The diet eliminates a lot of foods as it leads to fat-burning through fasting and staying relatively low-carb.
ON MY FIRST day of drinking solely bone broth, followed by a light evening meal, I thought, “This isn’t so bad.”
On my second day of fasting, I had to swat my own hand away from the nuts I kept handy as a snack.
On the third and fourth days, I felt cranky and ate dinner early.
On the last day, I gave up at 3 p.m. and ate some salami and nuts.
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I took on the Bone Broth Diet after seeing the book at a friend’s house. She described it as Whole30 with bone broth. It sounded easy and delicious; I already make bone broth from roasted chicken bones.
Then I read the book by naturopath Dr. Kellyann Petrucci. The diet is like many others that eliminate problematic foods. You cut sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes and certain types of oil to take down inflammation and carbs, and focus on good protein and tons of vegetables, while snacking on broth, drinking two cups a day.
Then I read about the mini-fast days, drinking bone broth only, for two days a week. I realized I had signed up for a ketogenic diet. Without the cheese.
What had I done?
A ketogenic diet transitions your body to burning fat, and it requires you to cut carbs but allows some dairy, the main delicious bonus of that diet in my eyes.
With the Bone Broth Diet, you get into fat-burning through fasting and staying relatively low-carb. The benefit of this approach is that you can eat fruit and not count carbs, which I prefer.
Intermittent fasting is based on the idea that your body evolved to handle an abundance of food and days without food. We live in a culture where food is around all the time, so it feels foreign to feel hungry. But fasting has hormonal benefits, lowers inflammation, cleans up old cells, lowers insulin and helps your body burn fat, Petrucci writes. You drink bone broth to make fasting days easier.
My husband, Chris, joined in, which helped me stick to it. The first week of a cleanse is always tough. Carb flu kicks in once you take away sugar and other easy sources of fuel.
On the fifth day, we fasted. The next day, we tested ourselves with over-the-counter keto sticks, and both of us were in ketosis. We have done keto before, and we were surprised at how quickly we moved into fat-burning.
It was encouragement to keep going. A week in, we both felt great. My energy was steady and stable. I was over my sugar cravings. I was leaner, and sleeping well. I felt strong in workouts.
Well, except on fasting days. I drank black coffee in the morning, and broth around lunchtime. By the afternoon, sometimes I was lightheaded. I skipped heavy workouts on those days, walking instead. I made the mistake of going one day in between fasts; I recommend two, plus a hearty meal the night before.
But fasting also gave us results. My goal with changing my diet is always around energy, not weight loss. I have lost two extra pounds and gained it back enough times to know it doesn’t matter; I care about how I feel. But I was surprised on the Bone Broth Diet that I lost a couple more pounds beyond my usual two.
If you have never fasted before, I recommend checking in with your doctor before starting.
At the end of three weeks, I still like bone broth. While I didn’t enjoy the fasting days, I made it through, and on nonfasting days, I felt great. My plan is to follow the diet on weekdays, and take time off on weekends, a maintenance plan that has worked for me before. Fasting now is another tool to help kick things back into gear.
Finally, I also learned the magic of using chicken feet for making bone broth. Trust me on that one.