The Basics of the Bone Broth Diet

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In this article, I’m going to give you a quick overview of the Bone Broth Diet. I promise I’ll get to that in a minute. However, before we talk about what you’ll do on this diet, I want to talk about three things I don’t want you to do. That’s because I know how many times diets have failed you in the past—and I want you to know that this one is different.

Charlie, a former college soccer player, came to me because at 30, he was getting a beer belly. After two failed diets, he figured he’d just learn to learn to live with it. But his wife saw me on TV and insisted that he come to see me. “So tell me what to count,” Charlie said right off the bat. “What?” I asked. He sighed. “Just tell me what to count. You know—calories, carbs, fat grams, whatever. I’ll do it.” I laughed. “Nothing. You’re not going to count anything. You’re just going to eat.” He looked bewildered. And he said, “No, really. What am I supposed to count?”

I’m guessing that, like Charlie, you equate dieting with counting calories, grams of fat, or carbs or with endlessly weighing out tiny portions on a scale. (Some of my patients’ former doctors even ordered them to take their scales to restaurants.) What’s more, I’m betting that you also equate dieting with eating dry, tasteless food. And finally, I’m sure you equate dieting with being desperately hungry and not being able to eat. If so, here’s how my diet is different.

  • I don’t want you to count calories.
  • I don’t want you to count grams of fat.
  • I don’t want you to count carbs (you’ll control them naturally).
  • I don’t want you to force yourself to eat idiotic, tasteless “diet” foods like dry toast, egg-white omelets, and fat-free yogurt. Instead, I want you to eat real food.
  • I don’t want you to ever, ever say, “I’m starving, but I can’t eat right now.”
  • Okay? No counting. No tasteless diet food. And even more important: no starving. One of the worst things about ill-conceived approaches like low-calorie and low-fat diets is that they drive people into desperate hunger—and that absolutely guarantees failure.

On this diet, you’ll have five or six meals of bone broth on your mini-fast days. On nonfasting days, you’ll have three full meals plus two snacks. And if you get hungry anyway, there are “extras” you can grab. So promise yourself right now: “If I get really hungry, I will eat.” Good. And now I have just one more thing I want you to say to yourself. And that is: “If I do cheat and eat something that’s not on my diet, I won’t hate myself and feel like I’m a loser. I’ll just move on to the next moment in my life and start the diet over.”

Why am I stressing this? For two reasons. First, stuff happens. Believe me, I know this firsthand. If you carefully plan your 3-week diet and then things go wrong—you total your car, lose out on a promotion, or go through a breakup—then it’s possible that you’re going to give in to the temptation to console yourself with pizza or a carton of ice cream. And I totally get that, because I’ve been there. If this happens, beating yourself up afterward won’t make anything better.

Here’s what I want you to understand: Stress hormones are made from fat and sugar. So when you stress more, guess what your body naturally craves—sugar and fat. Of course, eating crappy food will just cause you more stress . . . and that stress will tempt you to overeat again and again. There’s another good reason to avoid beating yourself up if you eat a candy bar or drink a soda. One big key to why this diet works is that it cuts out sugar and sugary carbs. But here’s the thing: If you have a sweet tooth, there’s a good chance you’re actually addicted to these foods.

If that’s the case, it might take you a few tries to wean yourself. And you know what I have to say about that? It’s perfectly fine. Think of sugary foods as that bad lover you keep going back to. Eventually, you’ll break free.

I have confidence in you. If you give in to temptation and break your diet because you had a bad day or the Sugar Demon got to you, here’s what I want you to do: Simply realize that you’re a beautifully imperfect human being, and sometimes you’re going to screw up. And guess what: That’s perfectly fine, as long as you don’t stay stuck in your screwup. So just say next , move on to the next moment in your life, and start your 3-week clock over again.

So okay. There are your ground rules: No counting. No eating tasteless nonfood or starving. No beating yourself up if you slip up. Now let’s get down to the basics.


The Bone Broth Diet is an extraordinarily safe and healthy diet. In fact, I believe it’s the healthiest diet on the planet. My patients love what it does for their waistlines, their skin, and their well-being. However, here’s one situation in which I don’t recommend this diet: if you’re pregnant. Millions of pregnant women do fast on religious holidays, and there’s no evidence that it’s harmful—but until we’re absolutely sure it’s fine, don’t do it. In addition, if any of these conditions apply to you, check with your doctor before starting the diet. Diabetes.

The Bone Broth Diet is an outstanding choice for people with diabetes, and I’ve used variations of it to reverse diabetes and metabolic syndrome in many patients. (Metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes, is a group of symptoms including large waist size, elevated blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels.) However, because this diet can swiftly lower your blood sugar levels, your doctor will need to monitor you very closely if you’re diabetic to make sure you don’t experience dangerous hypoglycemia. S

tart this diet only if your doctor is on board and agrees to carefully supervise you. Other chronic health problems. The Bone Broth Diet frequently reduces or even eliminates symptoms of autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and many other conditions. Just make sure to get the nod from your doctor if you have any chronic health problems like these. Also, ask your doctor if mini-fasting will affect your medications, if you’re taking any. An eating disorder.

If you have any history of an eating disorder such as bulimia, anorexia nervosa, or orthexia, make sure your doctor says that it’s okay for you to follow this or any other diet plan. An acute illness or injury. One of the reasons fasting works so well is that it challenges your body. But if you’re already being challenged by an infection or injury, this isn’t the time to add more stress. Finally, while this diet can be beneficial for overweight children, be sure to get a doctor’s permission before putting any child under the age of 18 on it.


The Bone Broth Diet is basically a 3-week program for taking off weight fast. That’s why I’m giving you 3 weeks’ worth of recipes and meal plans. However, you can stay on this diet as long as you want. I have patients who’ve lost more than 100 pounds by staying on it for months. If you want to stick with it longer than 3 weeks, you can rotate back through the recipes and menu plans I’ve outlined, or you can get creative and make up your own recipes.

After 21 days, you’ll know which foods to eat and which to avoid, so it’ll be easy to get adventurous in the kitchen. My advice is to initially commit to the Bone Broth Diet for 3 weeks. At the outset of the diet, weigh yourself and take your measurements.

If you’re excited about your results but you want to shed still more weight, then stick with the diet longer. Once you’re happy with what the scale says, you can use my maintenance program to keep the weight off and keep your skin looking young.

If you’re following the 3-week plan and you do have a “beautifully imperfect” moment at any point, simply start your 3-week clock again. This diet is so easy and so rewarding that spending a little extra time on it won’t seem like punishment. I pretty much live on this diet, and I never feel deprived. Now, one final note. More than 90 percent of people start losing weight right away on this diet. Typically, they lose at least 15 pounds in 3 weeks.

Every once in a while, however, it takes a little longer. So if you hit or even pass the 2-week mark and the inches aren’t falling off as fast as you’d like, hang in there. As my next story shows, the payoff can be huge.


In my experience, patients lose anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds when they spend 3 weeks on the diet. However, that’s anecdotal evidence—even though I’ve seen the same results in hundreds of people. So to confirm my own findings, I set up three independent trials run by different clinicians in three different cities: Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York City. The participants in the trials stayed on the diet for 21 days, and here is what the data showed.

  • Participants lost up to 15 pounds and up to 4 inches in their measurements.
  • Their wrinkles and “double chins” diminished, their skin tone evened out, and their acne healed.
  • They felt healthier. Two participants no longer required insulin after the diet, one was able to radically decrease her insulin dose, and one person’s shingles cleared up.
  • They slept better.
  • They felt better emotionally. As one participant put it, “I feel happy again.”


Most diets actually wreck your skin. That’s because they pull water, healthy fats, and other nutrients out of your skin cells, weakening and aging these cells. But on this diet, at the same time you’re losing weight, you’ll be losing wrinkles and getting your “glow” back. Does that sound too good to be true? If so, it’s because you’ve been conditioned to think that the only way to erase wrinkles is from the outside in—with injections, creams, or surgery. But that’s not correct. In reality, the best way to erase wrinkles permanently is to do it from the inside out. You can reconsider this for your skincare.

Think of your skin cells as healthy, bouncy balls. As you age, they start to lose their bounce and get tired and flabby. As a result, your skin matrix becomes weak, rapidly accelerating the formation of wrinkles. At the same time, if you’re eating a diet high in inflammatory grains and sugar and deficient in healthy fats and other key nutrients, your skin gets dry, flaky, rough, and sick—and dry, sick skin wrinkles quickly and deeply.

When you drink bone broth, you’ll mainline the building blocks of collagen straight to your cells, “reinflating” them. It’s better than Botox because it lasts. Remember, Botox’s job is to paralyze the muscles to prevent wrinkles. It doesn’t and never will build or replace collagen. On the Bone Broth Diet, you’ll build strong and resilient skin cell walls with healthy fats, and you’ll reverse inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods. Plus, you’ll load your body with nutrients that protect against photoaging (for instance, the potent anthocyanins in berries).

If you want evidence of how powerful the wrinkle-blasting effects of food are, I’m proof. I’m 50 years old, I’ve never had surgery or used Botox or expensive face creams, and I always get compliments on my skin. I don’t say this to try to impress you, but to impress upon you that you can have beautiful skin at any age. It all happens with food.

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