Eat only bananas to lose weight? Find out if this mono diet is safe

Many people try to know about the benefits of monotropic diet or mono diet for weight loss. The cat has finally come out of the bag! Read on to know all about this diet.

Losing weight may seem easy, but it’s not. It requires a lot of effort on your part in terms of diet, training and lifestyle. However, it has been seen that people may not be able to follow the workout routine but try to reduce their weight by following different types of weight loss diets. While there are a wide variety of diets available, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. A famous diet for weight loss is the monotropic diet or mono diet. It’s a simple diet plan that requires you to eat a single food for each meal of the day. But the question is, can it actually help in weight loss? Let’s find out.

Health Shots contacted Hari Lakshmi, Consultant, Dietitian and Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospitals, Alwarpet, Chennai, about whether a monotropic diet is good or bad for weight loss.

What is a monotropic diet?

The mono diet, also known as the monotropic diet, is a simple diet in which a person consumes only one food such as bananas or one food group over several days and weeks. This diet has gained popularity among people who are looking for a simple approach to weight loss without the intense restrictions and exercise regimen. The main advantage of this diet is that it promises rapid weight loss.

Is a mono diet effective for weight loss?

A monotropic diet restricts calories, which can actually help you achieve short-term weight loss. So if you’re asking if it can lead to weight loss, the answer is yes. However, it’s not a healthy way to lose weight. This form of diet is difficult to follow for a long time and many people often start this diet to start their weight loss journey before switching to other diet patterns.




No weight loss diets are healthy. Image courtesy of: Adobe Stock

Lakshmi says, “A monotropic diet doesn’t have a set of rules to follow, but it is restrictive and excludes beneficial food groups. People are generally advised to eat a diet that contains foods of all kinds because of the nutrients they provide. However, in the case of the mono diet, a person’s food intake is limited, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

So, you can also certainly suffer from malnutrition and muscle loss, and that muscle loss can slow down your metabolism. All of this means that you will find it difficult to lose weight in the future and the weight lost on the mono diet will be regained once you start eating normally.




Side effects of the monotropic diet

The mono diet has a number of adverse effects, including:

1. Short term weight loss

Consuming one type of food reduces an individual’s calorie intake, which results in rapid water loss and a decrease in bloating. This process also reduces muscle mass; however, this form of weight loss is short-lived.

2. Increased cravings

Avoidance of certain food groups can increase food cravings which can lead to overeating or bingeing, especially when the person has less ability to maintain the strict dietary restrictions of a mono diet.

3. Dangerously restrictive

The mono diet has severe restrictions which could lead to significant health consequences in the future ranging from constipation, menstrual irregularities, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, gallstones resulting in fatigue, decreased metabolism, muscle loss and malnutrition.

The mono diet will also make you feel fatigued. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Doesn’t promote healthy habits

Weight loss is a process that includes maintaining a healthy weight. To achieve this, it is important to analyze your diet that meets nutritional needs in adequate portions. But in the case of a mono diet, a single item or type of food is not a healthy way to approach weight loss. This could also develop an eating disorder. In addition to a balanced diet, it is also important to get enough sleep and exercise for an effective result.

5. Nutritional deficiency

Your daily diet should be rich in various fruits and vegetables because your body needs a range of nutrients to function. A deficiency in a certain vitamin or mineral could have detrimental effects on your health. So, eating only one food all day when following a mono diet is not a good idea.

6. Loss of muscle mass

Going on a mono diet can lead to a lack of protein in your body. This can lead the body to break down muscle mass into amino acids due to a lack of protein. Compared to fat mass, muscle mass has a higher resting metabolic rate. As a result, it burns more calories, promoting weight loss. But since you’re losing muscle mass, this can get in the way of your weight loss goals.

A mono diet can cause a loss of muscle mass! Image courtesy of: Adobe Stock

So should you try mono diet?

The answer is a big NO. Following a mono diet is not advised due to its restrictive nature and insufficient intake of essential nutrients. According to Lakshmi, limiting the essential macro- and micronutrients that the body needs to function properly can cause health problems. So avoid this diet.

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