The Special K Challenge
The Special K Challenge: How it Works
The Special K Challenge works in the short term because it slashes calories.
When you have a meal containing 100-250 calories instead of a meal made up of
bacon, egg and cheese croissant, or a triple cheeseburger and fries, you will
certainly lose weight. Special K products are all low in fat and calories.
It's also easy to follow. Like a meal replacement diet plan, the Special K
Challenge eliminates the guesswork for all snacks and most meals. The freedom
to self-select a third meal makes the Challenge more acceptable to most
Results of a 2002 study done at Purdue University (funded by Kellogg) showed
that replacing regular meals with calorie- and portion-controlled cereal meals
could result in weight loss. Study participants took in an average of 1,590
calories per day and cut their fat intake in half.
"Substituting cereal for higher-calorie meals can help people trim
calories and fat. … In the study, we found those reductions were doable and
resulted in about a 4.4 pound weight loss over a 2-week period," says study
author Rick Mattes, PhD.
Be warned: You may be very hungry on the Special K diet, depending on what
you're used to eating. It's high in carbohydrates and relatively low in fiber
The Special K Challenge: What the Experts Say
The Special K diet is simple, uses foods that are readily available, and is
doable for most people. But experts don’t give it a total thumbs-up: It's too
low in protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables. It also lacks an exercise
component and the kinds of sustainable changes that are the foundation for
healthy weight loss plans.
There certainly is no harm in following the Special K diet plan for a few
weeks and using it as a springboard to a more balanced weight loss plan that
includes exercise, the experts say.
"While it may be an overly simplistic plan … it is a great way to start
focusing on the things that need to change to get your diet a step in the right
direction," Mattes says.