Back in 2016, when I first found out about the Egg Fast method and got curious about it, I thought I had done my research and got to know enough about it to carry it out. I wanted to know the reasons why egg fast is popular and successful but found no scientific or even pseudo-scientific research on the diet. I then followed the rules of Egg Fasting without having any clues about why it might work. Writing about my first 5-day Egg Fats Experiment, I somehow missed the information about who (supposedly) first came up with the diet. Well, in case you didn't know, it was Jimmy Moore who, in 2010, underwent egg fasting for 30 days straight to lose weight while already being on a low-carb diet.
For those new to the subject, let me just summarize the diet regime: During the Egg Fast, you are supposed to eat eggs, healthy fats, and full-fat cheese for 3 to 5 days in a row. You should consume at least six eggs a day and one tablespoon of fat for each egg eaten. The number of ounces of cheese eaten should be equal to or less than the number of eggs eaten on each day.
Now, three years after my initial trial, I am here to share with you, in a dense and short kind of way, what I've learned about the Egg Fast so far. Still no fancy scientific experiments to back me up, only a whole bunch of people on low-carb forums and interesting reads of low-carb bloggers. Plus a repeated n = 1 experiment, where the subject and the experimentator were me and myself.
Here are five most sound, straightforward, and logical reasons why the Egg Fast is a successful and therefore popular method for a quick weight loss or a break of a weight loss stall:
1. Very low carb
While you might already be living some kind of a low-carb diet lifestyle, either Atkin's or ketogenic, before trying out Egg Fast, a chance is you've got some spare glycogen stored in your body. When switching to the Egg Fast regime, you automatically switch to eating up to 10 grams of total carbs per day maximum. Again, that is total carbohydrate intake. This amount is, for the majority of low-carbers, a much than what they're used to. Consequently, as one consumes fewer carbs few days in a row, the body's glycogen stores will begin to deplete. As water likes to cling to the glycogen, the final result will be a possible significant loss of water.
2. Moderate protein
While restricting carbohydrate intake for five days in a row, including vegetables, the healthy side of the Egg Fast is the moderate protein intake. As eggs are high in both protein and fat, they are a perfect low-carb food. The macronutrient ratio of an egg is around 65% fat and 30% protein. By consuming healthy fats and some cheese along with the eggs, one ideally balances out the ratio even further. In most cases, following the rules of the Egg Fast ends in a moderate protein consumption which is neither too low nor too high. Hence, the method's success also lies in its ability to help preserve lean body mass while also losing weight.
3. Feeling of satiety
The high fat and moderate protein intake on the Egg Fast diet should contribute to feeling full faster for a longer period of time. Even the eggs alone, due to their optimal protein/fat ratio, will in most cases decrease the number of calories needed to feel satiated. Add a tablespoon or two of butter and a block of hard cheese to those eggs, and there is no physiological reason left not to feel full for quite a noticeable while. Therefore, the feeling of satiety during Egg Fast can lead to decrease in overall caloric consumption. The result can be an actual fat loss, not only water drain.
4. Eating real, unprocessed foods
One significant advantage of doing a 5-day Egg Fast is that during those five days, following the rules of the diet will prevent you from snacking on processed foods, to indulge on those tiny bits of dark chocolate now and then, or snacking on those sneaky carb-carrying nuts. Accordingly, the diet offers a great chance for 5-day clean eating.
Restricting Omega-6 fatty acids that come from all sorts of processed meats, while allowing yourself to consume free-range eggs, grass-fed butter, virgin coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil ... Doesn't that sound like little to no danger to one's health? On the contrary, even? Moreover, if you refrain from using artificial sweeteners, including erythritol for a while, you might find feeling fuller simply because you experience fewer cravings that sweet treats might likely trigger.
5. Setting a realistic goal
If there is one thing that makes people successful in whatever they are up to, it is setting realistic, achievable goals, reachable in the near future. While many diets tend to be heavily restrictive and relatively long-lasting (if one manages to struggle all the way through), the Egg Fast diet is moderately restrictive at most, and very short-term. Especially the famous 3 to 5 days variations.
Knowing that you will "have to" eat just eggs and fats (plus some of that delicious cheese) for only as little as five days makes it much simpler to stick to the regime and not cheat with a favorite snack like cashews or dark chocolate.
So, set that goal and go for it. Five days pass by quickly; just think of vacation for example. Moreover, if you like eggs, there is no way you will have to struggle during the Egg Fast. On top of this, think of all the choline you consume with eggs! Choline is, in short, a vitamin B that your liver needs to metabolize fats. As such, it is a required micronutrient that you need to consume every single day.
Good to know
There are a couple of things to acknowledge before trying out the diet yourself. Depending on how much glycogen you need to deplete (or the amount of carbs and protein you usually consume), you might feel lethargic and experience some keto flu symptoms during the Egg Fast. That might be the case even if you think you have been keto-adapted for a while. What is interesting about the Egg Fast, is that looking at its macronutrient ratio, the regime resembles a classical ketogenic diet, which, in its unpopularised form, is surprisingly strict.
So, if you feel lethargic, or experience other keto flu symptoms, do what needs to be done in the case of keto flu. In my case, just adding some more sea salt to the meals helped a great deal.
Besides, it comes in handy to know how the freshness of the eggs affects their structure and nutritional values, so do read about it here - lots of very informative info!
What about the veggies?
Well, I personally love them, and I did miss them on the Egg Fast. If I was to set the Egg Fast diet rules, I'd say there would be no harm in eating some kale, spinach or green salad leaves every now and then. On the other hand, going without veggies for five days should really not be a big deal. Worrying about micronutrients? Well, I can imagine myself staying at a warm cottage in the middle of a forest, during a heavy-snow-winter, with nothing but eggs and lard (plus water, naturally). I believe I'd be perfectly fine. Medically speaking as well.
Back to everyday eating
Finishing your Egg Fast, it is recommended to make a smooth transition to your normal eating. For example, on the first day after the Egg Fast, make one meal that is not a typical Egg Fast meal and keep egg fasting with all other meals. On the second day, make two non-Egg Fast meals, and so on. If you transit back to usual eating smoothly, there is less chance of suddenly gaining back all the water that was lost during the diet. There will be some unavoidable water and weight gain anyways, as you will probably regain some glycogen as well.
The final results depend on many different factors, including your eating habits before the Egg Fast that you will quite likely return to. Or not. What I like about the Egg Fast the most, is the chance to take a good look at my general eating habits and think of the foods I don't actually need to eat to feel well, nourished and energized.