What's the Mono Diet and Can It Help You Lose Weight?

| Diet & Nutrition
bananas
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Let's be real, it's pretty easy to be tempted by a hot new diet that swears to help you shed pounds quickly, even when it sounds completely insane and over-the-top.

For the perfect example of this, look no further than the Mono Diet, which is one of the most-searched diets on Google in 2016. The weight loss plan involves eating only one food item, like bananas, or one type of food and nothing else. Sounds crazy, right?

The diet recently took off in popularity after a YouTuber known as "Freelee the Banana Girl" began eating close to 30 bananas every day. According to Women's Health, even celebrities have gotten in on the Mono action! Matt Damon reportedly ate only chicken breasts to shed pounds in preparation for a movie role. 

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(Photo: Instagram / @kickingitwithkutch)

People have created Mono plans out of nearly every type of fruit and vegetable, including melons, cauliflower, spinach and even starchy carbs like pizza.

"Proponents of the diet claim that eating just one food for a period of time aids in digestion, as there are fewer nutrients for the body to metabolize and therfore, fewer digestive enzymes needed for the process," said Pauline Hackney, clinical nutrition manager. 

Apadters of the diet believe the body doesn't have to work as hard, cutting down bloating and maximizing nutrient absorption. Despite this theory, Hackney said, "I'm not aware of any scientific evidence to back up these claims."

So what's the verdict?

"Though you may lose weight on this diet, you'll almost certainly suffer from malnourishment and muscle loss, and that muscle loss will translate into slower metabolism," warned Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at the Boston Medical Center.

She went on to say that Mono dieters will have difficulty losing weight in the future and whatever weight you lose on the diet will be gained back when you start eating normally again.

While the simplicity of the Mono Diet makes it an attractive option, losing weight at such a quick pace isn't a sustainable way to keep the pounds off. Instead, look for a diet that keeps it simple while promoting a change that will last, Apovian said.

"While you'll need to do more preparation than what's involved with the Mono Diet, plans like these teach you how to eat well," she continued. "After a few weeks of adjustment, the hard work will be finished and you'll have a new, healthier lifestyle."

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Olivia Rowe |

Olivia hails from small town Pennsylvania and is appropriately obsessed with summer thunderstorms and wintry Christmases. She is fluent in sarcasm and television dialogue and can often be heard singing the praises of her lady heroes, Taylor Swift and Mariska Hargitay.