Ultimate Guide to Fasting with Bone Broth

Everything you need to know about successful fasting with bone broth

Is fasting with bone broth going to help you lose weight? Learn why a bone broth fast is the secret to sticking with your fasting regime. 

If you’ve tried fasting or keto, I’m going to guess you probably felt like garbage. We’ve all been there. 

Did you get permanent results? Was it something you could do for the rest of your life? These are the questions you should be asking before you fast. 

Fasting for the first time will be difficult, no matter how you prepare. That being said, there are some things that help: enter bone broth. 

Here’s a guide to resetting your body with a bone broth fast.

Can You do a Bone Broth Fast?

Mark Wahlberg seems to think so. The famous actor lost 10 pounds in five days fasting with bone broth.

"I was eating so much protein, I was storing it and using it other than building lean muscle, so I was getting a leaky gut, so I just literally did a bone broth fast.

I just did a bone broth and a fast and a cleanse and I literally lost 10 pounds in five days. I lost five percent body fat and I lost 20 points of visceral fat literally in five days.”

One common issue among those who are fasting is a lack of electrolytes. Much like the keto diet, your fasting body requires more electrolytes. This is because you are not getting crucial electrolytes from food. 

Bone broth is a great natural source of electrolytes. You can drink bone broth while fasting to ensure that you’re not risking dehydration.

I may be biased but my company makes the absolute perfect bone broth for your fast. It will curb your hunger and nourish your body with hydration and protein to make your fast as enjoyable as possible.

Bone broth is naturally fasting and keto friendly with zero fat and zero carbs to ensure that you do not break your fast.

Fasting with Bone Broth Infographic

What is a Bone Broth Fast

A bone broth fast is a modified fast where you consume warm mugs of bone broth in place of food throughout your day. Drinking bone broth gives you vitamins, minerals and amino acids -- all while giving your digestive system the reset it needs.

Without the added burden of digesting food, your body can begin the repair process that fasting promotes.

How does adding bone broth help digestion?

Bone broth nourishes your gut with gelatin, glycine and proline, to decrease inflammation and allow your gut to heal (1). 

Click here for our review of the best 6 bone broths for 2022.

Benefits of a Bone Broth Fast

You probably know the many health benefits of bone broth. If not, read our in-depth review. I’ll briefly summarize what bone broth is good for: 

  • Weight Loss - high protein and gelatin content is shown to help you feel full and thus eat less during the day.
  • Skin Health - provides building blocks for skin, hair, teeth and nails. Increases hydration in skin cells.
  • Digestion - amino acids that decrease inflammation and build new tissue in your gut. Learn about bone broth for gut health.
  • Joint Pain - full of glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen and hyaluronic acid to build cartilage around your joints. 
  • Immune System - contains an amino acid called glycine, that is one of the most important anti-inflammatory mediators in your body.
  • Sleep, Mood and Energy - glycine increases calmness and decreases your core body temperature in preparation for sleep.
  • Blood Sugar Control - glycine taken with meals can normalize blood sugar response. 
  • Brain Health - bone marrow and amino acids to fuel brain development.
  • Detoxification - allows your liver to naturally detoxify itself by providing glycine.

bone broth protein quiz image

As you’ll see below, bone broth complements many of the benefits of fasting. 

Important Types of Fasting

There are different types of fasting. Which one you choose is up to you. The different groups within fasting seem to be at odds with one another over which method is superior.

1. Intermittent Fasting 

Simply put: this is reducing the food you eat over a given period of time. Popular renditions of this type of fasting involve:

  • 16/8: fasting for 16 hours per day and eating all of your daily calories in the remaining 8 hours
  • Eat Stop Eat or 5:2 - fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week. Then eating normally the other days.

2. Periodic Fasting

Hardcore fasters will fast for three to five days at a time. This prompts your body to deplete all of your energy and glycogen stores to begin ketosis. The thought is that the best benefits of fasting do not occur until at least three days into the fast.  

3. Time-Restricted Feeding

Limiting your caloric intake to specific times of the day around your sleep cycles and body clock (aka circadian rhythm). 

In practice, most will eat all of their meals between 10am-6pm window or a similar 8-12 hour window during the day. 

4. Fasting Mimicking Diets

A popular program where you are calorie controlled (~1000 calories per day) for five days. The process mimics fasting without completely depleting your nutrients. 

Fasting mimicking diets are thought to be safer than long fasts without food. They are also easier to comply with for some people, but very difficult for others.

Bone broth is a popular item on the fasting diet meal plan. 

Why Do People Fast?

woman doing yoga

Fasting experts claim all sorts of health benefits, these include:

  • Increase cognitive performance
  • Protect from obesity and associated chronic diseases
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Weight loss 
  • Lower the risk of metabolic diseases
  • Improve overall health
  • Control blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Promote autophagy: your bodies’ cellular cleanup process 

In practise, you (and everybody else) are probably only interested in fasting for weight loss. Let’s be honest. 

You can lose weight on a bone broth fast, keeping the weight off, however, requires permanent lifestyle changes. 

Why Fast With Bone Broth?

As you can see, the benefits of fasting are extensive. The issue with fasting are hunger pangs and you generally feel like crap. 

More on that below.

Switching to a bone broth fast ensures that you’re getting electrolytes, vitamins and minerals without breaking your fast. 

bone broth powder for fasting

Here are a few reasons you might want to fast with bone broth.

  1. Fasting helps control your blood sugar, much like bone broth. If you are struggling to manage your blood sugar and insulin, then fasting with bone broth might be worth considering.
  2. If you’re having major digestive issues like IBS, heartburn, gas or bloating, a bone broth fast may help to alleviate your symptoms. It also can help reset your gut by replenishing much-needed nutrients to rebuild your digestive system lining.
  3. The biggest mistake those fasting or on keto make is not getting enough electrolytes. Your body flushes out its electrolytes when you restrict food or carbohydrates in any way. Chicken bone broth in particular is full of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, chloride and natural sodium. You should be careful with your hydration when fasting. Bone broth is great insurance against this.
  4. Bone broth provides vitamins and minerals to fight inflammation and help your liver and kidneys reset (2). You get great nutritional mileage from bone broth without many calories. So if you’re fasting or trying to reduce your calories, consider a bone broth fast. 
  5. Bone broth is satiating. Gelatinous bone broth satisfies hunger and helps you feel full (3). This will make your fasting experience more enjoyable.

How Long Can You Fast With Bone Broth?

You can do a bone broth fast for as long as you want, provided that you are under the supervision of a doctor. 

Bone broth drinkers commonly fast for up to 72 hours. Others prefer to fast with bone broth in the morning, then eat their calories in the afternoon (16/8 approach). 

Finally, some will consume bone broth only on their fasting days of the week. I’ve heard of people fasting with bone broth two days out of the week, then eating regularly the other five days. 

This is referred to as the Bone Broth Diet.

Hot Tip: Take Care of Your Electrolytes

Glass of water  with electrolytes to help you detox

If you’re considering fasting with bone broth then be sure to pay special attention to your electrolytes.

Symptoms of low electrolytes include: 

  • Headache
  • Fatigue 
  • Thirst
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness
  • Feeling numb
  • Confusion
  • Change in blood pressure

Bone broth is not the only way to get electrolytes. You can try electrolyte supplements or just add a bit of natural salt to your water.

Just be sure that you are not buying stock that is full of preservatives and added salt.

How Will I Feel When I Start Fasting?

It is perfectly normal to feel like crap when you first start fasting. You’ll likely feel tired, irritable and hungry. However, you should not feel awful and unwell. If you do, then you probably should not be fasting.

It is incredibly difficult to go from a regular diet to fasting. Especially if your regular diet is one high in refined carbohydrates.

Fasting requires fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. If you are routinely eating a carb-centric diet, your body will have a hard time fasting.

This is why some prefer the 16/8 bone broth fast approach mentioned above. Many find compliance to longer fasts unbearable. 

Better Glucose Control Through Fasting

Our bodies are conditioned to use carbohydrates for fuel. This is thanks to a lifetime of eating them. It makes sense that withdrawal via fasting causes issues.  

Carbohydrate withdrawal from fasting can be physical, mental and emotional.

Physically, our bodies are used to having glucose as its primary source of energy. 

As you bone broth fast, there is no glucose, forcing your body to try to process fat for fuel. 

Your body is smart and will adjust to fast for fuel, but it takes time. During the transition (anecdotally 3-6 weeks) you may feel terrible when fasting with bone broth.

Fasting will also affect you mentally and emotionally. 

Why? Carbs are required for our bodies to release serotonin, the famous ‘good vibes’ neurotransmitter in your body.

Fasting can mean less serotonin which could alter your mood (4). This is important to keep in mind before you start fasting. 

You can read our buying guide for bone broth powders

Why Hydration is Important When Keto, Low Carb or Low Calorie

Water is stored with carbohydrates in your body. When you fast you will deplete your carbohydrate stores. You will also excrete water through urine and retain less water because there are no carbs to help store it (5). 

Also, when you’re fasting, less insulin is released. This causes your body to lose sodium because it is released from your kidneys (6).

As you lose sodium, your body tries to balance things out by using potassium and magnesium stores in your body.

Your electrolytes get depleted, and if you’re not replenishing them, you’ll feel awful on a fast.

If you’ve tried keto, it is similar to the ‘Keto Flu.’

How to do a Bone Broth Fast

Step 1: Choose Your Fast Based on Your Health Levels

Decide which type of fast is right for you. Do you want a full day, time restricted feeding or try the 16-hour fast and 8-hour eating window?

Step 2: Get Your Bone Broth

You’ll want enough bone broth during your fast to satiate you for a whole day. A fasting approach that works for our ambassadors is 2 L of bone broth per day or 24-hour fast. 

If you’re doing 16-hours then 1-2 L is sufficient. You can drink a lot of bone broth every day with no issues. It is safe to consume a lot of than 2 L per day, so don’t worry. There is no upper limit.

Get Bluebird Provisions Bone Broth shipped to your door in the USA or Canada. It is full of protein and electrolytes for your fasting needs.

Step 3: Start Bone Broth Fasting

Best to begin at night after your last meal. Most have success with an early dinner by 6pm. That way you have fully digested your food before you sleep. You also get a head start and can finish your fast earlier the next day. 

You should drink bone broth throughout the day when fasting. You can replace all of your regular meals with a large mug full of bone broth. 

Check the sodium on your bone broth. If it has over 250mg per cup then you probably should not be drinking it. 

If you’re bored of drinking just plain bone broth then consider some special low calorie add ins. 

Here are a few to tempt your taste buds.

Squeezed lemon or lime

Brightens up any broth with the fresh taste of lemon or lime. 

Thai curry spice or paste

Tiny bit (¼ tsp) goes a long way!

Nourishing Pho 

A quick interpretation of pho broth that you can make in 5 minutes. Simmer the following ingredients along with your bone broth in a pot for 5 minutes, then enjoy.

  • 1-2 Cups Organic Beef Bone Broth
  • ¼ Tsp ginger, dried (or 2 tsp fresh grated)
  • ¼ Tsp coriander, dried
  • ¼ Tsp cloves, dried
  • Cilantro 
  • ¼ Tsp cinnamon, dried

2 day bone broth fast

A 2 day bone broth fast is not recommended if you are just getting familiar with fasting. You would be best to start with a single day or 16:8 approach to fasting. From here, you can incorporate a 2 day bone broth fast into your plan.

To do a 2 day bone broth fast, simply follow the directions outlined above for a 1 day fast. Be sure you are getting enough bone broth to hydrate you and reduce electrolyte loss.

What to do when you break your bone broth fast

Breaking your bone broth fast requires some finesse. There is research to suggest a larger blood glucose spike in response to carbohydrates post-fast compared to on our regular diet. 

For this reason, you should consider gradually adding in carbohydrates after your fast. If you typically eat 200 g of carbs per day, then take a few days to work back up to this level. You can do this by gradually adding carbs to each meal. 

Salads, chili and eggs are great foods to eat post fast. Take your time eating smaller meals first. Then gradually titrating up your carb consumption and larger meals.

Does bone broth break a fast?

Bone broth can break a fast, but it depends on the type of fasting you are doing. If you are doing a strict, zero calorie fast then bone broth will break your fast. 

However, if you are doing a 16:8 approach, time-restricted feeding or the bone broth diet, then bone broth will not break your fast. There are only 30-40 calories per cup of bone broth. This is not enough calories to effect the fasting benefits you are looking to achieve. 

Can I eat food on fasting days?

You can eat food on your fasting days, depending on the type of fast you are doing. If you're doing a fasting mimicking diet, then you can eat some food on fasting days.

However, if you are doing a strict fast, then you should not eat food on fasting days.

How does bone broth ketosis work? 

Bone broth can keep you in ketosis if it is real bone broth with no carbs. This is because bone broth is naturally low calorie with only 30-50 per cup. And bone broth is all protein, which should keep you in ketosis if you drink it.

You are best to measure yourself using ketone strips to tell for certain. 

How do I support for gut and immune system during a fast?

You can support your gut and immune system during a fast by drinking bone broth. This will ensure you are adequately hydrated and getting enough nutrients to nourish your gut and digestive system.

Will I lose weight from bone broth fasting?

You can lose weight from bone broth fasting. However, this is usually not a sustainable weight loss method unless you plan on incorporating fasting into your life long-term.

I suggest you learn to love the bod you are in and question exactly why you are looking to lose weight in the first place.

Does the protein and nutrients in bone broth decrease inflammation

The nutrients in bone broth can decrease inflammation. But if you are consuming other inflammatory foods or exposed to toxins throughout your life, then adding foods will not help. You must remove inflammatory foods and environmental toxins to decrease your inflammation.

Will fasting help control my blood sugar and insulin?

Fasting may help you control you blood sugar and insulin levels. However, there are inherent risks with fasting. If you have diabetes, then I would not recommend fasting unless under the specific care of a doctor.

Is drinking chicken bone broth protein good for lifestyle support?

Chicken bone broth protein is good for fasting and general lifestyle support. You are best to drink bone broth that is high protein, from non-GMO sources and is real bone broth (not the fake stuff).

How many calories break a fast?

Consuming more than approximately 40-50 calories will break a fast. 

Do vitamins break a fast?

Vitamins do not break a fast provided that your vitamins are below 40-50 calories. 

The Bottom Line

If you want to try fasting, bone broth is a great addition to your fast. Bone broth helps to satiate you to ward off brutal hunger pangs while providing you amino acids and electrolytes. 

Bluebird Provisions makes bone broth that has all the hydration and gut healing amino acids to make your next fast an easy one. Try some today by using code: FAST at checkout to save 10% and see the difference.

I’m curious, have you tried a bone broth fast? How did you find it? Leave a comment and let me know. 

How much weight can you lose on a bone broth fast?

Experts claim you can lose up to 15 pounds on a bone broth fast when combined with a healthy nutrition, wellness and lifestyle regimen. There is no direct research testing the amount of weight you can lose fasting. This is anecdotal from Bluebird Provisions guests who have had success following this plan.

Fasting is NOT appropriate if pregnant or breastfeeding, if significantly underweight or if you have a history of disordered eating. You should only fast if being actively monitored by a nutrition professional. 

Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your primary care physician for advice on any of this.

9 comments

Hi Maggie,

Yes you can buy store-bought, but I would review the advice in this article before you consider buying bone broth from a store: https://bluebirdprovisions.co/blogs/news/buying-bone-broth-canada

Best of luck with your bone broth fast! Let me know how it goes or if you have any other questions.

connor

Connor at Bluebird Provisions November 22, 2021

I am starting the bone broth fast I am hoping I can go the three weeks I made my bone broth. Is it OK if I buy store bought broth if I run out of broth?

Maggie Liggins November 22, 2021

Hi Fabien,

You make a great point. Traditionally made bone broth does have fat. I should have clarified in saying that most store bought bone broth does not have fat as it has been removed.

I will make an edit to the article to reflect this confusion.

thanks
connor

Connor at Bluebird Provisions September 23, 2021

There’s fat in bone broth, unlike what the article states.

Fabien September 23, 2021

Thanks Mario! Glad the bone broth information is helping. If you live in Canada or the USA, you can order directly from our website. However, if you are in any other country then unfortunately we cannot ship to you. Sorry! I wish we could but meat products like organic bone broth are difficult to export.
Connor

Connor at Bluebird Provisions September 09, 2021

Thank you for this excellent site, basically all the information I needed I have found here. How can I order chicken bone broth from you?

Mario Human September 07, 2021

Here is what I just wrote in this article:

Breaking your bone broth fast requires some finesse. There is research to suggest a larger blood glucose spike in response to carbohydrates post-fast compared to on our regular diet.

For this reason, you should consider gradually adding in carbohydrates after your fast. If you typically eat 200 g of carbs per day, then take a few days to work back up to this level. You can do this by gradually adding carbs to each meal.

Salads, chili and eggs are great foods to eat post fast. Take your time eating smaller meals first. Then gradually titrating up your carb consumption and larger meals.

Connor at Bluebird Provisions July 19, 2021

Hi Sally,

Glad to hear you are fasting with bone broth. I hope it helps you clear up the inflammation and get your iron levels back on track.

Thanks for letting me know. I will make some edits and additions to this article about refeeding post-fast.

connor

Connor at Bluebird Provisions July 19, 2021

Hi
I am
On a bone broth fast to try to reduce inflammation and see if it helps me absorb iron again as I have very low iron. I am on day 17 and feel pretty good all around. I am starting with some food tonight -going to have vegetable soup with broth base. There is no information in the article about ending the fast-what is best to eat and what to avoid. I think it is a critical part of the fast as you have potentially healed a leaky gut so you need to provide it with the right pre and pro biotic and something that you will be able to digest easily after your gut hasn’t had to do much digesting during your fast

Sally Gartside July 19, 2021

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