You’ve seen the hashtag on Instagram and like its catchy ring: speed keto. Makes going keto sound simple and easy doesn’t it? But just what is speed keto and should you try it? That all depends on your weight-loss and health goals, but most nutrition experts are giving it a thumbs down. Here’s why.
Speed keto merges the two darlings of weight-loss programs: the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting (IF).
The keto diet follows a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein protocol designed to get your body into ketosis, a fat-adapted metabolic state. When you’re in ketosis you burn fat for energy, which is why you see so many keto success stories of people whittling down their waistlines. The keto diet has also been shown to help lower blood sugar levels, improve physical and mental performance, and boost energy.
Intermittent fasting restricts calorie intake and optimizes fat-loss hormones by cycling through scheduled periods of eating and fasting, typically in a 16:8 pattern—fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window. Other forms of IF include the 5:2 method, eating only 500-600 calories on 2 consecutive days and then eating normally the other 5 days of the week, and alternate day fasting in which you fast every other day, eating up to 500 calories a day on those days.
Keto and IF aren’t a new duo. Many people eat a keto diet on an IF schedule and have much success doing so.
But speed keto takes the keto IF combo to a whole other level of restriction, which is why it comes loaded with scrutiny.
The ultimate goal of speed keto is to get you down to just one keto-approved meal a day.
It originated with Dr. Harlan Kilstein, who created a digital program called Speed Keto that’s designed to get you into ketosis faster for rapid weight loss. But Kilstein has his share of critics.
The “Dr.” in Kilstein stands for Doctorate of Education…which means he is not a medical doctor, nutritionist, or health professional of any kind.
His website touts him as “one of the foremost marketers today,” and it appears that the credentials in front of his name are merely for marketing effect.
That does not mean, however, that speed keto doesn’t achieve results.
The keto diet takes some maneuvering. To get into the desired state of ketosis you have to vigilantly monitor your calories, carbs, and other macros, which can be exhausting and make the keto diet prohibitive for some people.
Speed keto simplifies the keto diet by restricting your meal to one a day, so you don’t have to obsess over counting calories and macronutrients.
Speed keto can also help get you over any plateaus where, after the initial water-weight loss, your weight refuses to budge.
It operates on the same principle as any weight-loss program: restrict your calories (a built-in side effect of eating one meal a day) and you create a calorie-deficit, which is the prerequisite for weight loss.
The keto diet is already incredibly restrictive. Add in the one-meal-a-day schedule, and speed keto is not sustainable for the long haul. The sacrifice is huge, and most weight-loss experts would say unnecessarily so, as it can drastically impair your overall health.
It’s challenging to meet your nutritional needs on a one-meal-a-day (OMAD) strategy. If you’re interested in learning more about how to safely follow an OMAD diet, check out this article here.
Insufficient nutrition leads to muscle protein breakdown and causes your body to start catabolizing your muscles for the nutrients it needs to function. If we aren’t getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals, we can overly tax our thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormones. It’s a cascade of negative health outcomes that are entirely avoidable with more moderate diet programs.
And then there are the mental ramifications of following such a restrictive diet regimen. It can exacerbate eating disorders, such as binge eating, and doesn’t support a balanced relationship to food.
In other words, what happens when you come off the diet? You can easily go from one extreme to the other, and the weight (and then some) will come right back on.
We know speed keto isn’t recommended as a long-term diet, but if you’re looking for a quick way to lose weight and are a fan of keto then you’re likely to still want to try speed keto for the short term.
If that describes you, then be very careful to pile up your one plate a day with the most nutrient-dense keto-approved foods out there, because you’ll only have one shot to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Pay attention to the signals your body is sending. Are you fatigued? How is your skin? Are you suffering from digestive troubles or losing muscle rather than fat mass? These are all signs that speed keto may not be the best dietary path for you.
To bolster your nutritional needs with speed keto, be sure to supplement with BHB oil and MCT oil. By raising your ketone levels you’ll sidestep keto flu symptoms and be able to maintain energy and ketosis between meals.
To learn more about these natural keto supplements, click here.