We hear a lot of talk about bone broth these days — and with good reason. The soothing stuff can quickly ward off a winter chill and, at the same time, deliver compounds that jumpstart healing, shut down hunger and speed fat loss, says Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND, author of the Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Breakthrough. Bone broth is so potent, many folks call it liquid gold. Yet the price tag is surprisingly low. In fact, you can simmer up a pot using scraps you’d otherwise throw away. Too busy to cook? Grab an ultra-convenient powdered mix for the same results. That’s what Kristen Sellas did. And since her first sip of bone broth, “I’ve lost 100 pounds, my bad knee has healed, my skin is the best it’s been in my entire life and I sleep better than I have in years,” shares the Florida mom, 52. “I feel like I’ve turned back the clock 15 years.” Keep reading to learn how you can use bone broth for weight loss — and for lots more amazing benefits.
What is bone broth?
Unlike ordinary broth, bone broth is simmered at least eight hours (and often much longer) to extract every bit of nutrition from soup bones and veggies used to make it. Each cup of the rich liquid, which was considered medicine in ancient times, brims with up to 16 grams of protein, 19 amino acids and over a dozen other compounds linked to radiant health. All those nutrients give it the power to firm skin, soothe digestive issues, boost immunity and even ease insomnia (click through for more on bone broth’s health benefits). But Dr. Kellyann says one nutrient is more transformative than the rest…
Collagen: The superhero ingredient in bone broth
“No other food delivers more collagen for fewer calories than bone broth,” says Dr. Kellyann. Though our bodies make make their own collagen, “production declines with age, causing us to lose metabolism-boosting muscle,” says Dr. Kellyann. “Dietary collagen helps the body make more of its own collagen, which protects muscle and can be the great metabolic equalizer.”
And we definitely want to optimize collagen production. Turns out, collagen is the ‘glue’ that holds every part of our bodies together: skin, blood vessels, organs, everything. Collagen strengthens skin so much, one study found a daily supplement reduced crow’s feet by 20% in eight weeks while also jolting the body into making 65% more collagen of its own. In a German study, the bone broth compound led adults to build 45% more muscle. Collagen also helps rebuild worn-out cushioning between joints, reducing arthritis pain by 70% during a University of Illinois study.
Why is it slimming? Experts explains that our bodies use collagen to help repair any damage to our system, from a paper cut to a malfunctioning cell. And the latest research hints that collagen is particularly effective at rejuvenating dinged-up cells in a way that allows them to burn more sugar for energy — a factor that fights diabetes, lowers levels of the hormone insulin and triggers faster fat burning. And exciting new studies show daily collagen helps speed weight loss, helping folks slim down up to 12 times faster.
How to boost the benefits of bone broth
“A big question I get is ‘How can I boost my metabolism as I age?’” shares Dr. Kellyann. It gave her an idea. Studies show spices like black pepper, cayenne, ginger and turmeric are thermogenic, helping us burn more calories just by eating them. “The protein in collagen also has a thermogenic effect, temporarily boosting metabolism up to 30%.” So Dr. Kellyann recommends adding spices and/or a scoop of powdered collagen to broth to help amp metabolism. Bonus: Spices and extra collagen are also powerful appetite suppressants!
Want to try intermittent fasting? Bone broth makes it easy
“Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective strategies for weight loss,” Dr. Kellyann says. Research shows going longer between your last meal one day and your first meal the next — even just bumping breakfast to 11 a.m. — helps trigger biochemical changes that improve health and make it far easier lose flab. “While many people find even short fasts make them hungry and irritable, bone broth can change that,” she says. “You can indulge in it during a fasting period.” And it’s not breaking your fast. “You get the benefits of fasting with no hunger.” The rest of the time, you fill up on protein, produce and good fat. “Results are amazing!”
Bone broth for weight loss success story: Ginny Kildoyle, 72
Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Ginny Kildoyle was given three months to get her health under control or start meds. “I heard about Dr. Kellyann’s plan and liked that it was something I’d never tried before,” recalls the Florida retiree.
Not much of a cook, she ordered powdered bone broth mix (options at DrKellyAnn.com even include thermogenic spices). “I had a cup of broth first thing, and it got me through a morning of fasting easily. My first meal would be around noon, something like eggs and fruit. Then I’d have more bone broth at 3 pm. And a nice dinner like steak, veggies. As long as I got my broth, I had no hunger or cravings at all.” By her next doctor appointment, “I’d lost 33 pounds and reversed my diabetes!”
Can she stick with it long term? Yes! “Dr. Kellyann says you only need to stay on the plan 80% of the time. So I had treat or a martini when I wanted one.” And she kept losing. All told, she’s down five sizes. “When I tell people I’m 72, they don’t believe me.” She has more energy than ever, her heartburn and sleep apnea are gone, her joints don’t hurt, her hair is shiny. “I look better than I did 15 years ago.” Adds Ginny: “If bone broth appeals to you at all, just try it. I think you’ll be surprised by how fantastic it makes you feel!” (Click through to learn more about the 80/20 approach to weight loss)
Bone broth for weight loss before and after: Kristen Sellas, 52
Widowed in 2006, Kristen Sellas had three sons all diagnosed with a rare potentially deadly genetic disorder called Marfan Syndrome. “When my husband passed away, I went back to work to provide health insurance coverage for our sons,” she shares. Juggling a demanding job and hospital trips, “the related stress and lack of sleep caused my weight to skyrocket,” she recalls. After that, she dabbled in diets but the weight always came back. “Then in November of 2020, I tore my ACL and realized life can change in an instant. I didn’t want my sons to have to worry about my health.”
Online research led her to Dr. Kellyann’s approach. She loved that it was slimming, satisfying and healing. Using powdered bone broth kicked up with ginger, turmeric and cayenne, “it was super-convenient and the key to my success. I’ve tried intermittent fasting before, and bone broth definitely made it easier.” Adding exercise as she felt stronger, pounds poured off. “In a year, I lost 100 pounds without any plateau whatsoever. It still amazes me. And the best part is I now have the tools and knowledge I need to keep the weight off for good. What a tremendous blessing! I feel like I got a ‘do over,’ and I know with confidence that I’m never going back.”
How to use bone broth for weight loss
To slim at top speed, Dr. Kellyann suggests you start your day with bone broth (homemade, store-bought or from a mix). Aim for two servings daily; add spices and a scoop collagen peptide powder, if desired. Enjoy solid food in an 8-hour window, such as 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Build meals using protein, good fat and non-starchy veggies. Add one serving fruit/healthy starch daily. Avoid sugar, fake sweeteners, grains and dairy. We’ve got some meal ideas below:
Sample breakfast: Enjoy eggs, any style, with sauteed veggies, optional nitrate-free bacon and a mug of bone broth
Sample lunch: Stir a little cayenne into olive oil vinaigrette and enjoy drizzled over a steak-topped salad; optional mug of bone broth
Sample dinner: Salmon grilled with olive oil and herbs, sauteed greens, sliced avocado and some quinoa or cauliflower rice; optional mug of bone broth
Bonus recipe: Make your own ‘liquid gold’ bone broth in a slow cooker
To gather ingredients for this recipe, simply store bones and scraps in your freezer until you have enough.
- 3 lbs. leftover chicken bones
- 1 chicken carcass
- 8 cups veggie scraps or chopped carrots and celery
- 1 onion, cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tsp. thermogenic spices, such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne and/or black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a slow cooker or stock pot; cover with filtered water.
- Cook on high for two hours, then simmer on low for at least 6 hours or overnight. Add more water if necessary to keep ingredients covered.
- Let cool and strain into storage containers, reserving any meat for another use. Keeps 5 days in fridge, 3 months in freezer. Makes 16 cups
Click through for more benefits of bone broth: