Eggs are a dieter’s dream. A hardboiled egg just has 80 calories, but is one of the best sources of protein – it is, in fact, the “gold standard” by which other protein sources are measured (American Egg Board).
It also has brain nutrients like choline and DHA, essential nutrients like iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and zinc. It also contains antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help prevent muscle degeneration. They’re a nutritional powerhouse!
That’s why nearly every healthy high protein, low carb diet recommends adding eggs to the menu: you get the energy and nutrients to fuel your day, without flooding your body with unhealthy sugars and fats.
Even fitness trainers say that a boiled egg is the best pre-workout or post work-out snack. You’re not hungry, but you don’t feel bloated or heavy and eggs are more natural and cheaper than a fancy energy bar!
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But can you build an entire diet and weight loss program just around eating eggs?
Charles Saatchi, the advertising mogul and husband of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, lost 60 pounds by eating nothing but eggs for nine months. “He ate three eggs for breakfast, three eggs for lunch, and three eggs for supper,” Nigella said in an interview with The Daily Mail. “Now he’s thinner than me!”
Actor Adrian Brody also prepared for his role in The Pianist by eating a modified Egg Diet, taking it for breakfast and eating small portions of grilled fish or chicken and steamed vegetables for the rest of the day. Nicole Kidman also lost several pounds for The Cold Mountain by having one hardboiled egg for breakfast and three for dinner.
How safe and effective is The Egg Diet, and how does it compare to the other diets that promise both good nutrition and weight loss? Read this article to find out more.
The Traditional Egg Diet
The original and safest version of the Egg Diet doesn’t involve eating just eggs. Instead, it minimizes carbohydrate intake and focuses on getting healthy fats and lean protein. It is considered very similar to the Atkins diet and combines eggs with low carbohydrate vegetables or leafy vegetables.
You can also substitute another lean protein like grilled fish or chicken every few days. The most important thing to remember is that you get the majority of your protein from eggs – any meats are considered a treat or a very minimal ingredient in an egg dish (such as a chicken and egg salad).
A more extreme version of the Egg Diet, which uses just eggs, has been circulating the Internet. This is considered a fad diet and dangerous to do for extended periods of time. While eggs are a nutritional superfood, no single ingredient contains all the nutrients you need. Eggs don’t have fiber and aren’t the best source of vitamin C.
The original or traditional Egg Diet is the best model to follow. You’ll still lose a good amount of weight, get all the nutrients, and avoid possible health complications. Doctors and nutritionists also say that this moderate and balanced approach that includes foods from every food group will help you keep the weight off longer. You’re less likely to “cheat” or feel depressed or demoralized because of lack of variety.
The Egg Diet and Cholesterol
Some people are concerned about egg’s cholesterol content and its effect on heart disease, but according to the Australian Heart Association, the cholesterol in eggs has a negligible effect on blood cholesterol levels. The fears over egg and its effects on heart disease were largely based on how people cook and serve eggs for example, fried eggs with bacon or heaping piles of sausages. These ingredients and side dishes are high in transfat and saturated fat and are more likely to hurt your body than the egg itself.
There are some people who are more sensitive to cholesterol or have medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes that should control weekly egg intake. They may take the Egg Diet, but with the approval and supervision of their doctors.
If you are concerned about cholesterol, alternate whole eggs with just using the egg whites (which just have 15 calories and zero cholesterol and saturated fat). Also, use reduced-fat milk or minimal butter when you’re cooking your eggs. Avoid salt, and season eggs with herbs instead.
The Benefits of the Egg Diet
- Nutritionally balanced. Many crash diets only lead to weight loss because of the severe calorie deficit. However, these only work short-term: you will feel so weak, dizzy and deprived of basic nutrients that you won’t be able to function normally. The Egg Diet ensures that you have protein, healthy fats, and thanks to the inclusion of vegetables, enough vitamins and minerals, and fiber. You feel full, mentally alert, and energetic.
- Never boring! Eggs are very versatile! There are also hundreds of ways to cook it: scrambled, poached, beaten into a soup, baked into a frittata, simmered in sauces like curry or soy, or mixed with anything from cheese to leftover chicken to make different kinds of omelets. You could eat an egg a day for the rest of the year, and not repeat a recipe.
- Eggs are easy to find and can be stored in the refrigerator for days. It takes less time to boil an egg or scramble it than to call for takeout. Even if you’re very busy or tired, you can whip up a meal in minutes. If you’re the only member in the house who’s on the Egg Diet – as if often the case for moms — it won’t take much effort to make yourself an egg dish aside from the main meal you’re preparing for your family.
- Eggs are cheaper than other meats and protein sources. And unlike other diets that involve buying special flours, hard-to-find alternatives, or branded shakes, all you need to do is get a tray of eggs from your supermarket. All other ingredients can be found in your pantry.
7 Day Egg Diet Meal Plan
Want to try the Egg Diet? Try this simple menu. Feel free to switch around meals, or make your own substitutions based on what is in season or available in your local markets. For weight loss, be sure to monitor portions based on your recommended calorie intake (which varies according to your age, height, activity level, and fitness goals).
- Breakfast: Poached egg, 1 slice rye or seed bread, ¼ small avocado with tomato slices
- Lunch: Boiled egg, orange slices
- Dinner: Caesar salad with boiled egg and roast chicken slices
- Breakfast: Hardboiled egg, 1 grapefruit, black coffee
- Lunch: Hardboiled egg and vegetable curry, 1 banana
- Dinner: Scrambled egg whites, smoked salmon salad
- Breakfast: Egg and tomato omelet, green smoothie
- Lunch: Egg and mayonnaise salad on wholewheat toast, cucumber salad
- Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, egg drop soup
- Breakfast: Sunny side up, 1 slice of multigrain bread, grapefruit
- Lunch: Turkey ham omelet, Greek salad
- Dinner: Boiled egg, mixed greens with Italian dressing
- Breakfast: Egg white omelet, green smoothie
- Lunch: Grilled chicken with chimichurri sauce, banana
- Dinner: Baked eggs in tomato sauce, kale or spinach salad
- Breakfast: Egg salad, 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 small fruit
- Lunch: Boiled egg, Asian salad with mandarin slices and Italian dressing
- Dinner: Chicken and egg adobo, clear broth soup
- Breakfast: Egg and avocado on toast, green smoothie
- Lunch: Boiled egg, vegetable sticks and hummus dressing, banana
- Dinner: Grilled fish, mixed greens with strawberry balsamic dressing, fruit
Egg Diet Side Effects and Results
The Egg Diet should have no negative side effects since you meet the calorie and nutritional requirements of every meal. Just make sure to avoid “hidden” fats, cholesterol and calories when you prepare your meals. For example, if you cook eggs in a lot of cheese and butter and serving it on a high-fat bagel (a breakfast that is easily more than 400 calories) then you’re not going to lose any weight.
For fast weight loss, then you should stick to the most basic way of cooking the eggs: boiled, or scrambled with minimal oil. You can use egg whites, or combine one whole egg with egg whites for heartier but low-calorie omelet. However, most people get tired of eating just this and will serve eggs in different ways for variety. That works, too – your weight loss may be slower, but you’ll be enjoying your diet and feel healthy but not deprived.
Most people who have successfully lost weight on the Egg Diet give these tips:
- Pre-prepare your ingredients (chopped vegetables, minced chicken, chopped ham).
- Don’t be afraid to try new flavors or borrow from different cuisines. Many cultures use egg as the main ingredient but prepare it with new spices or sauces.
- Whisk the egg and add to broths for a healthy, low-fat way of making a creamy soup.
- Don’t forget your greens! You need the fiber to avoid constipation and other digestion problems.
The Egg Diet is a great way to losing weight but still have enough energy to work, flavor variety to enjoy your meals, and nutrition to feel strong and look great. Try the Egg Diet and share your stories with us!