Special K Diet

Special K Diet – Should You Try It?

Summary of Special K Diet

Each day, replace TWO of your meals with a Kellogg Special K brand product, and have ONE regular, healthy meal. You can ALSO have TWO Special K snack products, as well as vegetables/fruit for snacks.

They say you can lose up to SIX pounds in 14 days.

What Is The Special K Diet?

Special K Diet CerealThe Special K diet is a diet method created by the Kellogg Company that includes their Special K products in the daily diet menus.

Their main diet plan is called the “Special K Challenge,” through which the goal is to lose 6 pounds in 2 weeks.

In the “Special K Challenge” diet plan, for two meals every day, you can have either the Special K cereal, the Special K protein meal bar, or the Special K protein shake.

For one meal, which can be any meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner), you can eat what you want as long as it is “sensible.”

You are also allowed to have 2 Special K snacks every day, which can be a Special K protein snack bar, Special K crackers, Special K cracker chips, Special K pastry crisps, or a Special K cereal bar.

In addition to above, you can have non-caloric drinks and vegetables/fruits as additional snacks.

If you go to their website, you can have your meal plans generated for you for the 2 weeks. Their auto-generated meal plans will mainly have you eat Special K products until you reach dinner (so Special K products for breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack). For dinner, they provide recommended meals and recipes, and each dinner usually has about 500 calories. [Update: this service appears to be currently unavailable on their website] So if you are going to come up with and cook your own individual meals, that is probably the range of calories you should aim for.

How Is It Supposed To Work?

Special K DietThe “Special K Challenge” diet works by cutting down calories to between 1200-1300 calories per day, according to their auto-generated meal plans.

Another reason this seems to work for some people is that they love the taste of Kellogg Special K cereals and other Special K products, as a result providing them the “mental” satisfaction to stick with the low-calorie diet.

This diet is also relatively easy to follow since there is no meal preparation except for 1 meal per day and some easy fruit/vegetable snacks if desired.

Some people may like it as a good way to kick-start a longer term weight loss plan; for example, as a way to get accustomed to smaller portion meals.

Special K Diet Sample Menu

Below is a sample menu for 1 day under the “Special K Challenge” diet.

MealsWhat You Can EatIngredientsCalories
BreakfastSpecial K® Original Cereal Breakfast with Milk and Fruit1 cup Special K® Original Cereal
2/3 cup skim milk
1 small banana
265 calories
Morning SnackSpecial K® Fruit Crisps: Strawberry2 Special K® Fruit Crisps: Strawberry100 calories
LunchSpecial K™ Honey Almond Protein Meal Bar Lunch1 Special K™ Honey Almond Protein Meal Bar
12 whole almonds, unsalted
272 calories
Afternoon SnackSpecial K™ Multi-Grain Cracker SnackSpecial K™ Multi-Grain Cracker - 20 pieces100 calories
DinnerSpaghetti Dinner with Vegetable and Salad2 ounces lean ground beef, pan browned
1 cup whole wheat spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup steamed broccoli flowerets
2 cups chopped lettuce, any variety
1 slice tomato
1 tablespoon fat-free Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup fresh cut mango (for dessert / late night snack)
506 calories
Total Calories1243 calories

Source: The Kellogg Company

Pros of the “Special K Challenge” Diet

  • You will likely lose weight if you follow the plan. The total calories consumed are very low (around the minimum recommended calories for women), and will ensure that you are burning off more than you eat.
  • This diet is very easy to follow. All you have to do is ensure that you eat 4 servings of Special K products each day, and then eat one regular meal. The addition of vegetables and fruits makes it easier to stick with, as they should provide you with a feeling of fullness.
  • Most Special K products can be taken on the go. If you have a busy day planned, then you can easily take a few different products out for your meals and snacks without the need to refrigerate or heat them up.
  • It may teach your body portion control. If you get used to eating just one serving of a Special K product, it may become easier for you to maintain proper portions for meals even after the 2 weeks are over.

Cons of the “Special K Challenge” Diet

  • The “Special K Challenge” diet is high in processed foods and sugars. The products also include high fructose corn syrup. These are not healthy and may even lead to weigh gain in the long-term if consumed excessively.
  • The high sugar content may cause sugar spikes and extreme hunger. This may make the diet extremely painful or may lead to overeating.
  • Some people may get tired of constantly eating the same kinds of prepackaged foods.
  • It is not a diet that can be done for the long term. It is unhealthy to constantly eat processed foods. It is also important to eat a variety of foods in order to get all the nutrients you need to be healthy. The “Special K Challenge” diet does not provide a wide array of minerals and other nutrients.

Should I Try the “Special K Challenge” Diet?

This diet may enable you to lose weight, however it is not the healthiest diet plan. The biggest problem with this diet is that you will be consuming a high ratio of processed foods and unhealthy ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup.

Consuming too much processed foods and unhealthy ingredients typically lead to weight gain in the long-run, and may even lead to illnesses.

If it’s all the same to you, you should try a diet that mainly consists of whole unprocessed foods.

Another idea is to limit the Special K products to 2 per day. For example, you could perhaps have it for lunch and 1 snack, and eat unprocessed foods for the rest of your meals and ensure that you do not exceed 1300 calories a day (for men 1600 calories).

Tips for Trying the “Special K Challenge” Diet

  • Take a multi-vitamin every day to ensure you are getting your basic nutrients.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If you feel sick, stop the diet immediately.
  • Make sure not to overeat on the 1 prepared meal. For example for those following the auto-generated meal plans, some people become very hungry during the day and end up over-consuming calories at dinner time. Eat vegetables, fruits and nuts for snacks to ensure that you don’t get too hungry at dinner time. However be careful not to over-consume fruits and nuts (they can be high-calorie).
  • Make sure to eat healthy for your 1 prepared meal, since this is where you will be getting most of your nutrients.
  • Do not do the “Special K Challenge” diet for longer than 2 weeks at a time. This plan has too high a ratio of prepackaged foods. If you wish to do the Special K diet for a longer term, their “achieve a Goal Weight” plan may be a better option since these meal plans incorporate more regular foods (usually only has 2 Special K products a day). 

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