Your Body

Keto Diet: Your Questions Answered

A keto, or ketogenic, diet could help you to lose weight, tone up, and even reduce your risk of health conditions linked to an unhealthy diet or being overweight.


On a keto diet, you should be consuming fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates and sugar every day, as the goal is to put your body into the state of ketosis, where it burns fat as its primary source of energy.


Instead, a keto diet should get 70-80% of its daily calories from healthy fats, with the remaining 20-30% coming mainly from protein, plus a small number of carbs.



Question: How do I get started with a keto diet?

Knowing how to start a keto diet can be the hardest part of the whole process. We recommend fasting for one to two days to start with, as this will help your body to enter the state of ketosis, where it’s burning fat as its primary energy source. It’s really important to make sure you’re staying hydrated during this time to stop yourself from getting ill.


It’s also a good idea to have a meal plan for your first week, make sure you’ve stocked up on lots of keto-friendly foods, and download an app that tracks calories, macronutrients or both to help you to stay on top of your eating plan.


Do as much food prep as you can in advance and look at where you can fit exercise into your schedule in advance to keep yourself on track.

Question: What’s the difference between paleo and keto?

The paleo and keto diets both involve limiting your intake of certain foods, but there are a few key differences.


Paleo cuts out all dairy, grains and processed foods, but you can balance your macros however you like from the foods you are allowed. All types of fruit and starchy vegetables can also be consumed on a paleo diet, but not on keto.


In contrast, the keto diet focuses on good fats, carbs and protein, so all of your macros have to come from these groups

Question: Why do I need to worry about net carbs on a keto diet?

Net carbs are the carbs that are actually absorbed by your body from the food that you consume. You can calculate net carbs by subtracting the fibre content from the total carbohydrate content of your food.


You need to be careful not to eat too many net carbs on a keto diet, as this can trigger your body to release insulin, stopping your body from entering the state of ketosis as a result.

Question: What’s a good beginner’s keto shopping list?

Here’s our recommendations for your first keto shopping list:


  • Fresh, non-starchy vegetables, such as kale, sprouts and asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Sausages
  • Prawns
  • Salmon
  • Herbs and spices
  • Coconut oil
  • 70% dark chocolate

avocados are an excellent addition to any keto diet

Question: Is it normal to feel hungry when you start a keto diet?

It will take a few days for your body to get used to such a drastic change in diet, so it can be common for people to feel hungry when they first start a keto diet.


If you’re still feeling hungry after a few weeks of keto, this could be being caused by factors such as stress, too many cheat days, and potentially even hidden carbs in your snacks, drinks and condiments.


Find a way to manage your stress levels, limit your cheat days and always check the net carbs content of your food to keep hunger at bay.

Question: What’s a good keto fix for the mid-afternoon slump?

Good keto snacks for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up include:


  • Homemade meatballs
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Keto-friendly quiche bites
  • Vegetable sticks with hummus, almond butter or peanut butter
  • Keto shakes
Question: Where can I find good keto shake recipes?

Our simple keto shake recipe:


  • Add two scoops of one of our Garden of Life keto powders with 300ml water
  • Use a shaker to mix the ingredients together to create a tasty, nutritious keto shake


Question: Does it matter if I eat too much fat on a keto diet?

Try not to consume more than 70-80% of your daily calories from fats on a keto diet, but it’s not the end of the world if you go over one day – just make sure you get straight back on it the next day.


You should be focusing on good, healthy fats anyway – it’s saturated fats that you need to steer totally clear of.


In fact, lots of people end up not eating enough fats at first, because so many diets condition us to avoid fats. Many keto newbies turn to protein first for filling power, but it’s important to get that balance right!


Remember that avocados, fish, cheese, dark chocolate and coconut oil are all keto-friendly sources of good fats.

Question: Is it possible to follow a vegan keto diet?

Yes, it is possible, but you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein from sources aside from dairy and eggs. Tofu, nuts, nut butters and seeds are all good options.

Question: What alcohol can you drink on keto?

Pure spirits such as whisky, gin, rum, vodka and brandy can be enjoyed occasionally on a keto diet, as can a small amount of red or white wine. Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks such as alcopops, as well as beer or cider.


It’s important to remember that alcohol still counts towards your daily calories, and it may seem like empty calories, as it has no nutritional value.

Question: Are headaches on keto normal?

Headaches on keto are usually a result of not having enough salt or electrolytes in your system. Electrolytes play an essential role in many important processes in the body, but your kidneys can mistakenly flush these out, along with salt, when your body is in ketosis.

Question: Will a keto diet affect how often I go to the toilet?

If you’re getting your macros balance right, you shouldn’t experience any problems. However, both constipation and diarrhoea can be an issue if you’re not getting the right balance in your lifestyle.


Going into ketosis too quickly could leave you constipated, so it’s important to think about how much fibre you’re getting from the veg you’re eating, as well as its other macronutrient content.


Regular exercise can help you to digest your food properly too, keeping your whole digestive system in good working order.

Question: How can I fuel up before exercising on a keto diet?

Exercise should be a key part of a keto lifestyle, but it’s important to fuel your body beforehand to keep yourself nourished and hydrated, especially if you’re doing a high-intensity workout or a long-distance run.


Fill up on protein beforehand, or a keto breakfast that’s designed to release energy slowly, such as a breakfast burrito made with an egg wrap.


Take home-baked keto snacks or a keto shake with you for extra fuel, and make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your workout.

Garden of Life

Garden of Life

Writer and expert