How I’m Losing Weight This Year: The Egg White Scramble

03.17.2014 | 9:57 am

A couple years ago, I wrote about how I used egg whites and avocado to lose weight. A couple years later, people still ask me if I continue to be on the avocado and egg white diet. 

The answer is, “Yes…sort of.”

The problem, as you might expect, is that this particular diet works only if you actually stick to it. And even a person who doesn’t particularly need or care about variety in food — e.g., me — eventually gets tired of eating the same thing over and over.

So, as The Hammer and I work on our respective weight loss efforts in the FatCyclist / Beeminder weight loss challenge, we’ve adapted the recipe a little. And it’s working out great (I’m at 167.6 pounds today, down from my initial weigh-in of 173).

Essentially, we’ve started scrambling the egg whites with a lot of mushrooms, onions, and zucchini. And some cheese. And often, some chicken or steak. 

And — even for The Hammer, who’s down to her last couple of pounds to lose (and I’m down to my last twelve or so to lose) — it’s working. 

It’s delicious, it works, and — once you know a couple tricks we have been using — it’s really fast and easy.

So let’s get started.

Prep Work

It sounds like too much work to chop and sauté a bunch of onions, mushrooms and zucchini before each meal…and it is.

So we do a huge batch of onions, mushrooms, and zucchini, all at once, and then refrigerate it, using some whenever we cook.

There’s no recipe, no correct amount of what to use. But we chop up a couple onions and then enough mushrooms and zucchini to fill the biggest frying pan we have in the house.

And instead of butter, we sauté using chicken broth.

Sure, this takes a little time, but then we’ve got this mixture that turns our very boring batch of egg whites into a meal that has some bulk (which means it looks like more food and takes longer to eat, which is pretty important when you’re dieting), and it tastes good

Without, I should add, adding any significant number of carbs or other calories.

Prep Work, Part 2

The Hammer and I have been grilling a lot of chicken and steak on the outdoor barbecue lately. This is of course for the family dinner. As long as we’re doing this, though, we’ve started grilling — and then refrigerating — extra. Which we’ve then been chopping into our scrambled egg whites.

Adding It All Together

So, between five egg whites, a few big spoonfuls of our pre-saute’d onion/mushroom/zucchini mix, several bite-sized pieces of steak or chicken, and just a tiny amount of shredded cheese, we’ve got a really nice-sized (and good-tasting) meal, which can be made in just a few minutes. We then chop up some tomato and a quarter of an avocado (per person) on top of this, add some Cholula (for me) or Chipotle Tabasco (for her), and you’ve got something that doesn’t remotely feel like you’re dieting.

But you are.

Because that’s all lean protein, good fats, and hardly any carbs.

Try it. You’ll (probably) like it.

Bonus Tip

As a cyclist, I would never ever say that you should live a carb-free life. If you’re going to exercise for more than an hour at a stretch, it just won’t work. 

But, if you skip the carbs during most of the day and then have some carbs (I like to have the egg white scramble described above, but wrapped in a tortilla) in the meal before you exercise, you’ll have the energy you need to get in a good workout, and (this is important to me) you appease the God of Carb Craves that otherwise will eventually overpower all your willpower and leave you eating an entire loaf of bread at a single sitting.

PS: I tried taking pictures of what the egg white scramble looks like, but I lack the gift of photographing food, and scrambled eggs are pretty gross-looking anyways. 


  1. Comment by SLL | 03.17.2014 | 10:10 am

    My wife and I have been doing slow-carb diet for last three weeks (no grains, rice, cheese, or beer). We are both down quite a bit (me over 10 pounds, she has a lot less to lose than me). The first week is hard, then your body adapts. I like the idea of making all the veggies at once as can be a bit of a hassle to do every morning.

    Yep! And by doing a LOT of veggies at once, you move it from being an annoyance that slows your morning routine down into the realm of easy, no-brain project to do once every several days while watching the news, talking about the day, or whatever. I don’t at all mind getting everything out to get the chop-work done once in a while; I just don’t like doing it every time I eat. – FC

  2. Comment by Wife#1 | 03.17.2014 | 10:32 am

    Great prep tips and if I have learned one thing the last year and a half losing weight, it’s that doing the planning and preparation in advance to set yourself up to be successful, to arrange your lifestyle and environment to make it easier, that is probably the most impactful effort you can make.

    I’m down 12# so far but I was at the high end of a bounce so it was mainly water weight. The last 4 days I have been losing between .2 and .4, so now it’s really game on. Speaking of which, I need to get my game on my bicycle seat this afternoon, looks like rain is headed back this way.

    Oh and HUGE KUDOS to our own @GregC… who finished a double century this last weekend in 12ish hours! Just fantastic!!

  3. Comment by CHICKEN LITTLE | 03.17.2014 | 11:18 am


    I inject them straight into my veins. – FC

  4. Comment by AndyH | 03.17.2014 | 1:08 pm

    Doesn’t the zucchini get kinda soggy or do you not pre-cook it all the way through?

  5. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.17.2014 | 1:19 pm

    In the spirit of extracting humor by majoring on minors and being pedantic by correcting humorous side-comments, you said: “Without, I should add, adding any significant number of carbs or other calories“.

    I think you should be informed Fatty, that a carb is not actually a sub-variety of calorie.

    In the spirit of actually wanting to know: Why are you removing the egg yolks? They don’t contain significant carbohydrates, do they?

  6. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 03.17.2014 | 1:54 pm

    That sounds good even if you aren’t dieting (but I’ll leave in the yolks). I’m feeling hungry…

  7. Comment by Wife#1 | 03.17.2014 | 2:23 pm

    @clydesteve Oh oh – I know this one!

    The yolk has most of the calories (relative to you know, being an egg at least).

    The yolk has more fat and calories than the whites, but the white has more protein.

    You can have about 8 egg whites for the same calories as 2 whole eggs – so for volume to fill yourself up and get good protein, the whites go a long way.

    That said, the yolk does have a lot of important nutrients!

    Here’s a handy chart on egg nutrient break downs:

  8. Comment by J | 03.17.2014 | 3:19 pm

    Toads on Toast is a great little breakfast. Maybe a bit more carbs than you would like, but a great Sunday meal! Seriously, Toads on Toast. There is a recipe in the back of the children’s book.

    One must read the story to find it more enjoyable. Basically a toad tricks a wolf into eating eggs and not her toadlings. Simply remove the inner portion of the bread and place the egg inside while on the pan. This way you have eggs in the center of the toast!

  9. Comment by Quien | 03.17.2014 | 4:50 pm

    Follow former Olympian Clara Hughes as she is undertaking a major biking challenge of her own. She set out this past Friday on a 12,000 km mission to bike around Canada for the next 110 days of grueling stretches including some of the most remote areas such as the Canadian Arctic. Here’s more information about it here:

  10. Comment by Sunny | 03.17.2014 | 5:40 pm

    Went out and bought all the said ingredients. Brought them home and cooked them up. Kind of missing the flavor of buttered sauted veggies…oh well. Looks like I’ll be eating this for at least a week. Green smoothies in the morning and this stuff in the evenings.

  11. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 03.17.2014 | 5:48 pm

    I’ve been using your egg-whites diet to some good effect for the past year and find it works great to supplant a higher calorie meal on a regular basis. I am doing that more now in order to drop weight. To avoid the egg yolk issue, I just buy cartons of egg whites from Costco in bulk which eliminates any of the mess and waste. Your egg-white diet has been better than any commercial weight loss regimen, and you’re just giving away this invaluable weight loss enlightenment for free.
    You are such a giver!

  12. Comment by spaceyace | 03.17.2014 | 6:36 pm

    Yummy! I’m going to add this to my breakfast routine for a little variety.

    I think my recipe is pretty darn good too:
    One whole egg in small to medium pan, fill up the rest of the pan with egg whites. Throw a generous handful of spinach on top. Turn egg so spinach is now in contact with pan. Top egg with pesto, salsa, mushrooms, whatever. Add a sprinkling of low-fat mozzarella. Place lid on pan & turn off burner. Wait until cheese melts, remove, enjoy alone or a with slice of sprouted whole grain toast. (I usually include sprouted whole grain toast. Beats talking to the ceiling.)

  13. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 03.17.2014 | 11:28 pm

    Please send all your egg yolks to me. I’ll make yellow cakes and send them back to you. Just trying to help.

  14. Comment by Ruthe | 03.18.2014 | 12:49 am

    You’ve probably already seen this trick to separate egg yolks using a water bottle but just in case:

  15. Comment by David C. | 03.18.2014 | 7:02 am

    Been doing a few things…

    1. I do intermittent fasting. I only eat between 12-8 pm. This always has helped me, I don’t particularly miss a meal in the morning AND the big one is it helps me have a more “real” meal at lunch and dinner in terms of calories. See I’m on a 5′4″ guy and on a diet my calorie total for the day has to be pretty darn low. Have a 200-300 cal breakfast and suddenly if you want a real dinner you have to have a 200-300 cal lunch too… not fun and sometimes not practical when you travel as much as I do unless you want to live on protein bars.

    2. Tracking calories in and having a health plan taking me to my next half marathon in May is important for accountability and I wear a Garmin Vivofit all day to make sure my 5 mile run of the day isn’t the only movement I get before sitting back down on the couch.

  16. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 03.18.2014 | 10:55 am

    @David C. I can imagine that 5′4″ guy you’re on is hoping you lose weight quickly. Keep it going ;-)

    Personally, I just replace a big calorie dinner with an egg-white + whatever is handy meal and that reduces my total calories enough to lose weight slowly and steadily and I don’t feel hungry. If I skip breakfast then by 10am I’m raiding the candy jars at work due to hunger pangs – Its hard to change habits, especially eating habits.

  17. Comment by Sarah | 03.18.2014 | 1:32 pm

    You put avocado and egg together- and I’m a happy girl. Everything else is gravy. Er… A bonus.


  18. Comment by Bdubs | 03.18.2014 | 1:59 pm

    I bet if you roasted the veggies in the oven with just a little olive oil it would add a lot of flavor and might be easier than standing over a saute pan.

  19. Comment by Joe | 03.18.2014 | 2:12 pm

    As someone who is slow with a knife and doesn’t have a food processor, I’ve found a decent mandoline slicer like this one works wonders for me when prepping veggies, especially onions.

    For longer term storage, you can freeze them once chopped as well but they tend become blocks of veggies. I use the snack sized ziplock bags to freeze them in the approximate portions I cook them in.

  20. Comment by David C. | 03.18.2014 | 3:13 pm

    @UpTheGrade, SR, CA

    proofreading is keyy.

  21. Comment by Ben | 03.18.2014 | 3:21 pm


  22. Comment by Tal F | 03.18.2014 | 3:23 pm

    Hey Fatty, I’m just wondering how much of your weight loss comes from reducing food consumption versus increased exercise. I’m using a calorie and exercise tracker (LoseIt). I’m finding it impossible to stay within my very low calorie allotment without copious added exercise, though admittedly I’ve chosen a rather ambitious goal of 3 lbs/week.

    By the way, I’m signed up for beeminder but not the contest (for various personal reasons), but I’m watching this contest closely from the sidelines.

  23. Comment by Sunny | 03.18.2014 | 6:17 pm

    Okay…after trying this “delicious” meal and buying a bushel of all the ingredients to last me a month I’ve done some revising for dinner two. No egg whites, sauté in some butter with a dash of salt and pepper. Much better. I’ll pump up the exercising and research how to use white egg whites. I’m such a failure!

  24. Comment by MikeL | 03.18.2014 | 8:53 pm

    A good alternative would also be some of the baked egg variations that can be found Allen Lim and Biju Thomas’ Feed Zone cookbook. Baked eggs did not sound good but leave a slightly runny yolk and add some breakfast meat and a little cheese or veggies and you have a good high protein low carb breakfast.

  25. Comment by Harmon | 03.18.2014 | 11:11 pm

    Awesome. But let me tell you about the three spoonfuls of chunky peanut butter I ate just now. They were good.

  26. Comment by Hergules (Joe Herget) | 03.19.2014 | 9:47 am

    Thanks Fatty – Working for me too (although I needed to alternate omelettes and scrambled to keep from going totally insane)… Down 5.6 lbs in 14 days.. Only 23 more to go (lbs not days).

    One more cost & time-saving suggestion… The local club store sells bulk egg whites in pourable cartons fairly cheap (compared to using whole eggs) and best of all I don’t need to spend any time separating eggs.

  27. Comment by Linda Matheson | 03.19.2014 | 3:25 pm

    Sounds awesome! I do the exact same thing, but sometimes I put in some basil and a tiny bit of feta cheese for variety in the taste. Yum.

  28. Pingback by When You Want To Loose It All And Keep It Off | | 03.22.2014 | 9:59 pm

    [...] good way to shed weight is avoiding egg whites and only eating the yolk. The yolk contains healthy properties but it is also high in fat and [...]

  29. Comment by Tom | 03.23.2014 | 12:16 pm

    Hi I did the low carb diet for 2 year’s and I lost 4 stone and also ran 3 marathons in that time. After giving up the low carb and running I put on 2 stone in 2 years. I now cycle to work most days a distance of 20 miles. I also do the EOD diet or you can follow the 5/2 diet. I can honestly say that I have never felt better so why not give it a try.


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