Eggs have been associated with a variety of health claims over the years, including increased energy levels, fighting allergies, and even reducing cholesterol. The egg diet takes these benefits a step further by linking them to weight loss.
The idea behind the egg diet is simple: eating mostly eggs every day will help one to lose weight. The underlying theory is that if you’re in a calorie deficit for long enough you’ll see significant changes on your scale. In reality though, this diet is ineffective and likely to result in malnutrition and other health issues.
How It Works: The Science Behind The 10-Day Egg Diet
The Egg Diet is primarily based on eating as many eggs as possible, together with a variety of vegetables and other low-calorie foods consumed during the day. Some people also add additional protein so that they are consuming one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight each day, while others prefer to eat larger amounts of eggs instead.
Eggs are a nutrient-dense food that’s packed full of protein, vitamins, and minerals (6). By itself, it’s unlikely to lead to weight loss, but the theory behind this diet states that you need to eat only eggs every day for 10 days in order to lose weight.
The reasoning here is simple: the egg diet leaves you with a very limited number of food options. Without many fruits, vegetables, or grains to choose from, the majority of the energy your body receives comes from eggs. Since calories in and calories out determine weight loss over time (if you eat fewer calories than your body uses you’ll lose weight), eliminating other food groups leads to consuming fewer calories overall (7). Any variation could potentially cause a person to accidentally consume more calories than they need and negate the results of this diet.
Will Eating Eggs For 10 Days Actually Help You Lose Weight?
You may be skeptical about whether or not this diet can help with weight loss, but surprisingly there’s some science to support aspects of it. High-protein diets have been found to be more effective at helping people lose weight than low-protein ones (3). The reason for this is simple: high protein meals help you feel fuller and therefore tend to reduce the amount you eat at subsequent meals over time.
The most popular form of this diet restricts your caloric intake to about 500 calories per day, but many others suggest diets with even fewer calories. If done this way, many report losing more than 10 lbs. of weight in the first week, and more than 30 lbs. for an entire 28 day cycle (12).
However, there’s a catch: this diet can only provide significant results when certain conditions are met. First, eating only eggs isn’t likely to meet your nutritional needs because they’re deficient in important nutrients like selenium, zinc, vitamin A or vitamin D (6).
Second, you need to be in a modest calorie deficit of 500–1000 calories per day for six weeks (or longer) before you start seeing substantial changes on the scale. Eating fewer calories than this and you’ll also likely see reductions in your muscle mass, as well as risk dangerous side effects of malnutrition (1). No one should be consuming fewer than 1200 calories per day without medical supervision.
Of course, eating an entire carton of eggs at once is likely to produce side effects including nausea and indigestion (2). That’s why most people recommend that you start your egg diet with only two or three whole eggs on the first day and work your way up to six whole eggs each day over the next week.
But even if you follow these guidelines for consuming more eggs per day, the restrictive nature of this diet means that it isn’t a viable long-term weight loss solution. Any weight lost in the short term is likely to be regained, and the diet isn’t safe to follow for very long.
Finally, when you’re following this diet it’s important to remember that eggs do contain some saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to cardiovascular risk factors such as blood lipid levels when regularly consumed in excessive amounts. While roughly one egg per day isn’t associated with increased risk for heart disease, this diet involves eating many more than that(4).
Finally, sticking to an egg-only diet is unrealistic for most people because most people won’t be able to maintain such a restrictive eating plan for extended periods of time.
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Are Eggs Bad For You? Downsides Of The Diet
If you do choose to try this diet, here are some things to think about before starting out: This diet is not evidence-based or recommended by any official organization (such as the American Dietetic Association) because it’s highly restrictive and therefore unlikely to be sustainable long-term.
If you’re following this diet it’s possible that it will help you lose weight in the short-term, but there are many risks associated with it as well.
Eggs are fairly nutrient-dense, but they don’t provide enough of the essential nutrients you need to thrive (5). By eating only eggs every day for weeks at a time you’re not getting all the nutrients you need, so malnutrition can occur if you don’t eat other foods alongside them.
Not Enough Dietary Fiber
Eggs contain less than 0.75g dietary fiber (5). Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, have a variety of benefits including help with weight loss and lowering your risk of heart disease. A lack of fiber can lead to constipation, which can be dangerous over time (especially for older people) (8).
There are numerous nutritional benefits associated with eating only eggs; however, some concerns have been raised regarding the amount of cholesterol-raising saturated fat consumed on this diet. Depending on your own health status, you may want to consult with a physician before embarking on an all-eggs diet as there are some known risks associated with consuming too much cholesterol and saturated fat.
Studies have shown that eating too much saturated fat can increase your risk for heart disease (9). While the egg diet doesn’t specify the number of eggs you eat, it does make them the only significant part of your diet.
Potential Gut Issues
Eating only one food is likely to contribute to changes in your gut microbiome (the bacteria in your digestive tract) and leave you with indigestion or diarrhea (13).
Risks Posed By Undercooked Egg
Eggs are an animal product, which means they have a high likelihood of carrying bacteria that can cause salmonella poisoning. If you’re going to eat eggs as part of your diet, you should cook them completely (11).
Overeating undercooked eggs can cause symptoms of food poisoning. One bacteria “Salmonella enteritidis” is commonly found in raw chicken, but it’s also in the yolks of eggs (11).
The Bottom Line
Despite its potential weight-loss benefits, this 10 day boiled egg diet isn’t right for everyone. First, it implies that you can only lose weight if you’re eating less than 1000 calories per day, which could be detrimental to your health. Second, any weight loss you do experience is likely temporary. You will probably gain it back as soon as you stop the diet.
If you’re thinking about trying the egg diet, it’s important that you understand all of these drawbacks and what they might mean for your health in order to make an educated decision. Ultimately, a better idea than the egg diet is following a balanced (and healthy) eating plan with regular exercise so you can reach your goals without putting yourself at risk of getting sick or developing more serious medical conditions. As always, speak to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Calorie counting made easy (2020, harvard.edu)
- Can Eating Eggs Make You Nauseous? (2021, medicinenet.com)
- Effects of a High-Protein Diet Including Whole Eggs on Muscle Composition and Indices of Cardiometabolic Health and Systemic Inflammation in Older Adults with Overweight or Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2018, nih.gov)
- Egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study and meta-analyses (2019, pubmed.gov)
- Eggs, Grade A, Large, egg whole (2019, usda.gov)
- Eggs (n.d., harvard.edu)
- Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (2007, nih.gov)
- Health Benefits of Fruits and vegetables (2012, nih.gov)
- High Cholesterol (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- How Many Calories Do You Need? (n.d., checkyourhealth.org)
- Salmonella and Eggs (2021, cdc.gov)
- THE HARD BOILED EGG DIET (n.d., ncegg.org)
- The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human Health (2015, nih.gov)