Shopping List For Keto Diet
The Ketogenic diet can be an overwhelming topic to tackle for someone who is not familiar with the concept or dieting in general. A Ketogenic diet plan calls for a variety of lifestyle changes, but the first and foremost changes will be to your diet. You will be consuming less carbs, most notably. This new balance that you are trying to achieve is in the hopes of forcing your body into ketosis, a process that helps your body burn more fat via the use of ketones, which also have numerous other health benefits.
However, these health benefits won’t ever be realized if you are not executing the diet correctly. To properly enter a Ketogenic diet plan, you’ll need to start keeping very close records of your daily intake of nutrients, vitamins, and Macronutrients. This is essential for success, and also requires some pretty major lifestyle changes. This extends to what is in your refrigerator. People often forget the most important part of Keto: the plan. You should be planning each meal and what that meal is going to mean for your Macro intake for the day. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks you have you need to be absolutely sure of what is in those meals and how it will affect your body.
Have A Plan!
If you don’t have a good plan, this is going to be tough. A lack of dedication can negate the entire purpose of the Ketogenic diet and make it difficult for you to lose the weight you want or achieve the healthy lifestyle that you want to live. For Keto, this is going to mean that you have the ingredients, meal plans, and you know the nutritional facts of your planned meals. To start, we recommend a 7-day beginner’s meal plan, so you can get an idea of what that looks like and over that 7-day plan you decide if Keto is the right fat-burning diet for you. You’ll also see if that meal plan provides a good balance for you and your daily Macros requirement.
We’ve put together a comprehensive, 7-day meal plan that should help you get a good ratio of daily Macros and give you a good idea of what eating on the Keto diet is like. Bear in mind, you may need to make adjustments to our meal plan based on your height, weight, goals, and activity level. Your individual daily Macros ratio will change based on these factors, so you should always keep that in mind. The Keto diet is about being able to adjust and find the optimal daily intake of Macros for you and your body. Though you may need to adjust the 7-day meal plan that we provide, the general structure will be correctly based on the principles of the Keto diet and the daily Macros ratio range.
What Macros Are Part Of The Keto Diet?
This is a little bit of a complicated question, since Keto dieters typically like to keep track of all nutrients and vitamins that they are getting, but there are a set of Macros that are the only ones that are really relevant to the Keto diet and what you’re trying to achieve while on the Keto diet. These three Macros are protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Again, if you care about your general health and what you put into your body, it’s best practice to track all of the nutrients that you put into your body on a daily basis. This will allow you the maximum understanding of what is happening with your body. However, it is not essential to have success on the Keto diet. On the Keto diet, your main goal is to reduce the amount of carbs that you eat.
Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy, and it’s why your body uses them so readily when it needs fuel for movement or other processes. However, carbs aren’t considered that healthy. In fact, carbs are one of the only Macros that you can live without consuming them at all. Carbs are commonly blamed for the obesity problem in America because they are so readily available in almost everything we eat. America’s infatuation with carbohydrates has become so extreme that the effects of overeating carbs extends into other factors like heart disease, diabetes, and decreased life expectancy. While it may be far-fetched to eliminate carbs completely from your daily Macros intake, the goal of the Keto diet and other low-carb diets like it is to reduce it as much as possible.
Burning Fat and Ketosis
When your body doesn’t have carbs to break down for energy, it has to turn to other sources. Most commonly, you benefit from this because the body will often turn to fats to burn for fuel instead of carbs. This is what the entire idea of the Ketogenic diet is based on. The Keto diet and meal plan revolve around the concept that if you can sustain a reduction in carbs for your diets long term, your body will burn fat and in turn you will lose weight as a result.
If you are able to sustain carbohydrate reduction for the long-term, your body will continually be entered into a state called ketosis. Ketosis is a state that your body enters when there are not enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Ketosis burns fat and creates ketones, which are distributed throughout the body and used for energy instead of carbs. Ketones have a long history of treating neurological diseases like epilepsy. Mayo clinic, most notably, uses a Ketogenic diet to treat children with epilepsy. It has been shown to reduce the symptoms of epilepsy and decrease the frequency of seizures among patients.
This is all peripheral information to actually shopping for the Keto diet, but it’s essential to know before we begin going over a Keto meal plan so that you understand why we are aiming for some of the daily Macros that we are when we’re shopping for a Keto meal plan. Understanding these concepts and what is actually happening in your body will allow you to make informed decisions from the grocery store all the way to making meal plans and every other step along the way in living a Ketogenic lifestyle.
The Three Macros of Keto
As we touched on earlier, the three main Macros of the Keto diet plan are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. These are the three Macros that you will need to actively track to find a ratio that suits your goals and needs. You’ll need to track your intake of these Macros for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks or drinks that you might have throughout the day. It’s extremely important to keep exact records of this intake because the slightest discrepancy may kick you out of ketosis and delay your hopes of losing weight on the Keto meal plan.
Before we can make a shopping list for Keto and a 7-day meal plan, we need to first understand the building blocks of the Keto diet: Macros. We are going to go over each of them, their drawbacks/benefits, what role they serve in the Keto diet, and how much of them that you should be consuming while on a Ketogenic meal plan.
The first, and most important to understand while on Keto, are carbs. We have such a complicated relationship with carbs because while they often come in some of the best tasting foods, they can be extremely detrimental to our health if overconsumed. It’s not that carbohydrates are bad for us by nature, because they’re actually an excellent source of energy and great for our bodies if used correctly. The problem comes in a combination of lack of exercise and overeating. It is because the bad health habits of our country as a whole that carbohydrates have become the subject of frequent attacks. Though they now have a bad reputation, any athlete or nutritionist will tell you that it’s important for your body to get carbs if you can handle that carb intake.
From a nutritional standpoint, carbs are a great source of energy and they are often used to fuel a number of processes in the body. As with fats, not all carbs are created equal. There are simple carbs and complex carbs, which each have a different meaning and level of value to someone on the Ketogenic diet or any diet, for that matter. When including carbs in your meal plan, you should know what kind of carbs you are eating. Generally speaking, there are “good carbs” and “bad carbs”.
Bad carbs are usually found in foods with high trans-fat, sugar, calories, and other elements of junk food. These foods will also typically carry almost no nutritional value. So, they are a direct detriment to your health through the fats, sugars, and other highly processed foods and at the same time they don’t offer anything to you in terms of nutritional value. You’ll want to steer away from bad carbs as much as possible and when we are creating our 7-day Keto meal plan, we are going to make sure to leave as many bad carbs off the table as possible.
Good carbs, however, can be a central part of your diet if consumed in moderation. Remember, even on the Keto diet you will still be eating some carbs. It’s important that the carbs that you do eat are healthy, though, and don’t contribute to obesity and other associated diseases that come with the overeating of junk food and other foods that are bad for your health.
Good carbs are typically low in calories, refined sugar, high in nutrients, low in sodium, and contain little or no trans fats. Good carbohydrates are found in good foods. This can be fresh vegetables, fruits, and other foods that are not processed or high in things that are bad for you. You can get your carbs from multiple sources, so it’s important to make sure that the carbs you do get to fulfill your daily Macros are the good kind. This is going to only help your weight loss journey.
Foods that are high in healthy carbohydrates include fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and milk products. While these foods are all healthy, they are pretty high in carbohydrates. Since the goal of the Keto meal plan is to reduce carbs, all of these may not be suitable for you. You’ll have to pick and choose the foods you want to include because you don’t want to kick yourself out of ketosis from the high carb intake. You can’t fit many of these into a single Keto 7-day meal plan, but you can include them if you have a big carb deficit that needs to get filled quickly.
If you need a lower quantity of “good carbs”, there are some other foods that you can turn to fulfill your carb goal while still feeling full. Non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, tofu, and soy milk are some great examples of foods that are healthy with a good carb content, but more easily managed into a Keto diet. If you have a small carb deficit or you want to increase the amount of food, you’re eating without endangering your ketosis, you can look to include these foods in your 7-day meal plan or everyday diet if it goes well and you’re getting all your daily macros.
Proteins are our second Macro that we need to make sure that we plan for. Proteins have tons of health benefits, but most notably they are partially responsible for muscle, heart, liver, and kidney health. Getting the right amount of proteins in your Keto meal plan diet is not only vital for those functions, but it’s also important to keep your Macro ratio intact and at a healthy level. If you aren’t getting enough protein, your daily macros ratio is going to be out of balance and it may endanger your ketosis.
There are some great staple foods that you can use as central elements for meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner equally as well. Popular foods that are high in protein are eggs, meat, nuts, and cheese. These ingredients should help to enable us to create a very balanced and tasty 7-day meal plan. Breakfast lovers are sure to appreciate the eggs!
One thing to watch out for when including protein in your Keto diet or meal plan is the carb content of what you’re eating. Just because we are looking to add protein doesn’t mean that we can forget our original intention with the Keto diet: to decrease the amount of carbs we are eating. There are a lot of foods that are high in protein that also contain a significant carb content so remember to count these carbs and when you are making your meal plan, don’t forget to plan for these carbs that come included.
Finding this balance can be difficult. That’s why a well-researched, well-planned Keto diet is the best diet. Though you don’t want to overdo it with the proteins at the expense of the carbs, you also don’t want to short yourself on proteins. A shortage of proteins can lead to a number of health problems and cause your body to go after your lean tissue as an alternative source of proteins.
The philosophy of the Keto diet as it relates to high fat foods is really unique and sets the Keto diet apart from other low-carb diets. There haven’t been many times in dieting history that a diet has actually promoted that you get most of your calories and energy from fat sources. This is probably due to the overwhelming negative reputation that fats have gotten in the media for their perceived role in the obesity epidemic.
The truth is that your body needs fat. Fat is essential for your survival and if you don’t know how to properly get it into your system, you are going to either eat too much or too little and have equally bad problems to deal with. There are several types of fats and most of them are fine for consumption on the Keto diet to fulfill your high fat foods requirement, but you should always avoid trans-fat. Trans fat is found mostly in processed foods that are very bad for you and you want to remove them from any diet, not just the Keto diet. They are not a good source for the fats that you need.
The foods that are high fat and also great for the Keto diet are avocado, olive oil, nuts, avocado oil, chia seeds, and flaxseed. You can also use cheese, cream, butter, or coconut oil, but they are less friendly to the Keto diet. These foods are high fat and decent for the Keto diet meal plan.
Those are the three Macros that you need to consider when doing your shopping for Keto, making up a meal plan, or doing a 7-day meal plan challenge. No matter what, these three Macros need to be in balance in order for you to achieve ketosis and burn fat as intended on the Ketogenic diet. When you are shopping, you should look at the nutritional information on each item and make sure it fits in with your budget for each Macro and it’s something that is useful for whatever dish you are trying to make. By the end, you should have enough ingredients to make something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day in the 7-day meal plan. The first trip may be a little clumsy since it is new, but once you get the hang of it, you and your body will be running like a well-oiled machine!
What Are The Necessities When Shopping For Keto Diet
We’ve compiled a handy list of some great foods to pick up when you are just starting out on your Keto diet. These foods will help you to build Keto-friendly balanced, healthy meals that you can also scale easily to prepare for meal prep ahead of time. This is an easy way to make your breakfast, lunch, or dinner a lot more smooth and have it take up less time of your day. If you are going shopping for Keto ingredients, you should consider the following list:
- Sour Cream
- Ground Beef (preferably grass-fed)
- Your favorite herbs and spices
- Avocado Oil
- Olive Oil
- Dijon Mustard
- Ketchup (preferably reduced sugar)
- Cocoa Powder
- Baking Powder
- Vanilla Extract
- Peanut Butter
- Pork Rinds
These items are all relatively Keto-friendly and you shouldn’t have a problem making meals and snacks out of them. About half of these have a great shelf life, as well. For dairy and fresh items, you will need to plan your shopping strategically so that you get the right amount and you don’t waste money by having food go bad in your refrigerator.
Obviously, if you want to make more complex items you are free to open up the playbook and add to this list. These are just the basic items that someone just starting out on a Ketogenic diet meal plan might want to add to their shopping list to prepare them for cooking Keto-friendly recipes. This could save you a few trips back and forth to the grocery store.
After a few trips to the store for Keto ingredients, you shouldn’t have a problem putting together a list of things that you like and ingredients for meals that you like to purchase on a regular basis. Once you get into the groove of things, you will know what each meal costs, what it delivers to you in terms of nutritionally value, and if it still has a place in your everyday diet. You should be able to optimize your shopping list for the best items for you. This means that you’ll likely cut a lot of the items from this list out, and that’s okay! The Keto diet puts an emphasis on editing your diet as needed according to how your body responds. It will take some time to weed out items that don’t work well with the 7-day meal plan that you’ve created. Take some time to figure things out and don’t be afraid to tinker!
How To Have A Successful Shopping Day For Keto Diet
Keto shopping is not so different from regular shopping, actually. You should make a list of foods that you know you can make into good meals and have some versatility to make different things. This is important so that you don’t end up making the same thing every night and getting tired of it. You should also make sure that these food items work with your daily Macros budget and you have some flexibility to make adjustments where you need to.
Aside from ingredients, be sure to get some snacks to tie you over if you need them. Snacks that are friendly to your Keto diet and that you can eat between breakfast, lunch, and dinner are vital and convenient because for these you most likely won’t have to cook anything. The best snacks for Keto are usually mixtures of fresh veggies and some low-carb fruits. There is very little room in the Keto diet for snacks that are not very healthy.
You don’t just need stuff that is Keto friendly, either. The items you buy should also be high-quality and low in ingredients like sugar and trans-fat. If you can, try to get grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is shown to have more nutritional value and it will give you the maximum possible nutritional benefit.
As for prices, you should do a little bit of shopping around to figure out where to best buy your Ketogenic diet ingredients. Eating healthy is great for you and is definitely worth it in the long run, but it can be a fair bit more expensive than purchasing cheap, processed and packaged foods. For some, budgeting is very important here to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck. Watch for coupons and sales on your favorite Keto items and if they have a long shelf life, stock up on them while they are on sale. You can also join a Keto community like a forum or just a group of local friends and you can team up to find sales.
Another popular way to shop for Keto is to just shop online. For non-perishables, you can often get a better price on Amazon than in the grocery store and you don’t have to leave the house. The internet is a fantastic resource for a variety of Keto-related items, so why not take advantage of that?
What To Avoid Buying When On A Keto Diet
Just as there are foods that you should try to include in your Keto shopping list, there are also foods that you should avoid at all costs when going shopping on a Keto diet. Your meal plan shouldn’t include any foods that are not in compliance with the Keto diet, so you obviously shouldn’t be buying them at the grocery store. Some foods that you should be avoiding at the grocery store are:
- Most Breads
- Most Fruits
- Factory Farmed Animal Products
- Unhealthy Oils
- Sugary/Sweetened Beverages
- Processed/Packaged Foods
- Most Condiments
These are all foods that you should be avoiding in your Ketogenic diet and therefore you have no reason to buy them at the grocery store. They are either too high in carbs, not balanced nutritionally, or deliver little or no nutritional value. In general, you should avoid sweets and other unhealthy and processed foods whether you are on a Ketogenic diet meal plan or not.
7 Day Keto Diet Meal Plan Example
Creating a Keto meal plan is a crucial skill that can help you really gain control of your nutrition and optimize it as much as possible for the best results. Creating a meal plan is more than just planning ahead for meals—it’s a slightly complicated progress that you need to calculate for daily Macros for and make sure that you are getting a balanced diet that will allow your body to enter ketosis and start burning that fat off as soon as possible. Don’t worry if this seems out of your league just yet—it is an advanced concept and it will take a while to get the hang of. To show you what a 7day keto meal plan might look like, we’ve put together a schedule with Keto-friendly items and recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day.
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs w/ Avocado
Lunch: Spinach Salad w/ Protein
Dinner: Pork Chops w/ Cauliflower Mash or Broccoli
Breakfast: Hard-Boiled Eggs, Optional Coffee
Lunch: Tuna Salad
Dinner: Meatballs w/ Zucchini Noodles
Breakfast: Cheese, Veggie, Salsa Omelet
Lunch: Full-Fat Greek Yogurt w/ topping, Almond Milk Smoothie
Dinner: Roasted Chicken w/ Mushrooms, Asparagus
Breakfast: Almond Milk Smoothie
Lunch: Hard-Boiled Eggs
Dinner: Grilled Shrimp w/ Asparagus
Breakfast: Fried Eggs, Bacon, Greens
Lunch: Grass-Fed Beef Burger w/ Lettuce Bun and Avocado, Optional Side Salad
Dinner: Baked Tofu
Breakfast: Baked Eggs
Lunch: Salmon Avocado Rolls, Kale Chips
Dinner: Grilled Beef (grass-fed) Kabobs w/ Peppers
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs w/ Vegetables, Salsa Optional
Lunch: Sardine Salad w/ Avocado
Dinner: Broiled Trout
As you can see, this meal plan is very basic but does include a complex array of ingredients and flavors. It’s also well-balanced and has some great ideas for Keto-friendly meals that are simple to make for the most part. You can also add in snacks throughout the day to give you an energy boost and break up the day.
You should remember that this sample 7-day meal plan is merely a launch bad from which you should build off of and edit as you please. The ability to make one of these plans is what is important. Once you can do that and you know what ingredients are important for you to include, you can start getting creative with your own meal plan and optimizing it to your personal Keto preferences. Good luck and have fun!