Can I Lose Weight Drinking Only Chicken Broth?

Celebrity blogs reported that Nicole Richie rapidly shed her unwanted pounds by going on a chicken broth fast. While it is possible to lose weight by only drinking chicken broth, it is not a well-balanced, healthy diet, and you would be better served considering an alternative. The healthy way to lose weight is to eat a nutrient-dense daily mix of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fiber, low-fat protein and good fats.

A bowl of plain chicken broth. (Image: Photosiber/iStock/Getty Images)

Nutritional Drawbacks

Chicken broth is high in sodium. It has 860 mg of sodium per cup, according to MyPlate. Additionally, each serving has 1 g of protein, less than 1 percent of the recommended daily vitamins and minerals, and 10 calories. Even if you drink one serving every hour you are awake, your daily caloric intake would be severely deficient at approximately 160 calories, and your sodium extraordinarily high, roughly 7,450 mg – the current daily recommendation is 2,400 mg or less.


Sodium isn’t bad. Our bodies use sodium as a transport system, carrying nutrients into and out of the cells. Sodium also helps with nerve function and water balance in the body. What makes sodium bad is when you consume it excessively, as in the case of a diet consisting solely of chicken broth. Too much sodium can cause increased blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, edema, confusion and increased risk of infection.

Chicken Broth as Part of an Overall Plan

Chicken broth is low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol. If you want to add chicken broth to a healthy weight-loss plan, adding vegetables to a low-sodium chicken broth will give it better nutritional value. To really infuse the broth with nutrition, add broiled or grilled chicken and vegetables to provide a well-rounded, low-calorie meal.

Drinking Water

Drinking plenty of water is key in keeping hydrated and combats increased sodium intake. Typically, drinking at least eight glasses or 64 oz. of water per day is a good start.

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