Connect with Us: Foodservice RDs & Health Professionals

Trying To Lose Weight? Lighten Up With Eggs!

When you think eggs, think satiety, and feeling satiated helps you achieve your weight loss goal.  As usual, I like to explore the meaning of words, and this month, satiety provokes my interest.  To be satiated means to be full, to be satisfied completely, usually related to food, and eating eggs are a smart strategy to achieve that goal.

Weight is just a number on the scale, but how you get to weight loss makes a big difference in whether or not you can stay at your goal permanently.  I always like to say that all “diets’ work”…in terms of reducing calories and increasing activity. But, what you do to reduce those calories can make a big difference in maintaining your goal weight.

If you “go on” a weight loss diet, and use diet supplements or meal replacements to cut your calories, what do you do after you lose your weight?  Do you go back to eating what you used to eat…the ‘diet’ that made you overweight to begin with?  Isn’t it smarter, more strategic, to adopt healthy behaviors now…choose foods differently so that you lose weight by eating smart, instead of ‘dieting’ in the first place.  Make your usual diet a satiating one, and you can lose weight permanently.

That’s why a study comparing a breakfast of eggs compared to bagels is exciting.  Two groups consumed a similar number of calories and protein, but the egg group (2 breakfast eggs daily) felt fuller and more satisfied before lunchtime compared to the bagel breakfast group.  The researchers estimate that because they were more satiated from eggs at breakfast, they ate less for lunch…significantly less, about 160 calories less per day.  That adds up!  And they reported being less hungry from the rest of day.  Over the course of one year you could tip that scale in your favor, because you’re consuming about 17 pounds worth of fewer calories.

But, hold on, are all egg breakfasts created equal?  No, because it’s all in the preparation.  Many inherently healthy foods are made fatty and high-calorie because of how that food is served.  A healthy food, on its own, may have the power of satiety, and then be adulterated and changed so that it’s barely recognizable. Think of that poor baked potato, with just about 100 smart calories, sitting innocently in its bare skin, full of potassium, magnesium, and with fiber and protein too.  But when you glob on sour cream and cheese, then that potato becomes a vehicle for fat—each added tablespoon has about has many calories as the potato itself.

And it’s the same with eggs!  Eggs, those small gems of tasty nutrition, with about 70 calories, zinc, iron and vitamins A, D, E and B12 and about 6 grams of protein per egg—they contain all the essential amino acids necessary for good health. But fried in fat, scrambled in whole fat milk, or covered with cheese, well, that’s adding hundreds of calories and grams of saturated fat.  Uncover the true taste and benefits of eggs for staying satisfied while losing weight.

I think that the most common reason given for not eating eggs for breakfast is not having time.  I ask clients, if you had the time, would you rather eat eggs for breakfast or would you rather have instant oatmeal or cold cereal, or a granola bar, or a bagel with a schmear?  Just about everyone who likes eggs wants eggs, so time-challenged people, for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner too, here are some weight-wise eating options.

Tips for eating healthy with eggs all day:

  •  Breakfast:  My favorite quick-hot-egg breakfasts is cracking an egg into a microwave-proof cup, cook for 1 minute, top with a grind of sea salt and cracked pepper.  Hard boiled eggs are great for grab-and-go.
  • Lunch:  Slice a hard boiled over whole wheat pita: layer on some slices of tomato and avocado.  Egg salad is a breeze to make: add diced celery, onion, and a tablespoon of nonfat Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Or try Safest Choice’s Healthy Egg Salad Florentine Recipe here.
  • Dinner: Think frittata, an open-faced omelet.  My favorite is beating a couple of eggs per person with some non-fat buttermilk, then quick-sauté your favorite veggies: mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, then cook in a medium-hot skillet until set.  Now you’re cooking!

 

Safest Choice broccoli and carrot frittata