Guy: As you can imagine we get a lot of email enquiries. Can I eat fruit if I’m on a weight loss plan? Is it possible that bananas make me fat? Is it ok to eat bananas whilst I’m trying to lose weight? You get the gist of it right… So it has inspired me to right this post.
First of all, I eat bananas. I not only eat them I enjoy them. So this is not a banana bashing post. But in saying that, I only eat them on certain occasions, and for me it’s all about personal circumstances (weight loss/weight gain) and timing.
Nutritional value to consider
One large banana, say 7 inches will contain roughly 30g of carbohydrates, 3g of fibre, 2g of protein and 0.5g of fat, along with multiple vitamins and minerals (including high content of potassium) to boot. If you want to know exactly what’s in the banana click here.
Out of those 30g of carbohydrates 6-8g will be fructose. (I wrote an in-depth article on fructose here).
|Light Bulb moment #1! Carbohydrate when ingested raises blood sugar. That banana is the equivalent to 5-6 teaspoons of sugar, with 1-2 of those being fructose.
So where am I going with this?
With the basic nutritional values above lets look at how they can be applied to different circumstances.
I’m trying to lose weight
From my experience, anyone I see who is trying to lose a few kgs/lbs generally has a fairly high carbohydrate diet.
|Light Bulb moment #2! Every time you eat mainly carbs, you will create an insulin response. And whilst there is insulin being produced you will not be able to burn body fat. So if you are going to remember one thing, remember that.
The nutrient packed banana is carb heavy. When you compare them to fresh strawberries it’s over four times the amount of carbs. So the first thing I’d say would be to add up how many carbs you are eating in a day and then factor the banana in. It soon adds up! And the other thing to remember is activity levels. If you are living a fairly inactive daily routine, then the amount of carbs matters even more.
My weight loss tip -
If you are not sure, eat berries/strawberries instead as they have a lower carbohydrate sugar/fructose content.
If you are wanting bananas, have half instead mixed in a smoothie with more protein and fat (personally I throw in half an avocado with my smoothie along with 180 protein supplement). By doing this you will slow the insulin response down which of course is better for weight loss. The other option is to eat some nuts along with half a banana whilst snacking, as this will have the same effect.
Exercising and trying to lose weight
Personally I’d stick to the same principles as I’ve mentioned above until you reach your ideal weight goals. I’d also include a weight training program with a minimum of twice a week. This will help improve muscle mass and control insulin levels better due to better muscle glycogen storage.
It’s enough to drive you bananas
What do I do? I generally throw in half a banana in my smoothies as mentioned above, and I’ll often have a full banana after an intense CrossFit session to help replenish glycogen stores. Now bare in mind I train 4-6 days a week and I’m not looking to lose weight. My body fat sits around 10-12% and I’m happy with that. But if I decided I would like to get my abs popping out for whatever reason, I’d probably let the humble banana go for a while.
So what should you do? That’s for you to decide, but hopefully the few things I mentioned above have helped.
Would love to hear your thoughts… Do you eat them? Fructose? Fruit?
When do you eat bananas?… Guy
On a side note: I truly enjoy writing these posts, hence our frequent blog posts. At the end of the day though, these are just my thought’s and feelings around a topic I’m passionate about. I encourage everyone to do their own research and check out the facts for themselves.
If you did enjoy the post and got something from it or have something to share on the topic, I would love to hear your thought’s in the comments section below. If you feel others would benefit from this then it would be great if you could share it using one of the icons below (Facebook etc). Cheers, Guy…