When it comes to dieting, salads, quinoa and detox shakes come to mind as staples for weight loss. Normally, food with high fiber content and low fat are favoured as they are low on calories and help to increase metabolism. The intention is to burn fat, therefore sugar, fat and anything fried is highly avoided. What if we told you there was an ingredient out there that could help with that, but isn't a chore to consume? Believe it or not, eggs aren't only used for bodybuilding diets; they have fat loss properties that almost put them on par with other dietary staples. Here is how the egg diet can help with weight loss.
What is the Egg Diet?
The first thing to note about the egg diet is that despite its health benefits, its portion should be comparable to what's seen on the food pyramid scale. Dairy products and meat are almost at the top of said pyramid, which means that the serving size should be one of the least out of all the ingredients for a well balanced diet. Still, eggs should be a core component of your diet, specifically chicken eggs due to being low on calories and carbohydrates while packing an impressive amount of protein. Although eggs are beneficial for attaining muscle mass, it is still safe to consume the ingredient daily for its weight-loss benefits.
While it is possible to go on an "egg only" diet, it would be difficult to supplement your body with other critical nutrients like Vitamins, Carbohydrates and even fat. Therefore going down this route is an unsafe risk not worth taking. Like any ingredient-focused diet, constantly consuming one particular ingredient can get boring after a while, which is where eggs can really come into their own.
From poached to boiled or scrambled, eggs have some of the most diverse ways to be prepared which can be an incentive to switch up the menu everyday while still consuming the recommended amount of eggs. The diet is traditionally run for only two weeks, and restricts all food consumption to only three meals a day - which means no snacking!
Purpose of the Egg Diet
It would be perfectly normal to question the point of an Egg diet if the risks are this intimidating and that there are possibly safer diets to commit to when intending to lose fat. The main purpose of this diet is to shock the body and break a plateau you might be on when losing weight. Once the body is conditioned to consume only the healthy contents of a diet, it tends to slow down in terms of metabolism, which is where the stint of the egg diet comes in handy.
The small window of time you have to enjoy the egg-focused diet is meant to heighten your overall fat and protein intake, while reducing the variety of carbohydrates you are allowed to take. You aren't sworn off carbohydrates like a full ketogenic diet or Atkins, but it will dramatically restrict your choices in order to shock your body into a calorie and carbohydrate deficit.
Dos and Don'ts
The diet isn't as easy to botch up as some of the more extreme diets in the fitness industry. Since egg is a staple addition and has one of the fewest servings per meal, other sources of protein can make their way onto the same dish such as poultry or fish.
Citrus and berry fruits are good to have on the side for your daily dose of fiber such as grapefruit and berries. If you're looking for the best vegetable to add onto your plate, leafy kinds like spinach or kale are the best picks. Note that this diet is still reliant on a calorie deficit to actually see weight loss, therefore zero-calorie beverages are a must. Black coffee, sugarless tea and water are pretty much all the options you're allowed to have if you aim to get the best out of this diet.
Certain contents that are severely forbidden are alcohol, sugar and refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta. While vegetables like corn and sweet potatoes are normally considered ideal for any kind of healthy dining, their high starch levels will sabotage the diet in the calorie department.
Oddly enough, other dairy products are also ill advised due to how many calories are in a serving - yogurts and milk are examples of this. Lastly, fried food is an absolute no-go for obvious reasons. It can be tricky to find the perfect balance, but as long as fried food, sugar and starch are avoided, the diet will be relatively easy to get into.
Health Risks of Egg Diet
For an ingredient that is commonly consumed in small quantities, committing to it for almost every meal can be exhausting and seemingly unnatural. One of the biggest risks is that eggs in general are a food allergen and that could disrupt the immune system for many who are lactose intolerant for example.
Read the risks of the extreme diet
Additionally, egg yolk does contain a considerable amount of fat, and going on a ketogenic version of this diet could add an excessive amount of fat into the body that would be unsafe, even if carbohydrates were completely avoided.
Another risk to look out for is the cholesterol spike you'd get from consuming eggs so regularly. Long term, this can lead to various cardiovascular diseases like strokes and heart failures. Of course, this is only hazardous when one commits to the diet well beyond its recommended duration. Two weeks to a month at a time at the very most should be what you're aiming at before going about with other diets to ensure weight loss.
Ezra Gideon, UNB and Dhaka Courier Correspondent in Singapore.
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