This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
There are some unusual diets to lose weight fast out there. One of them is the egg diet. Is it a good idea for weight loss?
Eggs can be a good addition to your diet but a diet plan with only 1 food in the name is usually not a good idea. Is this also true for the egg diet?
The rules of the egg diet
There are multiple versions of the egg diet, all with a lot of eggs of course.
This version is the most extreme one. You really just eat hard-boiled eggs and water, nothing else, for 2 weeks.
You will most likely not have any energy left for things like exercise.
14 day egg diet
In this version of the egg diet you will have 3 meals a day. You can still consume water and zero-calorie drinks outside of these meals but nothing with calories.
The meals consist of a lean protein source and some low-carb vegetables, sometimes citrus fruit. At least one of these meals you choose eggs as the primary protein source.
Egg and grapefruit diet
This grapefruit version is basically the regular 14 day egg diet but you need to eat half a grapefruit with every meal.
Food examples of the egg diet
Approved protein sources:
Approved vegetables and fruit:
- Bell peppers
An example of the day in a life of the egg-dieter would be:
- Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs and 1 grapefruit, or a 2-egg omelet with spinach and mushrooms
- Lunch: 1/2 roast chicken breast, zucchini and asparagus
- Dinner: 1 serving of fish and a green salad
As you can see the egg diet is very restricted. So before you start stocking on eggs make sure you read the advantages and disadvantages of this diet plan.
Egg diet side effects
There are a few side effects the egg diet can have on you. Let’s talk about some of the differences a person switching from a normal diet to the egg diet can expect.
Too low calorie diet
When doing the egg diet, the amount of calories you consume will likely be below 1000 calories. It’s almost never recommended to go below 1200 calories for women and 1500 for men. Those numbers are already on the small side.
Consuming the low amount of calories in the egg diet can have a few side effects.
First of all you will have a lot of hunger and cravings. This in itself will make the diet pretty hard to stick to. You will probably not have a lot of fun. It’s also very likely you will feel very tired on this diet.
Going this low with the amount of calories you eat for 14 days can also slow down your metabolism. Your metabolism is the amount of calories you burn every day.
This means that once you start eating normal again, you will probably regain all the weight and more.
In general a healthy weight loss rate is a calorie deficit of about 500 calories a day.
The amount of vegetables and other nutrient dense foods will probably be low.
This means that you will start to be deficient in a lot of vitamins minerals and fiber.
Being deficient in nutrients will have negative consequences for both short and long term weight loss and health.
Possibly too much cholesterol
The general consensus once was that the cholesterol in eggs was the cause for heart disease.
Even though science these days mostly agrees that dietary cholesterol is alright, some people might want to avoid eating too many eggs anyway.
If you or anyone in your family has a history of high cholesterol you might want to stay away from too many eggs anyway.
Eggs are a fairly nutrient dense food. They contain nice amounts of important vitamins and minerals like selenium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin B5, vitamin A and folate .
They are also a good protein source for weight loss without a crazy calorie count.
Eggs are a great addition to your diet but pairing it with that bad of a routine doesn’t make the most healthy diet to lose weight. You need enough calories and other nutrients as well.
Can you lose weight on the egg diet?
The egg diet is way too restrictive to be a healthy weight loss method but will it help you lose weight?
The answer is yes, you will lose a certain amount of weight on the egg diet depending on your lifestyle and how extreme you make the diet.
By consuming that small of an amount of calories you inevitably put yourself in a calorie deficit.
However, the slowing down of your metabolism and the nutrient deficiencies cause a problem. Once you return to your old ways of eating, you will gain back the weight and probably a bit more.
One thing you can do if you’re looking to lose weight in a short amount of time in a healthier way is fasting.
This is not for everyone and you should definitely contact your primary care provider before doing it. But it does not have the same impact on your metabolism as an extremely low calorie diet like the egg diet.
The best option for most people is finding a diet plan that helps them lose weight at a healthy rate instead of going on crash diet after crash diet.