Eggs are tasty, nutrient-dense, and an excellent choice for the ketogenic diet. This versatile food can be transformed into several comforting and popular dishes from fancy frittatas to dangerously deviled eggs. Do you prefer scrumptiously scrambled, perfectly poached, sunny side up, or a classic omelet?
You might have heard about a keto egg fast — a weight-loss method that’s becoming increasingly popular. What is a keto egg fast and what are the pros and cons?
What is a Keto Egg Fast?
Fasting is an ancient tradition that’s commonly incorporated into the ketogenic lifestyle. A keto egg fast is a short-term diet plan where you practice intermittent fasting and mainly eat eggs, cheese, and butter.
The egg fast is a type of restricted ketogenic diet designed to accelerate weight loss and overcome weight loss plateaus. Some people also use an egg fast to get into ketosis before starting a traditional ketogenic diet.
You can make your own modifications, but the main rules of a keto egg fast are:
- Consume whole eggs as your primary source of protein and fat
- Eat at least six whole eggs daily
- Eat pastured, local eggs whenever possible
- Consume 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of butter or healthy fat for each egg you eat
- You can eat up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of full-fat cheese with each egg
- Eat one whole egg within 30 minutes of waking up
- Eat one egg-based meal every three to five hours
- Make sure you have a meal even if you’re not hungry
- Stop eating three hours before bedtime
- You can drink up to three cans of diet soda each day but aim for one or none
An egg fast usually lasts around three to five days; just enough to overcome a weight loss plateau.
What are the Pros of a Keto Egg Fast?
Generally speaking, a keto egg fast is safe, and it might be effective for weight loss for some people. Here are some of the pros or benefits of a keto egg fast:
1) Might Reduce Appetite and Help Weight Loss
Eggs are satiating and an egg fast encourages egg consumption, particularly high-quality eggs. If you feel fuller for longer, you’re less likely to overeat, which might promote weight loss. Eggs are satiating due to the high protein content. High protein intake can help raise levels of certain hormones that promote fullness and decrease levels of the hunger-promoting hormone ghrelin [1,2,3,4].
2) Might Help Body Composition
Typically on an egg fast, you are dropping calories lower than what you would normally consume, putting you into a caloric deficit. Plus, ketogenic diets, such as the keto egg fast, might help you burn more fat compared to low-fat diets and low-fat, high-fiber diets [5,6].
3) Might Reduce Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance happens when your body can’t respond properly to the insulin hormone. Insulin regulates your blood sugar. Ketogenic diets, such as the keto egg fast might reduce insulin resistance and improve your body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, diabetes, or other health conditions, it’s best to speak to your health care provider before making any dietary changes, particularly more restrictive dietary plans like a keto egg fast .
4) Eggs are Nutritious!
A single egg is about 75 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and less than 1 gram of carbohydrate — a perfect keto-friendly food. The egg whites contain protein, copper, iron, selenium, zinc, and vitamin D, B6, and B12. The egg yolk has most of the fat and vitamin D, E, A, and K [8,9,10].
5) Eggs are Delicious!
Let’s face it…eggs are delicious! Not only can an egg fast induce the beneficial metabolic state of ketosis, but it also gives you a reason to eat eggs and plenty of them! Try some of these tasty keto recipes starring eggs:
What are the Cons of a Keto Egg Fast?
Here are some of the cons of a keto egg fast:
1) Nutritional Deficiencies
Despite the nutrient-dense value of eggs, most health experts don’t recommend following this plan for much longer than three to five days, since it might lead to nutritional deficiencies over time. Some health professionals also discuss the lack of fiber and how it could lead to constipation.
2) Not Suitable for Some People
The egg fast isn’t suitable for people without a gallbladder and those with certain medical conditions, such as eating disorders. A keto egg fast also isn’t a good idea for people who are intolerant or allergic to eggs.
3) More Restrictive
The keto egg fast is more restrictive than a traditional ketogenic diet, which makes it more difficult to follow. Since it’s only supposed to be used short-term, it isn’t an issue for most people. Also, some people enjoy the simplicity of a keto egg fast and find it more liberating than limiting.
4) Too Few Calories & Fat
Some people may wind up consuming far too little calories and fat. This isn’t a big issue for short term fasts, but if you go on egg fasts frequently, this is something to consider.
5) Lack of Food Diversity
Restrictive versions of the ketogenic diet can limit microbial diversity in the digestive system. Eating a varied diet with lots of different foods gives you more beneficial and diverse gut bacteria and access to a wide spectrum of nutrients and vitamins.
6) Keto Flu
If you’re new to keto, you might experience a keto flu during an egg fast. Symptoms of keto flu include low energy, nausea, weakness, and headaches. Fortunately, avoiding the keto flu is easy. Read our article for tips on overcoming or preventing the keto flu. Most symptoms disappear within a few days. To reduce your risk of developing a keto flu, you could try following a low-carb diet before you start the egg fast.
Have You Tried A Keto Egg Fast?
Share your experience or thoughts on a keto egg fast.
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2) Holt, S. H., Miller, J. C., Petocz, P., & Farmakalidis, E. (1995). A satiety index of common foods. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 49(9), 675-690.
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6) Cohen, C. W., Fontaine, K. R., Arend, R. C., Alvarez, R. D., Leath III, C. A., Huh, W. K., Bevis, K. S., Kim, K. H., Straughn Jr., J. M., & Gower, B. A. (2018). A ketogenic diet reduces central obesity and serum insulin in women with ovarian or endometrial cancer. Journal of Nutrition, 148(8), 1253-1260. DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxy119
7) Boden, G., Sargrad, K., Homko, C., Mozzoli, M., & Stein, T. P. (2005). Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 142(6), 403-411. DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-142-6-200503150-00006
8) United States Department of Agriculture. Egg Whole Cooked Hard Boiled. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173424/nutrients
9) Clayton, Z. S., Fusco, E., & Kern, M. (2017). Egg consumption and heart health: A review. Nutrition, 37, 79-85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2016.12.014
10) Richard, C., Cristall, L., Fleming, E., Jacobs, R. L., Field, C. J. (2017). Impact of egg consumption on cardiovascular risk factors in indivudals with type 2 diabetes and at risk for developing diabetes: A systematic review of randomized nutritional intervention studies. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 41(4), 453-463. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcjd.2016.12.002
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.