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What Is a Bone Broth Fast, and How Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Lately, bone broth has been trending as a healthy drink—health enthusiasts promote it as a nutrient-rich drink that can limit the signs of aging and reduce joint pain, among many other health benefits. But is there any evidence backing up these claims?

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What Is Bone Broth Fast, and How Does It Work?

Bone broth is the liquid left after boiling animal bones. It’s an excellent source of collagen, responsible for giving that smooth aspect to healthy-looking skin. Moreover, regularly consuming bone broth can contribute to strengthening your immune system.

As the name suggests, bone broth fasting consists of drinking only bone broth with no solid food for a set period. Aside from bone broth, you can drink water and other fasting-safe beverages such as coffee or herbal teas.

So, how is bone broth fasting different from intermittent fasting (IF)? During a bone broth fast, you replace your meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with bone broth. Bone broths contain calories, so, unlike in a regular IF period, during a bone broth fasting period you consume up to 300 calories.

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Different Ways to Do the Bone Broth Fast

There is no definitive way to do a bone broth fast, so you have all the freedom you need to create your unique fasting experience.

If you’re a beginner and feel like you need some guidance on how to start your bone broth fasting journey, keep reading! We have compiled the 4 most common bone broth fasting patterns so you can choose the most convenient one for you.

2 – 3 day bone broth fast

This fasting method is based on gut reset, which means giving the microbiome in your digestive tract a break. This can be achieved simply by abstaining from solid food for an extended time, so your gut gets a much-needed break so it can rest.

This is the most basic way to do a bone broth fast. And its guidelines are pretty straightforward:

How to do a 2–3 day bone broth fast?

  • Prepare enough bone broth to last your entire fasting period.
  • Drink a cup of bone broth at least 3 times a day.
  • Aside from bone broth, you can also drink water and unsweetened tea. It’s generally recommended to avoid other beverages, as they may interrupt gut rest.

It’s important to note that this is an advanced fasting method, so remember to listen to your body if you give it a go: if you start feeling dizzy or sick, stop the fast and eat.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a time-restricted eating pattern consisting of eating and fasting periods that gained popularity as a weight loss method.

Fasting means reducing your calorie intake to zero for a relatively long period—12, 14, 16 hours or more, depending on your chosen pattern. While doing this, your insulin levels drop, allowing your body to burn stored fat for energy. In addition, IF promotes insulin resistance by keeping your blood sugar levels in check.

Technically, a bone broth fast breaks the no-calorie rule. However, considering that it’s a zero-carb drink, you can consume it moderately during your fasting period.

Bone broth fasts are an excellent way to start fasting as a beginner: it’s pretty filling, so it can help fight off food cravings and hunger pangs.

The bone broth diet

This 21-day diet claims to help you lose up to 15 pounds and 4 inches off your waist in just 21 days.

The bone broth diet was created by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, a board-certified naturopathic physician, and gained traction with the release of her book, “Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet”.

It consists of 2 fasting days and 5 eating days. Here are the basics:

  • 2 (non-consecutive) fasting days of your choice, during which you consume around 5 cups of bone broth. This should make up the entirety of your caloric intake. The idea is to stay at 300 to 500 calories per fast.
  • 5 eating days during which you eat low-carb and paleo meals and have a cup of bone broth in between these meals.
  • No food after 7 PM on both fasting and eating days.

Alternate day fasting

Alternate day fasting is a type of intermittent fasting where you fast for one day and eat whatever you want the next. Generally, people choose not to eat anything during their daily fast. However, some modified versions allow you to consume up to 500 calories, which you can meet by drinking bone broth.

How to mix bone broth and alternate-day fasting? Just consume bone broth 3 to 5 times during a fasting day. Again, you can drink some other fasting-safe drinks, and since you’re not doing this for gut reset, you may also drink unsweetened coffee.

Much like intermittent fasting, alternate-day fasting is an excellent weight management tool and a sure way to trigger autophagy, which has been shown to boost your metabolism and improve your heart health.

How to Make Bone Broth?

Even though there is a large variety of pre-made bone broth available at the store, your best bet is to make it from scratch. It’s super easy to prepare, and this way, you’ll make sure the resulting broth falls within your required calorie intake.

There are numerous bone broth recipes you can try, all based on different bones: chicken, beef, pork, and even fish. As an example, let’s learn how to make chicken bone broth.


  • A chicken carcass
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh thyme
  • Parsley
  • A teaspoon of salt
  • A teaspoon of whole peppercorns
  • A teaspoon of oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar


  • Fill a large pot with 20 cups of water.
  • Place all of the ingredients into the pot.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and let it simmer anywhere between 12 to 24 hours.
  • Strain broth until only the liquid is left and serve.

Besides the traditional method of simply boiling the bones in a pot, you can also use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker for similar results.

How Does Bone Broth Help With Weight Loss?

There are several ways bone broth can help you in your journey to lose weight:

Even though bone broth is low in calories, it’s actually quite filling—in fact, several studies have shown that soups make you feel fuller than solid foods. This increased satiety can help you consume fewer calories overall.

Moreover, bone broth is loaded with protein, and high-protein foods are an excellent method of boosting your metabolism and gaining lean muscle.

But remember—no food, drink, or pill will make you lose unwanted pounds on its own. Weight loss is a process, and in order to see results, you must maintain a healthy lifestyle with habits that contribute to this journey. The most essential components of weight loss are a well-balanced diet, frequent exercise, and keeping track of your habits.

DoFasting can help you with the latter: it’s a mobile app that enables you to track your intermittent fasting journey, foods eaten, water intake, and more. Choose your fasts, log your calorie intake, and stay in control of your weight loss progress.

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Other Benefits of Bone Broth in Combination With Fasting

Consuming bone broth alone is known to benefit you in one way or another, but combining it with fasting can significantly affect your body in the short and long term. After all, bone broth shares many benefits with intermittent fasting.

Contains many essential vitamins and minerals

Bone broth contains loads of vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy body. Its nutritional value varies based on the type of animal bone you’re using, but a serving of bone broth will always contain calcium, magnesium, and protein collagen.

Unlike water or liquid fasts, bone broth fasting will provide you with essential nutrients without you breaking your fast. This makes bone broth an excellent starting point for beginners, as it will give them adequate hydration and energy during their fasting period.

But how can a liquid have so many benefits? Well, it all boils down to how bone broth is made. As discussed above, the bones must simmer in water for an extended period before the broth is ready for consumption. This process ensures that all essential nutrients are pulled out of the bone and released into the water for you to enjoy.

Better digestion

Bone broth is entirely liquid, making it easy to digest.

Its nutritional contents, specifically gelatin and amino acids, promote a healthy gut. In fact, some studies have shown that the amino acid glutamine plays a crucial role in maintaining proper gut barrier function.

Since bone broth is loaded with gut-strengthening nutrients (collagen, gelatin, glutamine, and glycine), it can benefit people with the “leaky gut” syndrome.

And what happens to the digestive system when you mix bone broth and intermittent fasting? IF is often praised for improving digestion: by abstaining from food for an extended period, you give your digestive system time to rest and repair itself. And by adding bone broth into the mix, you give a boost to the entire process.

Good for skin health

Animal bones, just like human bones, contain collagen. This valuable nutrient is released into your broth’s water during simmering and can be easily absorbed by your body.

Research suggests that consuming collagen can improve your skin health. This nutrient is better absorbed by our bodies when taken orally—that is, by drinking or eating it. Basically, consuming collagen-rich foods may reduce the appearance of wrinkles by improving your skin’s elasticity even more efficiently than topical collagen found in creams and other skincare products.

Intermittent fasting may also improve skin health by reducing inflammation and triggering autophagy. Thus, combining bone broth and intermittent fasting can enhance the effects it has on your skin.

Strengthens your immune system

Your immune system is closely linked to your food choices and gut health. In fact, poor food choices can negatively affect your immune cells, which play a crucial role in keeping your immune system in good shape.

Bone broth has several amino acids that contribute to the health of your immune system, like arginine, glutamine, and glycine.

However, you should remember that having a cup of bone broth alone will not affect your immune system if the rest of your diet is unbalanced. For your fasting to help your overall health, make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, and consume protein with every meal.

May improve your sleep and brain function

Fasting has long been associated with improved brain function. Numerous studies have shown that fasting can improve cognition, aiding in thinking, learning, remembering, and speaking, among many other complex activities your brain is responsible for. No wonder people who have been fasting for a long time report an increased focus.

Combining fasting with bone broth can even increase these effects. Bone broth is rich in glycine, shown to improve memory and sleep quality.

Has anti-inflammatory properties

Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation and even improve certain inflammatory conditions.

Interestingly, bone broth is also believed to assist the body against inflammation: research suggests that glycine, gelatin, and arginine, the core components of bone broth, have anti-inflammatory properties.

Furthermore, during a bone broth fast, you consume only bone broth and, in turn, limit inflammatory foods that may cause or worsen inflammation.

Can Bone Broth Have Any Side Effects?

Bone broth fasting, like intermittent fasting itself, is not a one-size-fits-all. There are certain groups of people who should not try this eating pattern:

  • People under 18 years old
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
  • People with a history of eating disorders
  • Insomniacs

In addition, certain conditions and their corresponding treatments may not go hand in hand with intermittent or bone broth fasting. If you’re currently suffering some health issues or taking medication, make sure to speak to your doctor before making any significant change in your habits.

There are also some more specific side effects to bone broth fasting. For example, it is known that this fasting style may induce a reaction to histamine that mimics allergy symptoms. Thus, bone broth might not be for you if you’re histamine intolerant.

Medical reasons aside, remember that what works for others may not work for you. Bone broth works for weight loss in most cases, but it affects all people differently.

Tips for Using Bone Broth While Fasting

Bone broth is relatively easy to make as long as you’ve got patience. However, there are some things you should consider before going on a bone broth fast.

The quality of the bone is important

You get complete control when making bone broth at home. Use this to your advantage and choose quality ingredients, especially when picking your bones.

Getting the bones for your broth is relatively easy: you can save the bones from other foods you eat instead of throwing away the leftovers and store them in your freezer for future bone broth. Alternatively, you can also offer to buy leftover bones from your local butcher.

Before making a purchase, however, make sure that the bones come from a free-range and grass-fed animal. Why? These animals live healthy lives with a balanced diet, which means their nutritional value is higher and will provide you with extra doses of valuable nutrients.

Make several servings and freeze them for later

It’s crucial to understand how to store bone broth so you don’t get sick when you take it out for round two. Generally, you can keep bone broth in your fridge for around 5 days before it goes bad.

If you want to save that bone broth for a longer time, you will have to properly seal it in a container and put it in your freezer, where it can stay up to 12 months. Our tip is to use a container about the size of one serving since you will have to use it up as soon as it defrosts.

When making a big batch, label it and add the date of preparation for future reference.

Know how often to take it

There’s no definitive answer to how often one should drink bone broth regularly, as there’s no scientific evidence to support the claim that drinking it will increase its health benefits.

During a bone broth fast, however, the rules change. When fasting, you should aim to drink a cup of bone broth around 3 to 5 times per day. Bone broth fasts usually last between 24 to 72 hours, but if you’re just starting, it’s best to set your expectations accordingly and aim for a shorter fast.

Moreover, you don’t need to limit your bone broth consumption to your fasting days. Bone broth is an excellent base for soup and stew, so if you have any leftovers in your fridge, you can easily pop them into one of your meals as an extra filling side dish.

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The Bone Broth Fast: Key Takeaways

Bone broth is an easy-to-make drink that, combined with intermittent fasting, can provide numerous health benefits: improved digestion, better skin health, and a healthy gut.

If you decide to give bone broth fasting a go, remember that this soup alone will not supplement you with all of the essential nutrients your body needs. Limit your broth fasting days for a healthy fast, and eat plenty of nourishing foods during your regular eating windows.


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This is an evidence-based article that includes scientific citations. DoFasting’s professional writers and editors prepared the content, which a team of medical experts verified to be accurate.

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