The ketogenic diet has blown up in popularity over the past year. And nowhere is that more obvious than on Instagram, where hundreds of accounts and hashtags are dedicated to the low-carb, high-fat way of eating.
What’s with the rise in popularity? The No. 1 reason people turn to the ketogenic diet (or “keto diet,” for short) is for its potential weight loss benefits, says Abby Langer, RD, of Toronto, the founder of Abby Langer Nutrition.
The diet, made up of so much high fat and so few carbs, is a far cry from the way most Americans normally eat, and Langer says it's notoriously difficult to follow. Many keto followers look to Instagram for menu ideas, along with inspiration to stay on track.
Here’s who to start following, stat, whether you’re just starting the diet or have been a keto cheerleader for years.
Lex, who's based in Pittsburgh, has lost 63 pounds (lb) since she started her keto journey in 2014. And though she’s hit some bumps in the road (because, as she says on her blog, life happens), she recommitted in February 2017. She now posts every day (or multiple times a day) on Instagram, usually about food. But she also hosts healthy diet bets: You put down money betting you’ll lose a certain percentage of your weight. If you succeed, you get to split the pot with the other winners. How’s that for motivation?
Carolyn from the fooddreamer instagram account
Pretty food pics, right this way. This Instagram account is an extension of the blog All Day I Dream About Food. Author Carolyn was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her third pregnancy, which motivated her to cut down on carbs. But she didn’t want to give up her favorite foods. So she tweaks them to make them low carb and keto friendly (including faves like marzipan, mini doughnuts, and peanut butter cookies). The bottom line? Keto doesn’t have to feel like deprivation.
Christina Disley makes following the keto diet much less torturous and much more delicious than it seems on paper. Her posts focus on food items, many of which don’t seem like diet foods at all (looking at you, meatball marinara sliders). Disley drops the recipes into each Instagram caption, which makes for easy referencing. She also estimates the nutrients in each serving and how much the dish costs to make, which is helpful in showing healthy eating doesn’t need to break the bank.
Leanne Vogel is the mastermind behind @healthfulpursuit. She’s been following the keto diet since 2014 and shares keto-friendly meal inspo and motivational quotes, though she isn’t afraid to point out the ugly sides of keto (ahem, keto flu). If you love her stuff, join the 130,000-plus Instagram followers and check out her YouTube channel, books, podcast, and Facebook group.
Rely on Laura, who’s studying to be a nutritional therapy practitioner, for inventive keto foods you probably haven’t thought of before, like these cauliflower sandwich thins and Keto Copycat "Nutri-grain" bars. She also posts about keto products that are on the market and gives her honest take on them.
Jennifer Skog; KetoKarma
Look no further for super inspiring before-and-after pics. Suzanne Ryan (aka @ketokarma) has lost 120 lb since she ditched carbs and started loading up on fat. She’s also the author of Simply Keto.On her page, you'll find a bounty of colorful food photos — usually of simple, straightforward meals you can make yourself. She also posts snapshots of her plates when she eats out, which can give you an idea of what to order at restaurants and proves that, yes, you can still have a social life on keto.
Every keto follower who thinks they’ve given up dessert for good needs to give Mellissa Sevigny a follow. Sure, she’s got some posts about savory dishes, but the real standouts are those that showcase her pies, cheesecakes, muffins, and cookies. She also occasionally posts snappy Instagram videos showing the recipes being made. For the old-fashioned text version, you can head over to her website, where you can also join her forum for support from fellow low-carb devotees.
Martina Slajerova has made a name for herself in the keto world. She’s a blogger, author, and creator of keto and paleo diet apps. Oh, and she counts 110,000-plus followers on Instagram. She promotes the low-carb way of life (and says it’s helped her deal with an autoimmune thyroid disease) through informational posts about following keto, and tons of delicious recipe ideas.
Heather started the keto diet in January of 2016. Since then, she’s lost 135 lb on keto, plus 50 more from before she jumped on the low-carb bandwagon. She says she’s still got more weight to lose, and you can follow along as she posts easy food ideas, meal prep tips, and adventures in airfrying.
Courtesy of Ryan Lowery
Ryan Lowery takes a brainy approach to the diet. The PhD has published dozens of research papers on human performance and sports nutrition, wrote the book The Ketogenic Bible: The Authoritative Guide to Ketosis, and focused his dissertation on enhancing the keto diet through different nutrients and supplements (including exogenous ketones). Point is: The guy knows his stuff. And his Instagram page is filled with inspiring posts — not just about sticking with keto but for living your best life away from the kitchen as well.