There are many diet plans that you can try out. But do egg white diet plan for weight loss really work? This article will cover if they do or don’t, how they work and what foods to eat on the diet. The egg white diet plan is designed to help users lose weight and burn fat by eating foods that are high in protein. Eggs contain more protein than any other food product. The egg white diet also involves consuming foods rich in unsaturated fats, which are preferred over saturated fats.
The Boiled-Egg Diet: Does It Really Work?
Do you like eggs? Do you really like eggs? Then the boiled-egg diet might appeal to you — especially if you’re looking to lose weight. The truth is that this fad diet will not lead to long-term changes that improve your health. Still curious? Read on to learn how this plan works, its pros and cons, and how to follow it safely.
How to Cook It: Hard-Boiled Eggs
There’s more than one way to hard-boil eggs, and the best way is to not boil them at all. Everyday Health staff nutritionist Kelly Kennedy, RDN, shares her recipe for steaming the perfect hard-boiled egg.
What Is the Boiled-Egg Diet?
The boiled-egg diet focuses on eggs, particularly hard-boiled eggs. You eat a minimum of two to three eggs per day, and you don’t even have to incorporate them into every meal. Why would someone want to eat this way?
It has a bit of celebrity backing: Nicole Kidman reportedly ate only hard-boiled eggs prior to starring in Cold Mountain.
Charles Saatchi, the ex-husband of chef Nigella Lawson and the founder of the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, has also done the boiled-egg diet.
How Does the Boiled-Egg Diet Work?
There are several versions of the boiled-egg diet.
We’ll dive into the options below, but the typical version is similar to low-carb Atkins, writes Arielle Chandler in The Boiled Egg Diet. A day’s meals generally look like this:
Breakfast At least two eggs and one piece of fruit (low-carb vegetable or protein optional)
Lunch Eggs or lean protein and low-carb vegetables
Dinner Eggs or lean protein and low-carb vegetables
Is the Boiled-Egg Diet Good for You?
Overall, this diet contains healthy food, but it’s not a balanced, healthy diet. The boiled-egg diet is extremely restrictive, incredibly low calorie, and faddish. “I don’t think you should be on a diet that requires an obsession with one food,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, the New York City–based author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
The crux of the diet, eggs, is a food that’s healthy for you — just not as your only or main food. The American Heart Association says that one egg (or two egg whites) per day can be part of a healthy diet.
“Eggs make a great breakfast. A hard-boiled egg is a nutritious snack, but I think that consuming a variety of foods is a healthier way to eat,” says Dr. Young.
The good thing about eggs is that they’re high in protein. One large boiled egg offers 78 calories, 6 grams (g) of protein, 5 g of fat, 0.6 g of carbohydrates, and 0 g fiber.
“Eggs are a complete protein and contain nutrients like vitamin D and choline,” says Amy Shapiro, RD, the founder and director of Real Nutrition in New York City. A complete protein is one that contains all the essential amino acids in adequate amounts.
Choline is a nutrient that helps produce neurotransmitters that regulate memory and mood, among other functions.
While some research has linked high-protein breakfasts that contain eggs with helping dieters shed pounds, “there’s nothing magical about eggs for weight loss,” says Shapiro.
Side Effects of Eating Mostly Boiled Eggs
This diet is really low calorie and restricts many high-fiber foods like whole grains and beans. Because of that, you may miss the mark on fiber if you’re not careful. Health experts recommend that men ages 50 and younger get at least 38 g of fiber and women get at least 25 g of fiber.
Go too low and you may be at risk of constipation. The risk of constipation is especially high if you eat only eggs, as eggs have 0 grams of fiber.
Is It Safe to Follow the Boiled-Egg Diet?
If you have a history of disordered eating, restrictive diets of any kind (including the boiled-egg diet) aren’t for you. Those living with chronic health conditions, especially any that require taking medication, would be wise to check with their healthcare team before making any dramatic changes to their diet — the boiled-egg diet would count as dramatic.
On the other hand, people who don’t have a history of eating disorders or a current health condition are unlikely to face health issues if they do the boiled-egg diet in the short term. “I consider this a red-carpet diet. It’s only something to try when you want to see results quickly and you’re okay with feeling restricted for a short period of time,” says Shapiro. She notes that this diet takes its cues from the 1960s, a time when “it was considered ladylike and demure to restrict yourself,” she says. But that’s not a healthy headspace to be in.
Plus, there is continuing confusion about whether eggs are good for you, as they contain dietary cholesterol. Each boiled egg has 186 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol.
One study concluded that each additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol consumed per day was associated with a 17 and 18 percent increased risk, respectively, of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause.
Meanwhile, another study suggested that cholesterol is less risky in adults with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Authors reported that participants who consumed a diet high in eggs for three months did not experience changes in blood lipid levels or markers of inflammation (which would indicate a change in cardiovascular health) compared with those on a low-egg diet. Researchers defined a high-egg diet as consuming 12 or more eggs per week, while they said a low-egg diet involved eating fewer than two eggs per week.
While some people continue to express concern over dietary cholesterol, the limit was removed from the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines.
The current 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines have kept this change but also advise that dietary cholesterol consumption should be “as low as possible without compromising the nutritional adequacy in the diet.” The guidelines note that cholesterol naturally appears in small amounts in some animal foods.
Eggs are also flagged for their saturated fat content. Each large egg contains 1.6 g of saturated fat.
The guidelines recommend capping daily intake of saturated fat at less than 10 percent of calories per day for optimal heart health. For a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s the equivalent of 22 g of saturated fat or less per day.
So are eggs good or bad for you? Taking into account the research as a whole, Shapiro notes that it’s saturated fat in food that raises cholesterol, not necessarily dietary cholesterol. What’s more, “it’s the simple carbohydrates and sugars in foods that increase cholesterol and triglycerides. I wouldn’t worry about eating hard-boiled eggs daily,” she says. Yet if that’s the majority of what you’re eating, the saturated fat could add up.
Shapiro gives her clients the green light to eat two eggs per day, but this health advice seems to vary yearly according to other health organizations and research. For example, one study found that each half egg consumed per day raised the risk for overall mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality by 7 percent — and the increased consumption of cholesterol via egg was the culprit.
However, in another study by some of the same authors as the research above, the conclusion was that eating one egg per day was associated with a 29 percent lower risk of mortality among those who had hypertension (high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease) compared with patients who ate fewer than two eggs per week. Instead, the authors say that non-egg sources of cholesterol were linked to a higher risk of death from any cause. Their overall statement is that these patients did not have to restrict egg intake.
What to Eat and Avoid
According to Chandler’s book, the following foods are recommended on the boiled-egg diet. As for what to avoid, this eating plan is strict: You’re not to stray from this list.
- Skinless poultry
- Lean beef
- Lamb and pork
- Low-carb vegetables, including leafy greens like kale, collard greens, spinach, and mustard greens; zucchini; and bell peppers
- Low-carb fruits, such as tomatoes, oranges, lemons, limes, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, and grapefruit
- Calorie-free drinks like plain water and sparkling water
- Coconut oil
A 7-Day Sample Menu for the Boiled-Egg Diet
Breakfast Two eggs, spinach, orange
Lunch Grilled salmon on salad
Dinner Grilled pork chop with broccoli
Breakfast Two eggs, tomatoes, cantaloupe
Lunch Grilled chicken on salad
Dinner Ahi tuna with kale
Breakfast Two eggs, orange
Lunch Sliced steak on salad
Dinner Baked salmon with mushrooms
Breakfast Two eggs, asparagus, strawberries
Lunch Egg salad on lettuce
Dinner Beef roast with cauliflower
Breakfast Two eggs, slice of ham, strawberries
Lunch Baked cod with asparagus
Dinner Grilled chicken skewers with bell peppers and onions
Breakfast Two eggs, cantaloupe
Lunch Egg salad on lettuce
Dinner Mahi-mahi with green beans
Breakfast Two eggs, watermelon
Lunch Grilled salmon on salad
Dinner Pork chop with bok choy
Other Versions of the Egg Diet
You don’t have to stick to the traditional boiled-egg diet. If you’d like to try a twist on the original, some alternative versions include egg and grapefruit (a half a grapefruit is added to each meal)
A Final Word on the Boiled-Egg Diet
The boiled-egg diet is a fad diet that requires eating only eggs, some fruit, nonstarchy vegetables, lean protein, and some fat, and it promises to help you lose weight. While cutting calories may initially lead to weight loss, it’s unlikely that you’ll stick to this way of eating, experts say. In addition, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a history of an eating disorder, you should skip a faddish, restrictive diet.
“If you want to do this as a quick fix, you might lose a lot of water weight initially, but you can’t live that way forever,” says Young. “These types of diets can lead to overeating and a lot of frustration later.”
Boiled Egg Diet Review: All You Need to Know
Healthline diet score: 1.33 out of 5
The boiled egg diet is a fad diet that promises fast weight loss.
As the name implies, the diet involves eating several servings of hard-boiled eggs per day, along with other lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and low carbohydrate fruits.
While some appreciate the structured style of the plan and claim that it can jump-start weight loss, those beliefs don’t hold up to science. The diet is highly restrictive, difficult to follow, and generally ineffective.
This article reviews the boiled egg diet and whether it promotes weight loss and supports your health.
DIET REVIEW SCORECARD
- Overall score: 1.33
- Weight loss: 1
- Healthy eating: 0.5
- Sustainability: 2
- Whole-body health: 1.5
- Nutrition quality: 1
- Evidence-based: 2
BOTTOM LINE: Although the boiled egg diet encourages eating healthy food groups and may promote short-term weight loss, it’s overly restrictive and unsustainable. Any weight you lose may be regained once you return to your typical eating pattern.
What’s the boiled egg diet?
The boiled egg diet is based on a 2018 book published by Arielle Chandler, who doesn’t appear to be credentialed as a registered dietitian.
The book offers a structured meal plan, recipes, and foods to eat and avoid.
Although there are several variations of the diet, it typically involves eating either eggs or another type of lean protein with every meal, as well as non-starchy vegetables and one to two servings of low carb fruits per day.
The author claims that because the diet is low in carbs and calories, followers can lose up to 25 pounds (11 kg) in just 2 weeks.
Proponents also claim that the diet supplies nutrients that improve blood sugar management, support healthy vision, and strengthen your bones, hair, and nails.
However, these claims aren’t supported by evidence.
The boiled egg diet is a low carb, low calorie eating plan that claims to quickly boost weight loss by restricting your diet to a few specific food groups. However, the health claims aren’t supported by evidence.
How to follow the boiled egg diet
The boiled egg diet restricts followers to specific foods for each meal of the day, and no snacks are allowed between each meal.
For breakfast, followers consume at least two eggs, along with one serving of a non-starchy vegetable, like tomato or asparagus, and one low carb fruit, such as grapefruit.
Lunch and dinner consist of non-starchy vegetables and either eggs or a small serving of another type of lean protein, such as chicken or fish.
Although exercise isn’t required as part of the plan, light physical activity like biking, aerobics, or speed walking is encouraged to maximize results.
Keep in mind that the diet is only intended to be followed for a few weeks at a time. After that, a transition period is recommended to help ease back into a regular diet.
|Foods to eat||Foods to avoid|
|Lean proteins||•skinless poultry|
•lean cuts of lamb, beef, and pork
|Low carb fruits||•lemons|
|High carb fruits||•bananas|
•unsweetened tea and coffee
|Fats and oils (in small amounts)||•coconut oil|
|Herbs and spices||•garlic|
The boiled egg diet consists mostly of eggs, lean proteins, and low carb fruits and vegetables.
Calorie-free beverages are also permitted, including water and unsweetened tea or coffee without milk or cream.
These are some of the foods encouraged as part of the diet:
- Eggs: whole eggs and egg whites
- Lean proteins: skinless poultry, fish, and lean cuts of lamb, beef, and pork
- Non-starchy vegetables: spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, collard greens, and tomatoes
- Low carb fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, watermelon, berries, and grapefruit
- Fats and oils: coconut oil, butter, and mayonnaise — all in small amounts
- Beverages: water, sparkling water, diet soda, and unsweetened tea and coffee
- Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, turmeric, pepper, rosemary, and oregano
Some variations of the plan also permit low fat dairy products, including skim milk and low fat yogurt and cheese.
The boiled egg diet limits most foods with moderate to high carb counts, including starchy vegetables, grains, and many fruits.
Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are also off-limits, along with processed foods like sweet and salty snacks, frozen meals, and fast food.
Here are some foods that the boiled egg diet restricts:
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, corn, and peas
- High carb fruits: bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and dried fruit
- Grains: bread, pasta, quinoa, couscous, farro, buckwheat, and barley
- Processed foods: bacon, convenience meals, fast food, chips, pretzels, cookies, and sweets
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, juice, sweet tea, and sports drinks
Consider that many of these restricted foods contain essential nutrients and are nutritious, healthy options for most people.
The boiled egg diet involves eating only three meals per day, each consisting of non-starchy vegetables, low carb fruits, and eggs or other lean proteins. No snacks are allowed between meals.
Does the boiled egg diet help you lose weight?
The boiled egg diet consists mostly of low calorie foods like eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and low carb fruit.
Keep in mind that although restrictive fad diets like this one may lead to initial weight loss, you’re likely to regain the lost weight once you resume your typical diet. Therefore, it’s not the best option for sustainable, long-term weight loss.
The boiled egg diet is low in calories and carbs, which may cause short-term weight loss. However, you may regain weight once you resume your typical diet.
Potential benefits of the boiled egg diet
The diet also limits foods that are less nutritious, like sugar-sweetened beverages and many processed foods.
However, the boiled egg diet’s downsides outweigh its potential benefits.
You can incorporate the same healthy foods and limit the same less nutritious foods while following a more sustainable eating pattern that better supports overall health.
The boiled egg diet encourages eating several nutritious ingredients and restricts many less nutritious foods. However, you can incorporate the same healthy foods and limit the same less nutritious foods on a more sustainable eating pattern.
Downsides of the boiled egg diet
The boiled egg diet is highly restrictive and offers little variety, permitting only a handful of specific foods and eliminating entire food groups.
The diet is not only difficult to follow long term, but it can also be challenging to meet your nutritional needs. Because only a few specific foods are permitted, your risk of nutrient deficiencies increases, especially if you follow the diet for a long time.
It’s unlikely that you would develop a nutrient deficiency by following the diet for the recommended time frame of 2 weeks.
The boiled egg diet may also promote unhealthy eating habits or poor relationships with food since it eliminates entire food groups and severely restricts food intake.
If you find yourself preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support.
These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.
Disordered eating and eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender identity, race, age, socioeconomic status, or other identities.
They can be caused by any combination of biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors — not just by exposure to diet culture.
Talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re having difficulty.
You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organization’s free and low cost resources.
The boiled egg diet is highly restrictive, unsustainable, and offers little variety. It encourages a severely reduced calorie intake and may promote unhealthy eating habits.
Healthier options to try
If weight loss is your goal, be sure to talk with a qualified healthcare professional before making drastic changes to your diet.
There are many other healthy, effective, and sustainable eating patterns available that are available to you.
Overall, though, it’s best to work with a registered dietitian to create an individualized plan that works for your weight loss goals and food preferences.
There are many eating patterns and weight loss programs that are more effective and sustainable than the boiled egg diet, including both general and commercial diet plans.
The bottom line
The boiled egg diet is a low carb, low calorie eating plan that promises fast weight loss.
However, it’s also highly restrictive, difficult to follow, and unsustainable. It may encourage poor relationships with food, nutrient deficiencies, and other undesirable symptoms.
Plus, although it may promote short-term weight loss, you’ll likely regain any lost weight once you resume your typical diet.
Incorporating some of the principles of the plan, such as limiting processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, into a healthy, well-rounded diet may be a more effective approach for successful long-term weight loss.
An Egg-White Diet to Lose Weight Quickly & Build Muscle
Losing fat and adding muscle are goals for almost every exerciser. Egg whites are a great way to get high-quality, zero-fat protein to support muscle building. In addition, egg whites are a low-cost, low-calorie component of a successful muscle-building nutrition plan.
Egg-white protein, or albumen, is the clear part of the egg when it is raw. When cooked, the protein coagulates and turns white. The white of a U.S. grade large to jumbo egg has 3.5 to 5 g of protein. The egg white contains protein and not too much else, while the yolk has vitamins, fat and all nine essential amino acids.
How Much Protein is Needed
Active, healthy exercisers should consume 0.5 to 0.8 g of protein per pound of body weight daily. For a 120-pound exerciser, that means 60 to 96 g of protein. A 200-pound exerciser should get 100 to 160 g of protein. Overconsumption of protein is a problem for many athletes, who believe that more protein means more muscle. Naturally occurring proteins such as egg whites are economically and nutritionally superior to artificially produced protein supplements.
Easy Egg-White Recipes
Egg whites are an easy substitute for whole eggs in omelets and frittatas. For added flavor, vitamins, amino acids and fat, include one yolk in the recipe. When you’re camping or traveling, powdered egg whites can be easily mixed into juice, yogurt, applesauce or pudding to boost protein content without distorting the flavor.
Complement Egg-White Protein With Good Fats and Carbs
Egg-white protein is a solid protein source, but all exercisers need to combine protein with adequate carbohydrate and fat calories. Optimal ratios of protein vary, but most nutritionists recommend a ratio of three or four carbohydrates to one protein. Fats should be only 20 to 25 percent of daily calorie intake. Just as egg-white protein is a good source of protein, the yolk of the egg, olive oil and nuts are good sources of fat. Potatoes and whole grains, as well as fruits and vegetables, are good sources of complex carbohydrates.