How to Start the Keto Diet: 4 Easy Steps

how to start the keto diet

One really common question I hear ALL the time is “how do I get started with the Keto diet?”

I hear people say, I’ve done the research, I know what Keto is, but how do I start? And you know what? I find myself giving the exact same advice every time.

So, I’m here to give you the easy and over simplified 4 steps on how to start the Keto diet!

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Pre-step: Do your research!

I know I said I was going to show you how to start the Keto diet in 4 easy steps, but then it occurred to me that this “pre-step” might be necessary. 

I’m assuming you’re here, because you have a basic idea of what the Keto diet is (low carb, high fat, moderate protein). If that’s you, go right to step 1.

If, that’s not you, STOP RIGHT HERE. Keep reading this pre-step and complete it before you move on!

Most people on the Keto diet avoid grains, sugars, starchy vegetables and more. And some people start the Keto diet and use an “if it fits your macros” approach and will eat anything if it fits their calorie or carb goals. 

The basics of Keto are simple, but there is a lot to learn, so you want to make sure you do your research! Read a book, get on Pinterest, visit great Keto blogs and check out the Keto community on Instagram

My absolute favorite and the book that helped me  start the Keto diet was Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore. It breaks the Keto diet down scientifically, but in simple yet easy to read terminology. I can’t say enough good things about this book, you should go and read it now.

how to start the keto diet

Step #1: Make a Plan

The first thing you want to do when you are going to start the Keto diet, is make a plan

Decide if you’re going to do “lazy keto” and only count your net carbs. 

Or are you going to go full steam ahead and count all of your Keto macros. If so, calculate your macros here

You should also consider downloading an app to track your carbs, calories or macros. 

The best tracking apps seem to be Senza, Carb manager, or MyFitnessPal.  

You might also consider prepping meals ahead of time or just having a few recipes available for quick meals. If you want to see some Keto meal prep, you can check it out here or here

The biggest thing for step 1 is have an idea of your goals and where you want to head. The rest will work itself out! 

Start the Keto Diet Step #2

Get rid of all non-Keto food in the house!

Or as much as you can. You want to remove the temptation from your life. And trust me you WILL be tempted. 

If you are the only Keto diet-er in your house, try to get rid of as much junk as you possibly can. 

Worst case scenario, if you can’t throw it out, hide it! Separate Keto and non-Keto foods in the fridge, freezer and pantry. Put the most nutritious (Keto) food where it is easy to see and grab.

This way Keto food will be front and center. If you can hide your temptation, you’ll be less likely to eat it. And more likely to grab a healthier Keto option. 

If you must have non Keto food in the house (thanks resistant husbands, kids, boyfriends, roommates and family), make sure you have snacks and food you enjoy, so you don’t cave under pressure. More on that in step 3!

How to start the Keto Diet

Step #3: Shop for Keto food

shop for keto food

Shop for Keto food that you like and will enjoy eating. 

This one is pretty simple. Replace what you got rid of in step 2 with yummy, delicious and nutritious Keto food. 

And buy food you like. Don’t like avocado? Don’t buy it!

You like beef, buy not chicken thighs, go with beef. 

Can’t stand cauliflower? Try broccoli or cabbage. 

Don’t let all the trendy or recommended Keto foods make you buy and eat food you hate. 

Eating what you enjoy will make Keto a lifestyle that you can be successful on long term!

Check out my bonus step at the end for a Keto shopping list for ideas!

Start the Keto Diet Step #4

Eat Keto food when you're hungry

Eat Keto food when you’re hungry. 

If all of these steps seem super simple, they are. That’s the point. Switching over to the Keto diet shouldn’t stress you out or be heard. It should be a lifestyle shift that is exciting. 

So now that you have a plan, got rid of (or hid) non Keto food, and shopped for Keto groceries, it’s time to eat!

My suggestion is just eat Keto food that fits your macros or carb count when you’re hungry. Don’t stress too much at first about calories or overeating-you can trouble shoot that later. Right now, focus on listening to your body and eating when you’re hungry

A lot of people in the Keto community do intermittent fasting (you only eat within certain hours of the day and fast the rest of the time). This can be a really helpful tool, but I would not suggest starting this right away. Wait until your body is fat adapted (about 3 months in to Keto). 

Remember-you are detoxing from carbs, sugar and lots of junk. Your body will be really hungry some days and not so much on others. Just roll with it. Eat when you’re hungry!

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    Bonus: Keto Diet Food List

    Keto shopping list

    This Keto food list is not all inclusive. I just want to give you some ideas to help you get started. Remember, none of these foods are required, if you don’t like something, skip it. 

    You can also start off slow building your Keto fridge, freezer and pantry. When you’re new it’s hard to resist trying EVERYTHING at once. So go slow, try a few things a week and don’t stock up until you know that you enjoy it!


    1. Heavy Cream
    2. Cheese
    3. Cream Cheese
    4. Sour Cream
    5. Butter


    1. Ground Beef
    2. Chicken Thighs 
    3. Steak (NY Strip, Ribeye)
    4. Sausage
    5. Bacon
    6. Pork Ribs
    7. Pork Chops
    8. Salmon
    9. Shirmp 
    10. Tuna
    11. Pepperoni
    12. Lamb
    13. Chuck Roast
    14. Pork Roast
    15. Ground Pork
    16. Chicken Breast
    17. Smoked Sausage
    1. Coconut oil
    2. Olive oil
    3. MCT oil
    4. Avocado Oil
    5. Sesame Oil


    1. Broccoli
    2. Cauliflower
    3. Cabbage
    4. Peppers
    5. Sprouts
    6. Lettuce
    7. Squash (spaghetti and summer)
    8. Onions
    9. Green Beans 
    10. Spinach
    11. Cucumbers
    12. Radishes


    1. Strawberries
    2. Avocado
    3. Tomato
    4. Lemons
    5. Blueberries
    6. Raspberries
    7. Blackberries


    1. Pork Rinds
    2. Pickles
    3. Spices
    4. Olives
    5. Almonds
    6. Peanut Butter
    7. Mustard
    8. Cocoa Powder
    9. Sugar Substitute

    You may want to consider some grab and go Keto snacks. Personally, the best place to buy those is on Amazon! I also like to get my sugar substitutes and almond flour from Amazon too. See below for my personal suggestions. 

    If you have questions, or suggestions, comment below! You can also join our free Facebook Community and connect with others on the Keto Diet!