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Keto Guide for Beginners

by Heather Hooker

Welcome to Holistifit.com‘s Keto Guide for Beginners! I know that it can be overwhelming when you first try to cut carbs and sugar so I wanted to create an easy to use Keto Guide for Beginners that focuses on a the basics of this low carb lifestyle. It was my goal to create a keto guide with enough information for you to get started right away – without being overwhelmed.

In this simple but complete keto guide for beginners you will find all the basics you need to know about the keto diet including Keto Diet Benefits, Foods to Avoid, How Much Water to Drink, Recommended Keto Supplements for Faster Fat Loss and Keto Flu, Keto Macros and the Best Tracking Apps, How to Read Nutrition Labels, Keto Grocery List (with Keto Friendly Alcoholic Beverages) a Simple Keto Meal Plan to get you started and links to a variety of my favorite Keto Friendly Recipes for you to try!

I think you’ll love this lifestyle!

Keto Diet Benefits

I’ve tried (& failed) at so many diets. The keto diet is different because it balances your hormone levels, curbs your appetite and your cravings – it’s the only diet I’ve ever tried that gets easier the longer you do it! And after the initial keto flu (more on the below) your energy will skyrocket – helping you to be more active during your day or burn more calories during your workouts.

You will notice that your brain starts to work better, too! It will be easier for you to focus and you’ll have less brain fog because ketones are superior brain fuel. Your skin will start to have a healthy glow from the inside out that beats any pricy lotion at the store.

You’ll have a higher sleep quality than you have in a long time – which we all know effects your whole day.

Ketosis = Better days, which leads to a better quality of life. You are worth it!

Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet

No fruit, unless it’s berries in moderation
No wheat
No sugar
No grains
No pasta
No potatoes
No rice
No beans
No starches
No milk as it’s loaded with sugar. ( unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk is recommended.) HWC (Heavy whipping cream) is good in coffee or whatever you would normally use milk for.

Meat, cheese, eggs, vegetable, nuts, and healthy fats. It’s simple. Stick to that, and you should be ok!

Vegetables that should be avoided are…
Sweet potatoes
Carrots – can be used in moderation, just don’t go over board. They are full of starches and not recommended.

How Much Water to Drink on the Keto Diet

Make sure to drink half your body weight In oz of water as well if you aren’t getting the adequate amount of water it can be bad for your kidneys! This applies for all forms of keto. Staying hydrated will help you with your weight loss goal too. You will find that you are less hungry

Keto Supplements for Faster Fat Loss and the Keto Flu

The most amazing part of the Keto Diet is being in a steady state of ketosis – aka fat burning mode! You can achieve and stay in this fat burning state by following a very strict diet, tracking all of your macros, preparing your own food, and sticking to your plan 24/7. What works best for ME is a more relaxed approach to the keto lifestyle where I supplement with Keto//NAT which raises my ketone levels daily to the fat burning state and makes sure that still get all of the best benefits of the keto diet while still letting me enjoy life. These supplements will help you experience better benefits of ketosis no matter what diet you follow.

My routine is simple:
PTK’s Daily
Reboot Monthly

Do not forget your electrolytes, they are needed daily. The Keto Flu is what happens when your body is missing the electrolytes it needs. It cause cause temporary sluggishness and headaches but it is a normal part of the transition to a lower carb lifestyle. Adding high quality electrolytes to your daily routine will help you to avoid or lessen any keto flu symptoms you might have had.

A good form of electrolytes is:
Best Option Mitoplex Electrolytes
Powerade zero
Pickle juice
Mio Electrolyte Drops (some stores have their own brand electrolyte drops too)
Pink Himalayan salt added to your food

Keto Macros and the Best Tracking Apps

Macros are a break down of the calories you intake for the day. Which should be…
5% carbs
20% protein
75% fat

Carbs are a limit – try not to go over your carb limit.
Fat is a lever – you don’t have to meet your fat macro, it’s simply there to help you get full. If your goal is to burn stored fat on your body then you want to stay at the low end of your daily fat goal – so that your body uses your stored fat for the rest.
Protein is a goal– try your best to reach your protein goal, but try not to go over. Excessive amounts of protein can cause you to stall in weight loss.

Carb manager and Fatsecret are great apps to track macros. Tracking is a largely personal choice.

You can choose to track all of your macros, track net carbs only, or don’t track at all.

If your primary goal is weight loss then tracking your food intake daily will help you reach your goal quicker. Tracking gives you more data to use, helps you make better choices, and allows you to see where sneaky calories might be hiding in your daily routine.

Keto Guide for Beginners opinion is Choose the tracking method that is right for you + your goals!

How to Read Nutrition Labels

Start reading nutrition labels on everything in your pantry, refrigerator and when you go grocery shopping. You will be surprised at which items you normally buy have added sugar and carbs – prepackaged deli meats, condiments, and drinks come to mind!

As a general rule of thumb avoid when getting started don’t buy anything with over five net carbs per serving.

Go through your pantry and refrigerator now and throw out or donate anything that doesn’t fit into your new healthy lifestyle! If you don’t have it in your house you can’t eat it. If you have kiddos designate their own shelf of snacks so you aren’t tempted!

Calculate net carbs by subtracting sugar alcohols and dietary fiber from the total carbs listed on the nutrition label.

a helpful visual keto guide for beginners on how to calculate net carb on nutrition facts label

Sugar can be listed under many different names on the Ingredients list. Here is a helpful graphic to see some of the ways that sugar might be listed. You will want to avoid eating sugar on the keto diet.

no keto guide for beginners would be complete without a list of names that sugar might be called

Keto Grocery List

What keto guide for beginners would be complete without a grocery list? Feel free to print this if you are a pen and paper person or just save a screenshot to your phone for your next grocery store trip. If you are a keto newbie- This should help!

Meats: ZERO CARBS 😍😍😍
• Beef- Ground beef, Steak, Ribs, and Roasts
• Pork- Chops, Ribs, BACON, Loins, sausage
• Chicken/Turkey- Thighs w/skin or wings are the best because breasts are high in protein. However, you CAN eat breasts, just have to eat more fat to compensate.
• Fish- Tuna, Salmon, Cod, Haddock, etc.
• Shrimp/Lobster- Go crazy, use lots of butter!
• Pepperoni

Cheese: MOST are no carb, almost all are low carb
• Mozerella & Cheddar- Buy in bulk, they freeze well and are insanely versatile!
• Colby jack, pepper jack, monterey jack
• Taco style, Mexican style
• Parmesan, Asiago
• Ricotta- Freezes well, very versatile
• Cottage cheese- Good to throw in your lunch with berries, usually around 4-8g of Carbs per serving
• Cream Cheese- Freezes very well.

Vegetables: No potatoes! Get your carbs from above ground veggies!!!
• Leafy greens- Spinach, Spring mix, Kale, Romaine
• Zucchini- Great for a noodle substitute!
• Avocado- Awesome source of natural fat!
• Eggplant
• Brussels sprouts
• Tomato
• Spaghetti Squash- Versatile, makes a great spaghetti substitute and is even great for making hash browns!!
• Cucumber
• Peppers- Jalepeño, banana, green/red/yellow/ orange bell
• Broccoli- Great with cheese, steamed or just raw!
• Asparagus- Awesome roasted or sautéed with bacon and garlic!
• Cauliflower- AWESOME potato substitute!!
• Celery- Great with cream cheese or all natural peanut butter!
• Cabbage
• Pickles (Read nutrition labels, watch for sugar and carbs)
• Olives
• Green beans- Awesome sautéed in bacon grease with garlic, (watch portion size, though).
• Onions- Red, yellow: use somewhat sparingly, to taste

Fruits: Most are a no-no, especially bananas, oranges and grapes.
• Strawberries
• Blueberries
• Raspberries
• Blackberries
• Lemon/Limes- Adds great flavor!

Nuts (grams of Carbs per 100 grams, or 3.5 oz)
• Pecans/ Brazil (4g)
• Macadamia (5g)
• Hazelnut/Walnut/Peanut (7g)
• Pine (9g)
• Almond (10g)
• Pistachio (18g)
• Cashew (27g)

• Coconut Oil
• Butter: Kerry Gold is best but just make sure it’s REAL butter and not a spread or margarine
• Olive Oil
• Vinaigrette
• Hollandaise
• Bacon/sausage grease
MCT 143 oil

• Ranch, Blue cheese, Caesar, Thousand Island, Balsamic- Watch carbs/ sugar, but there’s tons of brands, so you can find one you love!
• Mayo- Natural/organic is best, but I use Duke’s all the time.
• Aioli
• Heinz “NO SUGAR ADDED” Ketchup or sugar free ketchup
• G. Hughes brand sugar free BBQ sauce or sugarfree honey mustard
• Primal Kitchen sugarfree steak sauce
• Yellow/Spicy Brown Mustard
• Soy sauce
• Hot sauce

Liquids: Use as base for sauces/soups
• Heavy Whipping Cream (HWC)
• Broths/Stocks: Stay away from reduced fat. Bone broth is awesome! Better Bone Broth

• Pepperoni
• Slim Jims/jerky (watch carbs)
• Boiled eggs
• Homemade cheese its
• Cheese
• Pork rinds (0 carbs, very versatile. Can be used as breading, nacho substitute or even sprinkled with cinnamon & stevia and eaten like cereal with Almond milk and tastes like cinnamon toast crunch!)

• WATER- Lots of it!
• Tea with stevia
• Coffee- Add a Tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil, Stevia, heavy whipping cream and imitation vanilla/ Hazelnut or Cocoa powder & peppermint BOOM Homemade creamer!

Alcoholic Beverages
• Beers (grams of carbs per 12 oz serving)
• Bud Select 55 (1.9)
• MGD 64 (2.4)
• Rolling Rock Green Light (2.4)
• Michelob Ultra (2.6)
• Bud Select (3.1)
• Beck’s Premier Light (3.2)
• Natural Light (3.2)
• Michelob Ultra Amber (3.7)
• Coors Light (5)
• Amsterdam Light (5)
• Bud Light (6.6)
• Vodka: Whipped Vodka & flavored water or pineapple Pinnacle with Crystal light
• Whiskey shot (0g carbs)
• Brandy shot (0g carbs)
• Dry Martini (0g carbs)
• Tequila shot (0g carbs)
• Champagne (~1g per serving)
• Dry wine (~2g per serving)

• Stevia drops (0g)
• Erythritol (0g)
• Truvía (0g)
• Monkfruit (0g)

Other common Ingredients I use
• Almond flour
• Coconut flour

• Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder

Simple 7 Day Keto Meal Plan

I’ve linked to some of my favorite simple keto recipes below. I included a dessert each day because I love dessert! I find that planning my keto sweet treats into my day helps me stick to my plan because I never feel deprived.

I drink my PTK’s every single morning when I wake up so I listed those out too 🙂 They are not required but they will help you reach your goals faster and I love the way they make me feel.


PTK – Key Lime Time

Breakfast – Bacon Quiche

Lunch – Budget Kale + Salmon Salad

Dinner – Keto Cauliflower Baked Ziti

Dessert – Keto Krispy Kreme Doughnuts


PTK – Pina Colada Blue Ocean Unleashed

Breakfast – 90 Second Keto Mug Bread ‘Bagel’

Lunch – Ham Roll Ups

Dinner – Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Dessert – Keto Friendly Mason Jar Ice Cream


PTK – Pink Starburst ( Orange Dream combined with Raspberry Lemonade )

Breakfast – Everything But the Bagel Bacon

Lunch – Low Carb Tuna Melt Bagel

Dinner – Air Fryer Whole Chicken

Dessert – Salted Almond Butter Fat Bombs


PTK – Maui Hawaiian Punch

Breakfast – Low Carb Yogurt and “Granola”

Lunch – Keto Antipasto Salad

Dinner – Easy Keto Walking Tacos

Dessert – Keto Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream


PTK – Banana Cream Protones

Breakfast – 2 Boiled Eggs with Salt + Pepper

Lunch – Keto Sandwich with Zero Carb Bread from Aldi

Dinner – Homemade Taco Bell Keto Bowl

Dessert – Sugar Free Chocolate Mousse Keto Friendly Dessert


PTK – Strawberry Heart Tart

Breakfast – Keto Kreme Coffee

Lunch – Mozzarella Pizza Roll Ups

Dinner – Spicy Tuna Roll in a Bowl Keto Friendly Lunch

Dessert – Low Carb Sugar Free Dessert Pizza


PTK – Mermaid Tears Swiss Cacao Ketones Iced Coffee

Breakfast – Eggs and Spinach cooked in Ghee with Raspberries

Lunch – Chicken Ranch Cheese Wrap

Dinner – Keto Maple Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Dessert – Cookie Dough Fat Bombs (No Cream Cheese)

If you made it this far!!! Great!!! I hope you learned something and found some tips or recipes that will help you get started on your keto journey. 💜