There are many diet plans on the market that claim to help you lose weight fast.
Additionally, many of these diets promise significant differences in weight by merely eating specific types of foods.
The 14-day egg diet sometimes referred to as the boiled egg diet, egg diet, or high egg diet is one such weight loss plan.
As the name implies, this diet revolves around eating hard-boiled eggs and other lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and low-carb fruits.
Ultimately, the 14-day egg diet promises that you can lose up to 25 pounds in 2 weeks by following this structured meal plan.
Are these claims too good to be true?
This article will take a deep dive into the egg diet plan and discuss the pros and cons of this weight loss program.
What Is the Hard-Boiled Egg Diet?
The 14-day hard-boiled egg diet is a 2-wk diet based on the 2018 book by Arielle Chandler titled “The Boiled Egg Diet: The Easy, Fast Way to Weight Loss!
Lose Up to 25 Pounds in 2 Short Weeks!”
As the title suggests, this low-calorie, low-carb diet helps dieters lose up to 25 pounds or 11 kg in two weeks.
The book also claims that a combination of hardboiled eggs and metabolism-boosting low carb vegetables and lean proteins will help “melt away” pounds and body fat in a short period of time.
The diet plan primarily involves increasing your egg intake, along with other protein sources and low-carb fruits and veggies.
Additionally, the book offers a 1-wk meal plan, recipes, and a list of approved foods to help you get started.
Other variations of the high-egg diet also exist, including a version published in Vogue during the 1970s.
Egg Diet for Weight Loss
Are Hard-Boiled Eggs Good for Weight Loss?
Eggs pack a large amount of nutrition inside their thin shells.
In fact, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and could even be considered a so-called “superfood.”
They are a high-quality protein source, meaning that they contain all of the essential amino acids needed to build body structures and muscle mass in the right ratios.
In addition to being a good source of protein, eggs are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamin A, phosphorus, selenium, and certain B-vitamins, including B12, B6, folate, and riboflavin (1).
They also contain a decent amount of calcium, zinc, vitamin D, and iron (1).
Most of these nutrients are found in the egg yolks, while the egg whites contain mainly protein.
Additionally, eggs are a source of many trace minerals and antioxidants that may be beneficial for health.
For example, eggs are an excellent source of choline (1).
Choline is an essential nutrient that is often grouped with B-vitamins and plays an important role in brain function.
There is also preliminary research that suggests choline may be involved in metabolism (2).
A small 2014 study found that female athletes who took choline supplements for 1-wk before competition had lower body mass indexes (BMI) and leptin levels compared to the control group (2).
Leptin is a hormone that lowers appetite and regulates body fat.
Furthermore, eggs not only contain healthy nutrients, but they are also low in calories.
One large boiled egg offers approximately 71 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 0.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams fiber (1).
This nutrition profile could make eggs a useful tool for weight loss.
First, eggs are an incredibly filling food, possibly due to their protein content.
Studies have consistently shown that eating eggs at meals increases fullness and may reduce calorie intake later in the day compared to baseline levels.
Additionally, many studies have shown that having eggs for breakfast may produce more significant differences in weight loss than breakfasts of similar calorie composition (3-5).
Several studies of overweight adults found that eating eggs in place of bagels at breakfast increased feelings of satiety among participants and caused them to consume less energy (aka calories) over the following 24 to 36 hours (3, 4).
In a similar study among healthy overweight adults, participants assigned to the egg group for breakfast had a 65% greater weight loss and a 61% higher reduction in BMI after 8 weeks compared to participants in the bagel group (5).
This led the researchers to theorize that egg breakfasts may enhance weight loss when combined with a calorie restriction (5).
Based on these results, eating eggs for breakfast may help you feel fuller and unintentionally lower your total calorie intake compared to baseline.
Please keep in mind that these are the potential benefits of eating eggs as part of a varied menu along with other healthy lifestyle choices.
It is not a list of the potential benefits of the egg diet plan.
There are no clinical trials or systematic reviews that examine the impact of high-egg versus low-egg diets on weight loss or health benefits.
Effect of Egg Consumption on Cholesterol
Eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past due to their high content of dietary cholesterol.
It was once thought that eating a diet high in cholesterol could increase risk factors for heart disease.
However, current research and systematic reviews have shown no clear link between dietary cholesterol and increased cardiovascular risk factors, such as elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood pressure (6, 7).
For example, one current study consisting of 28,024 participants found that eating 7+ eggs per wk was not associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease or cardiovascular disease mortality when compared to the low-egg group (egg intake of <1 egg per week) (8).
In a different clinical trial, 140 participants with type 2 diabetes (t2d) were assigned to a high-egg group (egg intake of 2 eggs per day) or a low-egg group (less than 2 eggs per week) for three months to examine the effect of egg consumption on cholesterol levels.
The researchers found no significant differences between the high-egg group and the low-egg group in terms of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, or glycemic control (9).
Therefore, while eggs are high in cholesterol, egg consumption does not appear to cause significant differences in cholesterol compared to baseline levels for most individuals.
However, it is important to note that you will be eating more eggs on this diet than the average daily intake.
Therefore, you may want to seek professional advice from your doctor or a registered dietitian before starting the 14-day egg diet plan, especially if you have a history of heart disease, type 2 diabetes (t2d), hypercholesterolemia, high cholesterol, or elevated LDL cholesterol or triglycerides.
How the Egg Diet Works
As previously mentioned, there are multiple versions of the high egg diet.
While none of the egg diets are considered balanced, certain types of this restrictive diet are more unbalanced than others.
Some popular versions of the high egg diet include:
- The Traditional Hardboiled Egg Diet
- The Egg and Grapefruit Diet
- The Keto Egg Diet
- The Egg Only Diet
The Traditional Egg Diet
According to the 14-day hard-boiled egg diet book, this is the most popular version of the high egg diet, and you won’t be eating eggs exclusively on this plan.
Instead, it is a similar diet approach to the Atkins diet, and it focuses on limiting the number of carbs you eat.
On this version of the high egg diet, you consume 2-3 eggs for breakfast along with non-starchy vegetables or a piece of fruit.
For lunch and dinner, you eat another serving of eggs or a small portion of lean protein from another food source like chicken or fish.
You can also have low-carb vegetables and 1-2 servings of low sugar fruits on this plan.
The Egg and Grapefruit Diet
This version is similar to the traditional diet with one significant difference: it includes half of a grapefruit at meals along with the eggs or lean protein.
Additionally, grapefruit is the only type of fruit allowed on the egg and grapefruit diet.
Like the traditional egg diet, your overall carbohydrate intake on this high-egg diet is highly restricted.
Other than grapefruit as the only fruit, the rest of the plan is the same as the traditional version.
The more significant restriction and lack of freedom on this egg diet plan make it less popular, and it doesn’t work for the average person.
The Keto Egg Diet
This is the keto variation of the diet.
On this egg diet plan, you consume eggs cooked in keto diet-friendly butter and cheese.
Proponents of the keto egg diet claim that this combination of eggs, butter, and cheese helps the body to produce ketones, thereby assisting with ketosis.
It is particularly popular among keto dieters looking to break through a weight loss plateau.
In general, the recommended ratio is one egg to one tablespoon of fat (aka butter or cheese).
The Egg Only Diet
As the name suggests, this variation of the egg diet includes only eggs and plenty of water every day for up to two weeks.
Since this eating plan relies on eggs as your only food source, it lacks variety and can result in deficiencies.
Also, because there is no fiber in eggs, egg dieters may experience constipation and digestive issues.
While none of these high-egg diets are balanced, this version is an incredibly unhealthy weight loss program and should not be attempted in the first place.
The Traditional Egg-Diet Plan Pros and Cons
While there are multiple versions of the egg diet, this article will mostly review the traditional egg diet plan.
As previously mentioned, eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent addition to most dietary patterns.
Besides consuming more whole eggs, this diet plan also encourages many healthy foods that most people don’t consume in adequate amounts, including veggies and certain fruits.
These real, whole foods contain nutrients and antioxidants that may have health benefits.
The hard-boiled egg diet also limits the intake of added sugar and processed foods, which have been shown to impact health.
Research has consistently found that processed foods are associated with an increased risk of weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes (t2d), inflammation and oxidative stress, and cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and insulin resistance (10-12).
Additionally, this approach provides a structured eating plan that the average person may find helpful.
Furthermore, since it is only two weeks, many individuals may find the egg diet plan less daunting than a long-term diet and may be more likely to complete the program.
However, it is important to mention that other diet methods, such as the DASH diet, also teach healthy eating habits but are not nearly as restrictive as the egg diet.
Highly Restrictive and Unbalanced
One major drawback of the 14-day egg diet is that it lacks variety and is nutritionally unbalanced.
Due to the extensive calorie restriction and a limited variety of foods, most people will not consume enough vitamins, minerals, and calories while following this eating plan.
Additionally, this diet plan advocates eliminating many healthy foods, including whole grains, starchy veggies, and certain fruits.
In fact, the hard-boiled egg plan has been accused of being a fad diet because it eliminates entire food groups.
Anytime you remove whole food groups from the menu, you may be susceptible to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
For example, whole grains are an excellent source of magnesium, soluble fiber, and b-complex vitamins.
At the same time, starchy vegetables and fruits are sources of antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Too Low Calorie for Long-Term Sustainability
Overall, the 14-day egg diet does not offer enough calories for the average person.
While temporarily following a low-calorie diet may be safe for well-nourished adults, it is not recommended and is likely not effective for long-term weight loss.
Additionally, very low-calorie diet plans can have adverse effects on the human body if followed for multiple weeks.
Research has shown that prolonged low-calorie intake can cause decreased bone density, impaired immune function, and disruption of the menstrual cycle (13-15).
Furthermore, consistently low energy intake may also cause a decrease in metabolism (16).
When you do not consume enough calories over a long period, your body may respond by slowing the metabolic rate in an attempt to conserve energy.
Not an Effective Way to Lose Weight for Long-Term Success
The 14-day egg diet is a short-term weight loss plan designed to last for only two weeks.
One of the problems with these rapid weight loss programs is that you may regain weight once you stop following the menu plan.
This rapid weight gain that typically occurs after a diet can be disheartening and may lead individuals to try similar diets, which provide similar, short-term results.
The cycle of dieting, gaining weight, and dieting again is sometimes referred to as yo-yo dieting.
Research has linked yo-yo dieting to potential health problems, including increased appetite, greater weight gain over time, and increased body weight and fat (17-19).
According to the book, the hard-boiled egg diet offers a number of benefits, including decreased appetite and increased metabolism.
However, there is limited rationale to suggest that eating specific types of foods will result in significant differences in weight loss without also being combined with healthy lifestyle changes.
There is some evidence that a high-protein diet may result in greater satiety and fullness after a meal, thereby lowering appetite (20).
However, it is important to note that the hard-boiled egg diet is too low in calories for most people, meaning that you will likely feel hungry despite the high protein intake.
Additionally, dietary fiber may also increase fullness after a meal.
However, eggs contain zero grams of fiber, and this plan eliminates whole grains, which are an excellent source of filling, soluble fiber.
There is also some evidence that coffee and green tea may contain compounds that marginally boost metabolic rate (21-23).
Overall, this may have a small impact on your calories burned but will likely not result in significant differences in weight without other healthy habits.
Potential Adverse Effects
You may experience digestive distress, especially during the first week of the egg diet plan, or if you previously ate a low-egg diet.
This may include gas, nausea, bloating, constipation, stomach cramps, and bad breath, which are common side effects of high protein foods.
As you might imagine, additional adverse effects of the 14-day egg diet plan are hunger, fatigue, and lack of energy.
Any diet that advocates for such a small amount of calories without snacks between meals will result in hunger and discomfort.
Additionally, diets that offer little variety will also likely cause food cravings.
While 14 days on the egg diet plan is possible, eating the same foods every day is monotonous and boring and could lead egg dieters to abandon the program.
Furthermore, this plan is very low in calories without much food variety, which may leave individuals overly hungry and prone to binge eating.
Finally, it should go without saying that you should avoid the egg diet if you have an egg allergy or intolerance.
Hard-Boiled Egg Diet Plan Food List
In general, this diet consists of hardboiled eggs, lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, and low carb fruits in moderation.
Below is a list of foods that are encouraged on the egg diet.
Remember that there are multiple variations of the egg diet, and different sources may have varying recommendations.
Foods to Eat
Foods to include as part of the high-egg diet:
- Eggs: egg yolks and whites (preferably hardboiled)
- 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, mustard greens, mushrooms, and tomatoes
- Limited amounts of low carb-fruits: lemons, limes, citrus fruit (such as grapefruit and oranges), watermelon, cantaloupes, and berries
- Fats and oils: coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and mayonnaise
- Beverages: water, clear light, sparkling water, diet soda, unsweetened tea, and black coffee
- Herbs, spices, seeds, and nuts: chia seeds, garlic, basil, turmeric, pepper, rosemary, and oregano
Some variations of the diet also allow non-fat or low-fat dairy products, such as unflavored Greek yogurt and yogurts, skim milk, and low-fat cheese.
Non-caloric beverages and drinks, including plenty of water and unsweetened green tea or black coffee, are encouraged on this plan.
The book also suggests meal bread, such as rye bread made with nuts and seeds instead of regular bread.
However, it is necessary to practice portion control if following this suggestion, as rye bread may have too many carbs for this low carb diet.
Foods to Avoid
The boiled egg diet limits most high carb foods, including starchy vegetables, grains, cereals, and many fruits.
Highly processed foods are also not allowed during the 2-wk period.
This includes pre-made and frozen meals, fast food, packaged foods, sweets, bakery desserts, and other processed foods.
Additionally, sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and juice, are off-limits while following this diet plan.
Here are some foods to avoid on the Traditional Egg Diet Plan:
- Starchy veggies: potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, corn, and peas
- High-sugar fruits: bananas, pineapples, mangoes, 100% fruit juices, and dried fruit
- Grains and whole grains: bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, buckwheat, and barley
- Processed foods: fried food, bacon, fast food, chips, pretzels, cookies, sweets, foods high in sodium, and pre-made or convenience meals.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, juice, sweet tea, sports drinks
- Fatty meats
What to Expect for the 14 Days
Following the boiled egg diet requires a strict but straightforward routine.
Here are some of the additional rules and recommendations:
- No snacking
- Eat only 3 meals per day
- Drink plenty of water – aim for 6 to 8 cups a day as a general rule of thumb
- Avoid alcohol and junk food
- Consume enough fiber: This eating plan is notably low on dietary fiber. Therefore, it is crucial to emphasize high fiber foods, such as leafy green veggies and chia seeds.
- Keep sweeteners and sweet foods to 3 servings a day (a serving of fruit counts as one “sweet” on this plan)
- Exercise is not required, but light exercise is recommended
- Get plenty of quality sleep
Overall, the egg diet is restrictive and limiting. For that reason, it is not intended to be followed for more than two weeks at a time.
Prolonged periods on the boiled egg diet could result in nutritional deficiencies.
According to the book, light physical activity is encouraged for more significant differences in weight loss.
However, the boiled egg diet does not provide enough calories for strenuous exercise or high activity levels.
Examples of light exercise include speed walking, light biking, and gentle aerobics. Shorter bursts of exercise are preferred over longer physical activity sessions.
If you are working out while on the egg diet plan, the book suggests 15-20 minutes of exercise once or twice a day.
The Boiled Egg Diet Plan—Week One
- Breakfast—2 or 3 boiled eggs and an orange
- Lunch—Cobb salad minus the bacon
- Dinner—Baked salmon with broccoli or other greens
- Breakfast—2 eggs and grapefruit
- Lunch—1 egg and cucumber and dill salad
- Dinner—Sirloin steak and kale
- Breakfast—2 boiled eggs and a small apple
- Lunch—Steak salad
- Dinner—Egg curry and leafy green veggies
- Breakfast—2 eggs and a pear
- Lunch—1 egg, watermelon, and feta cheese
- Dinner—Baked chicken and cabbage
- Breakfast—2 eggs
- Lunch—Avocado egg salad and 1 slice rye bread
- Dinner—Grilled herb pork chops and asparagus
- Breakfast—1 scotch egg and an apple
- Lunch—2 deviled eggs and beet salad
- Dinner- Lemon chicken and cabbage
- Breakfast—2 eggs and 1 slice meal bread
- Lunch—2 eggs
- Dinner—Tuna and mustard greens
The Boiled Egg Diet Plan—Week Two
Repeat a similar menu to the first week.
Is the Hard-Boiled Egg Diet Good for You?
Overall, the high egg diet is only masquerading as a healthy diet.
While this diet plan contains many healthy foods, it is not the best way to lose weight or improve your health.
This is because the boiled-egg diet is extremely restrictive and too low-calorie for most people.
While this program may help with short-term weight loss, the weight will likely return soon after you stop dieting.
Furthermore, outside of a handful of studies about high protein breakfasts and weight loss, there is no evidence to suggest that eggs have any magical power, other than the fact that they are a low-calorie, nutritious food.
Additionally, most of the research about the health benefits of eggs looks at including eggs as part of a healthy diet.
There is no evidence that eating a large quantity of eggs will increase these benefits.
In fact, consuming a low-calorie diet that consists mostly of eggs can displace other, nutritious foods from your diet.
Ultimately, this egg diet appears to be another fad and may not be the best approach for long-term weight loss.
Instead of following the hard-boiled egg diet, try adding more eggs to your meals and snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle change.
If you previously ate a low-egg diet, try adding a few eggs to your meal plans per week.
Currently, the American Heart Association’s stance is that one whole egg (or two egg whites) per day can be part of a healthy diet.
The bottom line is that the 14-day egg diet is a highly restrictive, low-calorie, low-carb diet that may result in weight loss, but only in the short-term.
Ultimately, this diet plan is too strict and low in calories to be a good thing for long-term weight management.
Instead of following the 2-wk egg diet, try eating more eggs as part of a healthy, sustainable dietary approach.
Some tips for a healthy diet include eating plenty of fruits and veggies, practicing mindful eating, limiting sugar and processed foods, and choosing lean proteins, including but not limited to eggs.
(This post is solely for general informational purposes only.
Any dietary changes may cause adverse changes to your health and weight management and should be undertaken at your own risk.
Consult your doctor before starting any new diet.
Decisions of any kind related to your diet and weight loss should be made with a licensed dietitian and health practitioner.)
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