Built around a humble 15-cent superfood, the “egg fast” is taking the internet by storm. And it’s no wonder: The plan is helping women who once struggled to shed a single ounce suddenly speed off 10, 12, even 17 pounds in just five days. And many are in their 50s, 60s, and beyond!
They all have keto guru Jimmy Moore to thank. He created the approach after reading that eggs contain an ideal mix of amino acids for weight loss. “I shared the ‘egg fast’ rules I personally used to lose a quick 25 pounds, and the next thing I knew, it went viral,” recalls the bestselling author and host of the popular podcast The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show. “I think people love it because it’s extremely simple, very effective, and it tastes good.” There’s also a budget-friendly bonus: You can get all the slimming groceries you need for less than $3 a day!
Like many, Jennifer Costa, 57, turned to the egg fast when her keto diet stalled. “I was skeptical, but as a busy mom, I was drawn to the simplicity,” recalls the North Carolina reader. Whipping up omelets and egg salad, she found herself down two pounds every 24 hours. “Now it’s my go-to anytime I’ve overindulged. It gets my metabolism back on track fast,” she says. “As I get older, I value anything that keeps me healthy. The keto diet and egg fast have been a real blessing!” Down 38 pounds, Jennifer has more energy than she did in her 30s.
The egg fast really is as simple as Jimmy Moore says: Each day, you enjoy six to eight eggs, six to eight servings of fat, up to 4 oz. of cheese, and some zero-carb drinks and extras. Get wildly creative if you like, or skip cooking altogether by buying a bag of hard-cooked eggs, some healthy mayonnaise and a block of cheddar. No matter how you prepare the ingredients, “the scientific term for this is a ‘fat fast,’” says Duke University’s Eric Westman, MD, who uses low-carb strategies to treat patients at his North Carolina–based HealCare clinics. Dr. Westman explains that, like a traditional keto diet, a fat fast drastically reduces intake of foods that turn to blood sugar. This forces the body to convert both stored fat and dietary fat into ketones, compounds that it burns for fuel instead of sugar. The result: Fat burning spikes by up to 900 percent. Plus, notes Dr. Westman, “Ketones are appetite suppressants, so we naturally reduce calorie intake without realizing that we are doing it.”
But if it works like keto, why use a fat fast at all? Both Dr. Westman and Moore agree that in today’s world, there’s an overload of convenient keto foods. Some contain hidden carbs that stall progress while others are just so tasty that we end up eating well past the point of fullness. “Too many carbs will slow results. So will too many calories,” explains Dr. Westman. The egg fast is an antidote to both problems — and it happens to have a leg up on fat fasts that emphasize other foods…
Studies at Louisiana State University and elsewhere show that eating more eggs helps dieters shed up to 65 percent more weight and 83 percent more belly fat than dieters who skip eggs. Why? A lot of credit goes to the superfood’s high concentration of fat-fighting amino acids. For example, “eggs are a rich source of leucine,” according to University of Illinois’ Donald Layman, PhD, whose research suggests that leucine boosts thyroid function and stimulates the body to replace fat with muscle — two key factors that elevate metabolism.
Meanwhile, according to Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, eggs are the single richest source of sulfur-bearing amino acids, “which play a vital role in the liver’s ability to break down fat.” And, she adds, research reveals that amino acids in eggs boost the liver’s production of a compound called l-carnitine. Notes Gittleman: “One study showed 1 gram of L-carnitine daily alone is enough to burn off 10 extra pounds!”
After a lifelong weight struggle, Brittany Schmidtke shed 40 pounds by going keto. Then her progress screeched to a halt. “I take meds for a slow thyroid, so I thought maybe I’d lost as much as I could,” recalls the Wisconsin reader, 39. Internet pals urged her to try an egg fast. Using fast-friendly crepe and “fettuccine” recipes from IBreatheImHungry.com, “I wasn’t hungry at all,” she says. “And I lost 10 pounds and a pant size in five days!” Brittany continued to do periodic egg fasts anytime her keto results plateaued. Today she’s down 86 pounds.
Then there’s Anita Breeze. After dropping 50 pounds on keto, “I started regaining and losing the same 5 pounds over and over. My friend suggested an egg fast,” recalls the British Columbia grandmother, who promptly dropped 9.7 pounds. She was so wowed, she began using the approach regularly. “I thought my metabolism was broken because of my age,” says Anita, who started the blog KetogenicWoman.com to support dieters over the age of 40. “Now I’m down 81 pounds. I’m close to what I weighed as a teenager — at age 61!”
Fun and Slimming Egg Fast Menus
You’ll find lots of variations of the egg fast rules out there, but all of them call for at least 6 eggs and 6 servings of fat a day along with an optional 4 oz. of cheese. Drink water, tea, and coffee; add up to three servings of zero-carb sweetener and unlimited low-carb seasonings. Hungry? Add 1–2 more eggs and 1–2 more servings of fat. According to Anita Breeze, who helps run a popular egg fast group on Facebook, “women who eat 7–8 eggs a day actually seem to lose the most!” While some use egg fasts long-term, Dr. Westman recommends them as a short-term kick-start or plateau-buster. As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Easy egg fast crepes: Beat together 2 eggs, 2 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and pinch salt. Cook batter in 1 Tbsp. butter on hot griddle; enjoy with 1 Tbsp. butter and sugar-free syrup.
Egg salad: Mix 1–2 Tbsp. sugar-free mayo (like Primal Kitchen brand), 1–2 diced hard-boiled eggs and seasoning to taste; if desired, enjoy on Cloud Bread (recipe below).
Spicy deviled eggs: Halve hard-boiled eggs; mash yolks with 1 Tbsp. healthy mayo per egg, plus salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Dollop mixture in whites and enjoy.
Egg drop soup: Boil 3 cups broth with 2 Tbsp. butter, plus a dash of soy sauce and garlic powder. Whisking continuously, drizzle in 2 well-beaten eggs.
Easy Cloud Bread
Two “slices” of KetogenicWoman.com’s tasty bread equal 1 egg and 1 serving of fat.
3 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. mayo
Beat egg whites, vinegar, and a pinch of salt on high speed until very stiff. Set aside. Beat yolks and mayo gently until smooth. With rubber spatula, gently combine white and yolk mixtures. Divide into 6 mounds on a lined sheet. Sprinkle with seasoning. Bake at 300°F until golden, 20–25 min.; be careful not to overbake.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.