All about Keto Diet

The Ultimate Keto FAQ and Answers

Keto can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out. A lot of people have questions: What is ketosis? How do you know if you’re in ketosis? Do you need to count calories on keto? Is alcohol ketogenic? What’s the deal with the keto flu?

There can be a steep learning curve when you’re first starting keto. The good news is that a ketogenic diet is actually pretty simple once you get into it. You just have to learn a few basics about the lifestyle. 

With that in mind, we’ve created this ultimate keto FAQ. It’s a reference guide with answers to a lot of the most common questions and concerns about keto. 

HOW TO USE THE ULTIMATE KETO FAQ AND ANSWERS

Want the ultimate book of Keto Answers? Check out the Keto Answers Book by Dr. Anthony Gustin and Christopher Irvin, MS

If you’re just starting keto, you could read this article from top to bottom. However, we designed this as a reference guide. It’s a page to bookmark and come back to whenever you have specific questions about keto. Whether your inquiry is big and broad (i.e. What is Ketosis?) or incredibly specific (Which nuts are best to eat?) you can find what you need here without having to slog through multiple blog posts or discussion forums.

The way to use this page is to hit Command + F on a Mac or CTRL + F on a PC. In the search box type in the word or question you have on your mind and all matching searches will be highlighted on this page.

Keto Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q: What is ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body burns fat for energy instead of sugar. 

Usually, your body defaults to burning sugar as your main source of fuel. But if you cut carbohydrates out of your diet, your body won’t have access to sugars, and it will switch over to burning fats as its main fuel source instead. That fat-burning state is called ketosis, and it has a few unique benefits. Learn more here.

Q: How do I get into ketosis?

You can get into ketosis by following a very-low-carb diet called a ketogenic diet. It restricts carbs to persuade your body to switch over to burning fat as its primary fuel source. You get to replace those carbs with plenty of steak, wild salmon, butter, bacon, avocado, and other high-quality, delicious sources of fat and protein. If you want to try a ketogenic diet and see how ketosis feels, this complete beginner’s guide to ketosis has everything you need to start today. 

Q: Is ketosis bad for you?

Nope! That would be ketoacidosis, not ketosis. These are two completely different metabolic states. Ketoacidosis happens in uncontrolled diabetes. The words sound similar, but ketoacidosis is unrelated to nutritional ketosis, and you won’t develop ketoacidosis on a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is not bad for you; in fact, it’s actively good for you. Learn more here.

Q: How do I know if I’m in ketosis?

To figure out if you’re in ketosis, you can test your ketone levels with urine strips, breath tests, or blood testing. Of the three, blood testing gives you the most accurate reading of your ketone levels and will tell you, definitively, whether or not you’re in ketosis. It takes an occasional finger prick and you can do it at home. 

You don’t have to test your ketones at all, though. Ketone levels can be useful data to have, but most people don’t test their ketones and instead go by feeling. If you feel good and you’re hitting your goals (weight loss, mental clarity, stable energy throughout the day, etc.), it doesn’t really matter exactly how deep into ketosis you are. Focus on results, not ketones. 

Q: What is acetone?

A: Acetone is a type of ketone your body produces. For more, see What is Acetone?

Q: How is the keto diet different from the Paleo diet? And which is better?

See our post on The Keto Diet Vs Paleo.

Q: What’s the difference between the ketogenic diet and the Atkins Diet? And which is better?

See our post on The Keto Diet vs Atkins.

Q: Can I eat a ketogenic diet if I’m a vegetarian or vegan?

Absolutely! You’ll want to keep your eye on a couple of things and plan your meals well to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. See our post on the Ketogenic Diet for Vegetarians.

Q: What are good keto foods to eat?

There are plenty of delicious foods that fit into a ket diet. See our Full Keto Diet Food List as well as our Keto Recipes.

Q: What foods should I avoid on keto?

See this list: Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet.

Q: What type of fats should I eat on a ketogenic diet?

See our Good Fats vs Bad Fats guide for a comprehensive list of good and bad fats to eat on keto. 

Q: How much protein should I be eating on a ketogenic diet?

Great, important question! A lot of people recommend keeping protein quite low on a keto diet, because your body can convert excess protein to glucose (sugar), which, in theory, can take you out of ketosis. However, those concerns are overblown most of the time. You can eat quite a lot of protein on a keto diet and stay in ketosis. For details, see Gluconeogenesis: What It Is and Why You Shouldn’t Fear It On Keto

Q: How many carbs should I be eating on a keto diet?

Carb tolerance varies from person to person, so you may have to experiment and see how different amounts of carbs make you feel. Generally, though, a good rule of thumb is to stay under 50 grams of net carbs a day. For more details, see macro ratios and recommendations on carbs here: How Many Carbs Should You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Q: What are net carbs?

Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber. Your body doesn’t digest fiber, so it doesn’t use fiber for energy, and fiber doesn’t count toward your total carbs for the day. For more details, see our What are Net Carbs? post.

Q: What’s the difference between impact and non-impact carbs?

These are different terms for net carbs. See this post: The Different Between Effective and Non-Impact Carbs.

Q: Are nuts okay to eat on a keto diet?

Yes! But there are pros and cons to know about. Read our post on the Pros and Cons of a Ketogenic Diet here.

Q: Can I drink alcohol on a ketogenic diet?

You can, but the type of drink matters. Generally, you’ll want to stick to distilled spirits or dry wines. See our Keto Diet Alcohol Rules guide for the specifics.

Q: Can I have cheat meals while eating keto?

See our post about Cheat Meals on Keto.

Q: Can I still exercise the same when I’m in ketosis?

Absolutely, although you may want to either take an exogenous ketone supplement or have a few grams of carbs before your workout, especially if you find you get fatigued more easily in the gym. For details, read How to Exercise When You’re in Ketosis.

Q: I’m struggling to get into ketosis. How do I fix it?

See Dr. Anthony’s post on How I Fixed the Biggest Ketosis Mistakes.

Q: How can I make sure I maintain ketosis?

See our guide on How to Maintain Ketosis.

Q: Should I fast to get into ketosis?

You can, although it’s certainly not necessary. While fasting will speed up your transition into ketosis, it’s an extra challenge, and it’s entirely optional. For details, read Dr. Anthony’s guide to fasting here.

Q: What is the keto flu?

When you transition into ketosis, your body has to switch over from burning sugar to burning fat as its main fuel source. This is a major metabolic shift, and your body may struggle with it for the first few days. 

During the transition, a lot of people experience “keto flu.” Keto flu involves flu-like symptoms — aching muscles, low energy, brain fog, and headaches. These symptoms pass in a few days and are nothing to worry about. In fact, you can do quite a bit to get rid of keto flu. Check out this article on Keto Flu: What It Is and How to Get Rid Of It

Q: Should I take supplements on a ketogenic diet?

You don’t have to take supplements on a keto diet, but many people choose to do so. The two most popular keto supplements are exogenous ketones and MCT oil. Both can increase ketone levels in your blood, providing extra energy, hunger suppression, mental clarity, and more. 

Q: Are there different ways to take ketones as supplements?

Yes, but they aren’t all created equally. See our post The Different Types of Ketone Supplements.

Q: What are exogenous ketones?

Exogenous ketones are a type of supplement that raises ketone levels in your blood, mimicking a state of ketosis and providing you with increased energy and mental focus. They can be a great addition to a keto diet, especially before exercise or for long work days. For more details, see What are Exogenous Ketones: When and How to Supplement with Ketones.

Q: When and how should I supplement with exogenous ketones?

See What are Exogenous Ketones: When and How to Supplement with Ketones.

Q: Where can I buy exogenous ketones?

We sell them! Perfect Keto Base contains pure exogenous ketones in several great-tasting flavors, including chocolate, coffee, salted caramel, and peach. 

Q: What if I’ve gotten GI distress with exogenous ketones?

If you take too many exogenous ketones without giving your body a chance to adjust, you may experience digestive distress or stomach pain. Your best bet is to start with half a scoop of exogenous ketones and work your way up so your digestive system has a chance to acclimate. See our full post on Why Ketones and Ketosis can Cause Stomach Pain.

Q: How do you use exogenous ketones?

Our exogenous ketone product, Perfect Keto Base, has a few different uses. 

For fat loss: Use a scoop in between meals or in the morning to put your body into an effortless fat burning mode.

For physical performance: Use a scoop before or during workouts to increase your energy and work output. 

For focus: Use a scoop on an empty stomach to have an increased mental output and sharper focus.

For ketosis: Use a scoop after a meal you’ve consumed that has carbs to get back into the state of ketosis.

Q: Can anyone use Perfect Keto Base? Or is it only for people a keto diet?

A: Great question! Exogenous ketones help you increase your blood ketone levels, giving you extra energy and mental clarity. You don’t need to be following a strict ketogenic diet to get this benefit.

Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, the ketone in Perfect Keto Base, is a source of instant energy, regardless of your diet. Many non-keto people use exogenous ketones for increased energy, better performance at work, as a powerful pre-workout, or anywhere throughout they want a boost throughout their day. 

Q: Why are exogenous ketones expensive?

See our post Why Exogenous Ketones are Expensive and How They Save You Money.

Q: Why do exogenous ketones taste bad?

Exogenous ketones taste terrible on their own. Fortunately, our Perfect Keto Base formulations use natural flavors to make exogenous ketones taste great. For more, see Why Exogenous Ketones Taste Bad.

Q: What are the ingredients of Perfect Keto Base?

Perfect Keto Base contains 11.38g of high-quality beta-hydroxybutyrate with calcium and magnesium salt splits that are easy on your GI system. It also contains natural flavors and stevia leaf for sweetness. That’s it! No fillers or junk ingredients. 

Q: What are MCTs?

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. MCTs are special types of fat that your body breaks down into ketones almost immediately. MCTs provide rapid energy and are very unlikely to be stored as body fat, which makes them an attractive option on a keto diet. MCTs give you an almost-instant mental and physical boost. For more, see our article on MCT Oil Benefits.

Q: How do I use MCT supplements?

Here’s how to use MCT powder for different functions:

For fat loss: Use a scoop in between meals or in the morning to put your body into an effortless fat burning mode.

To perform: Use a scoop before or during workouts to decrease the need for oxygen and increase energy.

For focus: Use a scoop on an empty stomach to have an increased mental output and sharper focus.

For ketosis: Use a scoop with or after a meal you’ve consumed that has carbs to get back into the state of ketosis.

Q: Should I take MCT oil or MCT powder?

We prefer MCT powder for a few different reasons. MCT powder is:

  • Easier on the digestive system than oil
  • More effective at raising blood ketone levels (up to 1.0 mmol)
  • Easier to mix into any recipe or beverage than oil
  • Flavorless, odorless, no oily residues

MCT powder also travels better than oils do. For more details about MCT supplements, check out our article MCT Oil Supplements on Keto.

Q: What if I get GI distress from taking MCTs?

MCTs are potent, and taking too many of them can cause digestive distress. If you get a stomach ache or diarrhea from MCTs, try cutting the dose in half for a few days. It’ll give your body a chance to adjust before you start upping the dose. 

Q: What does MCT oil powder taste like?

A: Perfect Keto MCT oil powder is completely flavorless and odorless, meaning you can easily enjoy it in whatever beverage or food product you’d like.

Q: Do Perfect Keto products contain allergens?

All Perfect Keto products are keto-approved (of course), gluten free, dairy free, doctor-approved, and lab-tested for purity.

Q: Should I take raspberry ketones?

Raspberry ketones are weight loss supplements sold in pharmacies and convenience stores. They have nothing to do with ketosis, despite having “ketone” in their name, and they don’t work for weight loss. In our opinion, they’re a waste of money and we don’t recommend taking them. See Why Raspberry Ketones Don’t Have Anything to Do With Ketosis for the details.

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