These blogs are going to be your saving grace when you’re too tired of Googling recipes and dreaming of pizza.
Beginning a new weight-loss diet is not always a simple transition. And the ketogenic diet — a trendy low-carb, high-fat plan that may produce quick results — is no exception.
One of the biggest hurdles of going keto is putting and keeping your body in ketosis. Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that tricks your body into burning fat instead of carbs for fuel (when it doesn’t have enough carbs). So, naturally, to achieve ketosis, you’ll have to say goodbye to carbs and hello to fat — and lots of it.
RELATED: 8 Steps Beginners Should Take Before Trying the Keto Diet
It depends on which version of keto you’re doing, but generally, you’ll aim to get 5 to 10 percent of your total calories from carbs. The goal is to consume only 20 to 50 grams (g) of net carbs per day — or less than the equivalent of ½ cup of long-grain brown rice, which contains about 26 g of total carbs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Net carbs are defined as carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols, according to the website for the Atkins diet, another low-carb plan. For most people, going that low won’t be easy: The typical American woman over age 20 gets nearly 50 percent of her calories from carbs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Meanwhile, you’ll need to reach for lots of high-fat foods, like lean meat, avocado, olive oil, butter, cheese, and eggs. The goal is to get about 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories from these kinds of foods.
RELATED: What to Eat and Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Food List and 7-Day Sample Menu
That’s just part of the struggle when following keto. You’ll likely also see various side effects, such as headaches, fatigue, and drowsiness — all signs of the so-called “keto flu.”
But as any keto diet beginner knows, the possibility of losing weight can be worth enduring temporary physical aches and carb cravings (as long as you’ve cleared trying the diet with your doctor, that is). Even so, it’s apparent that what a keto dieter really needs is resourceful information, and tons of encouragement — all of which the blogs below strive to provide.
Whether you’re struggling with exercise motivation, diet logistics, or looking for out-of-the-box keto recipes, you can be sure to find all of that and more here.
1. Keto In Pearls
Anna, the Southern sweetheart and everyday mom of three, doesn’t post a recipe on Keto In Pearls that isn’t “kid-tested and family-approved.” Her love of comfort food comes out in many of her unique dishes, like this Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad With Bacon and Brown Sugar. But if you’re not in the mood for Southern flavor, her blog also has sections devoted to your favorite ethnic foods, including Mexican, Asian, and Italian. And for those who just want answers, Anna offers full meal plans by the week or by the month.
2. Cast Iron Keto
For all the men out there who need quick and dirty (but delicious!) recipes — especially if you’re playing around with eating one meal a day (OMAD) — Alex is your guy. With super-sound instructions and gorgeous photos (his Chipotle Chicken Avocado BLTlooks like something from a magazine), every dish on Cast Iron Keto is foolproof. Finally, if you’re a beginner, Cast Iron Keto has a section full of recommended productsfrom knives to cutting boards to, of course, skillets!
Built to help you “rule” the keto diet, Ruled.Me may just be the perfect tool for an all-around keto education. While its comprehensive keto guide covers literally any FAQ, there’s nothing about this site that isn’t thorough — including its abundant resources. On the site, you’ll find recipes ranging from full entrees to sides to condiments, plus a built-in keto calculator, calibrated to your preferences for easy food documenting. Even their recommended products section is broken down into five parts: kitchen, cooking, specialty food brands, supplements, and exercise. These resources in addition to Ruled.Me’s success stories feed will keep you moving, motivated, and inspired.
4. I Breathe I’m Hungry
Mellissa Sevigny, culinary wizard and author of The Gluten Free Low Carber: Craveworthy Recipes to Keep You Thriving on a Low Carb and/or Gluten Free Diet, started I Breathe I’m Hungry in the summer of 2011 to stay in touch with family and force herself to document her recipes. After all, what’s the point of making a delicious dish if you can’t replicate it at your next party? But when she started posting low-carb diets in January to target New Year’s resolution dieters, she found that many dieters struggle with the same thing she had with previous diets: boredom! Since then, Mellissa has funneled all of her energy into creating original keto, paleo, and traditional low-carb dishes, like her amazing “Asparagus, Leek, and Pancetta Tart” or “Cajun Salmon Patties With Cilantro Lime Dressing.” Side note: Similar to her recipes, her writing has tons of spunk!
KetoGasm is here to educate everyone — particularly “badass babes.” The site, run by one very intuitive woman named Tasha, actually offers a completely free keto course for when you get bored or frustrated Googling it on your own. Or, for the advanced keto-er who refuses to brainstorm one more carb-less recipe, check out Tasha’s innovative dishes, like her Keto Egg Roll in a Bowl — or even her complete meal plans! On her blog you’ll find answers to your most burning keto questions, like whether popcorn is low-carb-friendly. And unlike many other keto blogs, if you’re “a boozy babe,” KetoGasm actually offers a devoted guide to keto-friendly alcohols, as well as plenty of low-carb cocktails.
6. Keto Connect
Brought to you by keto couple Megha and Matt (plus their adorable dog Julius and cat Miley), Keto Connect is the perfect hub for fascinating recipes, gorgeous photographs, and incredible how-to videos from their YouTube channel. Looking for a sans-carb pizza crust or “the best keto bread on the internet”? This blog has you covered. But the best part about Keto Connect is that it’s all about dieting on a budget. Their $5 a Day Keto Meal Plan is full of helpful videos and infographics that will keep your wallet and your waistline in check.
7. Meat Free Keto
This is a blog dedicated to the particular breed of keto dieters who also qualify as vegan. If you didn’t know that existed, get ready for Meat Free Keto to be your go-to for all things plant-based and low-carb. The niche blog was founded by Liz, a holistic nutrition consultant who loves baking and owns a cat who, she says, has a diet even more complicated than her own. Liz’s site sets you up with all the essentials to get you started: delicious recipes for every meal (including a whole section on homemade protein bars), plenty of suggestions for vegan keto cooking tools, and even a vegan keto shopping list. But like any nutrition blogger, Liz knows how hard it is to make lifestyle changes. That’s why she’s added two- and four-week vegan keto meal planseasy enough for any beginner to follow! And if you can’t get enough plant-based keto, check out her cookbook, Vegan Keto: 60+ High-Fat Plant-Based Recipes to Nourish Your Mind and Body.
8. No Bun Please
You’ll find plenty of keto-friendly recipes on this detailed blog (just take a look at the Spaghetti Squash Casserole), but No Bun Please offers so much more than low-carb, high-fat meal inspiration. Don’t know what supplies to get? Take a look at their Keto Essentials list. Want to know what to order if you’re stuck getting lunch at Chipotle? NBP has a section devoted to dining out at popular food chains. Oh, but there’s more: The blog also provides detailed information on the diet as a whole, and posts step-by-step videos on how to make keto-friendly dishes.
9. Perfect Keto
Yes, you’ll find plenty of carb-friendly recipes here on Perfect Keto. And seeing as it’s a keto-centric protein powder brand, of course it also offers products like chocolate protein powder and keto protein bars. But what this site also has is a wealth of information on the keto lifestyle. Via their blog you’ll find answers to common questions like what a keto headache is and whether quinoa is actually low-carb-friendly. What you won’t find in their articles, you’ll certainly score in their Keto Answers Podcast: a weekly discussion on benefits of the diet from nutritionists, trainers, and keto activists.
10. Ditch the Carbs
If you’re thinking the keto diet sounds great but are still wondering, “Well, why do I need to cut out carbs anyway?” This is the site for you. While Ditch the Carbs isn’t specifically targeted to keto dieters, it answers every nutrition question you might have when starting a low-carb diet and provides related resources, such as what books can help you meet your goals. In their “How to Start” section, you’ll find excellent starter tools, like cooking conversion charts and a list of low-carb food brands you can find in grocery stores. Their articles also shed light on daily keto life questions, including what low-carb snacks you can find at the airport. On top of their countless resources (which of course also include countless recipes), the site provides easy-to-follow video demonstrations of their recipes.
11. Healthful Pursuit
While Healthful Pursuit is not your typical blog, it is the top-ranking Keto diet podcast, run by keto expert extraordinaire Leanne Vogel. As a leading advocate of the protein-based diet, and a weight loss achiever with an incredible story, Vogel is the keto star that you’ll obsess over — if you don’t already. The keto mogul and author of four bestselling books (her fifth, The Keto Diet Cookbook, launches this April) fills her podcast sessions with interviews with keto veterans and influencers to discuss the ups and downs of the diet process. With more than 200 keto recipes on the site, plus step-by-step meal plan options, and tons of videos and suggested products, her blog aims to provide you with everything you need to get started with your low-carb lifestyle. As she says, it’s all about “taking the guesswork out of your diet.”
12. Essential Keto
Essential Keto is perfect for more seasoned keto dieters who might enjoy hearing the latest news on product launches and deals. (You’ll find these updates in their developments section.) The blog also targets fitness lovers (and fitness procrastinators), offering an entire exercise column with workout tips and inspiration. On top of this, the blog specializes in recipe roundups, like their collection of keto-friendly smoothies or keto zucchini recipes.