Broccoli and chicken are both considered healthy foods, but what if you choose to eat only chicken and broccoli day in and day out to try to lose weight?
That would be the chicken and broccoli diet.
So, what exactly is the chicken and broccoli diet, and how do you follow it? Is a chicken and broccoli meal plan healthy if that’s all you’re eating? Is the chicken and broccoli diet good for weight loss?
In this diet guide, we will discuss the chicken and broccoli diet, how to follow the chicken and broccoli diet, its pros and cons, and if the chicken and broccoli diet weight loss results are all they’re cracked up to be.
We will look at:
- What Is the Chicken and Broccoli Diet?
- What Do You Eat On The Chicken and Broccoli Diet Plan?
- Is Chicken and Broccoli Healthy?
- Is the Chicken and Broccoli Diet Good for Weight Loss?
- Is the Chicken and Broccoli Diet Safe?
Let’s get started!
What Is The Chicken And Broccoli Diet?
The chicken and broccoli diet, also called the broccoli and chicken diet, is a weight loss diet that involves consuming only chicken and broccoli to lose weight.
Eating only chicken and broccoli can lead to developing nutritional deficiencies, as a chicken and broccoli meal plan that exclusively includes these two foods does not provide the variety of every essential nutrient that your body needs for optimal health and functioning.
For this reason, there are chicken and broccoli diet modifications that include the incorporation of brown rice.
The alternative chicken, rice, and broccoli diet can provide a few more calories and beneficial complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, B vitamins, fiber, and other micronutrients found in brown rice.
What Do You Eat On The Chicken and Broccoli Diet Plan?
There isn’t a rigid broccoli and chicken diet plan for exactly what you need to eat every day; some people allow for spinach or other green vegetables alongside broccoli on the chicken and broccoli diet meal plan.You can only drink unsweetened beverages such as water, club soda, unsweetened herbal tea or caffeinated tea, or black coffee, though the standard meal plan for the chicken and broccoli diet includes just unsweetened black tea and water.
The broccoli or green vegetables are generally steamed before they are eaten, though some people eat raw broccoli.
Thus, the chicken and broccoli weight loss diet plan consists basically of steamed broccoli and grilled or steamed chicken breast. You are not supposed to fry or bread the chicken or sauté the broccoli in butter or oil.
The broccoli and chicken diet for weight loss should only be followed for a short period of time as it is not only extremely restrictive–which can be hard from a behavioral and mental standpoint–but also can lead to nutritional deficiencies, low energy, compromised workout recovery, poor immune health, and a slower metabolism.
In general, most people follow the chicken and broccoli weight loss diet for no more than 10 to 14 days to try and minimize the risks of eating only chicken and broccoli while still giving a structured approach to weight loss.
Is Chicken and Broccoli Healthy?
Because there isn’t a strict chicken and broccoli diet meal plan, it is hard to say exactly what the chicken and broccoli diet calories and nutrition facts are, but chicken and broccoli are both independently healthy foods.
The problem with considering the broccoli and chicken diet meal plan as “healthy” is the fact that only consuming chicken and broccoli will leave significant nutritional gaps, not only in terms of calories, but also very important essential vitamins and minerals.
Let break down the nutrition facts of each of these foods:
Broccoli Nutrition Facts
Per the USDA, one cup (91g) of raw, chopped broccoli is as follows:
- Calories: 31
- Fat: 0.3g
- Sodium: 30mg
- Carbohydrates: 6g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Sugars: 1.5g
- Protein: 2.5g
- Potassium: 288 mg
- Vitamin C: 81.2mg
- Calcium: 42.8mg
- Vitamin K: 92.8µg
- Magnesium: 19.1mg
- Folate: 57.3mg
Chicken Breast Nutrition Facts
One 3-ounce (85g) serving of boneless, skinless grilled chicken breast provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 128
- Fat: 2.7g
- Sodium: 44mg
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 26g
- Selenium: 24.1µg
- Vitamin A: 27 IU
It is important to note that most commercially sold chicken breasts are much larger than 3 ounces and closer to 6 ounces, so the particular chicken breast nutrition facts will depend on the size of the chicken breast you are preparing.
Another important point about the chicken and broccoli meal plan calories is that the preparation method for both the chicken and broccoli can affect the calories and fat.
If you cook either component in oil, butter, or some other type of fat, you will increase the caloric content as well as the grams of fat in the chicken/broccoli meal plan.
Is the Chicken and Broccoli Diet Good for Weight Loss?
Here are some of the potential benefits of the chicken and broccoli diet:
#1: The Chicken and Broccoli Diet Plan Can Support Weight Loss
The standard chicken and broccoli diet provides only about 1100 calories per day, which is why following the chicken and broccoli diet for weight loss can “work.”
This is well below the caloric needs for adults of either biological sex, according to the 2020-2025 United States Dietary Guidelines, which recommend that adult men should consume a minimum of 2,200–2,400 calories while adult females should consume at least 1,600–1,800 calories per day.
However, if you are only eating chicken and broccoli with the strict chicken and broccoli diet meal plan, you may not be consuming enough calories to support your metabolism for sustained weight loss.
Essentially, if you under-eat your caloric needs too significantly or for a sustained period of time, your metabolic rate will slow down.
This is a biological survival mechanism that kicks in as a way to help protect the human species in times when food was historically scarce (or if your body perceives scarcity now).
Known as adaptive thermogenesis, this metabolic slowdown helps conserve the limited calories that you are eating when your caloric deficit is too significant or becomes prolonged.
Therefore, the chicken and broccoli diet weight loss results can eventually slow down significantly, and you may begin sabotaging your metabolic rate for maintaining a healthy weight later on, as muscle mass can be metabolized in cases where a caloric restriction is extreme or long-term.
#2: The Chicken and Broccoli Diet Plan Is High In Protein
The chicken and broccoli diet is high in protein, which can help preserve muscle mass, particularly when you are in a significant caloric deficit on a restrictive weight loss diet.
#3: The Chicken and Broccoli Diet Provides Some Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Broccoli or other steamed green vegetables provide some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including vitamins C, K, A, folate, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus.
Chicken breast is a very good source of vitamin B6, selenium, phosphorus, and niacin.
#4: The Chicken and Broccoli Weight Loss Plan Is Easy to Follow
Let’s face it, eating only chicken and broccoli is pretty straightforward, meaning that the chicken and broccoli meal plan is much easier to follow than some weight loss diets.
You don’t have to remember what you can and can’t eat, and there aren’t specific stipulations about portion sizes that can make other weight loss diets cumbersome and time-consuming to understand and follow.
Is the Chicken and Broccoli Diet Safe?
There are several risks of the chicken and broccoli diet, which are crucial to understand because they can affect your short-term and long-term health as well as your success on the diet in general.
Here are some of the downsides of the broccoli and chicken diet:
- Increasing the risk of nutritional deficiencies due to the extremely restrictive nature of the chicken and broccoli diet plan.
- Reducing adherence and sustainability of the diet due to the very monotonous nature of the broccoli and chicken meal plan.
- Increasing the risk of developing disordered eating patterns and a disordered relationship with food.
- Causing social isolation/stress due to the inflexibility of the chicken and broccoli meal plan, which is often incompatible with the diet that other people are following.
- Increasing the risk of dehydration as broccoli and chicken are low sodium and very low carb foods, which together cause your body to release a significant amount of water, and you may not be drinking enough to compensate for changes in fluid retention.
- Increasing the risk of low energy, fatigue, food cravings, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, lightheadedness, and other symptoms of inadequate caloric intake.
Overall, we are not recommending the chicken and broccoli diet as a healthy, sustainable weight loss diet.
However, incorporating broccoli and chicken in your balanced weight loss diet or following the broccoli and chicken meal plan for a couple of days to jumpstart weight loss can be a good option.