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Updated to add vegetarian and vegan 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!
PIN NOW // READ LATER
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 1 Day Free Meal Plan here for inspiration!
— Keto in 5 – All Recipes 5 Ingredients or Less!
— How to get Rid of Maskne (AKA Mask Acne)
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 a while, 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!
You can check out more info from me on the books here or purchase them here!
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!
You can check out more info from me on the weekly meal plan here or start your 7-day free trial now here!
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!
Sprinkle the Magic Pink Salt
And by pink salt I mean pink Himalayan mineral salt. I sprinkle this stuff on everything! On my food, in my water – you name it, pink salt is in it. Not only does it make my food taste AMAZING, but the benefits of pink salt are insane, especially when it comes to Keto flu. Pink Himalayan salt contains up to 84 different minerals, a fantastic source of magnesium (almost 80% of people are deficient in!), promotes a healthy PH balance, helps regulate blood sugar levels (this is huge for Keto and staying in ketosis), and helps regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle.
To take this amazing salt, I’ll sprinkle a pinch into a large glass of water and I also sprinkle it on all my food – I use this salt as my main salt in all recipes.
You can get the top-rated brand (and my fave) here!
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.
— Meal Prep Made Easy: Weekly Keto Meal Plans!
—Follow Me On Instagram!
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. Stick with the basics, especially when first starting out!
Grocery List (broken down by macros)
Additional Animal Proteins
FATS (my fave brands linked)
Heavy Whipping Cream
Full Fat Cheese
2 Net Carb Flat bread
Zero Carb Crackers
Hard Cheese Slices
GG Crackers (NOT gluten-free)
Here are also a few free printable planners to keep your daily carb count on track!
DAILY EATING & WORKOUT PLAN
Hey Gorgeous Daily Planner
And for an added bonus, my friends at Kettle & Fire have come up with this awesome Keto friendly food list!
Printable Grocery 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!
118 thoughts on “The Ultimate Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide & Grocery List”
I’m interested in the vegetarian Keto diet.
Hi Jessie, thanks for letting me know! Question for you – do you still eat eggs?
Hi Lauren, Im completely vegetarian, if it isn’t plant based I don’t eat. Any ideas?
Loved this! I would definitely be interested in reading another article like this geared towards a vegan keto diet 🙂
Awesome Candice, I am working on a blog post about Vegan Keto as we speak! 🙂
I’m really interested in that article also. We had a baby almost a year ago. We decided to give the plant-based diet a go, and has been successful. But, I’m stuck now. Haven’t lost any more weight. And recently just learned of the keto diet! I started last week, but I’m a mess with what to eat, being plant-based and all. Can’t wait for that post! I’ve bookmarked this for future reference.
Hi Grace, I’ve included the plant-based info towards the bottom of this article! You can also find it here: Plant-based meals
Hi Lauren! How much do you eat at each meal? How many times do you eat a day? I saw one Keto ad and a gal said diet soda is okay. That is my only vice and Splenda. Can I have those? I am so interested in this plan! I just don’t want to eat too much! Please help. Congratulations to you! You look incredible. Thank you in advance. Kristin
Hi Kristin, My meals and times vary! I usually skip breakfast because Im not hungry in the mornings anymore. Ill have a protein shake before lunch then my meals consist of proteins, fats like avocado and some veggies cooked in ghee. I still do indulge in diet soda but definitely pay attention to see how your body reacts to it! Everyone is different and reacts differently to some ingredients. Definitely figure out your macros and go from there 🙂
Im really strugling to loose weight. Ive been on keto for 10 weeks. Any ideas?
Hi Odette, without knowing the specifics, Id suggest playing around with your macros to see if something works better for you, drink more water, and try to get more fiber in your diet! Let me know if you have any other questions!
Hello, I’m interested in starting the Keto diet- I’m not sure what my daily % is or should be. Every calculator seems to be different and some by a lot!
I’m also super nervous about consuming so much fat! What if it doesn’t work!? 😳
Hi Emily, I was also really nervous about the amount of fat when I first started too! Just trust it, give it a couple of weeks to work its magic and then you will definitely feel more comfortable! I actually used a couple of online calculators for macros and took the average of what they all said. When starting keto, remember your net carbs should be under 20 grams, so use that as a guideline when calculating the rest of your macros. Let me know if you need anything else!
Thanks for this, Lauren. I love the emphasis on keeping it simple. It really is. I’m still waiting for the weight loss magic to happen for me – don’t know what I’m doing wrong – but I’m believing it will happen for me, too. Thanks again for sharing!
You are so welcome Christine! I really do believe that in order for a diet to become a lifestyle, it has to be simple otherwise people will lose interest or slip up easier. With weight loss, patience is key. Also, if you find that something is not working for you, don’t be afraid to switch it up! Every body is different so what works for one, might not work for all.
Very interesting in vegetarian
Thanks for the feedback Melisa!
I’ve updated the post to add a veggie meal plan! Scroll to the bottom 🙂
Interested in Vegetarian Keto meals. Eggs are ok.
Hi Daksha, thank you for the feedback, I’m working on it!
I’ve updated the post to add a veggie meal plan! Scroll to the bottom 🙂
Hi Lauren, I am also interested in vegetarian options and eat eggs and dairy. Thank you!
Great! I am working on it!
I’ve updated the post to add a veggie meal plan! Scroll to the bottom 🙂
I have been on keto for about 3 weeks now thanks for all the info what I have lost probably fluid but my main thing is my stomach going doen slowly..I have some medical pre diabetic. BP and 2 strokes.must lose at least 70 pounds but I sincerely fo not understand the macros how do you count them I am rating only 2 meals now though loving that staying full not hungry walk about 3 days a week..more during summer…the grocery list I have down but can’t quite undetstand the macros..very happy to have people to talk to thanks glad you are available
Hi Deborah, go to this link & put in your stats – this calculator will give you the calories, fat, carbs & protein you should be eating. Hope this helps! https://laurenrabadi.com/KetoCalc
Could not agree more with you saying “stop with the dupes.” I get sick of looking for recipes ideas only to see how to recreate and/or fake certain dishes. Every recipe has fake dough. Can people really not eat anything not involving a bread product??
Why do so many Keto Recipes have peanut butter in them? If you are eating muffins with peanut butter in them will that prevent you from losing weight
Natural, no sugar added peanut butter is totally fine to eat in moderation!
Thank you Lauren for your website! I have been in diet denial thinking that I am doing something wrong as my husband and I have been doing the Keto diet for 2 weeks now and he has lost almost 30 pounds and I have gained 2! I know that men always lost it faster and he has way more weight than me to lose but it is still frustrating nonetheless! I appreciate your words of encouragement throughout your blog and to your readers comments! “Keeping it simple” was like an Ah-Ha moment! Before Keto I cooked very simply…meat, starch, veggie…but once we started Keto I felt like I had to come up with fancy meals to supplement what I thought I would be missing! It’s exhausting and expensive like you mentioned! Another frustration is constantly counting everything. It really is almost a turn off for me not to mention constantly thinking about food which I NEVER DID BEFORE! So, in general, I guess what I wanted to say was thank you for keeping it real and really simple.
Hi Brittany, thank you so much for the kind words! Im so happy I could help keep it simple for you 🙂
Hi Lauren, I just started this diet. Any tips for beginning? I am not sure I am taking in enough throughout the day. I snack on cheese and red grapes, raspberries throughout the day. I have a protein shake for breakfast and lunch. and then this evening I am having a chicken salad with avocado and romaine. Like I said I don’t think I am taking in enough throughout the day.
Hi there, for beginners I always say to take it slow & simple! Figure out what your macros should be and try to hit your goals. That is definitely the first step and the best guide.
Hi Lauren, I know Jodi and have seen her amazong results on facebook! I would like to lose about 45 pounds. Two weeks ago this Sunday I cut out pop completely and i have been trying to watch my carbs. As this is completely new to me I still need some help with meal ideas and things I should be doing that will help me loose the weight! 😊
Hi Leslie, congrats on the start! My advice to beginners is to take it slow and simple! DOn’t try and make all the keto junk foods like fathead doughs at first. Stick to whole foods like proteins, dark leafy veggies, and a little dairy. I eat a ton of eggs, salmon, avocado, broccoli, asparagus & shakes and rarely get bored!
Hi i am just starting and i have no idea how much i can eat and when to eat…. please help lol
Hi Alejandro, definitely check out a macro calculator! If you google ‘keto gains calculator’ they do all the work for you!
I came across your site yesterday, signed-up, and am a fan; thank you for all your exhaustive efforts which I have yet to explore. I have no issues re-welcoming more fatty, whole, and nutritious items into my daily regimen and am a healthy-eater to begin with; that is, I choose quality any day. Recently, I decided to give Keto a go. I don’t like “diet” nor am I a die-ter. I have to lose about 50lbs and began the transition (to Keto) a week ago. How? I removed all bread-related carbs, pasta, and the treats I’d been indulging in for a few years now.
Background: 3yrs ago, I began burning out again; this after training excessively (which included monitoring what I did and didn’t eat) and, never mind my approach to work – burnout was inevitable 3x. 2017: extreme burnout happened. I stopped training and began recovery: it was a necessity.
Fast forward (trying to minimize this story here): “Okay, enough is enough, I need to get back into my beautiful clothes and shed this crap I’ve adopted. Soon, I’ll start the exercise again.”
Since last week, I no longer experience consistent headaches, fatigue, bloating, gas, headaches, fatigue, bloating, gas, headaches..yeah, you get it (repetition intentional). Oh, and chronic constipation? What just happened here? It’s going bye-bye. Not a Celiac; gluten-sensitive? I don’t know but right now, honestly, I don’t care. After the gone-with-the-sh*t last week, I’m staying away from those “carbs” and the wreck they havoc’d on my system for years (and made me paranoid I had a brain tumour which the doctor ruled out).
Alright, now, (let’s get to the point here): I’m clueless re Keto and while your site is stocked with tremendous details, I need “woaw, woaw, slow-down Honey, let’s start here….” How do I plan/count/know what to/not to eat, etc.?
I’ll print out your list (many thanks) but need to learn ho to do the count/monitoring…. is there an app I should download? A calculator, a something that will help me track and plan my initiation? Rather, which do you recommend to help this deer-in-headlights in transition? 🙂
Breakfast, today, was phenomenal. And yesterday, and the other day… Ironically, several years ago, I voiced that I felt I didn’t have enough fats in my body; I felt my internal lubrication was lacking – it was an odd thought but, hey, we should know our bodies better than anyone else, if we silence the noise and do what’s best/right for us.
Looking forward to your reply, here or via email – thank you, very, very much!
Hi Sia, welcome to the wonderful world of keto! I would start simple – eat whole foods like avocado, protein, and dark veggies. Download MyFitnessPal or CarbCounter apps to track your macros for you. What works best for me is planning out my meals ahead of time. Ill meal prep my food then log it into MyFitnessPal app so I know I am on target then the next day, eat only what I’ve logged. Its the perfect way to make sure you have enough food that already prepared and the best way to stick to macros. Hope that helps!
How long did it take you to lose that much weight??
It took me about 7 months to lose!
In your before & after pictures are you pregnant in the first picture? It looks like a firm belly with a definite linea nigre line. A classic pregnancy sign. Just wondering.
Question: what if you are lactose intolerant and have a peanut allergy?
Hi Wenona, I personally do not eat dairy or peanuts either! I drink unsweetened non dairy milks and eat almonds/ walnuts/ pistachios. Those are easy swaps for when it calls for dairy or peanuts.
HI! I am totally new to Keto and am really interested in starting. I am getting married in August and want to lose weight for the wedding. I have tried everything to get healthy and lose weight. Any suggestions for a first timer?
Hi Anjelica, definitely keep it simple! Don’t worry about the expensive ingredients or making keto ‘junk’ food, just eat whole foods like eggs, beef, chicken, salmon, dark leafy greens, and avocado.
Can a dieabetic do the keto diet
I would definitely ask your doctor before starting any new diet, but I have seen a lot of success stories of those with diabetes!
Hello, I am at a good weight but wanted to start the diet due to high cholesterol, I have had heard nothing but good things about this diet with high cholesterol. Isit true? Also I have a lot of stomach issues as well. Heard it could work for that too. Do you need vitamin supplements to replace anything you’re not eating.
Hi Dana, welcome! Concerning cholesterol and stomach issues, I would definitely consult with your doctor before making any diet changes. But I have also heard good things about keto and cholesterol and can personally speak to stomach issues getting better with keto!
yes i have celiac disease i need a guide or shopping list to help me get started on the keto diet
Hi Ginger, you can definitely be on keto while having Celiacs. I would recommend looking into the guide that HealthFul Pursuits provides – she has a ton of information, recipes, and grocery lists for allergens and especially for Celiacs – you can find more info here: https://laurenrabadi.com/FatFueled
You’re absolutely gorgeous, and I am looking forward to losing more than 40 lbs. also. I’m on my third week and feel like I hit a wall. I was waking up in the morning feeling my tummy a little flatter, some clothing a bit looser, etc. and now don’t feel like that. So, I looked up foods again, and I don’t think I was eating enough fat. Thank you for a simple version and grocery list of keto foods. It helps a lot! I hope to visit again soon and report double digit weight loss! Blessings!
Hi Kelly, definitely let me know how your Keto journey goes! Would love to hear from you again!
Is it easily possible to follow this diet when I have tree nut allergies (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.)? I’m discouraged with so many recipes calling for almond flour/almond milk.
Hi Katie, Absolutely you can! Check out my post on doing keto with food allergies here! Hope that helps!
Asparagus is a huge part of our diet and we are thinking of starting this keto diet. Is it one of the ok things to eat?
Hi Jennifer, absolutely! Asparagus has only 1 net carb for 5-6 spears.
So happy I stumbled upon your list! Just what I needed
Hi Lara, that makes me so happy to hear! Let me know if you have any questions!
Hi, Im wondering about cold, home pressed canola seed. If I skip the processing and press this at home myself, is this still considered a healthy oil? I have access to the old canola varieties, and that is what seeds im talking about.Thanks
HI Shannon, great question! I typically stay away from canola oil because it’s not really a healthy oil/ fat. But I am not too familiar with the home pressed process so I can’t properly answer your question – sorry!!
But every single person I have ever known who has done Keto gained the weight back when/if they started eating normal again. So you do have to eat this way from Now on.
Hi Susan, that’s true with any diet! If you go off that way of eating and go back to your old habits, you’ll gain your old weight back. I like to look at Keto as a way of life rather than a quick fix diet.
Can you use grape seed oil?
Hi Janeece, Grape seed oil tends to cause inflammation, higher cholesterol and can mess with your hormones so I try to avoid it!
Hey hi !
This Blog was really helpful .
Vegetarian recipe please
Hi there, you can find veggie keto recipes here!
Hi,I’m about to start the ketones journey, are there any suggestions or recommendations for someone who has pcos and type 2 diabetes?
Hi Jade, so excited for your journey and know people who have had success with keto who have PCOS and Diabetes. I would definitely check with your doctor before starting any new diet though!
I’m a yoyo dieter, I’ve done Atkins diet quite a few times and it does work my problem is over indulging I’ve got 1 f the deadly sins gluttony I need to work with that.
thanks for the information
I just had my baby I’m looking forward to getting back on track I need help looking forward to trying your diet!
Congrats Liza! Let me know if you have any questions 🙂
This is extremely amazing. Thank you so so so much!
I stumbled on your site looking for recipes on Pinterest. I’d like to say I agree with what you say about keeping it simple. We don’t have a lot of time during a day to go shopping for ingredients and then try to figure out how to prep the meal. I love your idea of a simple grocery list and five ingredients to make a great meal. I’ve been on ketos for about three and a half weeks now and lost maybe 4 lb but I do see that my stomach has gone down since I’m not eating any more carbs which is a delight for me. Is there a web page to sign up for your blogs and free meals or recipes that could help me to benefit losing more weight?
Thank you in advance.
Hi Lisa, absolutely! You can sign up for my newsletter here and I regularly post recipes to this blog!