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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Intermittent Fasting arrow Cracking the Egg Fast: What Is It, and How Does It Work?

Cracking the Egg Fast: What Is It, and How Does It Work?

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Dr. Donika Vata
Fact checked by Donika Vata, MD
Last update: October 17, 2023
9 min read 665 Views 0 Comments
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Curious about egg fasting and its potential weight loss benefits? Let’s scramble into the world of egg fasts together and see if it’s the right fit for you.

Egg fast

Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or simply explore a new dietary approach, egg fasting has been making waves in the health and weight loss realm. 

In this article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of egg fasting – what it is, how it works, and whether it’s worth a crack. We’ll also provide you with sample meal plans and information about the benefits and potential pitfalls of egg fasting so you can decide if it’s a good choice.

What Is an Egg Fast?

An egg fast is a version of the keto diet. It is a short-term diet created by blogger Jimmy Moore that is designed to kickstart weight loss and make it easier for users to jump into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat for fuel instead of the usual carbohydrates.

During an egg fast, you eat mainly eggs with the addition of some fatty and low-carb foods like high-fat cheese and healthy fats like grass-fed butter and extra-virgin olive oil.

Although it is safe to be in ketosis for long periods of time – with some people choosing to do keto for up to 12 months consecutively, an egg fast is a very restrictive form of eating, and for that reason, is only meant to be done for 3–5 days.

How to Do an Egg Fast?

Doing an egg fast isn’t as simple as other low-carb diets, as there are specific egg fast rules that have to be followed in order to maximize the results of this style of eating.

Before beginning an egg fast, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Below, we’ll get into the specific egg fast rules that need to be followed with an example 3-day egg fast meal plan for you to follow further into the article.

Egg fast rules

  • You must eat an egg-based meal within 30 minutes of waking up.
  • Eggs should be free-range and local whenever possible.
  • You must eat an egg every 3–5 hours, regardless of if you’re hungry.
  • You need to consume at least 6 eggs every day.
  • Every time you eat an egg, you must also eat 15 grams of butter or another healthy fat.
  • In addition to butter, you must also eat 28 grams of full-fat cheese per egg.
  • You may drink diet soda every day as long as you don’t exceed 3 cans.
  • You should stop eating 3 hours before bed each night.

Benefits of an Egg Fast

In addition to losing weight, there are several perks that make this eating style very attractive. Below, we’ll dive deeper into the potential health benefits of a 3–5-day egg fast.

#1 Helps with weight loss

The most sought-after benefit of doing an egg fast is related to weight loss, with many people turning to it as an option to bust through weight loss plateaus – a time in which a person’s weight won’t change.

A keto egg fast is an effective option for kickstarting weight loss for a few reasons, though the most noticeable changes are a result of calorie restriction and entering ketosis.

Although foods like eggs, full-fat cheese, and healthy fats like butter and coconut oil may be high in calories, consuming a minimum of 6 eggs and 90 grams of butter per day is only 1,100 calories, significantly less than the daily recommendation of between 2,000–2,500.

Regardless of calorie intake, using variations of the keto diet to enter a state of ketosis, when the body shifts its fuel source from carbohydrates to fat, has also been shown to be a more effective option for weight loss than medium-carbohydrate diets.

#2 Improves insulin sensitivity

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body doesn’t have a normal response to insulin, resulting in higher than normal blood glucose levels.

People with type 1 diabetes are considered insulin resistant, which is why they require regular insulin shots to help them maintain normal levels, though anyone can be affected by poor insulin sensitivity.

Following a keto diet is showing promise as a natural treatment option for low insulin sensitivity, with one study showing a 75% improvement in insulin sensitivity. 

These benefits are likely due to keto being a low-carb diet, meaning there is naturally less glucose in the bloodstream, though research also points to ketones – chemicals produced by the liver while in ketosis – as playing an important role in improving insulin sensitivity.

#3 Helps reduce appetite

Another benefit of the egg fast diet – which also contributes to its weight loss benefits – is how effectively it reduces appetite.


Studies show that people on the keto diet feel less hungry with a lesser desire to eat, despite eating in a calorie deficit. 

One of the reasons for this reduction in appetite can likely be attributed to ketones and being in ketosis generally, because when you switch your food source from carbs to fat, you will not feel hungry unless you run out of fat.

Another reason is that after eating high-carb foods, your blood glucose levels increase, as do your hunger pangs and food cravings. This is due to the release of hormones like adiponectin and ghrelin, which are known for stimulating the appetite.

Switching to a low-carb diet like the egg diet is also an effective way to limit the amount of appetite-stimulating hormones your body releases, helping curb cravings in between meals.

Risks and Side Effects of an Egg Fast

Before starting your egg fast, it’s important to be aware of the associated risks and complications of this diet meal plan.

#1 Keto flu

The symptoms of keto flu include things like headaches, brain fog, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and general irritability. These symptoms tend to set in between 2-7 days after starting an egg diet and are often the reason that people end their egg fast early.

The cause of keto flu isn’t completely understood, as it could be caused by a number of different things, including carb withdrawal, body detoxification, or simply your body trying to adjust to a major diet change.

Since the keto diet is known for causing dehydration, one of the best treatment options for reversing keto flu is upping your water intake. If your symptoms don’t resolve or become worse, it’s important to visit a doctor so your symptoms aren’t being caused by something more serious.

#2 Not suitable for people with certain conditions

It’s worth mentioning that any variation of the ketogenic diet, including an egg fast, isn’t a good option for everyone. For example, people who struggle with disordered eating may be negatively affected by any form of restrictive eating.

Although the keto diet has many benefits, it’s also been known to cause low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, and nutrient deficiencies. Egg fasts aren’t recommended for anyone with conditions affecting their pancreas, liver, thyroid, and gallbladder.

Doing a keto egg fast can also increase the risk of heart disease due to a sudden increase in bad cholesterol,” and for that reason, shouldn’t be done by cholesterol hyper-responders. 

Despite having benefits related to improving insulin resistance in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it’s not recommended to follow an egg diet before first checking with a doctor.

#3 Nutritional deficiencies

One of the challenges of a keto egg fast is that it restricts several of the typical food sources for essential vitamins and minerals, like fruits and vegetables.

Since a typical egg fast only lasts for 3–5 days, most people don’t need to worry about serious deficiencies, though following a keto diet for an extended period afterward does pose some risks.

Eating more local food is an easy way to mitigate vitamin deficiencies since grass-fed butter is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2 than regular butter, and free-range eggs also contain more vitamins and minerals.

Unfortunately, getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from a low-carb diet can be difficult. For that reason, it’s also recommended to schedule regular check-ups during extended dieting to test for potential deficiencies.

3-Day Egg Fast Meal Plan

The following menu will give you a better idea of what your diet might look like while doing a keto egg fast.

Day 1 

Breakfast: 3 large boiled eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1/2 cup of cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons of sour cream 

Snack: Deviled eggs (3 boiled eggs, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of mustard, and 1 tablespoon of dill) 

Lunch: Egg salad (3 boiled eggs, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of mustard, 2 tablespoons of diced celery, 1 tablespoon of diced onion, and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley) 

Snack: Hard-boiled eggs (3 boiled eggs) 

Dinner: Egg and cheese omelet (3 large eggs beaten, 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of diced onions, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste) 

Day 2 

Breakfast: 3 large scrambled eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1/4 cup of cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons of sour cream 

Snack: Egg and avocado toast (3 boiled eggs, 1/2 avocado, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste) 

Lunch: Egg and bacon salad (3 boiled eggs, 2 slices of cooked bacon, 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of diced onions, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste) 

Snack: 3 deviled eggs (3 boiled eggs, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of mustard, and 1 tablespoon of dill) 

Dinner: Egg and vegetable frittata (3 large eggs beaten, 1/2 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/2 cup of diced onions, 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste) 

Day 3 

Breakfast: Egg and bacon breakfast sandwich (3 large fried eggs, 2 slices of cooked bacon, 1/4 cup of cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons of sour cream) 

Snack: Hard-boiled eggs (3 boiled eggs) 

Lunch: Egg and cheese quesadilla (3 large eggs beaten, 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of diced onions, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste) 

Snack: Egg salad (3 boiled eggs, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of mustard, 2 tablespoons of diced celery, 1 tablespoon of diced onion, and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley) 

Dinner: Egg and mushroom omelet (3 large eggs beaten, 1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of diced onions, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste)

A Word From an RD

Following an egg fast diet is a great way to break through a weight loss plateau and is clinically proven to provide many desirable results, but it can’t be relied on as the only way for a person to lose weight.

Doing short bursts of restrictive dieting like egg fasting can’t replace the benefits of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes eating a well-rounded diet and getting the recommended 150 minutes of medium-intensity physical activity per week.

Instead of relying solely on restrictive diets as a way for you to reach your weight loss goals, it’s important to focus on creating lasting change.

Eating eggs for 3–5 days may be a helpful step in entering ketosis and busting through plateaus, but don’t forget to pair it with other healthy habits.

FAQs

How long can you do the egg fast for?

To help prevent things like vitamin deficiencies and constipation, it’s not recommended to do an egg fast for longer than 3–5 days.

How much weight can you lose on an egg fast?

Due to calorie restriction and your body entering ketosis, many people claim that they can lose 5–10 pounds in 3–5 days while on a keto egg fast diet.

Do you eat only eggs on an egg fast?

No, you are not limited to only eggs while on an egg fast. You are also permitted to eat large quantities of high-fat, low-carb foods like butter and cheese and limited amounts of vegetables.

Conclusion

An egg fast is a variation of the low-carb ketogenic diet that lasts 3–5 days. Many people use it as a way to lose weight because it helps put the body into ketosis and maintain a calorie deficit.

While on an egg fast diet, you eat eggs as your main food source, you are also supposed to add in other high-fat foods like cheese and butter. 

Doing an egg fast for longer than recommended has potential risks, such as vitamin deficiencies, and although it may help you lose weight, an egg diet can’t replace the benefits of a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Donika Vata, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Dr. Donika Vata
Fact checked by Donika Vata, MD
Last update: October 17, 2023
9 min read 665 Views 0 Comments
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