Keiko Akai is very annoyed. The attractive 21-year-old university student has been planning to do a banana diet for some time now, but she can't get started " and not for lack of trying. "I keep going to OK Store, my local supermarket every single day," she says. "In fact, I've just been there. There are no bananas on the shelves, and it's been like that for a month."
Akai has never weighed more than 100 pounds, and is so slim that her waist is swimming in Zara's smallest size XS skirt. She doesn't need to lose any weight. But Japanese girls obsessed with diets tend to jump at any trendy new ones, so, when Akai heard about a popular actress who'd lost 26 pounds through the Morning Banana Diet, she had to try it. And the dearth of bananas as her local supermarket, and many others, is testimony to the popularity of the new dieting fad.
The Morning Banana Diet regime is simple: A banana (or as many as you want) and room temperature water for breakfast; eat anything you like for lunch and dinner (by 8 p.m.). A three o'clock snack is okay, but no desserts after meals, and you have to go to bed before midnight. Sumiko Watanabe, a pharmacist in Osaka designed this stress-free diet to help increase the metabolism of her husband Hitoshi Watanabe, who had been rather overweight.