Want to lose huge in a hurry — and feel really good while you do? “Just add up to three servings of bone broth a day to nutrient-packed keto menus,” suggests Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, author of Keto Diet and the new Ancient Remedies. “Bone broth is an ancient superfood loaded with easy-to-absorb forms of collagen, other crucial amino acids and many healing compounds missing from today’s diet.” While some refer to this a bone broth fast, you can include some “real food” and still watch the pounds fall off.
Basically, the broth floods your system with microscopic building blocks that are then used to bolster and repair. In fact, studies show wrinkles, immunity, chronic GI problems, joint pain, and more all get dramatically better. And women’s health expert Amy Myers, MD, notes that collagen reinforces key weight-control mechanisms in our cells, “helping turn us into fat-burning machines.” Pair bone broth with keto’s proven fat-burning power, “and you can see a radical change quickly,” says Dr. Axe. In fact, folks report curing a wide range of ailments as they shed up to 21 pounds in 10 days!
For those who haven’t already tried bone broth, it’s similar to ordinary broth, but with a richer, deeper flavor. And there’s a reason it tastes so good: both homemade and store-bought versions are simmered for up to 48 hours to extract every last bit of goodness from the soup bones used to make them.
The long cook time results in a velvety liquid that has just 50 calories per cup yet brims with up to 14 grams of collagen protein, 18 additional amino acids, and dozens of other nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and compounds like glucosamine and chondroitin that relieve inflammation and arthritis pain. Dr. Axe, founder of DrAxe.com, says collagen is the real hero.
Why is a bone broth fast so effective?
Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds metabolism-boosting muscle and connective tissue together; a steady supply of it is crucial to keep us lean and strong. In fact, a study out of the University of Arkansas found a collagen-spiked supplement significantly boosted weight loss and metabolism even in women over age 70!
Collagen also plays other key roles like fortifying blood vessels and bones, cushioning joints and protecting the gut lining. “Our bodies do make their own collagen from amino acids in food we eat, but production steadily declines as we age. Most of us benefit greatly from bonus doses,” says Dr. Axe. “And bone broth is the number-one source.”
Getting more is easy, he adds, since you can drink it straight, make soup, or add collagen powder made from bone broth to everything from coffee and smoothies to tuna salad and keto baked goods.
Dr. Axe’s signature approach is the keto diet, which keeps carbs and blood sugar so low that the body must burn fat as an alternative fuel. That automatically increases weight loss, even without portion control. Yet Yale researchers found that portions do matter; the fewer calories we eat on keto, the more we lose. And that’s where a bone broth fast comes in: broth-based soups have proven so good at killing hunger, we unknowingly consume 400 fewer calories on days we have them. So we eat less without tracking or feeling deprived — and keto results soar.
Bone broth fast success story: Mandi Wilson
As Mandi Wilson neared her 60th birthday, “I weighed over 350 pounds, had prediabetes, fibromyalgia, bad joints, headaches, GI problems, a fatty liver, never-ending menopause symptoms, memory issues, and a heart condition,” recalls the Florida massage therapist.
A lifelong yo-yo dieter, she hit the internet in search of a strategy that might work for good. “Keto kept coming up. I watched and read everything I could.” That’s how she learned about bone broth — and began relying on it as she cut carbs to the keto standard of 20 grams a day.
If a craving hit, “a mug of hot bone broth with a little butter, salt and pepper would take the urge to eat away. Plus the taste is amazing.” Noticing her hair and skin improving, she started whipping up pots of bone broth–based soup that became a staple meal. “You can also use broth to cook veggies or mix it with a little heavy cream for a delicious sauce. The refrigerated bone broth at Trader Joe’s and Aldi is incredible.”
The more broth she added, the easier keto felt. All told, Mandi shed 141 pounds in 20 months. “My health improved drastically. Almost every condition is gone. I’m off all my meds, my pain is massively better. And my heart is so much better, I got out of having a scary procedure. This wasn’t just about weight loss. This diet changed the course of my life. I’m 61 and thriving!”
What does a day on the bone broth fast look like?
For optimal results, Dr. Axe calls for a nutrient-packed keto diet with one to three daily servings of bone broth. Use homemade broth, buy it ready-made, or try a powdered mix. To create your own menus, simply enjoy protein plus one to two cups of veggies and lots of natural fat per sitting. Opt for grass-fed butter and wild fish when possible. Get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
BREAKFAST: Blend 8 ounces coffee, two tablespoons of collagen powder (ideally made from bone broth), one tablespoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon of butter, and a dash of cinnamon.
SNACK: One cup bone broth (any variety), plus a hard-cooked egg; vegetables with guacamole; or a small handful of nuts.
LUNCH: Steak or salmon prepared with butter and one to two tablespoons of pesto; enjoy with buttered vegetables and side salad.
DINNER: Layer one chopped onion, three peeled carrots, four chopped celery ribs, one teaspoon of lemon juice, and one tablespoon of turmeric, and six bone-in, skin on chicken thighs in a slow cooker. Add salt and pepper and enough water to just cover chicken. Cook on low 10 to 12 hours. Remove the chicken. Let it cool, then shred it and return it to the soup. Enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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