Early in my career as a naturopathic physician and certified nutrition consultant, I quickly established a track record of success. But I wanted to do even better for my patients — and, in particular, I wanted to achieve the biggest results in the shortest time for patients struggling with obesity.
Many of the people I work with merely want to lose a dress size or a pants size, but others are dangerously overweight. They’re diabetic, they have heart disease, they have sleep apnea, and they can barely move. So they need to drop weight fast.
As any weight-loss expert will tell you, fasting is the quickest way to jump-start weight loss (even though it’s difficult or impossible for many people — more on my easy and painless solution for this shortly!). Unlike mere calorie restriction, fasting sends your metabolism into hyperdrive. That’s why I’ve always encouraged my obese or even mildly overweight patients to fast at least one or two days a week.
Besides cutting down on calories, here are some of the reasons fasting jump-starts weight loss:
- It optimizes hormones. Fasting causes your levels of insulin to drop and your levels of another hormone called glucagon to rise. Think of glucagon as the mirror image of insulin. While insulin packs on fat, glucagon pulls fat out of cells.
- It makes levels of human growth hormone surge. This hormone burns fat and builds lean muscle, sculpting the core, arms, and legs.
- It cleanses the body. Think of the fluid around your cells — your cellular matrix — as similar to the water in a fish tank. When it’s filled with sludge, the cells are sludgy, too. Fasting cleanses your cellular matrix, removing debris that makes cells sluggish. In addition, it ramps up a process called autophagy, which gets rid of old, tired cells that can’t burn energy efficiently.
So fasting works. And it works immediately. But here’s the problem: Fasting can be hard.
Over time, I found that while many people can handle total fasts with ease, many others can’t. They get hungry and shaky. They start having headaches. They can’t focus at work or at home. They get anxious, and they start obsessing constantly about food. So they give up.
No way was I going to let this happen to my patients. For many of them, I’m the “last chance” doctor — and I wasn’t about to let them down. And while I knew my patients could lose weight over time without fasting, I also knew that they needed to see immediate results. Both emotionally and physically, they had to get a quick win.
And then it hit me: bone broth.
I was already prescribing bone broth as a core part of my weight-loss program because it’s a high-octane fat burner. So I thought: Why not combine the power of easy “mini-fasts” with the power of bone broth?
When I began doing this, I discovered that my patients got all of the benefits of full fasting without the pain. They lost weight and, as a bonus, took years off their skin. I’d found the missing key.
Why? Because here’s what bone broth does:
1. It fills you up, without adding pounds.
Bone broth is rich, complex, hearty, and soul satisfying. It has virtually zero carbs and very few calories, so it’s sin-free and you can indulge in as much as you want. Translation: no hunger, even when you’re fasting.
2. It's packed with the building blocks of collagen.
Collagen blasts wrinkles, so you can take years off your face at the same time as you lose weight.
3. It detoxifies your body.
Like fasting, bone broth helps cleanse your cellular matrix, energizing and de-aging your cells.
4. It heals your gut.
If you're battling extra pounds, I’m guessing that you also have digestive problems — constipation, diarrhea, gas, or even all three. That’s because weight gain and digestive problems often stem from a common source: a sick gut. The gelatin and other nutrients in bone broth help heal the gut, curing digestive problems while they facilitate weight loss.
5. It heals your joints.
One reason people become overweight is that as they get older, their joints develop wear and tear and it becomes harder to move. So they exercise less and they sit more. Bone broth gives you a generous supply of nutrients that help heal your joints.
6. It's anti-inflammatory.
One of the most important scientific findings of the century is that inflammation underlies obesity. To understand why, you need to understand the difference between acute and chronic inflammation.
Acute inflammation — for instance, the inflammation you experience when you have a cold or the flu — typically is a good thing because it helps your body fight off infections and repair tissues. But if you develop chronic, low-grade inflammation, that’s a whole different story.
Chronic inflammation damages your cells, and it leads to biochemical changes that make you put on weight. Fat cells are inflammatory, so when you add pounds, a vicious cycle — inflammation leading to weight gain, leading to more inflammation — begins. This sets the stage for insulin resistance and other metabolic changes that cause you to put on even more weight, develop more inflammation, and so on.
When you break this cycle by healing inflammation with nutrients like those concentrated in bone broth, the pounds start to fall off. Remember this rule: Anything that increases inflammation puts weight on you, while anything that decreases inflammation takes weight off. In addition, dry, rough skin and acne — which are outward signs of internal inflammation — will start to clear up.
When my patients do twice-a-week mini-fasts combining the power of fasting with the fat-melting qualities of bone broth, the effect is stunning. They can’t believe how little sacrifice they need to make, how little they’re tempted to eat the junk they used to crave, and how fast they see results.
Reprinted from Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci. Copyright © 2015 by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.
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