I struggle a lot with binge-eating and slippery slopes – one off-keto meal or day can easily turn into a week, and a week turns into snugger jeans and a fear of the scale. Recently, I spent a weekend in Seattle with my best friend, enjoying all sorts of non-keto goodies (margaritas! my very first biscuit-and-gravy! mochi-covered ice cream!), and then a few days of non-keto at home (several kinds of pizza! soup dumplings and Shanghai fried noodles! affogato!).
This was delicious, and so much fun, but I was already at a higher weight than I liked and to be honest, I felt crummy. I won’t deny the fact that I’m doing keto partially for weight loss, but it’s also to manage the symptoms of my PCOS. When I’m off keto, my skin goes to hell and if it’s more than a couple days, my periods cease. Those are both signs that my body is struggling, and I know I need to treat myself better than that.
Enter the egg fast. I got back on regular keto for a couple days then decided to jump right into I Breathe I’m Hungry’s Egg Fast. Essentially, for five days, you eat eggs, fat, and cheese. For each egg you eat, you add one tablespoon of fat, and up to one ounce of cheese. Do this for five days and lose lots of weight, so they say. Mellissa (owner of the aforementioned IBIH, which you should bookmark, because she has so many amazing low carb recipes) shares a meal plan which you can follow if you like, or just take the recipes you enjoy from.
Side note – I really don’t like the name “egg fast”, because it’s not a fast, but whatever. It’s useful to give it a name, and the name has stuck in the keto community, so!
So, how did it go?
From the morning of day one until the morning after day five (so, five days total), I lost 7.4lbs. !!!!!! I am super happy with that.
According to Mellissa, it’s extremely common to gain some weight back, which is why she recommends doing a couple days transition back to normal eating – doing eggs for two meals out of the day, then normal keto for the third.
And how did I feel? Energetic enough. I had a cold for most of the week, so that impacted the feeling, but I didn’t feel worse than a normal cold. I didn’t feel stupidly hungry or miserable. I talk more about how I felt below, in the “what are the benefits” section.
What did you eat?
A lot of eggs, obviously.
Okay, in a bit more detail – the first couple days were fried eggs for breakfast, hardboiled eggs or egg salad for lunch, scrambled eggs for dinner. Mellissa suggests doing eggs in their most basic forms on the first couple days before you’re sick of them. I didn’t actually get tired of any of these!
By day three, we had discovered the magic, beloved Egg Loaf. I’d seen this on keto Instagram and thought, that looks terrible. Well, reader, I was an idiot. Egg Loaf is amazing. It’s like an eggier French Toast. We topped ours with just a little bit of Walden Farms pancake syrup. Not technically Egg Fast compliant, but it was delicious.
We also tried the IBIH Egg Custard, which was pretty good. I think we will keep making it in our regular keto lives, but maybe play with different flavours and customizations. (Kaeleigh wants to try whipped cream and strawberries; I want to try broiling some Sukrin Gold into a crackable crust, creme brulee style.)
I did have heavy cream in my coffee, pretty much every day. This is not recommended but I did it anyway. Probably between 1-3 tablespoons per day. Could I have lost more weight without it? Maybe. Did it make the Egg Fast much more tolerable? Yes, yes, yes. I also had some Prymal coffee creamer in an attempt to use less heavy cream. Oh, and diet soda. She says to try and avoid it but I didn’t try at all. Just being honest.
Did it suck? Was it hard? Do you hate eggs now?
In a word….NO. In more words, not at all.
I fully expected it to suck. I expected it to feel like a super restrictive, terrible diet. (What a mindset to start with, eh?) But it didn’t suck at all. I enjoyed it. I never got sick of eggs. I had passing cravings for other things, but the cravings weren’t super intense. (Except…my coworker did leave a beautiful, freshly homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookie on my desk – that was hard to pass up. But I put it in a Ziploc and stuck it in my freezer for another day. Future me says thanks, past Emma!)
It really just…wasn’t that hard. Maybe it was easier for me because I did allow myself a little bit of heavy cream and Diet Coke. Maybe it was easier because we found a few egg recipes we really, really liked. Maybe you will try it and curse my name for saying it was easy, but it truly was for me, this time.
I also had a cold this week so perhaps my appetite was a little less ravenous than usual. But I really found it satisfying (I was never super hungry) and not too monotonous. I am a super emotional eater so I expected to be torturing myself but thank goodness, I didn’t have to. The eggs were delicious and satisfying.
What are the benefits of the Egg Fast?
The biggest one seems to be weight loss – that seems to be why most people do it, and that was certainly a motivator for me. I would have been bummed if I got to the end and hadn’t lost weight. But there was another motivator for me.
I struggle with emotional eating and portion control. I overeat with “keto-friendly” snacks. After dinner, I feel like I need a snack (or five). I knew I was relying too heavily on keto sweets and allowing myself to indulge when I wasn’t even hungry, just hungry on an emotional level. So giving myself some rules prevented me from sliding down that slippery slope of I really need this, I’m desperate for a snack, it’s okay because it’s keto.
For some people, rules just make them feel trapped and more likely to binge or go ham as soon as they’re free from the rules. An egg fast or something so structured may not be for you. But I felt empowered by it, as silly as that word feels in this context. I don’t have to give in to every whim of my body. I can recognize the difference between hunger and craving (because suddenly when it’s I have to eat a hardboiled egg instead of I’ll just have some SmartSweets, the after dinner snack monster is less ravenous!).
So, the egg fast was partially for weight loss, and partially to give my brain a little reset. I can go five days without sugar-free candy and Lily’s! (It’s embarrassing to admit that I struggle with that…but c’est la vie.) You can stop eating after dinner and not die! You might even find yourself on day five, putting off making lunch because you just aren’t that hungry! To some people, these are not feats. But, for someone who has been a binger and an overeater for her entire life…this is a big deal. It’s a step in the right direction, hopefully. So this reset was a driving force to do the egg fast.
One more benefit – this also got me stoked on regular keto friendly food. I’m excited to eat a steak, creamed spinach, and broccoli again. I’m lusting after butter-soaked zucchini and Chipotle bowls with a big, fat dollop of sour cream on top. Briefly limiting my diet for a while makes me all the more grateful for the things that I can eat on keto, rather than the sometimes-negative mindset that I slip into where I lament what I can’t eat.
What happens now? Will you do another egg fast?
Now, I transition back into normal keto. I try to maintain some of the habits I gained on the Egg Fast, such as not eating so much sweetener and not eating as mindlessly.
I do plan to incorporate egg fasts again, because I enjoyed it. It’s a lot of cooking but it’s also quite simple – just eat a lot of eggs. I think this will make a good stall-breaker and a good reset button for anytime I feel like I need to rein things in a bit.
I have another question.
If you’ve tried the Egg Fast, let me know how it went for you! Do you have a killer egg-fast-friendly recipe? Share it with me in the comments below!