Keto and Egg Fast, What is it about?
Some, I won’t name recommend an “egg fast” while on the Ketogenic diet.
An egg fast is a temporary 3 to 5 days diet strategy that entails eating mostly eggs, butter and cheese only. No veggies, no fiber, nothing else.
This strategy is recommended when you “plateau” (in this post I discuss about the Keto plateau).
Can I? Please…Good: I disagree with this strategy.
As a rule of thumb, “too much of anything” is unhealthy.
Bok Choy, for example, is a great Keto-friendly vegetable with very good nutritional: 1.33g of net-carb, 1.7g of fiber for one cup. It has great health benefits like lots of antioxidants, Quercetin, lots of vitamins. An awesome veggie that better to be eaten uncooked to preserve all the benefits.
So outstanding that a woman ate for months 2-3 lbs of uncooked Bok Choy daily (see article), but raw Bok Choy releases Myrosinase, an enzyme that pulls the brakes on the thyroid. She got lucky not to die.
Why egg fast is not healthy?
Eggs are a great Keto food with less than 1g of net carbs, 5g of fat and 6g of protein with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin…).
Remember that for a 2000 calorie diet, it’s 165g of fat, 40g of carbohydrates, and 75g protein. The recommendation is 10 eggs a day, 10 tablespoons of butter and 10oz of cheese. Let’s count the protein side:
- Eggs = 60g of protein
- Butter = 12g of protein
- Cheese = 60g of protein
- Total = 132g of protein (too much)
For that many eggs per day, fat would be around 260g, which is also too high for a good Keto diet. I can’t imagine the side effects!
The strategy also recommends only 1 can of diet soda a day!!!! When many call for lots of water and electrolytes – see my Keto electrolyte water recipe.
Grandpa, Eggs and Keto
My Grand Parents were on Keto, not knowing about it but their lifestyle put them on a Ketogenic state.
Grandpa was a traditional farmer, raising cows, pigs, chickens, growing hay, wheat, oats, barley using crop rotation. My Grandma had a large vegetable garden 100% organic.
Grandpa woke up at 4am EVERY DAY – winter breakfast 6 eggs, 1 slice of homemade whole grain bread covered by ⅕” of rendered pork fat , 1 bowl of strong coffee with 2-3 tbsp of heavy cream and 2 shots of schnapps aka legally home brewed moonshine. The summer version was lighter and came with 4 eggs and one shot of schnapps 🙂 – however, Grandpa would end his work day around 9pm every day or 16 hours hard work day, 7 days a week.
Lunch and dinner were also rich in fat as they didn’t eat high-quality meat, which was sold to the butcher. Imagine my Grandparents NEVER ate beef tenderloin!
I see you, rolling your eyes, thinking how much money his Grandpa spent on medical care…well, they saw the doctor daily, never for medical reasons. He stopped by to buy fresh eggs, butter, milk, cream. He loved the whole grain bread and Grandma home brewed beer 🙂
I think Grandpa diet was close to 4,000 calories a day (uffda) but his daily needs were also very high, thus he and Grandma were not overweight and had no medical issues.
Grandpa passed at 99, Grandma at 98, both healthy.
Egg Fast not that good. What to do instead?
If you are on a diet, Ketogenic or not and you plateau (don’t lose weight), don’t go extreme routes like egg fast, severe fasting (starvation mode) or 4 hours of daily extreme workout.
If you eat too many eggs, even for a few day, it will have a negative impact (too much fat, too many proteins).
I know someone who went into extreme fasting, One Meal a Day Diet (aka OMAD) and lost 15lbs in 4 weeks.
Guess what happened when he quit OMAD? His body went into “recovery” mode and packed as much fat as possible in case the starvation season came back. He gained 22lbs in about 2 months, 7 extra pound absolutely FREE!
Extreme workout is also bad when trying to get out of a weight plateau. Exercise and activity are good for you, definitively, but exercising too much may have serious consequences for the body and brain. Over-exercise increase the risk of overuse injuries, like tendinitis and stress fractures – 2 of my staff had stress fractures.
A study showed that:
There’s up to a 72-hour “open window” of impaired immunity after intense exercise. This basically means viruses and bacteria might have an easier time invading and infecting the body. And athletes who over-exercised also experienced more upper respiratory tract infections.See here
Instead, try to understand and compare your calories intake versus your calories spend. This is true for ANY diet.
If you consume 2500 cal per day and you spend 2,000 cal, your body will “save” the 500 calories leftover!
Now if your cal spending is 2,500 and your intake is 2,000, your body will go get the missing calories:
- On Keto (low-carb diet) 500 cal = 55g of body fat
Imagine you have 3lbs to lose or 1,361g. That’s an equivalent around 12,250 calories or 24 days of calorie shortage at 500 calories per day.
- Not on Keto it will use the glycogen stored in muscles and the liver
This is a different story, the body uses glycogen and when the reserves are low, you get the infamous 3pm sugar crash (low tank warning), if you continue to push, “you hit the wall” and collapse as there is no fuel left in the tank.
How do you do that?
It’s not that difficult, walking works, one step at average speed costs you 0.05 calories, 30 minutes of waking brings it at close to 200cal, 20,000 steps a day is about 1,000 calories – remember your stats might be different as it depends on your weight, height, age, etc.
I recommend a “smart” watch like the iWatch, but it can be costly around $380 for the latest version while you can easily find one for $25 that have the same features.
It’s then easy to check the number of steps or the number of calories burned and decide to get up and walk around the office or the house.
I do not recommend extreme solutions like egg fast diet as eating too much of anything is never a good idea. Keep your meals balanced, keep moving and enjoy the ride.