When you’re trying to lose weight or cut body fat for physique or performance goals, you may worry about which foods you should or should not eat, including whole eggs.
Can you eat whole eggs while cutting? Yes, you can eat whole eggs as part of a balanced meal plan while cutting. Whole eggs are a healthy source of protein, fats, and many other micronutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium that provide your body with nourishment and keep you feeling satiated.
Unless you have dietary restrictions or intolerances, you do not need to limit any type of foods during a cutting phase. Selecting a variety of foods not only offers the body an opportunity to get more micronutrients but also reinforces a positive approach to weight loss that no foods are restricted or off limits as this can hinder the level of adherence to your program while cutting.
In this article, you will walk away knowing:
- The calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients of whole eggs
- Whether you can lose weight and still eat whole eggs
- How to incorporate whole eggs into your diet while cutting
- Whether egg whites or whole eggs are better for weight loss
The Calories, Macronutrients, & Micronutrients Of Whole Eggs
As a staple breakfast food, eggs are a great option at any time of the day to provide adequate nutrition.
Once thought to increase cholesterol due to the higher cholesterol content in the yolk, many ditched the yolks and opted solely for the egg whites.
The reason whole eggs were once deemed to be a less than favorable choice, especially for adults dealing with high blood cholesterol, was because of the high cholesterol content in the yolk.
After many years of research, it became clear that there was no link to the cholesterol found in eggs and increased cardiovascular risk.
As such, in 2000, the American Heart Association revised its guidelines and confirmed that whole eggs were safe and healthy to consume.
Calories & Macronutrients
One large egg has 75 calories including 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 1g of carbohydrate.
When you are trying to lose weight and calorie intake is decreased, consuming a high protein diet is key during this time.
High protein diets while you’re cutting ensures that you are maintaining muscle mass and have proper hormonal function. This is key since during your weight loss phase you want the loss in bodyweight to be coming from fat (not muscle).
With 7g of protein, eggs are a great high-protein food option.
Another benefit to consuming whole eggs is the amount of dietary fat per portion size of one whole egg.
The egg yolk, which is where the fat in the egg comes from, has 5g of dietary fat which helps to keep you fuller for longer periods between meals.
This is a great benefit when you are in a calorie deficit to keep you feeling satiated to decrease the amount of snacking or cravings that you have.
Whole eggs are a vitamin-rich food. They contain all vitamins except for Vitamin C. The top three vitamins in whole eggs include:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Vitamin B plays a key role in maintaining the overall health of your body.
Some of the roles it plays are in energy levels, good digestion, healthy appetite, and muscle tone.
Vitamin D is needed to help build and maintain healthy teeth and bones.
It is also necessary for the absorption of calcium. This is beneficial to keep a strong structure of support for your body’s muscles over time.
Another benefit of Vitamin D is to help improve mood. This can be especially helpful during a time of weight loss, which can be mentally challenging (at times).
Vitamin E is an important nutrient related to the health of your blood, brain, and skin.
With antioxidant properties, it helps to protect against the effects of inflammation and stress when working out.
Can I Lose Weight & Still Eat Whole Eggs?
Yes, you can lose weight and still eat whole eggs as they are a great option to support a balanced and nutrient-dense diet. Whole eggs are not off-limits when you are trying to lose weight because you can simply reduce the portion size and how much you eat relative to your overall daily caloric intake.
One thing I emphasize with my nutrition clients when they are entering a cut is to approach it from a place of variety and abundance. Let me explain what this means.
Choosing a variety of nutrient-dense foods most of the time is critical to ensure that you receive essential vitamins and minerals in your diet daily.
Variety in your diet also helps to keep adherence to your nutrition goals by enjoying many different foods, flavors, and experiences with food.
Your meal plan to reach your weight loss goals does not have to be the same bland foods every day. I encourage you to choose a wide variety of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Whole eggs are a great part of this variety. Try this egg salad recipe using whole eggs as part of a nutrient-dense meal.
If you are cutting body fat, that does not mean that you need to cut out specific foods, or whole macro groups like carbohydrates to do so.
Unless you have a dietary restriction or intolerance, you can approach your weight loss journey knowing that you can have the widest, most abundant food list available to you for success.
When you are in a cut, you are typically lowering your caloric intake below what your daily requirements are to maintain your current weight. The goal is to not eliminate certain foods. Instead, modify the portion sizes to accommodate your calorie deficit.
Putting It Together
If you eat two whole eggs for breakfast during a maintenance phase, here is how you can approach continuing to eat eggs from a place of variety and abundance:
- Instead of two whole eggs, try substituting one whole egg and adding in 2-3 egg whites providing 25g of protein.
- Try putting it on a bed of arugula, with some tomatoes, a little parmesan cheese, topped with some balsamic reduction.
- You are getting an abundance of food and a variety that will help to keep you feeling nourished, full, and satisfied.
Related Article: Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Egg Whites Only?
How To Incorporate Whole Eggs Into Your Diet While Cutting
There are four ways to incorporate whole eggs into your diet while cutting:
1. Mix Whole Eggs With Egg Whites
Instead of choosing only egg whites or whole eggs, you can combine them.
You can do this a few different ways, such as:
- Making an egg scramble using one whole egg and 2 eggs whites
- Making an egg salad using one whole hard-boiled egg and two hard-boiled egg whites
- Making an egg frittata using one whole egg and two eggs whites as your base
Not only does this increase the volume of food that you can eat in a caloric deficit, but it also provides adequate amounts of both proteins and fats to help keep you satiated and satisfied between meals.
This is crucial in a cut because your calories are decreased and many people can’t stick to their diets because they choose foods that make them feel hungry all the time.
- Try this Bodybuilder’s Egg White Scramble. This recipe uses a mix of egg whites and whole eggs.
2. Easily Eat Up To 2 Whole Eggs Per Day
On a cutting diet, most people will be able to safely consume 2 whole eggs per day and still be within a caloric deficit.
Consuming 2 whole eggs will provide you with 14g of protein, 10g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, and a total of 150 calories. As you can see, you’d still have 1350 calories left over after eating 2 eggs, and you could still eat a variety of food, including more eggs if you so choose.
If you want a custom meal plan or would like to discuss the specific calories or macros you need for cutting weight, please book a 20-minute coaching consultation with us!
3. If You’re Concerned About Meal Timing, Don’t Eat Whole Eggs Pre Workout
Unless you are an athlete focused on nutrient timing to maximize performance, nutrient timing may not be important for you.
If this is the case, there is no best time to eat whole eggs.
Eggs are most often enjoyed as a breakfast food but are not limited to this time of day.
As they are nutrient-dense food, they help to provide a balanced diet and a great source of micronutrients.
However, if you are someone who is focused on nutrient timing, consuming egg whites before your workout will be beneficial due to the high protein content but you may find saving the whole eggs until after your workout to be best.
As two whole eggs do not exceed the recommended threshold of 20g of fat following a workout, you may want to focus on an increased amount of protein and carbohydrates to refuel and replenish your energy stores and wait two to three hours post-workout to ingest a high-fat meal.
4. Combine Whole Eggs With Other Nutrient Dense Foods
As part of a balanced diet, include whole eggs into your meals with other nutrient-dense foods such as complex carbohydrates (oatmeal or whole-grain bread for example), fruit and vegetables.
Some great options to pair with whole eggs include whole grain bread, toasted and topped with avocado and tomato.
Another option would be to add 2 hard-boiled whole eggs, with oatmeal topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and raspberries and blueberries.
- Related Article: Can You Mix Whey Protein With Eggs?
Frequently Asked Questions: Whole Eggs While Cutting
Can You Still Lose Weight Eating Whole Eggs?
Yes, you can still lose weight by eating whole eggs. As one whole egg is only 150 calories, it is a great source of both proteins and fats (7g of protein and 5g of fat per egg), to help keep you feeling full and satiated throughout the day and decrease the amount of unnecessary snacking between meals.
Should You Eat Egg White Or Whole Eggs For Weight Loss?
Both egg whites and whole eggs support weight loss since they are a great source of protein, which helps you maintain your muscle mass while losing weight. Whole eggs will also provide a source of healthy fat from the yolk, which will help to prolong the feeling of fullness between meals.
- Related Article: Drinking Egg Whites: Are There Benefits?
Does Egg Yolk Increase Belly Fat?
Specifically, egg yolks do not increase belly fat. In fact, there are no known foods that increase belly fat. Consuming an excess of calories from any food will increase the risk of gaining body fat, specifically in the belly. Genetics, daily diet, age, and lifestyle will also have an impact on belly fat.
- Related Article: Eggs Make Me Gassy & Bloated: 4 Reasons & How To Fix
Eating Other Foods While Cutting
- Can I Eat Peanut Butter While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Bread While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Chocolate While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Rice While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Pasta While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Fruit While Cutting?
Alexander DD, Miller PE, Vargas AJ, Weed DL, Cohen SS. Meta-analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Nov-Dec;35(8):704-716. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2016.1152928. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PMID: 27710205.
Réhault-Godbert, S., Guyot, N., & Nys, Y. (2019). The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients, 11(3), 684. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030684
Missimer, A., DiMarco, D. M., Andersen, C. J., Murillo, A. G., Vergara-Jimenez, M., & Fernandez, M. L. (2017). Consuming Two Eggs per Day, as Compared to an Oatmeal Breakfast, Decreases Plasma Ghrelin while Maintaining the LDL/HDL Ratio. Nutrients, 9(2), 89. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9020089
About The Author
Caryn Watt is a certified personal trainer & nutrition coach. Working primarily with women all over the world, she focuses her time on helping clients learn more about nutrition and the importance of improving their relationship with food through tracking macros, movement, and mindfulness.
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