The benefits of fasting are vast, and science supporting the claims keep on piling in. The word fasting, however, is an umbrella term for a wide range of various styles of fasting, all of which have varying degrees of benefits. Although some people might benefit from more intense prolonged water-only fasting, others may require a more gentle (yet still highly beneficial) approach like intermittent or bone broth fasting.
Today we will explore the benefits of fasting, touch on a few ways to modify a fast, and dive deep into the intricacies of bone broth fasting. Bone broth fasting is particularly useful to reap the benefits of fasting with a gentler approach because there are so many incredible and accessible bone broths on the market. As a natural source of nutrients like collagen, gelatin, several trace minerals, and anti-inflammatory amino acids, which supports gut, skin, and joint health– using bone broth is a more gentle yet powerful way to fast. No matter how busy you are, these modern-day conveniences make it easy to incorporate fasting into your life regularly.
First, let’s talk about the benefits of fasting. Fasting is a great way to give your system a “reset” and help your body’s natural processes work more efficiently—such as energy production, metabolism, and digestive function (see you later, bloating!).
For most people, during the day, you’re in the “fed” state. Being in a fed state means your body is working hard to digest, absorb, and assimilate all the nutrients from the foods you eat. But when you enter a fasted state—which means you’re not taking in any calories—your body can shift gears and use your energy to focus on the functions that are prioritized after digestion, such as burning fat and boosting metabolism.
This is why the “fasted” state is often referred to as the “fat-burning” state. And although you might expect to feel tired or weak without eating, many people experience more energy, less brain fog, and improved focus and concentration when they enter the fasted state.
Fasting also gives your digestive system a break, and when you’re not eating inflammatory foods such as refined sugar and carbohydrates, the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system have a chance to rebalance— which is key for avoiding painful digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating, and irregularity—and more serious GI conditions, such as candida (yeast) overgrowth and gut dysbiosis. This is because sugar and refined carbohydrates feed the bad bacteria in your digestive tract that can wreak havoc on your system when they overpopulate, and there’s a lack of good bacteria to keep them in check.
Should Everyone Fast?
Mainly yes, fasting can benefit every single person– the key is figuring out which style of fasting is appropriate for each individual. Prolonged water-only fasting has profound healing benefits but can be a source of stress too high for some individuals. If you’re dealing with conditions like severe hormonal issues, chronic autoimmune, or are a very busy person that cannot take time off a physically demanding job, best opt for a modified approach.
Fasting styles can vary based on time (like prolonged block fasting or intermittent daily fasting), as well as in the type of foods or liquids consumed during the fast (like water, bone broth, or juice). The fast best suited for you will depend on your lifestyle and current state of health.
Today we are going to explore one of the most universally-friendly ways to fast: the bone broth fast.
What is a Bone Broth Fast?
A bone broth fast combines the benefits of short-term or intermittent fasting with those of drinking bone broth.
Similar to water fasting, a bone broth fast involves taking a break from solid foods. You are consuming only liquids throughout the day. Instead of drinking only herbal tea and water, you drink several cups of bone broth throughout the day. Typically you drink anywhere from 5-8 cups.
If you practice intermittent fasting, you can increase your intake of bone broth during your fasting window. The fasting window could be anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. Stick to your usual diet during your designated eating window.
One of the key benefits of a bone broth fast (over a dry fast or water fast) is that it allows you to consistently take in plenty of essential nutrients, electrolytes, and protein. These electrolytes prevent you from becoming dehydrated and help keep your energy levels up, while the protein from the collagen and gelatin keeps your appetite satisfied. Adequate protein is especially useful for those who want to reap the fasting benefits but don’t have time off work, or want to continue training hard in the gym.
The low caloric intake and high nutrient density also mean that you’re more likely to stick to a fast when it doesn’t leave you feeling starved, light-headed, or deprived. Many people report feeling full until lunchtime when they drink bone broth first thing in the morning. Bone broth fasting is, therefore, also an excellent option for anyone who is new to fasting or has had a hard time committing to a water-only fast in the past.
Let’s take a look at the specific benefits you can expect to experience from bone broth fasting, and how to get the best results.
Benefits of Doing a Bone Broth Fast
How Bone Broth Can “Supercharge” Your Fast
Bone broth is a great liquid to consume as a fast. It’s like filling up your gas tank with premium fuel. Bone broth is a source of bioavailable nutrition to support your body’s natural healing processes without taking you out of a fasted state (unlike regular water fasting, where you take in very few nutrients).
Bone broth contains naturally-occurring collagen and gelatin, but animal bones also provide several other compounds and amino acids that support the body, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, proline, and glycine. These nutrients may help:
- Support digestion
- Better joint health
- Support skin health
- Improved immune response
Drinking bone broth at any time (not just when fasting) will offer these benefits. However, when you’re fasting and consuming only bone broth, your body may be able to digest and absorb these nutrients even more efficiently, allowing them to go where they’re needed that much quicker.
How to Do A Bone Broth Fast
To do a bone broth fast, all you need to do is consume five to eight cups of bone broth (in addition to herbal tea and water) during a fasting period of 24 hours. This 24-hour period is long enough to give your digestive system time to rest and tap into autophagy, as well as other fasting benefits.
For example, if you’re 150 pounds, you’ll need to drink about six cups of bone broth to meet your daily protein needs. But if you want to drink more than eight cups, that’s okay too.
If you want to continue your bone broth fast beyond 24 hours and are still committed to daily chores, going to work. Living life– we recommend drinking four to six cups of bone broth per day and consider eating one ketogenic-friendly meal that contains protein and low glycemic veggies (like seared salmon and asparagus, or a salad with grilled chicken and avocado).
You can do this for up to two more days and then go back to your regular eating routine.
Once you’ve completed a bone broth fast, consider making bone broth a regular part of your routine by including one cup a day in your diet. There are so many simple and delicious ways to drink more bone broth, like using it as the base for your smoothies, soups, and stews.
How to Get the Best Results from a Bone Broth Fast
1. If you’re new to fasting, do a mini-fast first.
- Slow and steady wins the race! If you’re new to fasting, it’s best to start slowly and work your way up to a 24-hour fast. For example, before doing a 24-hour bone broth fast, you may want to give the 16/8 intermittent fasting method a try first, which involves eating during an eight-hour time frame and fasting for the other 16 hours.
- For example, you could eat between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and begin your bone broth fast from 5:00 p.m. until the next morning, breaking your fast at 9:00 a.m.
- In any case, it’s important to always listen to your body. If you begin to feel light-headed, dizzy, or faint at any point, don’t push yourself to continue fasting. It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit tired, but you should never feel like you are straining yourself. Some people do well with fasting right away, and for others, it can take some time to find the fasting “sweet spot”—and that’s perfectly okay.
2. Avoid intense exercise during fasting.
- Stick to light cardio such as jogging and gentle yoga, especially if you’re new to fasting. One of the perks of bone broth fasting, however, is that you do have more energy than on a water-only fast, but use it wisely. Again, always listen to your body!
3. Drink bone broth that’s made with quality bones and connective tissue, such as grass-fed beef bones or organic chicken bones.
- Your broth can only be as good as the bones of the animal it came from. For this reason, we recommend only using grass-fed, grass-finished beef bones or organic chicken bones to make your broth, and avoiding bones from factory-farmed animals that have been treated with hormones and antibiotics. This will maximize the potential of the broth, and prevent your fast from doing more harm than good.
- You can source bones from local farmers and butchers, and most health food stores sell organic and grass-fed grass-finished bones. If you don’t have time to make your broth at home or have trouble sourcing quality ingredients, you can always buy some.
If you choose to buy bone broth, you must invest in the highest quality broth. We support Kettle & Fire because of the transparency of the company, their care of sourcing the highest quality ingredients, and the fact they simmer the bones for 24 hours. They are the most wholesome bone broth on the market.
4. Follow a nutrient-rich diet before doing a bone broth fast.
- Fasting isn’t a replacement for following a healthy diet. If you have processed foods, such as refined sugar and processed carbohydrates in your diet, you may be better off making dietary changes before jumping into fasting.
- Refined carbs and sugar can cause blood sugar fluctuations and imbalances. This may leave you more prone to experiencing unpleasant symptoms during fasting. Some of these symptoms include lightheadedness and irritability.
- In this case, The Bone Broth Diet may be a better starting point for you. It involves eating plenty of whole, nutrient-dense foods, while also increasing your bone broth intake.
- Fasting is not a solution for an otherwise unhealthy diet and may lead to a destructive and dangerous relationship with food. First, adopt a healthy diet then incorporate fasting into your lifestyle.
Bone Broth Fast FAQs
Q: Can I eat anything during a bone broth fast?
A: It’s normal to feel a little bit hungry during a fast, but if you get to the point of being uncomfortable, feel free to add a tablespoon of coconut oil, ghee, or grass-fed butter to your broth, or another high-fat food. Ideally, stick to liquids, but you could also opt for something like avocado or nuts.
Note that the addition of healthy fats may cause a stomach ache for some people, especially if low stomach acid is an issue.
Q: How often can I do a bone broth fast?
A: If you are in good health, once per week is safe. It’s best to do it consistently—every Monday, for example. But if you are doing it this frequently, you need to move to a high-fat, low-carb diet, like the ketogenic diet, for the rest of the week.
If you are eating too many carbs in between fasting days, you will have issues regulating your blood sugar. It’s also essential to make sure that you are getting enough vitamins and calories on the non-fasting days, striving for eight servings of veggies. The key here is not eating less; it’s eating less often.
Q: What is the most extended period I can fast for?
A: Essentially, there is no fast and steady rule when it comes to how long you can or should fast. Fasting is a very bio-individual activity that depends on your lifestyle, your state of health, and your mental strength. If you plan on fasting longer than 24-hours, you should consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe for you.
We suggest adopting a healthy lifestyle (becoming fat-adapted through a ketogenic diet) and playing with intermittent fasting as well as 24-hour fasts before diving into a longer fast of any kind.
Q: Can I add anything to my bone broth, or do I have to drink it plain?
A: Sipping on bone broth doesn’t have to be boring. There are ways to make it taste amazing and boost the benefits even more by adding spices like ginger, turmeric, and cayenne. Stick to zero-calorie herbs and spices if you can, because they will ensure you reap the most benefits from your fast.
Q: Can I use regular stock or broth instead of bone broth?
A: No. A bone broth fast is so beneficial primarily because of the fantastic benefits of collagen and gelatin—which are the result of simmering bones and tissue for approximately 24 hours.
A regular stock or broth may not be simmered with bones at all. Even if it is, it will have a far shorter simmer time, which doesn’t allow for enough collagen to be extracted from the bones.
Q: Who should not do a bone broth fast?
A: Do not do a bone broth fast if:
- Already underweight
- Pregnant or nursing
- Planning to become pregnant
- A history of disordered eating
- Doing intense physical activity
- Under intense periods of stress
- Diagnosed with a heart condition
- Blood sugar imbalance (such as hypoglycemia or diabetes) and feel faint when you don’t eat
Q: Can I drink coffee during a bone broth fast?
A: No. Don’t worry: the bioavailable minerals in bone broth can give you the energy that will last longer. Caffeine may also trigger spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. This can lead to irritability and more intense hunger a few hours later.
Fasting is not always easy, but there are many ways you can improve the likelihood of completing your fast successfully. Consider one (or all) of the following tips to help ensure you make it through your fasting periods with ease.
Find A Support System
There is strength in numbers, so make sure you surround yourself with people who know you’re fasting and whom you can lean on if you need support. This is not always possible with family or friends, but there are amazing online communities on platforms like Facebook where a wide range of other fasters can support you emotionally as well as answer questions you may have along the way.
Become ‘Fat Adapted’ With A Ketogenic Diet
Before delving into a fast, it is important your body be a good fat burner. This means it knows how to use fat for fuel, and happens when you regularly tap into a ketogenic state. Ketosis is when the body uses ketone bodies from dietary fat instead of glucose from dietary sugar (carbohydrates mostly).
Switching to a whole-food, high fat, medium protein, and low carbohydrate diet for a period of time can ensure your body transitions more smoothly into ketosis during your fast. Over a more extended period, it is crucial to opt for meal diversity (as opposed to a long-term ketogenic diet). Meal diversity leads to metabolic flexibility and hormone optimization. In application, meal diversity includes some low carb days, some higher carb days, and some fasting days.
Do A Bone Broth Fast
As you adapt to becoming a fat burner and develop metabolic flexibility through meal diversity, bone broth is a great tool. Bone broth can help you reap the benefits of fasting, without the drastic methods of water-only fasting. Bone broth fasting is also a great tool to fast while still busy with work, other social commitments, or fitness training. Whereby water-only fasting requires total rest. Bone broth fasting provides the body with more nutrients. It contains gelatin and collagen proteins as well as a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Bone broth can keep you going with more energy throughout the day.
Consider A Supplement
Some various supplements and herbs can promote autophagy during fasting, and our favorites are a duo called CellCLR and CellReNu. The first is taken during the fasting period, and the latter is taken during the refeeding period. Both are a combination of herbs and all-natural ingredients that support the fasting process. CellCLR promotes detoxification, fat burning, energy levels, cognitive function, and autophagy; while CellReNu boosts stem cell rejuvenation, and promotes immune function, healthy hormonal balance, blood glucose levels, and faster recovery.
Implement Intermittent Fasting First
The depth of healing you achieve on a fast depends on how quickly your body can tap into autophagy. This requires fat adaptation and metabolic flexibility. Apart from adopting a ketogenic diet, you can also use intermittent fasting to do the job.
Intermittent fasting limits the period of feeding daily to 6-12 hours. You would fast for the remaining 12 to 18 hours. Start at 12 hours and slowly increase your fasting window to induce metabolic flexibility. Combine it with a ketogenic diet to supercharge your results. By combining the two, you ensure your fasting experience will be much smoother.
Fasting is an incredible way to support your body’s health and longevity. Through a process called autophagy, fasting promotes cellular cleanup, regeneration, and a surge of stem cells. Virtually everyone can benefit from fasting. However, it’s essential to tailor the type of fast to the individual’s wants and needs. Prolonged water fasting is a highly beneficial extreme if your body and lifestyle can handle it. Still, other options include intermittent fasting, 24-hour fasts, bone broth fasts, or a fasting-mimicking diet. The fasting experience can be made simpler by adopting a ketogenic diet before the fast. Keto metabolic flexibility, finding a support system, or including a fasting supplement like CellCLR or CellReNu.
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