When you first decide to follow the Keto Diet, it’s likely that you’ll feel a little confused. Where do you start?
Reading up on how to follow the diet, the do’s and the dont’s, and understanding how it works is vital.
It’s also vital to know how Keto works because you are effectively forcing your body into a different metabolic state, i.e. ketosis. By going too far in either direction, you could easily knock yourself out of ketosis (where your body stops using fat as it’s main source of fuel).
A Quick Keto Diet Outline
By this point, we will assume that you know a little about the Keto Diet, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for a basic keto shopping list to follow. If not, the Keto Diet is of course a high fat, low carb and moderate protein diet, which forces your body to burn fat for fuel, rather than glucose (via carbs and sugar).
There is also a focus on eating whole foods, i.e. fresh and organic produce, rather than foods which have been injected with preservatives and antibiotics.
By following the Keto Diet properly, you can lose a lot of weight quite quickly. You will also benefit from some additional health perks, such as more energy, less cravings, etc.
Nobody said it would be easy at first however. The initial stage is when you’re more likely to suffer from a few side effects. Your body is going through a transitional period, when it is wondering why you have suddenly decided to limit carbs.
As a result, you might notice headaches, a need to pee more often, the famous ‘Keto flu’, and muscle aches and pains, for around the first two weeks. Don’t worry, the side effects should abate as your body becomes accustomed to the new way of working.
Now we know the basics of the Keto Diet, let’s look at a basic keto shopping list. These are the items you will need in your kitchen for creating delicious Keto-friendly recipes in the first stage of the diet. We will then go on to show you a 7 day meal plan, giving you some great ideas for meals to enjoy.
The Essential Keto Shopping List
Before delving in, it’s important to understand your keto macro’s. The keto macro ratios will give you a good idea of how much of these items you should buy.
This list is a general, basic keto grocery list. If you don’t like something on this list, that’s fine, you can omit it. There’s plenty to choose from.
The aim here is to get you started and allow you to identify the ingredients you will need to start getting into ketosis quickly and easily.
We should also point out that this is not an exhaustive keto grocery list list by any means. It is merely a list of the most commonly used ingredients in Keto recipes. These foods are especially effective for your body in the first stages of the keto diet.
Meat And Fish
Go for grass fed meats wherever possible, as these are healthier and more organic overall.
- Ground beef
- Heavy cream
- Grass fed butter
- Hard and soft cheeses
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yoghurt
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Brazil Nuts
- Cashew Nuts
The above illustration gives you an idea of the best and worst nuts to eat on the ketogenic diet. It gives you the total amount of net carbs per 100g serving of nuts. As a general rule of thumb, 100g is around 2.5 handfuls of nuts.
- Flours – coconut flour, almond flour
- Psyllium husk
- Cocoa butter
- Oils – avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil
- Butters – almond butter, coconut butter
- Xanthan gum
- 100% unsweetened chocolate
- Broths – chicken, beef, or bone broths
As you can see, there is nothing odd or ‘out there’ when it comes to the main ingredients to make up the Keto Diet. There are no particularly strange ingredients that you won’t easily find in a supermarket, and that is partly why the Keto Diet is so popular – it is accessible to all and a proven way to lose weight and become healthier.
Of course, you should also bear in mind that this is a lifestyle change, and not a fad diet. The Keto Diet isn’t designed to be picked up and put down whenever you choose; it is a guideline which should be followed for life. Over time you will come to do everything as second nature, giving you a new lease of life in many different ways.
Let’s now look at a sample 7 day meal plan, to get you started. Remember, if you don’t like any of the dishes we’ve mentioned in this plan, you can easily substitute them for another healthy Keto meal instead.
Keto 7 Day Meal Plan
Below you will find a 7 day meal plan for the Keto Diet. The dishes we’re going to mention can all be made from scratch, mostly using the keto shopping list above.
Many dishes can be tweaked here and there. If there is a particular ingredient you don’t like.
- Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with bacon and avocado
- Lunch – Beef salad, Asian style
- Dinner – Keto pesto chicken casserole
- Breakfast – Cheese roll ups
- Lunch – Caprese omelette
- Dinner – Meat pie Keto-style
- Breakfast – Spinach frittata
- Lunch – Chicken soup
- Dinner – Keto-style carbonara
- Breakfast – Dairy-free latte
- Lunch – Goat’s cheese, avocado, and bacon salad
- Dinner – Keto-style pizza
- Breakfast – Mushroom omelette
- Lunch – Smoked salmon salad
- Dinner – Ground beef and salsa tortilla, Keto-style
- Breakfast – Bacon omelette (baked)
- Lunch – Keto quesadillas
- Dinner – Cabbage stir fry, Asian-style
- Breakfast – Berry pancakes with cream
- Lunch – Ham and egg salad
- Dinner – Pork chops with green beans (add garlic butter if you want)
From that example meal plan, can you see how well you can eat on the Keto Diet, and how delicious many of those meals really sound? There is no reason to go without when you’re on the Keto Diet, it’s more about learning the art of moderation and making healthy choices.
You’ll come to notice that these meals are much more satisfying than quick fixes, such as unhealthy takeaways, because they’re high in fat content (the right type of fat), and that in itself is much more satisfying.
Over time, you will notice that your cravings will disappear, and you’ll be on the straight road towards total health and wellness, whilst reaching your weight target quite quickly in the process.
A Keto Secret – Bulletproof Coffee
There is one item which will become your Keto go-to as you move through the stages of the diet – Keto coffee, or bulletproof coffee as it is more commonly known. This is the ideal morning drink, as not only will it satisfy your coffee shop cravings, but it will give you a huge boost of energy too.
Bulletproof coffee is made of coconut oil, coffee, cream, and grass-fed butter. That’s it!
- 2 cups of regular coffee
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, grass fed
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (organic if possible)
- 1 tablespoon of heavy cream
If you want to give yourself less of a carb intake, you simply don’t add the cream, and you’ll have a total zero of net carbs from your cup of coffee.
- Brew the coffee however you please, e.g. percolated etc
- Place the coconut oil and butter in a blender and combine
- Add the cream and coffee, and combine for around 1 minute
This recipe will make two cups and will give you around 1.05g of net carbs, if you use the heavy cream. If you omit it, it will give you zero net carbs. In addition, two cups will give you around 1.08g protein, 260 calories, 27.7g fat.
You will come to find many different keto tips and tricks as you move through the diet, and you can tweak things here and there to fit your needs.
The Keto Diet Shopping List Dos And Don’ts
Now you know what you need to stick your cupboards up with. You also know the types of food you can eat during your beginning phase of the Keto Diet. Let’s look at a few essential do’s and don’ts, to help with getting started.
Do Eat Whole Foods and Organic Foods Wherever Possible
We mentioned earlier that the Keto Diet isn’t just about losing weight, but it’s also about teaching you how to live a healthier life overall. A few guidelines include:
- Vegetables that grow above the ground
- Organic and grass-fed beef
- Organic and pastured chicken
- Wild caught salmon and other fish
- Organic grass fed butter and heavy cream
These types of food are in the state that nature intended, and have nothing false added in, e.g. preservatives to make them last longer than they should.
Do Eat Salt
Especially in the first stage of the Keto Diet, you’re going to be losing a lot of magnesium and other minerals, because you’re likely to be peeing a lot! This is a side effect of the initial transitional period, and also because whenever you start to lose weight, excess water is often the first thing to go. Your kidneys will also be flushing out more water, due to the ketosis process. To add back what you’re losing and to top up your electrolytes, make sure you salt your food, you drink plenty of water, and you also try chicken or bone broth. Around 2 teaspoons of salt per day should be your aim.
Do Eat Fats (The Healthy Kind)
The whole point of the Keto Diet, aside from the low carb intake, is that you’re eating more fats. This doesn’t many any old fats, it means the healthy types of fats. So, make sure you have plenty of coconut oil, butters, heavy creams, avocado oil, olive oil, and avocados. These are natural fats, and they will keep your body in ketosis, providing a constant source of energy.
Do Become Label Savvy
Hidden carbs are everywhere. For this reason, avoid fast foods and avoid any pre-packaged meals. You’re likely to find extra sugars and carbs where you wouldn’t even have imagined them to be. This can sabotage your Keto effects. Cook it yourself from scratch and not only will you cause no harm to your diet, but you’ll enjoy it so much more too.
Don’ts of The Keto Diet
Don’t Eat ‘Low Carb’ Labelled Foods
You will see countless foods in the supermarket which are labelled as ‘low carb’ and you’ll be tricked into thinking these are fine. They usually aren’t. Many of these meals, which can include bread, tortillas, shakes, microwave meals, and chocolate bars, have hidden sugars, which basically adds up to hidden carbs.
Don’t be Tricked Into Thinking ‘Low Fat’ Means Healthy
Remember, the Keto Diet works very differently to the diets you’ve been used to in the past. Low fat and low calorie might have been good on a regular diet, but it’s not going to keep you in ketosis on the Keto Diet. Avoid low fat and go for full fats, e.g. healthy fats.
Don’t Become Lazy – Always Plan Your Meals
Food planning is great on so many levels, but it also helps you make healthy choices, rather than falling foul of a quick fix. By planning out your meals for the week, not only will you save money on impulse buys, but you’ll save time too, because you don’t need to think of what to make after a long day at work.
The Keto Diet isn’t as complicated as you might think. Once you read into it, understand more about how it works, and you get started, you’ll see just how easy it can be!
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