Lose 3 to 4kg in one week, that’s the promise of this egg-based express diet! Explanations and warnings from nutritionists against too strict a diet and too rapid a weight loss.
The egg is really a super food! In addition to the flurry of good nutrients it contains (vitamins B12, D, phosphorus, iodine, lutein…), it provides a maximum of proteins known as “high biological value” because they are composed of the eight “essential” amino acids, i.e. that the body does not know how to produce and that must be provided by the diet. In practice, two eggs provide 13g of protein (about 20% of a woman’s daily requirement) and are equivalent to 100g of meat (1 small steak). This protein density makes it particularly satiating. Eating a hard-boiled egg or a boiled egg for breakfast is much better for your health (and your figure!) than eating jam on toast or honeyed cereal, because it avoids the typical cravings that start around 11 o’clock and that push you to eat anything fatty or sweet.
Egg: the star food of diets
It’s not surprising that nutritionists put it at the top of the list of perfect foods for those who want to watch their figure because, in addition to its high protein content, which preserves muscles, it is low in calories (about 90 kcalories for an average 60g egg). This is the case of Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen who, in his latest book “La Méthode Cohen” (First edition), makes it the star food of his express diet. Before following this very strict diet, the author insists on four points:
- The egg diet acts as a starter: “It is in fact a very rapid diet sequence that the members of the Savoir Maigrir program have named it. This express formula, which aims to make you lose about 3 to 4 kg in 1 week, is part of a global weight loss protocol, otherwise you will automatically gain weight again.
- The follow-up must be done according to the rules. This formula decreases energy expenditure by about 10 to 15% because the body adapts to resist the effects of the diet. This is why it is necessary to follow the program to the letter and not to stop at just the fast diet sequence.
- The diet should be short: “It is reasonable to limit this phase strictly to eight days, even if it means repeating it every two or three months. To avoid fatigue, it may be preferable to add polyvitamins (in pharmacies) and, if necessary, one or two potassium tablets, especially for people who are in deficit (with your doctor’s approval).
- There are contraindications: “diabetes, especially insulin-dependent diabetes, pregnancy, people suffering from compulsive eating, severe heart rhythm disorders, liver or kidney damage”.
Egg diet: a typical day
On closer inspection, there is not much to eat and you have to be highly motivated to follow such a monodiet, even for a short period. Dr. Cohen recommends drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of water, preferably mineral water, during the day and eating the vegetables used to prepare the broth if you are hungry.
- Breakfast: coffee, tea, water, herbal tea (without sugar). 2 or 3 egg whites without the yolk. 1 0% dairy product.
- Lunch : 2 or 3 egg whites + 1 whole egg with the yolk. Vegetable broth as much as you like. 1 dairy at 0%. 250 ml of water with lemon juice.
- Dinner: 2 or 3 egg whites + 1 whole egg with yolk. Vegetable broth as much as you like. 1 dairy at 0%. 250 ml of water with lemon juice.
The egg diet: critics are raining down!
Some nutritionists question this diet which they consider too draconian. A dietician even says she is “shocked that we can still propose such a strict diet, even for a short time, with so few kcalories to put under the tooth every day. It’s unbearable and it’s an open door to cravings and the yo-yo effect. In addition, this type of diet is no longer in fashion. Today, slimming programs are more consistent in order to avoid regaining weight when they stop. And the majority of women are now looking for slimming programs that do not endanger their health”.
The same is true of a nutritionist who believes that “this type of diet is no longer very fashionable. It’s a high-protein diet in a quasi-diet format over a week. This egg diet is both very difficult to follow and carries short-term risks for the kidneys if water consumption is not followed. There is also a risk of disturbance, weight regain, and even a total loss of hunger when returning to normal”.
Another nutritionist was also very critical and explained that “a week with less than 400 kcalories per day and only proteins, you might as well fast! In any case, wanting to lose 3 to 4 kilos per week is an aberration. Our body is not a machine. And it is not possible to obtain a loss only on the fat mass, the body is not able to destock so much fat in one week. This is not the way to obtain lasting results (strict diet without taste, without pleasure). It can even trigger food compulsions and other eating disorders”.