The egg fast is a version of the ketogenic diet. It suggests that people follow an egg-based diet for a few days to kick-start weight loss or overcome a weight loss plateau.
There are lots of guides to the egg fast, or boiled egg diet, on the internet.
However, there is no scientific evidence to support the egg fast as a healthy diet for sustainable weight loss and overall nutrition.
This article will explain what the egg fast is and look at the possible benefits and risks of following it.
The egg fast is a version of the ketogenic diet. Some people call it the boiled egg diet.
The ketogenic, or keto diet, is low in carbohydrates, moderate in proteins, and high in fats.
It works by changing the way the body fuels itself. Ordinarily, the sugars, or glucose, in carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source.
With fewer carbohydrates, the body does not have enough glucose for all its energy needs. Instead, it releases ketones from stored fats. Experts call this state ketosis. Ketosis is a kind of partial fast.
The keto diet is not new. People have used it to manage epilepsy for some time. Recently, however, the diet has become more widely popular.
The egg fast is a type of keto diet. Some people use it for a few days before moving onto the keto diet. Others say they use it to overcome stalled or plateaued weight loss.
Different diet websites and publications have different versions of the plan. Most focus on eating an egg-based diet that includes cheese and healthy fats but excludes carbohydrates, including fruits and vegetables.
There is currently no scientific backing for the egg fast diet.
Lots of different versions of the egg fast diet plan are available online. Most advise people to follow the plan for just a few days, usually between 2 and 5.
Common rules include:
- Eat at least six whole eggs every day.
- Eat an egg-based meal within half an hour of waking up.
- Eat an egg-based meal every three to five hours, even if not hungry.
- Eat 15 grams (g) (1 tablespoon) of butter or healthy fat per egg.
- Eat up to 1 ounce (28 g) of full-fat cheese per egg.
It is important to remember that doctors have not studied the egg fast diet or its impact on the body.
The egg fast diet does not contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs. Most experts say that the best way to lose weight is by staying active and following a balanced, healthy diet.
Doctors have not studied the egg fast diet, so it is hard to talk about its benefits. Scientists have, however, looked at the ketogenic diet.
Researchers have found that the diet can help people to lose weight, at least in the short term. The benefits of losing weight include:
- lower blood pressure
- lower cholesterol
- higher insulin sensitivity — this means the body is better able to use insulin to control its blood sugar levels
Following a keto diet may be useful for people with certain health conditions. Doctors have recommended it to people with epilepsy, for example, for decades.
Researchers are now looking at whether the diet might prove helpful in managing a variety of health conditions, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Experts are not yet sure of the answer.
People with some health conditions should avoid following a keto diet altogether. These include:
- pancreatic disease
- liver conditions
- thyroid problems
- eating disorders or a history of eating disorders
- gallbladder disease
It is also worth noting that there are a range of possible short-term and long-term risks to keto diets, including the egg fast.
In the short term, people who follow a keto diet may experience:
- flu-like symptoms
- upset stomach
- trouble sleeping
Over time, they may develop kidney stones, liver disease, or both.
The keto diet restricts fruit and vegetables because they are high in carbohydrates. This can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
It is also high in fat. Eating high amounts of saturated fats can increase the likelihood of developing serious health conditions such as heart disease.
In addition, keto diets and egg fasts are restrictive diets, which may make them harder to stick to for some people.
While people may lose weight in the short term, they often put it back on again afterward.
Lots of different egg fast diet plans exist. Different diet websites and publications list different rules and recipes.
The egg fast diet may aid weight loss in the short term.
However, people are likely to put it back on again afterward.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), losing weight gradually is the best way to keep it off.
People should aim to lose 1–2 pounds per week by adopting an ongoing, healthy lifestyle that includes:
- staying active
- eating a healthy, balanced diet that is low in saturated fat and high in fruit and vegetables
- getting enough sleep
- controlling their stress levels
The egg fast is a version of the ketogenic diet. Some people with epilepsy have used the ketogenic diet to manage their condition for many years.
The low carbohydrate eating plan deprives the body of dietary carbohydrates, its main energy source. This forces the body to rely on stored fat and ketones instead.
During an egg fast, the person eats only eggs, cheese, and healthy fats.
An egg fast usually only lasts a few days. Scientists have not studied the impact of an egg fast on the body.
Ketogenic diets in general can have several possible short-term and long-term side effects. These range from upset stomachs and dizziness, to kidney and liver problems, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
According to the CDC, the best way to lose weight is gradually, using a combination of physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet.