Eggs aren’t just for breakfast for good reason—they help you feel satisfied and they’re low in calories and carbs. And that makes them a great option for weight loss, when you’re looking to drop any extra pounds.
“Research has shown that when you eat an egg at a meal versus a bagel, you’ll eat significantly fewer calories over the rest of the day,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT. Having an egg for breakfast may help decrease cravings and not-great diet selections during the day, and can help create a positive mindset to better handle healthy meal planning.
When it comes to how a serving of eggs measures up to a serving of other proteins, they’re pretty similar. Three eggs contain about 18 to 20 grams of protein (depending on the size of the egg) and about 234 calories. For comparison, 3 ounces of chicken, beef, or ground turkey contain about 22 to 23 grams.
And you can stop worrying about the cholesterol in eggs; research suggests that dietary cholesterol, the kind associated with consuming eggs, doesn’t have a negative effect on your blood cholesterol.
The best ways to eat eggs for weight loss
Yes, you can buy these already made. But really, they’re easy to make yourself and you can prep these high protein breakfasts or snacks in advance to have all week long.
Non-cooks like to make jokes about how they “can’t even boil an egg,” but the truth is, there’s a lot of discussion among people who love to cook about what the best way to do it is. Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD, CDN recommends this method: Fill a pot a quarter of the way with cold water and place the eggs in the pot. Add more cold water to cover the eggs at least an inch or two. Boil on high heat to a full rolling boil. At that point, you can add a bit of salt to the water to prevent cracking. Once the pot is boiling, turn it off and let sit for 10 to 12 minutes.
Hard-boiled eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and can be kept for up to a week. If you peel them, you should eat them within two days. If you’re going out and want to bring hard-boiled eggs with you, know that they can stay safe at room temperature for about 2 hours. “If it’s going to be longer, pack them with an ice pack and keep the shells on and in an airtight container,” says Schapiro.
Omelets and scrambled eggs
Schapiro loves making a simple vegetable omelet or adding vegetables into scrambled eggs. Serve with additional vegetables, and whole-grain toast—both are ways to add fiber to the meal, which helps with weight loss and with your overall health.
Eggs in a cup
If you are short on time, you can even microwave eggs in a cup. “Spray a mug with cooking spray, scramble the eggs, add some milk, salt, and pepper, and microwave on high for 40 seconds. Stir the edges and continue to microwave in increments of 10 to 20 seconds until they are fully cooked,” says Schapiro.
How eggs might work against weight loss
Eggs can be super healthy, but if you’re serving them with a tray of biscuits, they’re not going to bring you the weight loss you want. And sure, Eggs Benedict is technical “eggs,” but “with the English muffin, bacon, butter, Hollandaise sauce, and poached egg, this can add up to almost 800 calories,” says Schapiro. That’s fine if you plan for it; just stay alert to what your egg toppings are doing for you.
But when you whip up eggs with common sense and some great accoutrements (hot sauce!), they can be great allies if you’re aiming to lose weight.