Essential grocery list for the Fast Metabolism Diet

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Just starting out on the FMD and overwhelmed by the food lists? Here’s your “getting started” grocery list for the Fast Metabolism Diet.

We frequently hear from readers in rural areas, or from other countries who have a harder time finding some of the specialty items referenced in The Fast Metabolism Diet. Keep in mind that most non-perishable grocery items can be easily found online, so that’s an option for those living in areas that don’t have a great grocery store or health food store. But there’s also no reason you have to buy specialty items at all — you can easily do the Fast Metabolism Diet by sticking with easy-to-find groceries, meat and produce.

Here are some basics that — with the addition of fresh vegetables and fruit — will let you make meals for any phase. Try to buy organic whenever possible. And always check the labels for sneaky ingredients like sugar, corn or soy.

Grains and nuts

Steel-cut oats, or if you can’t find steel-cut, old-fashioned rolled oats

Quinoa. This grain is now easy to find in most grocery stores. It’s a wonderful complete grain that’s easy to cook.

Brown rice

Raw nuts. Can’t find raw almonds or cashews? Try walnuts, which are almost always sold as raw in the first place. (No peanuts)

Raw sunflower seeds

Freezer section

Frozen berries. These are a godsend when berries are out of season.

Frozen shrimp and/or salmon. Frozen fish is just fine if you don’t have access to fresh fish.

(Non) Dairy items

Eggs and egg whites.  Since we just use egg whites on Phase 1 and Phase 2, it’s fine to use liquid egg whites. Just be sure they are 100% egg whites. Preferably organic.

Meat and fish

Turkey or chicken breasts. Buy organic and antibiotic free if possible.

Lean ground beef or turkey. Buy organic, antibiotic and hormone-free whenever possible.

Turkey, beef, elk or bison jerky. If you can’t find a sugar-free, nitrate-free, soy-free brand, it’s easy to make your own.

Canned tuna (in water)

Condiments and pantry items

Chicken, beef or vegetable stock or broth. Check this post for brands that work on the diet, and for recipes to make your own.

Canned or dried beans. Canned beans are convenient, but most can linings contain BPA. You can also soak and cook dried beans, which is economical.

Himalayan salt or sea salt. These salts have a complete mineral profile compared to table salt, and one bag lasts forever. Read more on salt types. If you can’t find Himalayan or Celtic salt, look for any sea salt.

Balsamic vinegar

Tamari. Called for in many recipes as a seasoning for meats, tamari is a wheat-free, soy sauce that’s acceptable on the diet because it is fermented. Look for it in the Asian section of your store.

Olive oil. You can use other oils on the diet, but if you only want to buy one, go for extra-virgin olive oil.

Basic fresh veggies and fruits

Take the food lists shopping with you — then you can buy whatever phase-appropriate fruits and veggies are in season or on sale. But here are some basics that most stores stock year-round. Frozen fruits and veggies can always fill in.

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Lemons and limes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale or spinach
  • Green or red peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yellow onions
  • Garlic

Nice-to-have extras

These items aren’t necessary, but they’re nice to have on hand.

Almond milk or coconut milk

Sprouted-grain bread. This can be used on both Phase 1 and Phase 3. Ezekiel is one brand that is easy to find, often in the frozen-food section.

Brown-rice pasta or quinoa pasta

Turkey bacon. Choose nitrate-free, sugar-free brands.

Stevia or birch-based xylitol


Learn more About the Fast Metabolism Diet

The App

The Cookbook

Science Behind the Diet
7-Day Metabolism Makeover Meal Maps

Essential Grocery List



11 Responses to Essential grocery list for the Fast Metabolism Diet

  1. dianeHPG January 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Morgan. Perhaps this article will help you: https://hayliepomroy.com/endurance-sports-and-the-fast-metabolism-diet/

  2. dianeHPG January 21, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Hi Pati. Thank you for your question! If you have your book see the vegetarian and vegan section. Also, you can check out the top 5 ways to get your questions answered:

  3. Sam January 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    I can’t find turkey bacon without added sugar! Is there a brand you recommend?

    • dianeHPG January 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi Sam. Do you have access to a Trader Joes? They were selling an uncured, nitrate/nitrite free Turkey Bacon.

      • dianeHPG January 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

        Also try Applegate Farms. A couple of members in the community have raved about this brand as well:

      • Sam January 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

        Thank you so much for your reply! Yes, and I have purchased it and love it. I realized, however, that it does contain sugar. In the nutritional section it says Sugars 0. BUT the ingredients list sugar. I was at Whole Foods this morning and found a couple other brands with the same nutritional profile. Is it such as small amount that it’s ok?


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The material on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and care of your physician.

As with all new weight loss or weight maintenance regimes, the nutrition program described on this website should be followed only after first consulting with your physician to make sure it is appropriate for your individual circumstances. Keep in mind that nutritional needs vary from person to person, depending on age, sex, health status, and total diet. Responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained on this website is expressly disclaimed.