Egg Diet: 3 Versions Explained

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Egg Diet has become increasingly popular due to reports that some well-known people and celebrities have successfully lost weight by eating only eggs.

egg diet

Apparently Nigella Lawson’s husband Charles Saatchi, lost over sixty pounds by eating nine eggs a day for ten months.

There is also discussion that Adrian Brody lost 30 pounds in six weeks in preparation for his role in the Pianist by following the Egg Diet. He has since explained that he actually followed a variation of the diet where he ate…

  • Eggs for breakfast.
  • A small piece of grilled chicken for lunch.
  • A small piece of fish with steamed vegetables for dinner.

Egg Diet Basics

There are several versions of the Egg Diet that are circulating on the Internet. Here are three of the most popular including one that should be avoided due to its severe lack of nutrition.

Traditional Egg Diet

The most popular version of the diet does not actually consist of eating only eggs but it does involve getting the majority of your protein from eggs.

This diet is basically a variation on the Atkins diet where the focus is on restricting carbohydrate intake. In this version of the diet you eat….

  • Two or more eggs for breakfast along with, grapefruit, low carbohydrate vegetables or lean protein.
  • Lunch includes either another serving of eggs or a small portion of lean protein such as fish or chicken.
  • Dinner includes either another serving of eggs or a small portion of lean protein such as fish or chicken.

Salads and low carbohydrate vegetables are allowed as desired.

  • Fruits are generally limited to one to two serves daily.
  • Carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes are strictly limited.

Egg and Grapefruit Diet

eat only hardboiled eggs to lose weightAnother version of the diet is called the ‘Egg and Grapefruit Diet’ and this involves eating half a grapefruit with each meal.

The rest of the diet plan is very similar to that outlined above.

Extreme Egg Only Diet

The most extreme version of the diet involves eating only hard-boiled eggs and drinking water or crystal light drink mix for every meal.

Not only would dieters quickly grow tired of hardboiled eggs, they would quickly become malnurished, plus eggs have zero fiber which would lead to unhealthy bowel function.

This version should be avoided!

Recommended Foods

Eggs, lean protein, low carbohydrate vegetables, grapefruit, limited fruit, and zero calorie beverages like crystal light.

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast

2 boiled eggs
½ grapefruit

Lunch

Roast chicken without skin
Green Salad

Dinner

2 egg omelet with spinach and tomato

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is not a requirement for following this diet plan and most people will find it hard to exercise due to the low calorie and low carb nature of the egg diet plan.

Costs and Expenses

This is a relatively inexpensive diet plan and the only cost may be that your grocery bill is slightly increased due to the need to purchase extra lean proteins and fresh vegetables.

Egg Dieters would also be advised to buy high-quality free range and vegetarian fed eggs, which can also increase costs at the grocery store.

There are a few more structured egg diet plans available in book form and they range from $5-$10.

Click here to purchase this book for a discounted price (Amazon).
Click here to purchase this book for a discounted price (Amazon).

Pros

Cons

  • Not a healthy or balanced approach to eating.
  • Eliminates entire food groups and many vegetables.
  • Lack of carbohydrates will make it difficult to engage in strenuous physical activity.
  • Many people experience fatigue and nausea during the first few days of the diet as the body adapts to a reduced intake of carbohydrates.
  • Eating a lot of eggs can cause constipation, flatulence, and bad breath.
  • Dietary boredom may reduce ability to stick with the program.
  • Not sustainable as a lifestyle plan for healthy weight management.
  • Likely that any weight loss will be regained upon a return to normal eating.
  • Eggs are high in cholesterol but their is debate to their effect on blood cholesterol.

Just Another Fad Diet?

The Egg Diet is essentially a fad diet, especially the version that does not allow for nutritional variety. Although rapid weight loss will probably occur it is most likely that all of this weight will be regained upon the completion of the diet.

Obviously eating eggs alone is not a healthy way to lose weight and the extreme version of this diet is very dangerous for health. Dieters risk not only nutritional deficiency but also severe disruption to their health and well-being.

58 Comments

  1. Randy Gifford

    I just bought the Egg Stripper, peels 5 hard boiled eggs under 10 seconds.. Saw it on HSN>> I love hard boiled eggs!

    Reply
  2. Carla

    Being low carbs, can I eat Pig skins?

    Reply
    • Bob Hill

      I eat pig skins daily— use it like it ws bread which is not allowed on Low Carb—-it works—dont cheat—-low carb for life !!

      Reply
  3. melissa thompson

    if I go to the gym and burn 500-600 calories can I eat more food or not?

    Reply
  4. Clint

    Dietary cholesterol has no to little effect on serum cholesterol!
    Lean meat means a whole lot less flavor, I only eat fatty meats!
    I eat low-carb, I have never experienced fatigue, probably because I get all my energy from fat!
    One size doesn’t fit all, but this works for me!

    Reply
  5. Suz

    Been on the egg diet for 6 days. I have lost 9 bs. I find by adding lemon pepper to the eggs or tiger sauce makes the boiled eggs much easier to eat 6 a day. I also eat salad, steamed veggies,apples,cantaloupe, small amount of cottage cheese, melba toast, whole grain slice of toast, lean meat, avocado, small slice off a block of cheese , grapefruit juice, lots of water, diet coke,coffee and no sugar. Even though tiger sauce has minimal sugar it’s fine. I’ve even had a small triangle of chicken quesadilla with lettuce,pico and a small dab of sour cream and lost 2 lbs the next day. It may show up in a day or two, but as long as I’m losing, I’m winning. The first 3 days I had a headache and felt hungry. But when i would feel hungry I ate, but only enough to relieve the hunger. Usually an egg if it was not time for my usual meal. I have read it is good to only do this diet for two weeks at a time which is what I am planning to do. Off two eating healthy then back on the more strict diet above. Crossing my fingers I don’t gain it all back.

    Reply
    • Nancy

      Can you post exact diet/food your eating that’s great you’ve almost weight

      Reply
  6. Ellen

    What is the difference in steamed chicken and cooked chicken? Does it really matter on the diet?

    Reply
    • Ted

      You just have to cook the chicken with no oils.

      Reply
  7. Astrid

    I’m starting this diet today, I had two eggs this morning with orange juice I don’t know if I’m suppose to drink orange juice or just water with it? How is the best way to follow this diet to get results? Also does somebody knows if this is healthy for a person without a gallbladder?? Help please

    Reply
    • Rebeccs

      No orange juice. I have no gallbladder and I have no issues with this diet

      Reply
  8. Getting Fit

    How much fruit is 1 serving?

    Reply
    • Debi

      Example: One medium sized banana, one orange, one apple, etc. or 1/2 cup of fruit that you cut up. I hope that helps. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Shelley

    After three days have lost 8lb, feel full and so easy to follow

    Reply
    • Rob 5 hours ago

      What plan were you following please?

      Reply
  10. Linda

    I’ve done this since the early 80’s and it always worked. As egss can be prepared in so many ways it was easy to do. I used to have half a grapefruit and 2 boiled eggs for breakfast. I’d take a couple of boiled eggs for snacks at work. I’d go to a café at lunchtime and have an omelette, usually with cheese and onion or mushrooms and a bit of a side salad, and dinner was always some form of chops or chicken that mum had made, served with spinach or green beans and nothing else. I also made sure I drank loads of water as well. The weight just dropped off, mind you I was in my 20’s and it was so much easier at that age to lose weight and keep it off. I drank bottles of Holsten Pils or Low C on a night out and was worse for wear I have to say!!! I didn’t get constipated as I ate grapefruit, bananas, apples, spinach, other green veg and water to flush me out so to speak! Be ready to pee a lot – lol 🙂 x

    Reply
  11. Karen

    Are you allowed any kind of dressing on the salads, can you have salt/pepper garlic etc to flavor your eggs/salad chicken?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Yes, you can use spices and dressings that don’t add hardly any calories.

      Reply
    • Debi

      Speaking as someone who has not used regular salt for over 30 years, it is best if you use something like “Mrs. Dash,” but if you really want the salt taste, Sea salt is a much healthier choice. And, you can use other spices as well. If you use salad dressing of any kind, you have to use it in moderation…. not just on a diet like this, but really it’s best any time to follow that rule. I find that a little dressing goes a long way with flavor if I chop my salad well and put the dressing on, then mix it thoroughly before I eat it. Works great!

      Reply
  12. Zaisha

    What can we eat except chicken or fish

    Reply
  13. Pam Nortje

    what are some low carb vegetables please

    Reply
    • Ted

      broccoli, celery, cucumber, kale, lettuce, cauliflower, peppers, basically anything that isn’t starchy.

      Reply
      • Jason

        Kale is very high in carbs!

        Reply
        • Ted

          Which nutritional data are you looking it at? Kale is not considered very high in digestible carbs. 2 cups of baby kale as just 2.5 grams of carbs and around 1.7 grams of digestible carbs.

          Reply
          • glob

            It is high in fiber.

  14. Vicki Atkinson

    What is barbecued fish? It lists it on my g.f. and egg diet.

    Reply
    • Ted

      same as grilled fish

      Reply
  15. Shahinaz

    This is my fifth day on the taditional egg diet. I eat 3 eggs and have a cup of green tea for breakfast, same for lunch plis an apple ,man apple and a cup of green tea in the evening and finally a cup of green tea before i sleep with 1 hour. I feel so exhausted and drained i’m also in a very bad mood and irritated. How long should I continue? And when will i see results? Please help me

    Reply
    • Ted

      You aren’t eating enough which is why you feel so drained. This isn’t a good way to lose weight.

      Reply
      • Debi

        I agree with you, Ted. Shahinaz, no wonder you are in a bad mood. Your body is trying to tell you it isn’t happy and you need to feed it more. You aren’t even eating enough calories to provide your body what it needs for vital functions if you did nothing but sit still and breathe. You’ve got to eat more, dear. The strictly egg diet is BAAAAAAAD. Try one of the other ones.

        Reply
    • Mr NYC

      This is what the problem is, before you started this particular “diet”, 1. you should have started a diet where you did not eat bread, rice, flour or consume anything with sugar. the first 3 days your body would struggle and you would get headaches because it would crave the missing sugar, but you would be able to eat more and be more satisfied . 2. after your food craving appetite started to slow down because your insulin levels will run smoothly because those bad food are out your system (and you would lose water weight during this time) , then you would be able to start reducing the amount of calories you take in each day . 3. That’s when you start using this diet without being so irritated. That’s exactly what i did and i’m losing almost a pound everyday (.7). I’m on day 6 , and i finally felt good enough to go to the gym and do 30 minutes on the treadmill . I don’t have food cravings or anything. i just eat when i know i should , but i skip the apple with green tea before dinner and i have oatmeal with almond milk instead (great source of carbs).

      Reply
      • Debi

        Mr NYC: Thanks for this info!!!! Very helpful and I will try this!

        Reply
    • Kassie

      Try a ketogenic diet. It’s designed for long term weight loss and you keep the weight off

      Reply
      • Rebeccs

        I agree 100: keto diet is great on many levels

        Reply
        • JESS

          We live the Keto life go to the gym 4 times a week . Do 6-8 miles a week on treadmill and strength training. We still plateaued after 6 months . The egg diet helped break that. Lost 7 lbs first week . We do the one with fish chicken and veggies. Half an orange in morning

          Reply
      • Bob Hill

        I do Atkins low carb—-there are several low carb keto diets out there; I stay full an not hungry or feel tired an Im 72 yrs old !!!

        Reply
    • camille

      There is a similar diet where you add a cup of plain oatmeal for dinner – before the final cup of green tea. Maybe that would help your mood/energy, idk. I’m on day one of the diet and I’m hangry. I’m only going to do the diet this way for maybe 3 days and then cut back a little on the eggs and add in lean meats and veggies. This will just be a jump start. When you see a few pounds drop off easily in the first few days, it’s motivating to continue to exercise and eat healthy. That’s my take on it anyway 😉

      Reply
    • roy

      u have eaten everything correctly except one bowl of oaths at night. it makes u full before u sleep.I guess you following the versatile vicky diet in the youtube.

      Reply
  16. Hospital in Ranchi

    Great information! thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Sarah

      Right! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  17. lee

    Eat like a King breakfast, then on an evening have soup, then do some weights in the evening, and have 4 boiled eggs afterwards.
    Should work okay.

    Reply
  18. Okeke Anasthasia Amaka

    Leave a message…does it mean that I will be taking egg diet till I return to my normal shape?

    Reply
  19. Jessica

    Everytime i heard of egg diet, I thank god that I found that diet, my weight was desturbing me all the time, but one day I went through google and i typed the egg diet 28 day lossuweight, I found that diet nd it helped me to lose 37 pounds in 28 days, people if you want to lose weight well, I recommand this diet. Thank you for sharing it

    Reply
    • Audrey

      Thanks Jessica for your comment! I am going to give it a go.

      Reply
    • Shikierra Harrison

      I am currently trying this diet. Today is Day 1. I hope for results such as yours. Thank you for sharing. Always nice to get result from real people.

      Reply
    • hrnakshi

      It is two weeks since I started the diet and I have only lost a few pounds (around 5). Any tips / advice?

      Reply
      • Ted

        2.5 pounds a week is great!

        Reply
        • nicka

          Doing this diet and just losing 2.5 pounds per week is not good. You can lose that amount of weight on a good and healthy diet and this is not that. I would stop, Hrnakshi. I’m on the first day of this diet and I’ll be doing it for 3-5 days if I don’t get a result by then than I’ll stop because it’s not for me and my body.

          Reply
  20. Edgar

    thanks for sharing the pros and cons of eggs, I’ll not like to have the egg every day as there are other diets which are too healthy than an egg.

    Reply
  21. magano

    magano 1 min ago
    What type of yoghurt specifically and milk. and can I use salt, pepper and aromat when I take my eggs, chicken, fish, beef

    Reply
  22. magano

    What type of yoghurt specifically and milk. and can I use salt, pepper and aromat when I take my eggs

    Reply
  23. nonononon

    Eggs, bacon, and blueberries here and Im perfectly fine.

    Reply
  24. Jill

    I actually doubt that it is healthy to eat that many eggs without doing sports everyday. I know another diet that seems good, and the best thing is that no sport or excercises involved – it is dr. simeons diet. I did it couple months ago and lost 12 kilos in 40 days. Also, I used Anat Stern’s support, and believe me, this is really useful!

    Reply
    • GME

      According to what I’ve read after seeing your recommendation Dr. Simeon’s diet requires receiving daily shots of a very questionable substance, and has been largely discredited. Without receiving these shots which are required under his protocol, you have not been on Dr. Simeon’s diet, nor is it available for the average person as one must be under a physicians care to receive these shots.

      Reply
      • Angela

        Actually you can buy the drops online.

        Reply
        • sonic

          What’s the point of drops when this is inexpensive.

          Reply
          • Lisa

            A portion of meat can be substituted for the egg. Palm size though, don’t go overboard. With veggies and lots of water this is a healthy diet. The egg just makes it cheap and convenient, and they are so versatile! This is a lot like the adkins and ketogenic.

References

  • Layman, D. K., Boileau, R. A., Erickson, D. J., Painter, J. E., Shiue, H., Sather, C., & Christou, D. D. (2003). A reduced ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein improves body composition and blood lipid profiles during weight loss in adult women. The Journal of nutrition, 133(2), 411-417. link
  • Wilson, T. A., Aljohi, H., Kotyla, E., & Nelson, M. D. (2013). Consuming 12 eggs per week for 1 year does not alter serum lipids, lipoprotein cholesterol, or C-reactive protein in older adults. The FASEB Journal, 27, 1078-14. link
  • Kovacs-Nolan, J., Phillips, M., & Mine, Y. (2005). Advances in the value of eggs and egg components for human health. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 53(22), 8421-8431. link