Secondly, this mixture causes a feeling of fullness for a long time and supports the work of the digestive system. Finally, bananas are sweet enough to give sweetness to a bowl of oatmeal, replacing the additional harmful sugar.

Besides breakfast, consume bananas after workouts if you want to drop a few kilos. Exhausting training burns calories, and you start feeling hungry. To fix the result in the gym,  refuse cookies, energetic high-calorie bars, salty snacks, and fast food in favor of exotic fruit. One banana can increase your energy because it is rich in carbohydrates.

Worst time to eat bananas and why?

worst time to eat bananas
worst time to eat bananas

Avoid bananas at night. As coffee or green tea, bananas affect our bodies like an energy booster. When it's bedtime, and your body needs to relax and slow down all processes of the organism, banana compounds can lead to an energy crash and prevent you from falling asleep.

Also, it's best if you don't eat bananas after lunch. In the late morning, when you have just dined, your body processes the food, which is why the insulin level in your blood becomes higher. Bananas, in turn, increase the amount of sugar in the blood, which will dramatically drop. As a result, you will feel tired, exhausted, and hungry.

How many bananas eat in a day for weight loss

eat 2 bananas
eat 2 bananas

There are no strict restrictions on how many bananas per day you can afford. The appropriate number of bananas varies from person to person. However, excessive passion for exotic fruits can cause headaches, elevated sugar levels, drowsiness, and weight gain.

According to the USDA guidelines, you should consume two cups of fruits per day, which amounts to two big bananas. Up to 2 bananas are the average daily dose for adults, which provides all nutritional properties to your body and, at the same time, doesn't prevent weight loss.

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Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

Sources:

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Tokmakidis SP, Karamanolis IA. June 2008. Effects of carbohydrate ingestion 15 min before exercise on endurance running capacity. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. PMID:18461096.
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