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.
If you are not among people who get irresistible cravings for sweets after eating desserts, I encourage you to try out my Egg Fast Pie or Mascarpone Roll.
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.
MORE KETO EGG FAST RECIPES TO TRY!
I recommend you also try:
Peter Ross says
Thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts.
Please put me on your mailing list.
Can I do a three day egg fast while doing Omad? How can I fit it into 1 hour of eating? Also what else can I eat besides the eggs?
Hi Angela. The answer to this question cannot be straightforward. Depends on whether you are willing to eat only eggs, healthy fats, and some cheese in that one meal, and don't go too low below your nutritional needs for a day. I think it can be manageable for 3 days but not too healthy if going for the long term.
You can read more about egg fast foods and "rules" here: 5 Days of Egg Fast
Thanks I’ll try it soon..
If I am doing IF would doing an egg fast like every other day be helpful in losing weight??
I have no idea but would guess that it might. It's a trial and error task for every individual, so try it out and see how it goes. And make sure you eat enough and feel well!
Thanks for the info, I tried the 5 day egg fast and gained weight by the end. I am 4'10" and I began keto in June 2016, I weighed 137, it took me two full years to lose 32lbs. Then menopause came along and I never stopped keto but have gained at least 15lbs and cannot seem to lose it, it's been about a year of fasting of different types and nothing works. I have been omad forever and I do 3 to 5 day full fasts, only to see the weight reappear after a first meal, as if I did not fast at all. I did a 5 day egg fast having 6 tbsp heavy cream, 6 oz. cheese, and 6 eggs per day, gained 3 lbs that week. That totals just above 1400 calories where my macros come out to 1000 ish calories daily. What am I doing wrong? Anyone menopausal with advice? I am currently on day 3 of full fast again. Feeling defeated lately.
Hi, Sheila! I hope someone menopausal can give you some advice. Have you ever tried giving up milk products for a while? Have you seen a doctor to check your thyroid or any other hormonal issues?
Wish you all the best! In the end, we don't necessarily need to be very thin to be healthy.
I don’t care for mayo. Could I substitute bacon in my egg salad for the mayo and how slices would equal 2 T of mayo. Thanks! Made crepes this morning and they were delicious.
Yes, enjoy your bacon on the Egg fast if you wish. But I can't make those calculations for you, I'm sorry. Mayo is mostly fat, bacon has some protein in there, too.
Can you eliminate the cheese? I’ve tried the egg fast several times and I think the cheese is hindering my weight loss.
Of course, cheese is not exactly essential as long as you get in enough calories.
Kiki Neal says
Do you HAVE TO eat fat with every egg consumed? I was looking at a few sites that showed sample menus and although they all mentioned eating 1 tsp - 1 tbsp of fat per egg (and up to 1 ounce of cheese per egg) the sample menus showed them eating hard boiled eggs for a snack without any fat... Maybe I am overthinking this and it is not as strict about this... What are your thoughts? Also, I usually like to drink a zip fizz or 2 during the day (which is normally fine on keto) is this ok during the egg fast? Thank you!
Well, I don't think egg fast should be overthought. It's an arbitrary diet, not something a medical practitioner would put you on. So, no, I don't think you need to eat fat with every egg. I only think that if you do decide to do the egg fast, make sure that you feel fine and get in enough calories and electrolytes. From the electrolyte and vitamin perspective, I think a zipfizz a day is OK if you don't mind the tiny bit of sucralose that you consume with it.
Trim PX Keto says
Some truly interesting points you have written.Helped me a lot, just what I was searching for :D.
Thank you for the feedback!
Is sour cream allowable during the egg fast?
You can modify the diet according to your needs and feels. Egg fast is a made up thing that makes you lose mostly water weight from not having "too much" protein and almost zero carbs. Sour cream has some carbs, but on the other hand, so does cream cheese. I'd say avoid too much dairy while trying to lose weight. But it is up to you.
One more thing is there a substitute for ..
Cream of tarter you recommend? I read info lemon juice or baking powder? Doesn't make sense to me.
Psyllium Powder- Flax seed meal?
Van Seed - More Vanilla?
My Sweet Keto says
Baking powder can be made by mixing baking soda and cream of tartar.
Basically, if you don't have cream of tartar, you can use baking powder but it will be less acidic. Cream of tartar is acidic and baking soda is alkaline. With beaten egg whites, you'd want to use an acidic agent to keep them firmer. That is why lemon juice is used sometimes to replace cream of tartar.
Soaked flaxseed meal might do the job, but honestly, I've never tried.
And yes, if you have no vanilla seeds, just use (more) vanilla extract.
Jodi Sweeney says
Hello!! Great!! Thanks for this!! Can you put the recipes in one place? I am trying to do a shopping list and I clicked egg fast recipes but there was so much other info I can't find all the recipes. I saw one when I first read this that I can't find now. Just makes it difficult to do your five day when everything is separated. Other than that is it perfect!! Great you did this! I thought I would be stuck with boiled/fried eggs and a piece of cheese for 5 days. Actually I am in a keto group and they made it sound like this. Thanks again
My Sweet Keto says
Thank you for the feedback. We'll look into it. In the meantime, this page might help a bit: https://www.mysweetketo.com/keto-egg-fast/
Also, if you search for "egg fast" on the site, you will find all egg fast recipes.
Great insights! Thank you! I had heard about egg fasting in passing, but didn’t know it was actually a thing. Definitely going to give it a try now. Cheers!
My Sweet Keto says
Can o cook my eggs in kerrigold butter, or if I wanna have them hard boiled to make egg salad can I use mayo?
My Sweet Keto says
Yes, why not. As long as you've got your macros figured out.
Selvi Alessie says
I am wondering if the weight loss after egg fast will be temporary. I do ketogenic diet approx. 1 month before and will keep on doing it. Now i am on a day four of egg fast. So far i lost almost 3 kg
My Sweet Keto says
Hi. Lots of it can be just water loss, which is temporary. But at least you can see how much water retention there is otherwise. 😉
Lynne A Cobb says
What's the risk of lowering your metabolism due to calorie restriction on this egg fast?
My Sweet Keto says
I don't see a problem in doing it for five days only.
Thanks for your insights on this issue. This is one of those things simple and obvious. But we don't see it often.
I'm considering embarking in this protocol, while also removing cheese and that extra protein it comes with, also adding some room temperature butter.
I found that soft butter and ygg yolk is very synergistic when it comes to satiety/taste. Just roll small cube of butter in sea salt, put that butter on half cut egg, and devour it for ultimate food gasm. I cook eggs in pressure cook (4 minutes) and it comes out with soft yolk.
I think I can get away with 4 eggs/30g butter in one meal. I will probably try drinking tequila shot of olive oil with meal, just to increase fats consumed. This makes extremely low protein meal and high in fats. It's definitely a win.
My Sweet Keto says
Thanks for your insights, Mano!
I would like to try the keto diet or low carb high fat diet. But i don't know the ends and outs of eating the right foods .how can i cook the eggs for the egg fast can i do scrambled eggs for the eggfast and all i see people eating from the facebook posts are bacon eggs and cheese.
My Sweet Keto says
Sheila, if it is of any help, read the keto basics and then start with the very basics: Eggs, butter, bacon if you wish, coconut oil, green veggies. You can eat the eggs ANY way you want: scrambled, hard-boiled, fried ... on butter or coconut oil if you don't mind the coconut taste. For the first few weeks, try to avoid nuts, keto desserts, and too much dairy. Enjoy your favorite meats and get in fiber from veggies.