The boiled egg diet is a fad diet that promises fast weight loss.

As the name implies, the diet involves eating several servings of hard-boiled eggs per day, along with other lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and low carbohydrate fruits.

While some appreciate the structured style of the plan and claim that it can jump-start weight loss, those beliefs don’t hold up to science. The diet is highly restrictive, difficult to follow, and generally ineffective.

This article reviews the boiled egg diet and whether it promotes weight loss and supports your health.

DIET REVIEW SCORECARD
  • Overall score: 1.33
  • Weight loss: 1
  • Healthy eating: 0.5
  • Sustainability: 2
  • Whole-body health: 1.5
  • Nutrition quality: 1
  • Evidence-based: 2

BOTTOM LINE: Although the boiled egg diet encourages eating healthy food groups and may promote short-term weight loss, it’s overly restrictive and unsustainable. Any weight you lose may be regained once you return to your typical eating pattern.

Eggs in a pot ready to be hardboiled.Share on Pinterest
Leah Flores/Stocksy United

The boiled egg diet is based on a 2018 book published by Arielle Chandler, who doesn’t appear to be credentialed as a registered dietitian.

The book offers a structured meal plan, recipes, and foods to eat and avoid.

Although there are several variations of the diet, it typically involves eating either eggs or another type of lean protein with every meal, as well as non-starchy vegetables and one to two servings of low carb fruits per day.

The author claims that because the diet is low in carbs and calories, followers can lose up to 25 pounds (11 kg) in just 2 weeks.

Proponents also claim that the diet supplies nutrients that improve blood sugar management, support healthy vision, and strengthen your bones, hair, and nails.

However, these claims aren’t supported by evidence.

Summary

The boiled egg diet is a low carb, low calorie eating plan that claims to quickly boost weight loss by restricting your diet to a few specific food groups. However, the health claims aren’t supported by evidence.

The boiled egg diet restricts followers to specific foods for each meal of the day, and no snacks are allowed between each meal.

For breakfast, followers consume at least two eggs, along with one serving of a non-starchy vegetable, like tomato or asparagus, and one low carb fruit, such as grapefruit.

Lunch and dinner consist of non-starchy vegetables and either eggs or a small serving of another type of lean protein, such as chicken or fish.

Although exercise isn’t required as part of the plan, light physical activity like biking, aerobics, or speed walking is encouraged to maximize results.

Keep in mind that the diet is only intended to be followed for a few weeks at a time. After that, a transition period is recommended to help ease back into a regular diet.

Foods to eatFoods to avoid
Eggs•egg yolks
•egg whites
Grains•bread
•pasta
•quinoa
•couscous
•farro
•buckwheat
•barley
Lean proteins•skinless poultry
•fish
•lean cuts of lamb, beef, and pork
Processed foods•bacon
•convenience meals
•fast food
•chips
•pretzels
•cookies
•sweets
Non-starchy vegetables•spinach
•kale
•arugula
•broccoli
•bell peppers
•zucchini
•collard greens
•tomatoes
Starchy vegetables•potatoes
•sweet potatoes
•legumes
•corn
•peas
Low carb fruits•lemons
•limes
•oranges
•watermelon
•berries
•grapefruit
High carb fruits•bananas
•pineapples
•mangoes
•dried fruit
Calorie-free beverages•water
•sparkling water
•diet soda
•unsweetened tea and coffee
Sugar-sweetened beverages•soda
•juice
•sweet tea
•sports drinks
Fats and oils (in small amounts)•coconut oil
•butter
•mayonnaise
Herbs and spices•garlic
•basil
•turmeric
•pepper
•rosemary
•oregano

Permitted foods

The boiled egg diet consists mostly of eggs, lean proteins, and low carb fruits and vegetables.

Calorie-free beverages are also permitted, including water and unsweetened tea or coffee without milk or cream.

These are some of the foods encouraged as part of the diet:

  • Eggs: whole eggs and egg whites
  • Lean proteins: skinless poultry, fish, and lean cuts of lamb, beef, and pork
  • Non-starchy vegetables: spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, collard greens, and tomatoes
  • Low carb fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, watermelon, berries, and grapefruit
  • Fats and oils: coconut oil, butter, and mayonnaise — all in small amounts
  • Beverages: water, sparkling water, diet soda, and unsweetened tea and coffee
  • Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, turmeric, pepper, rosemary, and oregano

Some variations of the plan also permit low fat dairy products, including skim milk and low fat yogurt and cheese.

Restricted foods

The boiled egg diet limits most foods with moderate to high carb counts, including starchy vegetables, grains, and many fruits.

Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are also off-limits, along with processed foods like sweet and salty snacks, frozen meals, and fast food.

Here are some foods that the boiled egg diet restricts:

  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, corn, and peas
  • High carb fruits: bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and dried fruit
  • Grains: bread, pasta, quinoa, couscous, farro, buckwheat, and barley
  • Processed foods: bacon, convenience meals, fast food, chips, pretzels, cookies, and sweets
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, juice, sweet tea, and sports drinks

Consider that many of these restricted foods contain essential nutrients and are nutritious, healthy options for most people.

Summary

The boiled egg diet involves eating only three meals per day, each consisting of non-starchy vegetables, low carb fruits, and eggs or other lean proteins. No snacks are allowed between meals.

The boiled egg diet consists mostly of low calorie foods like eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and low carb fruit.

Thus, following the diet will likely lead to a calorie deficit, meaning that you’ll consume fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. A calorie deficit is one of many factors that may play a role in weight management (1, 2, 3).

The boiled egg diet is also low in carbs. A low carb diet may enhance weight loss efforts (4).

In fact, a review of 12 studies found that following a short-term, low carb diet significantly increased weight loss and improved several other risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure (5).

In addition, a study in 164 people with overweight or obesity found that following a low carb diet for 20 weeks significantly enhanced metabolism and decreased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, compared with a high carb diet (6).

However, research into the effects of low carb diets is inconsistent. It’s also not clear whether the potential weight loss or possible health benefits of a low carb diet last long term (5).

Keep in mind that although restrictive fad diets like this one may lead to initial weight loss, you’re likely to regain the lost weight once you resume your typical diet. Therefore, it’s not the best option for sustainable, long-term weight loss.

Summary

The boiled egg diet is low in calories and carbs, which may cause short-term weight loss. However, you may regain weight once you resume your typical diet.

The boiled egg diet encourages followers to eat several healthy foods, including lean proteins, eggs, fruits, and vegetables, which are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are important to your health (7, 8).

The diet also limits foods that are less nutritious, like sugar-sweetened beverages and many processed foods.

Besides being high in calories, carbs, and added sugar, studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages can contribute to issues like cavities, high blood pressure, inflammation, and insulin resistance (9, 10, 11).

Furthermore, research shows that diets high in processed foods may be associated with a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and cancer (12, 13, 14).

However, the boiled egg diet’s downsides outweigh its potential benefits.

You can incorporate the same healthy foods and limit the same less nutritious foods while following a more sustainable eating pattern that better supports overall health.

Summary

The boiled egg diet encourages eating several nutritious ingredients and restricts many less nutritious foods. However, you can incorporate the same healthy foods and limit the same less nutritious foods on a more sustainable eating pattern.

The boiled egg diet is highly restrictive and offers little variety, permitting only a handful of specific foods and eliminating entire food groups.

The diet is not only difficult to follow long term, but it can also be challenging to meet your nutritional needs. Because only a few specific foods are permitted, your risk of nutrient deficiencies increases, especially if you follow the diet for a long time.

For example, whole grains are rich in necessary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while starchy vegetables like potatoes are great sources of the vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium that your body needs. Neither of these food groups is allowed on the diet (15, 16).

What’s more, one egg only provides about 72 calories, meaning a diet based around eggs would likely offer little energy overall. Following the boiled egg diet may not result in enough caloric intake for most people (17).

It’s unlikely that you would develop a nutrient deficiency by following the diet for the recommended time frame of 2 weeks.

Still, prolonged calorie restriction causes serious side effects that may damage your body, including low energy levels, impaired immune function, decreased bone density, menstrual disturbances, and more (18, 19, 20).

The boiled egg diet may also promote unhealthy eating habits or poor relationships with food since it eliminates entire food groups and severely restricts food intake.

Heads-up

If you find yourself preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support.

These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.

Disordered eating and eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender identity, race, age, socioeconomic status, or other identities.

They can be caused by any combination of biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors — not just by exposure to diet culture.

Talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re having difficulty.

You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organization’s free and low cost resources.

Summary

The boiled egg diet is highly restrictive, unsustainable, and offers little variety. It encourages a severely reduced calorie intake and may promote unhealthy eating habits.

If weight loss is your goal, be sure to talk with a qualified healthcare professional before making drastic changes to your diet.

There are many other healthy, effective, and sustainable eating patterns available that are available to you.

For example, the Mediterranean diet has been associated with increased weight loss, decreased belly fat, and a lower risk of overweight and obesity (21, 22, 23).

This plan is much less restrictive than the boiled egg diet and encourages a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including heart-healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (24).

Low carb diets may also be effective for short-term weight loss without all of the unnecessary rules and restrictions of the boiled egg diet (25).

Overall, though, it’s best to work with a registered dietitian to create an individualized plan that works for your weight loss goals and food preferences.

Summary

There are many eating patterns and weight loss programs that are more effective and sustainable than the boiled egg diet, including both general and commercial diet plans.

The boiled egg diet is a low carb, low calorie eating plan that promises fast weight loss.

However, it’s also highly restrictive, difficult to follow, and unsustainable. It may encourage poor relationships with food, nutrient deficiencies, and other undesirable symptoms.

Plus, although it may promote short-term weight loss, you’ll likely regain any lost weight once you resume your typical diet.

Incorporating some of the principles of the plan, such as limiting processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, into a healthy, well-rounded diet may be a more effective approach for successful long-term weight loss.

Just one thing

Try this today: Though fad diets like the boiled egg diet may increase short-term weight loss, they’re unsustainable and associated with a long list of potential side effects.

Check out this article for more details on why fad diets don’t work and what you should try instead.