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Speed Keto: Combining OMAD with Keto

By Thomas Wrona Updated on

While the standard ketogenic diet offers most people the results they’re looking for, there’s a time and place for more intensive approaches. Speed keto, also known as OMAD keto, is one such approach that’s quickly gaining in popularity. 

Speed keto combines ketogenic meals with reduced meal frequency — just one meal a day. Since speed keto helps your body to get into ketosis quickly, it may catalyze the benefits of normal keto and help you lose fat faster. 

Table of Contents

What is Speed Keto?

Speed keto is a new type of ketogenic diet that purports to enhance and speed up the benefits of keto. The diet was created by health coach Harlan Kilstein and calls for eating (feasting!) just one keto-friendly meal per day.  

Speed keto focuses on getting your body into the fat-burning mode called ketosis. Once your body enters ketosis, it begins breaking down fat stores and the fat from your food into energy-rich molecules called ketones. Ketones provide most of the cells in your body and brain with optimal fuel. They nourish new cells and starve old and cancerous cells. [1]

Speed keto achieves these goals more quickly by combining high-fat low-carb eating with daily 20-hour fasts. 

While it normally takes 2-4 days to enter ketosis, speed keto dieters can enter ketosis after a single fasting period. 


Speed keto is sometimes also called one meal a day keto, or OMAD keto. You can probably intuit why: it only allows for one meal per day. As you might expect, this will be a very large meal. 

Ancient Origins of OMAD/Speed Keto?

While speed keto’s popularity has grown in modern times, the ideas behind it are ancestral. 

The ancient Romans were eating just one large meal per day over a thousand years ago. They ate this meal around 4 pm, which would also make them practitioners of circadian rhythm fasting. [2] The Romans believed that OMAD benefitted their digestion, complexion, and sharpness of thought. 

Going even further back in time, for nearly 2 million years humans evolved by eating according to a fast and feast cycle while eating almost exclusively fatty meats. That’s right cavemen were essentially carnivores

For our distant ancestors, when a hunt was successful we feasted–eating as much as we could in a short period of time before the meat spoiled. If it was a failure, we fasted until the next successful hunt/feast.

Over time the people whose brains and bodies worked the best in fasted states also excelled at hunting. And when you’re better at getting you’d you’re ultimately better at surviving and reproducing. What this means for today’s humans is that the genes that shape our metabolism were passed down to us through the generations of people who were really good at fasting and feasting. 

There is evidence for these evolved traits in the way we humans:

  • store fat easily. This fat is our fuel supply between hunts and feasts
  • enter ketosis quickly: Ketosis is the way our bodies convert fat into fuel. [3]
  • experience reduced cognitive ability (i.e. we get dumber) when not fasting. Our brains are hard-wired to function best in times of food scarcity when we need to hunt. [4]
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Benefits of Speed Keto

To date, there haven’t been clinical studies on speed keto. For this reason, the benefits listed in this section are based on user experiences and extrapolated from studies looking at other forms of IF and keto. 

​Weight Loss

The most impressive benefit of speed keto appears to be fast, immediate, and noticeable weight loss. 

This is likely due to how difficult it is to overdo the calories when you’re only eating one meal a day. 2000 calories is A LOT, to fit in with one meal.  This makes speed keto a good option for people who don’t want to count calories and portion food. 

Research on both keto and other types of intermittent fasting implies that speed keto may foster weight loss through several different pathways. High-fat meals may suppress appetite while regulating blood sugar while fasting periods allow you to access the upper limits of fat-burning mode. [5][6]


Speed keto also appears effective for reducing inflammation. Simply being in ketosis may reduce inflammation, since fewer carbs burned means fewer free radicals produced. While the ketones your body depends on when in a fasted/ketogenic state are less inflammatory than glucose.  [7]

Fasting is also generally renowned for its anti-inflammatory effects. Within the fasting community it is believed that when your digestive tract isn’t busy digesting foods, it can shift energy to repairing leaky gut by sealing up internal junctions and preventing inflammatory particles from escaping into the bloodstream. 

It is possible that fasting also reduces inflammation on the cellular level. People who fast during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan have been shown to have lower markers of inflammation than people who do not. [8]

Lower levels of inflammation are associated with a variety of other improvements, too, including reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer. [9][10

To sum up this section, OMAD keto combines two proven inflammation-reducing tactics: reducing carb intake, and reducing meal frequency. 

Drawbacks of Speed Keto

Speed keto has some legitimate health benefits — but they only apply if you’re able to follow it.  Therein lies the single biggest drawback of speed keto: some people find it very hard to follow. Below are a few of speed keto’s other potential drawbacks. 

May Make it Difficult to Build Muscle

Speed keto is likely not the best diet for people who want to gain weight or build muscle. That’s because muscle growth is an energy-intensive process that also requires lots of protein. 

Most people need to consume 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight (128 grams a day for a 160-pound individual) if they wish to gain muscle consistently. That equates to nearly two pounds of ground beef or 18+ eggs. 

Eating this much protein in just one meal can be difficult — virtually impossible for some. 

If you’re hoping to build muscle on keto, you may want to opt for a standard ketogenic approach, or variations from various carnivore diet plans, and Mediterranean keto

Risk of Nutrient Deficiencies

Protein isn’t the only nutrient that’s difficult to get enough of in just one meal. It also takes a concerted effort to get adequate vitamins (A, B1, B12, D, E, C, and K, for starters) and minerals (iron, copper, zinc, etc) and electrolytes when eating so infrequently. 

Those who practice speed keto need to ensure that their one meal a day contains plenty of saturated fat, protein, and micronutrients — each and every single day.  

One of the best ways to boost your micronutrient intake is to include organ meat in your meal plan, or supplement with dried organ meat pills. Regularly consuming bone broth will also deliver a variety of important nutrients.

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Speed Keto Meal Plan

Here’s a sample meal plan of what to eat on a speed keto diet. For convenience we added organ meats as supplements, allowing you to focus on more palatable meats when cooking. 

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
1lb Ribeye Steak and 3 eggs in tallow

Asparagus sauteed in ghee with parmesan cheese

1 Kiwi

Desiccated organ meat supplements

8 oz bone broth

4 scrambled eggs with creme fraiche & ½ avocado

6 oz Bison Burger

½ cup blackberries with 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Desiccated organ meat supplements

8 oz bone broth

12 oz. Lamb chops in ghee

3 eggs fried in ghee 

½ cup strawberries with 4 tablespoons of heavy cream

Desiccated organ meat supplements

8 oz bone broth

12 oz. Pork belly pan-fried in ghee  

and 2 eggs with creme fraiche

nd 1 avocado

Desiccated organ meat supplements

8 oz bone broth

12 oz. Beef short ribs

butter and 2 eggs

and ½ avocado

4 oz asparagus sauteed in ghee with parmesan cheese

Desiccated organ meat supplements

8 oz bone broth

8 oz bison burger with 4 scrambled eggs with  tallow and creme fraiche

Side arugula with 2 oz cheese

Desiccated organ meat supplements

8 oz bone broth

12 oz wild salmon baked with creme fraiche

2 eggs scrambled with 2 tablespoons ghee

1 kiwi

Desiccated organ meat supplements

8 oz bone broth

Is Speed Keto Right for You? 

Speed keto’s strictness can be either an upside or a downside depending on your health status and relationship to food. It is likely best to choose more flexible eating patterns if you are struggling with anorexia or orthorexia, or have in the past. 

Personality also matters when determining whether or not speed keto is right for you. Do you thrive with systems and consider yourself disciplined? 

If so, speed keto could be a great fit. Do you enjoy spontaneity? Then you might thrive with a more intuitive eating approach. Also, it may be best to talk with a doctor or nutritionist before you begin a speed keto routine. 

Speed Keto/Omad Keto: The Takeaway

Speed keto, or OMAD keto, is one of the more targeted yet challenging forms of keto dieting. For most people, it may deliver the benefits of keto more quickly. 

While for others, especially when just starting out on keto, it can prove too extreme to be sustainable. Consider easing into speed keto by combining keto with less restrictive forms of intermittent fasting. 

Though ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting have both been shown to offer numerous benefits, more research needs to be done on speed keto specifically in order to determine exactly how it affects health.

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