We all crave perfection in what we look like. In this modern day of social media, everyone leads a double life. One in the real world or IRL as the social media generation calls it, and the other life is their virtual presence. Digital technology and social media has overpowered the wholesomeness of life and raised the bar and expectations of how we want to present our lives to our followers online. If the number of filters we apply to our photos is any indication, the ideal of physical beauty and the struggle to look “gram-worthy” is real. Everyone wants to look their best for Instagram and Snapchat stories. This has led to weight loss and fitness awareness like never before. Many fitness and weight loss regimes have made waves in theh recent years, but one that has always piqued my interest due to the sheer ease and convenience of it is the egg diet.
What is the egg diet?
The egg diet is a unique yet promising 14 day program that allows you to shed weight fast without the need of any siginificant exercise. The egg diet first gained popularity in the 1970s, but has recently regained popularity after the publication of Arielle Chandler’s book named “The boiled egg diet: the easy, fast way to weight loss!”. The book goes into detail about the various versions of the boiled egg diet, its pros and cons, and the results you may expect from doing this diet.
Why is the Egg diet “trending”?
The first and foremost reason that the egg diet has garnered such favour is that it promises significant weight loss in just 14 days. I believe the quick turnaround is what appeals most to this generation where everyone wants instant gratification. Secondly, the egg diet plan is quite economical as compared to other diets. You don’t need to buy a lot of products, mostly eggs, and the price point of eggs makes it budget-friendly. The third reason is that eggs are nutritional powerhouses. Eating eggs boosts metabolism and decreases fat in your body. Since they are chock full of nutrients and quality proteins, eggs help in maintaining a steady blood sugar level, a healthy brain, and healthy eyes. In addition, eggs are also beneficial for strengthening your hair, nails, and bones.
The traditional version of the egg diet
The initial version of the egg diet, commonly called the traditional egg diet version, allows you to consume boiled eggs with a mix of some fruits and non-starchy vegetables. The plan usually comprised of a breakfast consisting of two boiled eggs combined with citrus fruit. Lunch primarily includes a small amount of protein in the form of lean meat. Dinner could be either cooked fish or chicken along with some low carbs vegetables. Snacking in between meals is strictly not allowed. Essentially this version only allows the use of boiled eggs, low carb vegetables, and citrus fruits.
A day on the traditional egg diet looks like this:
- Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with a citrus fruit
- Lunch: Cooked fish / Chicken with a bowl of green salad
- Dinner: 2 boiled eggs or lean protein with low carb vegetables
Egg and Grapefruit version of the egg diet
The egg and grapefruit version is the second version of the egg diet. As the name suggests, it includes the consumption of grapefruit along witgh the eggs. You are allowed to have half a grapefruit with every meal. Apart from this exception, everything else in this version is identical to the traditional egg diet. It is claimed that the grapefruit coupled with the egg diet accelerates weight loss.
A day on the egg and grapefruit diet looks like this:
- Breakfast: 2 eggs and ½ grapefruit
- Lunch: One serving of fish / Chicken with spinach and ½ grapefruit
- Dinner: A serving of lean protein and ½ grapefruit
The Strict egg-only version
The third version of the egg diet is an extreme one. It allows you the least variation and freedom of choice, but it does claim to offer the best results. Named “the egg-only diet”, it allows the user to consume eggs only. There is no allocation of fibre in this version, as in every meal you are allowed to eat hard-boiled eggs and drink water only.
This particular version of the diet came under the limelight in 2008 when celebrity chef Nigella Lawson disclosed how her husband Charles Saatchi had lost over sixty pounds in just nine months following the egg-only diet. However nutritionists advise caution when it comes to this diet as it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those suffering from underlying health conditions. The fact that this diet has no fiber can also lead to malnourishment.
A day on the egg only diet looks like this:
- Breakfast: 2-3 eggs and water
- Lunch: 2-3 eggs and zero calorie beverage
- Dinner: 2-3 eggs and water
Fruit and vegetables for the egg diet platter
For the first two versions of the diet detailed above, you are allowed some portions of fruit, vegetables, and lean meat. However not varieties of the same are allowed. Here are lists of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats that can be safely incorporated to the meal plan while on the traditional and egg and grapefruit egg diets:
- Lemon and lime
- Blood orange
Vegetables with low carbohydrate content can be added to the egg diet meal plan. A list of such vegetables is given below:
- Bell peppers
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
Varieties of lean meat allowed on the egg diet include:
- Chicken breast
- Turkey breast
Tips to accelerate weight loss while on the egg diet
You can maximize the outcomes of an egg diet if you drink plenty of water. It is necessary to consume lots of water when you are on any high protein diet regimen as it helps balance bowel movements. Water also helps you to stay hydrated and naturally detoxifies your body by getting rid of toxic substances. You should drink anywhere from 9 to 12 glasses of water every day depending on the amount of exercise you do, your size, and other body parameters.
You can also maximize weight loss by keeping a sharp eye on your input output ratios. Keep track of how many calories you consume every day as well as how much you burn. The caloric spend or burn should be higher than your daily intake. It is suggested to keep the caloric intake as low as 1700 calories a day when you are following an egg diet.
Some of the potential drawbacks of the egg diet include malnutrition, constipation, nausea, bad breath, bloating and digestive distress. It is also considered a short-term fix, which means that the weight you lose on this regime is likely to come back unless you are careful.
The egg diet is a super restrictive regimen comprising of a two-week plan which may result in effective weight loss. However, it cannot be recommended as the safest option because of its potential side effects. Out of all three versions of the egg diet, the traditional type is the most easily adoptable one as it allows for most freedom. As with all diets, don’t forget to consult your doctor before starting this or any other restrictive diet. For sustainable changes, you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle which can help you to maintain a healthy BMI over time.