What is Bone Broth Diet

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Going on a bone broth diet is an intense approach to losing weight and improving the appearance of your skin. But before you embark on this diet, it’s best to understand some of the potential side effects.

What is Bone Broth Diet?

The bone broth diet is a strict 21-day diet in which you exclusively drink bone broth for 2 days of each week for up to 4 weeks. This intermittent fasting, combined with the rich nutrients of bone broth, can have measurable effects on your waistline, as well as the health of your skin, your energy levels and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Bone broth is essentially a soup base that is made by cooking animal bones (e.g., beef knuckles, chicken bones, pork, etc.) in a crockpot, along with some salt, seasoning and a source of acidity, in most cases. [1]

Many people have likely made bone broths in the past, but they aren’t necessarily the same as stocks since they do include an acidic element. After cooking this bone broth and having the flavors leach into the broth, you can strain the solid pieces from the liquid, leaving behind your nutritious beverage. Not only is this soup base a rich source of minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, but also a rich source of collagen, proline, gelatin, and hyaluronic acid, among others. [2]

A close-up view of bone broth in a bowl

On cold days, curl up and have a huge bowl of bone broth. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Bone Broth Diet Plan

The standard bone broth diet plan lasts for 21 days, although only 6 of those days will be limited to bone broth consumption.

  • Step 1: When you begin this diet, choose two non-consecutive days in a week in which to only drink bone broth.
  • Step 2: You should consume 6 glasses of bone broth on those days, made from pork, chicken, duck, goose, beef, fish head or rabbit bones. Avoid broth made from bouillon cubes, shrimp broth, or bonito broth.
  • Step 3: On the days you are following the diet, you will only consume bone broth.
  • Step 4: For the five other days per week, you will be on a traditional 3-meal plan that follows a Paleo diet. This means extremely low levels of carbs, with high levels of healthy fats and protein. [3]
  • Step 5: You will repeat this pattern of 2 non-consecutive diet days and 5 Paleo days for 3 weeks.

Note: The point of including the Paleo diet while following the bone broth diet plan is to encourage your body to burn fat, instead of carbohydrates, as a way to lose weight and improve overall health.

Foods to eat and avoid

Following a restricted diet like this requires your dedication and determination. Here is a list of foods you can pick and pass.

Foods to Eat

Foods to Avoid

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Added sugars
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol
  • Refined fats
  • Canned or processed fruit and veggies
  • Soda
  • Potatoes except for sweet potato

Health Benefits of a Bone Broth Diet

The potential benefits of a bone broth diet include:

  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Stronger cardiovascular health
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Increased detoxification
  • Normalized blood sugar levels
  • Appetite-suppressant
  • Radiant skin
  • Increase in collagen production
  • Anti-aging effect
  • Better cognitive function
  • Lower inflammation levels
  • Mood enhancer
  • Effective sleep aid

However, these health benefits are only anecdotal and no study has proven them as yet, according to a report in the Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Some practitioners claim that more than 10 pounds can be lost in a matter of 3 weeks. The high levels of collagen and other ingredients in these broths will be able to stimulate growth and repair of the body while protecting skin health and removing wrinkles. Joint pain and inflammation can also be alleviated from the key minerals and compounds taken in this diet. Memory and cognition can also be boosted. [4] [5] [6]

The nutrient-dense liquid helps improve immunity levels. Ketosis is known to generate more accessible forms of energy. So, you may also feel a boost in mood, once the initial symptoms of carbohydrate and calorie deprivation wear off. It also improves gut and liver health because of its detoxing abilities. Glycin, present in gelatin in the bone broth, ensures good sleep. That’s why the broth is also called a night elixir!


There are some possible side effects when following this diet, such as:

  • Sudden weight loss: It may cause to lose pounds too quickly, which may have a detrimental effect on health.
  • Interference with drugs: It may cause complications if you are taking medications.
  • Hypoglycemia: It can lower your blood sugar to a dangerous level. [7]
  • Low nutrient intake: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid this diet, as it doesn’t necessarily provide all the nutrients needed.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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