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Updated to add vegetarian, vegan & allergen-free options at bottom.
So you’ve made the decision to change your lifestyle and lose weight fast & easy with a keto diet – yay! But where do you start?
A new diet can be stressful. Constantly wondering if you are eating the right things, buying the right things and just doing it right in the first place. Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to!
I’ve created this grocery list guide for Keto beginner’s so you can jump right in and start losing weight!
Before we get into the list, I want you to know what you should be eating and why.
Generally, macros in a Keto diet ranges from:
60-75% of calories from fat
15-30% of calories from protein
5-10% of calories from carbs.
So if you are eating 1500 calories a day, you should be consuming:
117 grams of fat
92 grams of protein
20-25 grams of net carbs (subtract grams of fiber from grams of carbs consumed)
You can easily adjust these goals in MyFitnessPal (they do all the math for you!).
What to Make
It’s always good to go into the grocery store with a game plan so you don’t buy things you’ll regret later. I also like to keep things as simple as possible. Going through Pinterest, every recipe seems to have a bazillion ingredients, take hours & a culinary degree to make, or require random ingredients that are annoying to find and super expensive.
You can also find my 7 Day Free Meal Plan here for inspiration!
My Top Tips for Keeping It Simple
— Go for quality, not quantity. You don’t need to buy everything you see to start out on a keto diet. I love Keto because it’s simple, so stick with that mindset! Get a nice cut of meat, a good quality butter & some dark green veggies – you’re done and you won’t feel like you’re dieting!
— Complicated recipes are deceiving. Recipes with 15+ ingredients are fun to make sometimes, but on the daily, it’s unrealistic. Keep the ingredient countdown and you’ll be happy
— Stop with the dupes (at least at first). When I first started the diet, I saw recipes to keto-fy all my favorites like bread, fast food & rice. Again, this is fine once in awhile, but on your daily grind, just stick to the basics to make you sane and your wallet happy.
Keep it Simple, NOT Boring
I don’t want you to think you have to eat eggs and bacon every day for every meal to not lose your mind on this diet. I mean, I love bacon and eggs but I need some variety.
My fave recipe collection that is all about minimalist cooking with maximum flavor is the Keto in Five cookbooks. You’ve definitely seen me mention them before on this blog and for good reason. They have 120 recipes all under 5 net carbs & all 5 ingredients and under! Th have mastered the art of big flavor with a small budget.
They make it really easy to track your macros with nutrition info for each recipe included. What’s also great is that if you eat three meals + a snack or dessert from the books, you’ll be at 20 net carbs or less for the entire day. How easy is that!
Looking for even more structure for your meal planning? The same creators of the above ebooks have now created weekly low carb keto meal plans delivered straight to your inbox! Every meal plan has breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks with all their calories, carbs & macros worked out for you!
Avoiding Keto ‘Flu’
The keto ‘flu’ happens when those new to the diet are not eating or drinking enough sodium or electrolytes. It is not an actual virus, like the flu, but just common symptoms when your body is low in both sodium & electrolytes. Your symptoms will likely include:
• Muscle cramps
• Mild insomnia
• Runny nose/ sneezing
This is a totally normal reaction when your body switches from burning carbs (sugar) for energy and switches to burning fat for energy (hello fat loss!). BUT these symptoms can be easily avoided.
How to Avoid or Manage Keto Flu Symptoms
If you are just starting out, definitely take thee steps in your first days of Keto. If you are already experiencing the keto flu, not to worry, these quick fixes will work for you too & you will be feeling great again in no time!
Take a Supplement
I have found that the best way to get electrolytes into your body quickly and easily is a supplement. I have tried a lot. Basically I have tried them all & in my opinion, there are two supplements that get the job done far better than any others.
Hi-Lyte is a great supplement- it has a super high combo of Potassium, Zinc and Magnesium Electrolyte Concentrate. This makes it a perfectly balanced supplement for the keto flu, especially if you are experiencing dehydration and insomnia. This one has ZERO CALORIES & ZERO CARBS!
You can get a bottle here.
LYTEshow is perfect for the person who can never seem to get enough water or their daily 8 cups. When you add this electrolyte super liquid to 1 glass of water, it becomes equivalent to drinking 3 glasses of water – pretty incredible! It also tastes great & has a mineral base naturally sourced in the USA and clinically tested to be a significantly more efficient form of hydration than water alone.
You can get yours here.
Broth It Up
Another great keto flu cure is bone broth! This is also a great healer when you are actually sick with a cold or flu or just want something comforting. Instead of its high carb alternative chicken noodle soup or even worse, store bought chicken broth (which is typically loaded with MSG and other preservative junk), bone broth is a delicious way to alleviate your flu symptoms. Bone broth is a great way to hydrate & it is also packed with electrolytes, good for you sodium and potassium.
If you are not making this at home, the best and only alternative I recommend is from Kettle & Fire. It is delicious & will have you feeling better fast!
You can get your broth here.
Keto Fast Food Guide
Ever find yourself out all day or at work completely starving and not sure where to go & grab something to eat? Well you’re in luck! It might surprise you, but there are many on-the-go or fast food options that are Keto friendly.
I keep this ebook on my phone in case I’m running around with limited food options. It has over 150 keto friendly fast food options with all macros listed out for you!
Now onto the good stuff – the food! You’ll want to focus on whole, fresh foods and make sure you are paying attention to the nutrient info on labels or looking it up online for foods without labels like veggies, fruits etc.
This is of course just an overview of what you can eat, but these are things I’m most likely going to pick up from the grocery store. I also didn’t want to include crazy expensive specialty items like Erythritol for beginners. I think we all get excited about making our favorite junk foods in the style of our diets right away. This is fine…but it can be very expensive, time consuming and exhausting. Stik with the basics, especially when first starting out!
Grocery List (broken down by macros)
And for an added bonus, my friends at Kettle & Fire have come up with this awesome Keto friendly food list!
There it is – the Ultimate Start for a Keto Diet! Are you starting the diet or have been on it? Would you like to see this list but steered towards vegetarian or vegans? It’s possible, I swear!
Let me know in the comments below!
Vegetarian & Vegan UPDATE!
After tons & tons of research and toying with creating my own, I have found the best & most extensive vegetarian & vegan ebook, recipes & meal plans! My friend over at Meat Free Keto has created an amazing Intro to Vegan Keto Guide ebook. This ebook contains 69 pages of diet information, a 7 Day Meal Plan, recipes & shopping list.
This ebook is incredible if you are starting out in a vegan keto way of eating if you are interested in learning more about the lifestyle or are simply looking for some delicious meal inspiration.
I’ve made mostly all the recipes now and can honestly say this book makes eating Keto vegan so easy and so yummy.
The best part? This completely comprehensive 69-page ebook is only $12 – seriously! You get the meal plan, recipes & shopping lists & more for $12!
Allergen Free UPDATE!
The number one question I get about the Keto diet is the “What if I don’t eat…(insert food allergy or food aversion here)” questions. What is I don’t eat eggs? What if I don’t eat gluten? What if I don’t eat dairy? Can I still do Keto? Of course you can! But allergens, rightfully so, are at the forefront of people’s minds when they start a new diet. I try to help as much as possible but I don’t have the experience or extensive research to help every single person out.
Enter Leanne! Leannne of Healthful Pursuits is a certified Nutrition Educator and happens to be one of the most passionate Keto-ers I know. She has a FANTASTIC allergen-free Keto meal plan & guide that takes all the guesswork out. Every ebook comes with a 30-day meal plan, a complete food list with easy allergen swaps and a complete guide on Carb Cycling. And I mean complete. Leanne creates alternative grocery lists and meals for people who need Low-FODMAP, dairy-free, grain-free, nightshade-free, egg-free, nut-free and more. Even better? If her meal plans aren’t for you, you get a full money back guarantee.
You can check out more on Leanne and her meal plans here.