Eating eggs to lose weight sounds weird, right? Yet many people are finding that the boiled egg diet is the perfect solution to their short-term weight loss goals.
Some users claim to lose up to 20 pounds in 2 weeks or less! Now that’s some motivation that will send you straight to the store for a fresh carton of eggs.
Before you do, though, you should know the diet is a bit more complicated than just eating boiled eggs. You still need to eat a balanced diet, even when you’re trying to lose weight, and while eggs contain tons of healthy protein, minerals, and vitamins, they can’t provide for all your nutritional needs on their own.
Like any diet plan, getting the most out of the boiled egg diet starts with knowing what, when, and how much to eat–and it helps to know why it works, too.
This article will help you learn everything you need to know about the boiled egg diet, what’s so great about eggs, how to analyze the boiled egg diet, the results you can expect and how to get actual weight loss results. You’ll even learn some tried and true weight loss tips!
What is the Boiled Egg Diet?
The boiled egg diet is a diet based on eating boiled eggs, usually around 2-4 eggs per day. There are several variations of the boiled egg diet out there. The typical form is similar to the Atkins low-carb program. It calls for eating two eggs and a piece of fruit for breakfast. For lunch, eat an egg and low-carb vegetables, and do the same for dinner.
Generally, the boiled egg diet falls into the category of calorie-restrictive diet plans. By replacing other proteins with eggs, you’re eliminating a lot of the calories and fat associated with proteins like beef and pork. In other words, this is a diet for people that like eggs a lot. If you don’t, this diet may not be for you.
Keep in mind that eating eggs isn’t the only reason this diet can work. In many forms, the egg diet also cuts out most carbs and starches, and restricts snacking between meals. Making those changes can promote weight loss even if you don’t eat eggs.
Why Are Eggs So Great for Weight Loss?
Concerned about cholesterol? Don’t be—unless you struggle with high cholesterol, this short-term egg diet is unlikely to make a difference, especially if you’re eating other foods as well!
Likewise, more recent research has shown that our blood cholesterol is not affected by the cholesterol in our food choices. It is the saturated fats and trans fats we consume that affect blood cholesterol.
Nutritionally, eggs are hard to beat. In just 75 calories on average per egg, you’ll get 7 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and plenty of vitamins, carotenoids, and minerals (1).
Compared to other proteins, eggs take the cake in terms of biological value. The biological value of proteins is a measurement of a food’s digestibility and availability of its protein.
When a food has a similar amino acid profile to our own bodies, it has a higher biological value.
Such proteins are also called “complete proteins” or “high quality protein.” Most animal and soy products are known as complete proteins.
When we compare all of the protein sources, however, the egg has the highest biological value of them all! In the most basic sense, nearly all of the protein you consume from the boiled egg diet is getting digested into your body.
Hard Boiled Egg Nutrition Content
An egg has about 75 calories and 13 different vitamins and minerals. There is a whopping 7 grams of protein in a hard boiled egg, and the low-calorie option is perfect for weight loss.
Eggs contain vitamin D, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and essential amino acids. Eggs also contain 15% of your daily riboflavin intake and also include folate, iron, vitamin B6, and zinc.
Main Components of the Boiled Egg Diet
The main draw to this boiled egg diet is that it’s a high protein, low-carb and low-calorie diet. While there are no universal guidelines, there are some dieting trends from source to source.
Let’s take a look at the main components of the boiled egg diet. From there, we will show you how to take the best parts of this boiled egg diet and make it better for you to get long-term, successful weight loss.
What You Can Eat
The boiled egg diet promotes high consumption of lean proteins. Lean proteins include:
- Lean fish
Per the guidelines, dieters are to start the day with boiled eggs and then consume eggs or other lean proteins for lunch and dinner. As a side to your meals, include “low carb” fruits and vegetables such as:
- Green leafies
What You Can’t Eat
As you may have guessed, the boiled egg diet is highly restrictive. It aims to cut calories and eliminates many different foods. Here is a list of foods that are to be excluded from the diet:
- Junk food
- Sugary drinks (i.e. soda, juice, sports drinks)
- Fried foods
- Fatty meats (i.e. red meat, pork, fatty fish)
- Foods with “processed sugars
How the Boiled Egg Diet is Structured
The idea of the boiled egg diet is that it is meant to be short term. Over a span of two weeks on the diet, the dieter may lose lots of weight very quickly. If you take a look at how the diet is structured, perhaps you can see why people may be losing weight within two weeks with this egg diet:
- You can only consume three meals per day.
- Snacks are not allowed.
- You must only consume calorie-free beverages (i.e. water).
- Meals consist of a lean protein + vegetables and/or fruit.
Follow this for two weeks for weight loss. Once the boiled egg diet is complete, however, a normal diet can be resumed. Sounds super easy, right? Check out the Dietitian’s thoughts about this egg diet and how you can pull the most effective parts of this egg diet to work for you.
The Dietitian’s Analysis of the Boiled Egg Diet: Make it Better for You
When it comes to any diet craze, chances are: If it sounds too easy or too good to be true, it probably is! One thing to remember is that any extreme fad diet can make you lose weight quickly. The real struggle is keeping the weight off.
As mentioned earlier, eating eggs is a great way to get good quality protein for minimal calories. This is perfect for weight loss! In one study, those who ate a low-calorie diet and eggs for breakfast lost more weight than those who also followed a low-calorie diet, but ate bagels for breakfast.
Also, clear cut guidelines like “no junk food” are helpful for people to get started on a weight loss eating plan.
Since this diet tells you to limit junk food, alcohol, sugar-sweetened beverages and the like, you will probably drastically decrease your calorie intake when you stop eating those foods. Decreases in calorie intake help with weight loss.
This part may be the most difficult for some, but keep in mind that this diet is a short-term thing. However, it may be just the kickstart you need to start eating better.
Another pro to the boiled egg diet is that it promotes consumption of vegetables and fruit at every meal. Aside from these foods being lower in calories, fruits and vegetables provide fiber, water, vitamins and minerals. All of those components are part of a healthy diet.
Extreme, short term diets rarely lead to sustainable weight loss (2). In fact, fad diets like the boiled egg diet can lead to yo-yo weight loss where you drop weight on the diet, only to gain the weight back once your diet goes back to normal. According to the research, yo-yo weight loss (aka “weight cycling“) can actually negatively impact your health!
While the boiled egg diet promotes consumption of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, cutting out entire categories of food is unsustainable for the long term. For long term compliance with healthy eating and weight loss, it is important to choose an eating pattern that incorporates all foods. A healthy eating pattern allows for occasional consumption of your favorite treats.
Another con to consider is how the boiled egg diet is structured. Since the dieter is only allowed to consume three meals per day, they run the risk of being left hungry.
Regardless if you are trying to lose weight, excessive hunger will not help you solve your weight loss problem! Not only is excessive hunger an indication that we are not eating enough calories, it will also make us want to “binge” at our next meal, leading to more calories consumed at that meal.
How to Change the Boiled Egg Diet to Your Advantage
Now that you understand the pros and cons to the boiled egg diet, you can pull the best practices and use them to your advantage. Here are some tips you can do to ace the system and lose weight that will last:
Restructure Your Plate
Use the hard boiled egg diet eating plan as motivation! By making a few dietary changes, you can have a healthy plate that promotes weight loss:
- Lean Protein: Choose eggs, lean poultry, beans/legumes, textured vegetable protein, and lowfat or nonfat milk, yogurt, and cheese. These give you lots of protein for less calories.
- Fill your Plate with Fruits and Veggies: Choose colorful vegetables to be the main part of your meal! Filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruit can help you keep your calories in check. Note: This does not include corn, potatoes and peas.
- Choose Complex Carbs: Keep yourself satisfied and healthy by including one serving of starches or grains at each meal. Carbs give us essential energy to feel good and get active. Add a serving of whole grains, potatoes, corn or peas to the meal.
Cut Down on Junk Food
The boiled egg diet targets several types of foods that should be decreased in the diet. Whether you are trying to lose weight and/or eat healthier, limit consumption of these foods to every once in a while:
- Honor the Alcohol Recommendations: Alcoholic beverages are often loaded with calories, so treat them like a dessert. Limit alcohol consumption to at most 200 calories per day. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women should limit alcohol to one drink per day. For men, limit alcohol to two drinks per day.
- Choose Nutrient-Rich Snacks and Desserts: Make easy switches in your snacks and desserts to promote health and weight loss. Choose Greek yogurt instead of ice cream for added protein. For cutting down on calories, choose plain, air-popped popcorn instead of chips.
- Don’t Drink Your Calories: We can get lots of sugar, calories and/or fat from certain drinks. Choose low-calorie or non-calorie beverages like water or sparkling water. Flavor your beverages with citrus or low-calorie sweeteners like Stur droplets. If you consume loaded coffee drinks, decrease or omit the cream, sugar, syrups and toppings.
Get the Most out of Your Eggs
Still excited to try adding more eggs into your diet? Know the different types of eggs out there! Contrary to what many sites and people suggest, the health of the hens that your eggs come from is important. You can choose to purchase healthier eggs. How?
- Purchase Local: If you want to help the environment and help your community farmers, choose local eggs! Buying at a local market can help you determine where and how the hens live. Knowing this can help you determine the overall quality of their eggs.
- Look for Omega-3s: Certain egg brands have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. This is achieved when the hens are fed flaxseed, which is rich in omega-3s, and the nutrition is transferred to the yolk. Organic, vegetarian and nutrient-enhanced eggs will typically include higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and may also feature lesser amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol than conventional eggs (1). Eggland’s Best is one brand that has higher omega-3 amounts in their eggs.
- Consider Ethics: The hens that lay eggs can come from a variety of different environments. Some hens are kept “cage-free” or “free-range” so do your research on specific egg brands if chicken ethics are important to you. You may find out that some of these claims are not completely what they seem.
For more information on food labeling and facts, visit the USDA Website. If you are interested in egg-specific labeling guidelines, click here.
Application of Dietary Practices for Weight Loss
As mentioned before, you should not rely solely on any one food for your nutrition. Our bodies need different types of food in order to maintain optimal wellness. Extreme versions of the boiled egg diet are restrictive and only allow dieters to eat boiled eggs and water. However, this is dangerous and unnecessary. Include a variety of key foods and use the information in the “How to Change the Boiled Egg Diet to Your Advantage” section above.
Egg Diet Plan: Sample Meal Plan for Weight Loss
We take the better parts of the boiled egg diet and make it healthier (and more sustainable). Try this egg diet plan today! If you want a completely individualized meal plan, consult a Registered Dietitian.
Other Diet Tips For Weight Loss
Use Veggies to Your Advantage
With the exception of potatoes, corn and peas, low-carb veggies such as lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, kale, cauliflower, peppers, and eggplant are low-calorie foods that can help you bulk up your meals. Pile these veggies on your plate to keep you full for minimal calories.
Drink Your Water
It’s also very important to drink plenty of water as you optimize your protein and fiber intake during the boiled egg diet. For those who normally don’t consume lots of fruits and vegetables, add them slowly and stay hydrated to avoid constipation.
Also, if you are starting to increase your protein intake, hydration is key. This is because high levels of protein can also constipate you or be taxing on your major organs. Above all, water is essential for any weight loss strategy. Water helps to flush out your kidneys, keeps you full and keeps your skin and brain healthy.
You should aim to get at least 9-13 cups of water a day depending on your size and activity level. A person who exercises or has a high activity level will need to consume more water than people who tend to be more sedentary. There are water calculators online that can help you determine how much water you should be drinking.
Oftentimes people think they’re hungry when really their brain is telling them that they are thirsty. Before reaching for food, drink a glass of water. This will help you to feel full and more accurately determine how much food you need to consume to satisfy your hunger. Dehydration can cause you to overeat!
Be sure to listen to your body and it will likely let you know when you are thirsty. Also, reach for water before any other drink, so you can make sure you are able to process the protein levels you are eating, instead of it causing you intestinal issues.
Practice Calorie Control
When trying to lose weight, calorie control is a must. For specific recommendations, see a Registered Dietitian. However, according to Harvard Medical School, women should not consume fewer than 1200 calories per day and men no fewer than 1500 calories per day (3). Consuming less than these thresholds could deprive you from essential nutrients. Nowadays, there are many apps to help you track your food intake and learn about the calorie content of food.
Learn About Portion Size
Portion sizes of foods can help you know if you are eating too much or too little of a certain food item. Use portion size to check yourself and as means to make changes to your diet. Portion sizes are generally compared to regular household items for easy visualization. Check out a great portion size guide here.
Know Some Easy Weight Loss Hacks
Who doesn’t like to be told some tips for success? Here are some tried and true ways to cut down on calories.
- Instead of two slices of bread for a sandwich, use one slice for an open-faced sandwich
- Swap bread with a lettuce wrap or small tortilla
- Swap conventional rice for cauliflower rice
- Instead of candy or sweets, have fresh fruit
- Instead of wheat pasta, try veggie noodles or bean pasta
- Instead of soda, try seltzer water with non-caloric flavoring (i.e. citrus)
- Instead of ice cream, choose protein-packed Greek yogurt
- When consuming greasy food (i.e. pizza), take a napkin and soak off the grease
These simple switches can really reduce the number of calories you consume. Try to implement 1 to 2 of these hacks today.
Eggscellent Ways to Make Eggs (Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs)
Ever hard boil eggs and gotten frustrated because the shell sticks to the egg? You’re not alone. Don’t waste your eggs—especially if you’ve splurged on the omega-3-rich eggs. We have some tips on how you can hard boil eggs and make them perfect right at home.
When you return to peel the eggs, the shell will come right off—leaving you with no wasted eggs and perfectly hard boiled eggs every time!
Change It Up
To shake things up, here are some other things you can do with your hard boiled eggs:
- Chop up and use as a salad topping
- Mash up and put on toast or on a sandwich
- Dice up to use egg salad or pasta dishes
- Finely chop and throw over fresh or cooked vegetables
- Add to rice, quinoa, or couscous
Can I Cook the Eggs Other Ways?
Yes! You can absolutely cook your eggs in other ways. Here are a few methods you might consider:
Regardless of how an egg is prepared, always remember that method of cooking and added ingredients will all play into the calorie count of the meal. Controlling portions will help you enjoy all types of eggs while trying to lose weight.
Spice Up Your Eggs
Eating a hard boiled egg by itself gets pretty old. Here are some yummy suggestions to add to your eggs:
- Mustard (especially coarsely ground mustard or Dijon mustard)
- Salt and pepper
- Tamari or soy sauce
- Hot sauce
Even though eggs are great, they can get boring! Keep your diet varied and well-rounded so that you can stick to your eating plan for the long term.
The Bottom Line on the Boiled Egg Diet
As we have discussed, the boiled egg diet has become a popular weight loss fad that is restrictive and not sustainable for the long term. Now that you know the Dietitian’s analysis of the diet, you have the tools you need to create a better and more sustainable weight loss plan.
When it comes to long term and sustainable weight loss, choose an eating pattern that emphasizes healthy foods, controls calories and is non-restrictive.
- Zelman, Kathleen M. MPH/RD/LD. Good Eggs: For Nutrition, They’re Hard to Beat. Nourish by WebMD.
- Obert, Jonathan et. al. Popular Weight Loss Strategies: a Review of Four Weight Loss Techniques. Nutrition and Obesity, 9 November 2017.
- Calorie Counting Made Easy. Harvard Health Publishing, 11 July 2020.
- The Skinny on Fats. American Heart Association, 11 November 2020.
- JS Vander Wal, et. al. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. HHS Public Access, 5 August 2008.