Nutrition

What Is The Egg Diet?

Plenty of people love to start their day off with an egg. Whether it’s scrambled, fried, or poached, when combined with a buttery slice of toast, it can feel like the perfect balance of protein and carbs to keep you going until lunch. It seems some people, however, have been taking their love for eggs to a completely different level by following an extreme diet where you could eat eggs for every meal. Sound crazy? Read on to find out if it is. 

 

What is the egg diet? 

The egg diet is a restrictive, low carb, shortterm diet. The egg diet can differ depending on how strict you want to be. There are three types of egg diet; it involves each meal containing egg or another source of lean protein alongside non-starchy vegetables. This in itself doesn’t sound too bad — after all, a lean source of protein plus some veggies isn’t too bad for us.  

 

How long does it last? 

How long it lasts will depend on which egg diets you choose. Theres a 3-day option and a 14 day one tooIn both options, the diet is low in calories, so it shouldn’t be followed for too long. The three-day diet is used mainly to break through any weight loss plateaus and shouldn’t be followed for any longer than that. Although the 14-day diet is slightly less restrictive, it t is recommended you don’t follow it for any longer than 2 weeks.  

 

What can you eat on the egg diet? 

On the 14-day diet you can eat eggs, lean protein sources like poultry, fish and lean cuts of beef, lamb and pork. You can also eat low carb fruits (1-2 portions a day) and non-starchy veg along with fat sources such as coconut oil, butter and mayonnaise – but only in small portions.  

On the 3-day diet plan you must eat a whole egg within 30 minutes of waking up, eat an egg based meal every 3-4 hours, consume 15g of butter or healthy fat with each egg and stop eating 3 hours prior to bed. Whilst more butter is allowed, on the primary aims is to create a state of ketosis – which requires less than 50g of carbohydrate a day so fruits should be limited.  

 

Can it help with weight loss? 

Due to amount of restrictions and low carbohydrate content, it will most likely create a calorie deficit – where you are expending more calories than you are taking in. This how every diet works for weight loss.  

Both 3-day and 14-day diet can be used to jump start any stalling progress or be used a way to introduce someone to ketogenic diet, which may be easier to adhere on a more long term basis.  

 

What are the benefits? 

High in protein  

 Due to the diet consisting mostly of eggs and meat the protein intake will be high. Evidence shows keeping your protein intake high whilst dieting can help to maintain your vitally important lean muscle mass.1  

 

It will provide short term weight loss

Due to the energy restriction its most likely you’ll be in an energy deficit whilst following the diet. This may help give you a kick start in for your health and weight management goals and provide motivation for sticking to healthier, more sustainable diet in the long term.  

 

Eggs are highly nutritious 

Eggs are not only a good protein source (typically containing 6g of protein per egg) there are also a great source of micronutrients such as magnesium, selenium, folate, vitamin D and vitamin A. 

 

Are there any side effects? 

Nutrient deficiencies 

Due to the restrictionyou might end up nutrient deficiencies. For example, grains and starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes are an important source of fibre, and micronutrients. The diet also restricts dairy, which is a great source of calcium.   

 

Low energy availability

The restrictive nature of the diet also means its low in calories. A low calorie diet will lead to low energy availability which may cause fatigue, reduced bone density (more of a risk if calcium intake is low), decreased athletic ability and even hair loss. On a long term basis, it may also lead to hormone disruption.2  

 

Egg diet FAQs: 

How much weight can you lose on an egg diet? 

According the author of the egg dietArielle Chandler, following the diet may help you lose 11kg in just two weeks. Whether this healthy is debateable. Furthermore, the weight lost mostly won’t all be fat. Due to the lack of carbohydrates on the diet, a lot of this weight will be water weight 

Can you do an egg diet for more than two weeks? 

Its not advisable to go for more than two weeks on a restrictive diet. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients to function properly and restricting a large amount of foods will result nutrient deficiencies.  

Additionally, low calorie diets will result in low energy availability which may result fatigue, disordered eating, hair loss, reduced bone density and low mood. On a long term basis eating such a low amount of calories may result in hormone disruption causing amenorrhea in females and low testosterone in males and an increased level of the stress hormone cortisol.2 

Long term energy restriction will also lead to a loss of lean muscle mass and a lower basal metabolic rate, which will make it harder to lose weight in the long term.  

 

Sample egg diet menu: 

Day 1 

  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg with spinach and tomatoes  
  • Snack: Handful of raspberries 
  • Lunch: Egg salad 
  • Snack: Handful strawberries 
  • Dinner: Chicken stir fry 

Day 2 

  • Breakfast: Omelette  
  • Snack: Handful of blueberries 
  • Lunch: Turkey and avocado salad 
  • Snack: Handful of blackberries 
  • Dinner: Pork chop with broccoli and cauliflower 

Day 3 

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices of ham, and asparagus 
  • Snack: Kiwi 
  • Lunch: Salmon salad 
  • Snack: Watermelon 
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with green beans and asparagus 

Day 4 

  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg and tomatoes  
  • Snack: Peaches 
  • Lunch: Lean steak salad 
  • Snack: Cantaloupe 
  • Dinner: Pork stir fry 

Day 5 

  • Breakfast: Omelette  
  • Snack: Handful of raspberries 
  • Lunch: Chicken and veg soup 
  • Snack: Handful of strawberries 
  • Dinner: Cod with green beans and broccoli 

Day 6 

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices of ham, spinach and tomatoes 
  • Snack: Handful of blueberries 
  • Lunch: Tuna and avocado salad 
  • Snack: Handful of blackberries 
  • Dinner: Steak, mushrooms and onions

Day 7 

  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg with spinach 
  • Snack: Peach 
  • Lunch: Ham and hard-boiled egg salad 
  • Snack: Handful of strawberries 
  • Dinner: Lamb chop with cauliflower and asparagus 

 

Take Home Message 

The egg diet is high in protein and low in calories. It may help provide short term weight loss but its not advisable to stick to on a long term basis. It’s very restrictive and may lead to nutrient deficiencies as well long term negative health outcomes.  

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.


1. Longland TM, Oikawa SY, Mitchell CJ, Devries MC, Phillips SM. Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):738-46. 

2. Mathisen TF, Heia J, Raustøl M, Sandeggen M, Fjellestad I, Sundgot-Borgen J. Physical health and symptoms of relative energy deficiency in female fitness athletes.Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2020;30(1):135-147. doi:10.1111/sms.13568 



Liam Agnew

Liam Agnew

Writer and expert

Liam is a certified sport nutritionist with the International Society of Sport Nutrition and is enrolled on the British Dietetics Association’s Sport and Exercise Nutrition register. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Sport and Exercise Science and is graduate of the ISSN Diploma in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition.

Liam is an experienced personal trainer, helping clients reach their health and fitness goals with practical, evidence informed exercise and nutrition advice. In his spare time Liam has competed in numerous powerlifting competitions and enjoys hill walking, football and expanding his recipe repertoire in the kitchen.

Find out more about Liam's experience here.


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