As the famous saying goes, “You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs,” and one buff social media influencer has taken that idiom to a level we didn't know was possible.
On Saturday, TikToker Fernando Torraca aka "The King of Diet" posted a video showing his unique daily food preparation ritual. In the video, the bodybuilding influencer can be seen cracking several cartons of eggs and separating them into yolks and whites. At least 84 broken egg shells can be counted in the video frame.
“They say Roids but they don’t see my struggles,” reads the text on the TikTok that has nearly 115,000 views but only 2,770 likes. “It’s not easy (to) eat 100 eggs daily.”
On top of the video, audio of Don Draper from a famous “Mad Men” scene plays, a clip often used on TikTok for comedy videos.
“You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts, but I never forget,” Draper intones over video of Torraca pouring all of the egg yolks he just gathered into the sink next to him. We’re assuming he’s only having egg whites this morning.
While some viewers are lauding Torraca for his staunch commitment to protein, there are others that aren’t questioning the diet at all but rather why he’s disposing of all those egg yolks.
“Wait serious question, why not just buy egg whites?” asked another TikTok user.
“You be leaving behind the most important part of the egg lol,” read another comment.
“Give the yolks to soup kitchens or shelters. You don’t have to waste it bro,” commented someone else.
“I would probably sell those yolks to the cake shop next door,” wrote yet another person.
Still, there are a few folks that think that these videos are simply an attempt to egg on the algorithm and get views, so to speak.
“Acting like you have to eat all that to get strong,” said one commenter, adding a laughing emoji to the comment.
Furthermore, there are some users that are arguing in the comments on whether or not this kind of diet is a good idea at all, bringing other bodybuilding greats into the discussion.
“Too many nutrients in the yolk to toss out. Arnold ate whole eggs,” said another TikTok user, referring to actor and iconic muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another user replied to that comment by saying, “Arnold’s had 2 heart surgeries also.”
Torraca has garnered a bit of criticism from other fitness YouTubers like Greg Doucette for his unique diet, indicating that not only couch potatoes are questioning his meal plan. The TikToker, who has accounts on YouTube and other social media as well, regularly receives dubious comments from inquiring minds commenting on his videos about eggs and over-the-top "cheat meals" at pizza places and burger joints which have garnered up to 971,000 views each on TikTok.
Torraca had not responded to TODAY Food's request for comment as of this writing. The over-the-top bodybuilder has already answered those of us who may be wondering why he eats that many eggs a day in a YouTube video he aptly titled, “Why i eat 100 EGGS DAILY?!!!”
“Let me explain: I don’t eat the whole eggs … only the egg whites,” said The King of Diet in his video, before showing off a clear mug filled to the brim with egg yolks that would likely be poured down the drain like he did in his TikTok (instead of perhaps being whipped into a delicious mayonnaise).
Torraca also said that he does add egg yolks (in this video, two) to his diet of the hundred-or-so egg-whites he allegedly consumes every day, remarking that that number is the only fat he needs from yolks. He later adds in the video why he only eats eggs, instead of expanding his protein intake to other high-protein, low-fat foods like some types of dairy or poultry.
“I eat eggs because when I eat chicken I feel bloated, all right?” he clarifies in the video, as he cooks his gathered eggy mix into a serious mass of egg scramble. “When I have gas, my belly looks like (I'm) 6 months pregnant. I don’t like it.” Fair enough.
Even with this explanation from The King of Diet himself, we would be remiss if we didn't ask a nutritionist about the ins-and-outs of protein building in this fashion.
Why are eggs so beloved by the bodybuilding set?
“Athletes trying to gain muscle mass have higher protein needs than regular fitness enthusiasts or the general population and eggs are a very convenient protein source at a friendly price point,” registered dietitian Samantha Cassetty told TODAY.
Cassetty also said that a large egg has six grams of protein, but you can also get protein from many other sources, including seafood, poultry, Greek yogurt, grass-fed beef and plant-based sources, such as beans, legumes and tofu, so there are many options for Torraca if he ever gets sick of eggs.
“There’s nothing magical about eggs,” Cassetty said, adding that protein from any animal source has all the amino acids needed for the body to help build and maintain muscle mass. “However, this man uses egg whites, which are also low in saturated fat and calories. That can be helpful if you’re watching your intake of either. Meanwhile, you don’t have to eat eggs or animal protein to build or maintain muscle mass.”
You can get what you need from a carefully planned plant-based diet, although plant-based athletes may need additional protein from a plant-based protein powder.
Also, Cassetty said that there’s more to building and maintaining muscle mass than just getting adequate protein from eggs and other sources. Protein timing is key since your body can only use so much protein from a meal. You also need protein and carbohydrates after your workout when your body is in recovery mode. It’s also critical to meet your calorie needs. And, of course, diet is only part of the equation — you also have to participate in an effective strength training program.
OK, yes — eggs are healthy. But what about 100 eggs?
Cassetty said that if a client were to tell her that they were eating 100 eggs in one day, that it would be a red flag that the person isn’t eating a variety of healthful foods and may have some food phobias or superstitions.
“It can also be a sign that someone has a disordered relationship with food or their body,” Cassetty said. “The reality is that it’s not healthy to make any single food a way of life. The healthiest diets include a variety of foods with an emphasis on filling 75% of your plate with diverse, plant-based foods, such as veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans.”
Cassetty said that all of these foods in concert supply the building blocks that facilitate optimal training and repair. "Exercise puts a lot of stress on your body. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbs and anti-inflammatory fats in plant foods help the recovery process, allowing you to continue to train and get stronger.”
What’s an ideal amount of eggs to consume when pumping iron?
If you want to look like The King of Diet, The Rock or anyone else similarly ripped, what it really boils down to is eating a healthy diet and meeting your energy needs while also getting adequate protein spaced throughout the day, including after a workout, Cassetty said.
“If your goal is building muscle, both egg whites and whole eggs (as part of a healthy diet and training regimen) will get the job done,” Cassetty said, citing 2021 research from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. “But when it comes to muscle recovery, the whole egg seems to have an edge. The yolk has many beneficial nutrients, including vitamin D, choline, selenium, and vitamin B12 among others.”
According to research from a 2019 study in the journal Sports Medicine, researchers aren’t clear on what provides the additional muscle recovery boost in protein consumption, but the theory is that whole foods supply an optimal package of nutrients, so they’re better for the body in the long-run.
“Egg whites are lower in calories and saturated fat, so if you’re watching your intake of either, then egg whites may be a better choice. However, that doesn’t mean you have to throw out the yolk like this guy,” Cassetty said, adding that this is adding to the food waste problem the world is facing. “You can beat the eggs with a little salt or sugar and freeze them for later use. Or, if you never intend to eat the yolk, I’d suggest buying egg whites instead of wasting the yolks.”
Cassetty adds that healthy people can safely eat up to seven whole eggs per week because egg yolks are a source of saturated fat. “While there’s no limit to the number of egg whites you can eat per week, it’s not helpful to get more protein than your body needs in one sitting,” she said.
“The number of eggs or amount of protein needed depends on the person’s weight and training,” Cassetty said. “To increase muscle mass, you need about 1.6 or 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. That’s about 155 grams of protein per day for a 200-pound man. If eating 4 meals per day, that would amount to about 39 grams of protein per meal, or about 11 egg whites.”
To be fair, Torraca isn’t telling anyone else to copy him. He makes it clear when a commenter on one of his eggcessive videos says he’s “motivating others.”
“Kid I appreciate it,” he replied. “But just don’t do … what I do.”