Speed Keto is a collaboration of the Ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting in an effort to get the body to flush out glucose and get to the point where it burns fat for fuel, a metabolic state known as ketosis. To get into ketosis most people need to eat less than 50g of carbohydrates per day. The Ketogenic diet typically restricts carbohydrates to 20 – 25g of carbohydrates per day. Combining keto with fasting accelerates the process of getting into ketosis.
We live in a society that is obsessed with speed. we love fast cars, fast internet, and fast food. We like quick start guides, kwik dry cement & quickie lube oil changes. We consume instant coffee, instant oats, instant grits, and cook with instant pots. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to weight loss, we want to lose it… fast. Never mind the fact that it’s taken years of pop tarts, super-sized fries and Big Gulp’s to get to where you stand today, it’s time to lose weight and you want to get it done…fast!
The Ketogenic Diet and intermittent fasting have been around for many years, but the term or concept of Speed Keto is fairly new and most likely coined by Dr. Harlan Kilstein entrepreneur, lifestyle coach, and author & founder of “Completely Keto”. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Kilstein’s “About Me” page on his website: Speed Keto was a culmination of all that he had learned based on his experience and the experiences of those around him. He found the energy around the chaos of his Facebook group to be both enriching and enlightening. As mentioned, his time spent being active on the Facebook community is what allows him to learn what his consumers needed and how he could go about giving it to them.
What is the difference between Keto and speed Keto?
At the core, the diets are the same, the ketogenic diet is a very low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. By drastically reducing carbohydrate consumption and subsequently glucose, the body’s preferred energy source, we force the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. When eating a very low-carb diet such as the ketogenic diet, levels of the hormone insulin go down and fatty acids are released from body fat stores in large amounts. Many of these fatty acids are transferred to the liver, where they are oxidized and turned into ketones (or ketone bodies). These molecules can provide energy for the body. Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy for the brain in the absence of glucose.
The process of ketosis is most closely associated with the Ketogenic and other low carb diets, but is also achieved through fasting and starvation. This seems obvious if ketosis happens when we severely limit carb intake, there’s nothing more severe than not eating anything at all.
Typically it can take several days to weeks to get into ketosis following a low carb/ high fat ketogenic diet. However, through fasting, ketosis can be achieved in 72 hours for most people (Link to study). The concept of Speed Keto is to incorporate fasting or intermittent fasting and accelerate the process of reaching ketosis and to maximize the time spent in ketosis
So what is intermittent fasting?
Kris Gunnars of Healthline.com does a fantastic job of explaining intermittent fasting in easy to understand layman’s terms:
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods. Most people already “fast” every day, while they sleep. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending that fast a little longer. You can do this by skipping breakfast, eating your first meal at noon, and your last meal at 8 pm. Then you’re technically fasting for 16 hours every day, and restricting your eating to an 8-hour eating window. This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting, known as the 16/8 method. Despite what you may think, intermittent fasting is actually fairly easy to do. Many people report feeling better and having more energy during a fast. Hunger is usually not that big of an issue, although it can be a problem in the beginning, while your body is getting used to not eating for extended periods of time. No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea, and other non-caloric beverages. link to full article
For more in-depth information on Intermittent fasting also check out this post I made on Intermittent Fasting with Keto
Does speed keto work fast?
Fast is the operative word here. Fast compared to what? We ‘ve already established that getting into ketosis can take several days to weeks and fasting longer than 72 hours will jump-start you into ketosis. Based on this study we can surmise that using the Speed Keto technique of intermittent fasting will accelerate reaching ketosis over standard keto, but I think that it’s fair to say that anyone incorporating keto or speed keto into their weight loss strategy is not anxiously awaiting the moment when they are able to turn a ketone strip purple.
The question on most people’s minds is: Will I lose weight fast? Goes back to the instant gratification society that we live in.
On the ketogenic diet, in general, the answer to the question is typically yes! Many people experience great initial results when starting keto, to get a good idea of the progress people see on keto & speed keto click the link to this sub reddit page on Keto Progress. The results that people share on this page are inspiring, many people also post “before and after pics’, some of the images shown here are nothing short of amazing, like something you would expect to see on a marketing campaign for a weight loss product or program. This is an awesome resource for researching keto and speed keto, most people posting will enter starting weight, current weight, and goal weight along with their start date. It’s a worn-out cliche to say that everyone is different and that results will vary, so finding a resource where you can see results from thousands of people all at varying points of their keto journey is incredibly useful for making your own assessment.
How much can you lose on Keto in a week?
Here again, results are going to vary from person to person.
- What is their starting point? A person that needs to lose 25 lbs will have different results from someone needing to lose 200 lbs.
- What type of diet have they been eating prior to starting keto? Someone coming from the standard American diet might expect to see significant progress in just one week as opposed to someone that has been dieting on other programs and making the shift to Keto
Typically you can expect to drop 1 to 2 lbs a week on a normal diet with a caloric deficit and regular diet regimen. On the keto diet, it’s not uncommon to see drops of 2-10 lbs after the first week… sounds great, right? Keep in mind that most of that weight loss will be water weight.
Excerpt from Medical News Today: Carbohydrates, or carbs, also cause the body to store extra water. When we eat carbs, the energy that we do not use right away is stored as glycogen molecules. Each gram (g) of glycogen comes with 3 g of water attached. Cutting down on carbs is a quick way to use up the glycogen stores, which means that the water weight will also be reduced.
After 7 days on the ketogenic diet in my personal journey, I had lost 7.5lbs. To put that into perspective it took me another 28 days on the keto diet to match the 7.5 lb weight loss recorded after the first week.
Will ketosis burn belly fat?
First things first, you cannot target fat reduction — when you lose fat, your body decides where the fat comes from — that said there is data that indicates that the keto diet may be helpful in targeting stubborn belly fat. In this article from popsugar.com, author Christina Stiehl interviews Steve Phinney, MD, Ph.D., chief medical officer at Virta Health
“Belly fat, aka visceral fat, is caused by a combination of bad genes and a bad diet of sugar and refined carbs,” Steve Phinney, MD, Ph.D., chief medical officer at Virta Health, told POPSUGAR. “Visceral fat is prone to become inflamed, which makes it both dangerous for blood vessels and also hard to lose. A well-formulated ketogenic diet has potent anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body, including for belly fat, and thus enables a person to lose it.”
In 2009, Dr. Phinney was one of the researchers who published a study that evaluated how a low-carb diet and a high-carb diet impact metabolic syndrome (metabolic syndrome is characterized by excess visceral fat). Each diet group ate 1,500 calories, but one was on a high-carb diet while the other was on a high-fat, or keto, diet. They used a precise body composition analysis called DXA to track the participants’ progress.
“We noted that the patients on the well-formulated ketogenic diet lost 64 percent more visceral fat than those on the high-carb, low-fat diet,” Dr. Phinney told POPSUGAR. “In addition, blood levels of inflammatory biomarkers were sharply reduced with the ketogenic diet, which helps explain this beneficial result.” Link to full article
Speed keto is the collaboration of two protocols that complement each other by achieving a similar end result.. getting the body to burn fat for fuel instead of storing fat on our bodies. Think for a moment on the subject of education… we have classroom-style learning that is the standard for our educational programs and is very effective. Then consider “hands-on” style learning, also a very powerful form of training. If we take the classroom style of learning and reinforce it with a hands-on learning session we can really drive home the lesson and in many cases, the combination is greater than the sum of each method individually.
This holds true for speed keto, the combination of the keto diet and intermittent fasting can be more beneficial together than doing each one individually. The keto diet severely restricts carbohydrate intake putting the body in “starvation mode”, when it does, the body begins to burn its fat stores for fuel. With intermittent fasting, you are “starving” your body of all nutrients for a time, like eating your last meal by 8 pm and not eating again until lunch the following day. When you continue to keep your body in this “starvation mode” (ketosis) after breaking your fast with foods that do not replenish carbohydrate (glycogen) levels, the body continues to use fat as it’s source of energy. Furthermore, by skipping breakfast in this example you and eating high fat, moderate proteins, and restricting carbohydrates will most likely be full and maintain a caloric deficit, which is essential for any weight loss program.