The egg diet was first popularized by film actor Adrian Brody to get to his skinny frame he needed for his role in the film The Pianist. He used the egg diet as a way to quickly lose a few pounds in a short amount of time.
Even though it was created as a shortcut to quickly see some results, only to go back to your old diet after achieving your goal weight, the egg diet has since been evolved into a few more sustainable variants that you may actually stick to for a while, or even the rest of your life.
So what variants does the egg diet have? Is it healthy and sustainable for the long term? And does it really allow for the rapid weight loss that it is adverted for?
What Is The Egg Diet?
The egg diet is a way of eating that mainly revolves around eating eggs as your source of nutrients. While eggs offer a very attractive nutritional profile that benefits your health as a whole. However, basing your entire diet on a single food will cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, let alone the mental taxation of only eating eggs while you are already providing your body with so few calories will set you up for health issues, as well as a drastic increase in the chance of indulging in unscheduled cheat meals.
The only similarity to the standard ketogenic diet is that they both tend to avoid carbohydrates to induce the metabolic state of ketosis, which will cause you to burn fat for fuel.
But they are not quite the same, the egg diet as Adrian Brody and other celebrities have practiced it not only comes with an absence of a lot of vegetables and fruit, but also severe calorie restrictions close to starvation level which I do not recommend you to do, sometimes going even as low as 800 calories on a day.
This will not only slow down(and destroy) your metabolism, which will cause you to gain back all the weight as soon as you go back to your old way of eating prior to starting the egg diet, it will inhibit your libido, strength in the gym, concentration and numerous other aspects of your health.
When coming off of a carbohydrate rich lifestyle – the egg diet, with its low carbohydrate content will very likely cause you to drop 10 pounds in a few days. Will this be fat mass? No. The bulk of the weight lost this way will mainly be water weight and stored muscle glycogen that you will burn through in the first week of depriving yourself of carbohydrates, along with the drastically impaired calorie intake that comes with the regular egg diet.
When you consume carbohydrates they are stored as muscle glycogen as a reserve for your body to burn through as a sort of short-term survival mechanism. Glycogen can rapidly be accessed by your body to tap in to when it requires energy.
Your body can store up to around 600 grams of carbohydrates, with each gram weighing 4 grams.
So when you stop consuming carbohydrates, glycogen stores will not be refilled and you will lose around 5 pounds of weight on glycogen alone, along with some subcutaneous water loss that comes when ceasing the consumption of carbohydrates, as well as some fat loss due to the limited calorie intake will allow you to drop 10 pounds in a week.
This is definitely not healthy and advisable, though.
The Egg Diet VS The Keto Diet
The primary difference in the keto diet and the egg diet is that the egg diet centers itself around a single source of food, being of course – eggs, and the keto diet around a macronutrient, being fat.
Obviously the food choices offer a lot more variety on the ketogenic diet. You will not suffer from vitamin, mineral & fiber deficiencies if you strategically put together your keto diet food list, as there are a lot of possibilities in combining healthy, nutritious whole food sources to make a diverse menu that is sustainable for the long haul.
Like on the egg diet – you will still benefit from the metabolic state of ketosis to burn fat fuel, but keto is simply very sustainable and delicious – while most people will burn out on eating only eggs after mere hours – to a couple of days.
The egg diet can only be classified as a crash diet that is in every way detrimental to your health. The bulk of the weight that you do lose won’t even be the love handles you want to get rid of.
Therefore it is far more sustainable & healthy to follow the keto diet on which you can still consume large amounts of eggs, to support your health and state of ketosis – but in conjunction with meats, low carb fruits, vegetables, some dairy, and some optional supplements like magnesium or fiber to aid your stool.
A sustainable and far more effective way to burn fat and still feel fit & energetic all day long.
Eggs And Cholesterol
Do you have to worry about taking in too much cholesterol when consuming large quantities of eggs? The answer to that question is no.
When you consume large amounts of cholesterol your body, or more specifically your liver, will down regulate its own production of this fat.
The same goes for when your consumption of cholesterol is low. Your body will then increase its own production to maintain healthy.
Are Eggs Healthy?
Yes! To start off with eggs are an excellent source of protein. Not only do they provide 7 grams of protein per egg, it also has a very diverse protein profile, meaning that you get a lot of the various amino acids that make up the entire protein macronutrient.
Proteins are the building blocks for our cells, cell membranes, organs and tissue to recover and strengthen themselves, among which is muscle tissue. Protein also up regulates your metabolism, which causes you to burn more body fat. An intake of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight results in 100 extra calories burnt per day(!) as opposed to someone who consumes only half a gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
Eggs also contain large quantities of vitamins and minerals- among which are: Vitamin A, B12, E Folic acid & vitamin D, Iron, Selenium & Zinc. Which are all micronutrients a lot of people are having deficiencies in, especially in the west.
Free range eggs are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that aid in supporting cardiovascular health, bone health, reduced inflammation, and curbing cravings which indirectly supports weight loss.
How do you feel eggs support your health?
Can A Diet Consist Of Only Eggs?
The short answer is yes, but it is far from optimal.
While eggs are extremely healthy and provide numerous benefits as a part of a diet, not one food alone simply cannot contain enough minerals & vitamins to support your metabolism and overall health to keep your body up and running. Not to mention the lack of fiber you will get upon solely consuming eggs.
Not only will you feel very fatigued, your metabolism will down regulate itself as a survival mechanism – in order to stay up and running. Especially when you also apply a hefty caloric deficit.
Psychologically it will take its toll as well. You will quickly get sick of eating eggs all day. Food is not only used as a way of supplying your body with nutrients, but it is meant to be enjoyed as well!
However, I do wholeheartedly recommend that you incorporate eggs into your diet, especially when following keto – as it is a brilliant source of nutrients. It simply does not provide the nutrients to keep your body running on just eggs. No single food is capable of that.
You don’t have to be shy with your egg consumption either. You can safely eat up to 4 eggs a day to optimize your health, and support your metabolic state of ketosis to continue losing weight by burning your own body fat as fuel.
The ketogenic diet, or lifestyle as I like to call it – will keep your health and metabolic processes optimized, and your health in check. With the right support of vegetables, salads, meats and fruits like the avocado you will nourish your body with the fiber, minerals & vitamins it needs to keep your body burning your own body fat as its fuel and your metabolism sky-high.
Not only does the keto diet win in terms of nutritional value and sustainability, it is also far more delicious and variable to experiment with various vegetables, meats, fruit and dairy. You can even create some sweet carbless desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth!
If you are not sure how to start out or if you have any questions, feel free to leave your questions in the comments below! I will be more than happy to help you out.