As part of a balanced diet, eggs can have many health benefits. A growing body of research suggests that eating eggs may also promote weight loss. Eggs are high in protein, low in calories, and they can boost metabolism. In this article, we describe how to use eggs to aid weight loss, including when to eat them and how to prepare them.
Why are eggs good for weight loss?
Eggs may promote weight loss for three reasons:
1. Eggs are nutritious and low in calories.
Eggs are low in calories and high in protein.
One large hard-boiled egg contains 78 calories and several important nutrients, including:
lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that promote good eyesight.
vitamin D, which promotes bone health and immune function
choline, which stimulates the metabolism and contributes to the development of the brain of the fetus.
The easiest way to lose weight is to reduce calorie intake, and adding eggs to the diet can help with this.
For example, a lunch or dinner of two hard-boiled eggs and a cup of mixed vegetables has only 274 calories. However, cooking eggs with oil or butter significantly increases their calorie and fat content. A tablespoon of olive oil, for example, contains 119 calories.
2. Eggs are high in protein
Protein helps with weight loss because it is extremely filling. Eggs are a good source of protein, with one large egg providing about 6 grams (g). The Dietary Reference Intake for protein is 0.8 g per kilogram of body weight.
It means that :
the average sedentary man needs 56 g of protein per day.
an average sedentary woman needs 46 g of protein per day.
Therefore, two large eggs provide over 25% of the protein needs of an average sedentary woman for the day, and over 20% of the needs of an average sedentary man.
Some research indicates that eating a high-protein breakfast increases a person’s satiety, or the feeling of fullness. The results also suggest that a high-protein breakfast leads to reduced calorie intake throughout the rest of the day. A 2012 study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that dietary protein helps treat obesity and metabolic syndrome, in part because it makes you feel fuller.
3. Eggs can boost metabolism
A high-protein diet can improve metabolism through a process called the thermic effect of food. This happens because the body has to use extra calories to digest and process the nutrients in food. Carbs and fats also boost metabolism, but to a lesser extent than protein.
According to the findings of a 2014 study:
Protein increases a person’s metabolic rate by 15-30%.
Carbohydrates increase the metabolic rate by 5 to 10 percent.
Fat only increases the metabolic rate by 3%.
Therefore, eating eggs and other protein-rich foods can help people burn more calories than eating carbs or fat.
When to eat eggs
Research suggests that someone who eats an egg-based breakfast may consume less food throughout the day. Eggs can be especially helpful for weight loss if a person eats them for breakfast. In 2005, researchers compared the effects of consuming an egg-based breakfast and a baked breakfast in overweight female participants. Both breakfasts had the same number of calories, but participants who ate eggs ate significantly less food the rest of the day. In a 2013 study, adult men who ate eggs for breakfast needed smaller breakfasts and seemed to feel fuller than those who ate high-carb breakfasts.
However, it is still important to monitor calorie intake. A 2008 study indicated that an egg-based breakfast promoted weight loss in overweight or obese participants, but only as part of a calorie-controlled diet.
How to eat eggs to lose weight
The key is to incorporate them into a healthy diet. It appears that eating eggs for breakfast is the best approach, as it can reduce the number of calories a person consumes throughout the rest of the day.
Eggs are nutritious and easy to prepare. People tend to like them:
Serve them with vegetables for breakfast for a fiber-rich and filling meal, or add hard-boiled eggs to a salad for lunch. For a hearty dinner, top a salad of quinoa and sautéed greens with a poached egg.
How many eggs should a person eat?
Incorporating a moderate number of eggs into a balanced diet may have health benefits. Recent research suggests that eating an egg a day may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The researchers tracked the effects in nearly half a million adults living in China over a 9-year period.
It is important to note, however, that the people in this study were not following the standard American diet. The authors of a 2018 study reported that eating at least 12 eggs each week for 3 months did not increase cardiovascular risk factors in participants with diabetes or prediabetes.
It’s important to keep in mind that these participants followed a diet designed for weight loss. These results suggest that consuming a moderate number of eggs may be beneficial to health, provided the person incorporates eggs into a balanced diet. However, since egg yolks are high in cholesterol, people at risk for heart disease may want to stick to one or two egg whites a day. You should also avoid adding animal fats, such as butter or bacon fat, to your egg meals.
Eggs are a low calorie food rich in protein and other nutrients. Eating eggs can promote weight loss, especially if the person incorporates them into a low-calorie diet. Research suggests that eggs stimulate metabolic activity and increase feelings of fullness. Eating an egg-based breakfast can prevent a person from consuming extra calories throughout the day. To promote weight loss, avoid preparing eggs by adding too much fat, butter or oils, for example.
If a person is at risk for cardiovascular disease, they should eat only whites and carefully monitor their cholesterol intake.