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The Special K Challenge: What it is

"Drop a jeans size in 2 weeks." It sounds too good to be true. But according to the Special K Challenge, you could lose up to 6 pounds in 14 days if you eat cereal or other Special K products for breakfast and lunch, plus a regular dinner.

The Special K Challenge promotes quick weight loss through portion control at snacks and two of your daily meals. But it makes no recommendations about the content or size of the third meal. And if that meal is loaded with fat and calories, the calorie savings from the rest of the day could be negated -- and you won’t lose weight.

The Special K diet is designed to be a quick fix, not a long-term program. It includes little education and no health care experts or exercise recommendations to help dieters go the distance. The only support comes from information on cereal boxes and the Special K website, plus a Special K Challenge message group on Yahoo featuring a blog from athlete Gabrielle Reece.

There is nothing special about Special K products. In fact, most are not whole grain, and they tend to be low in fullness-promoting fiber and protein. (Of course, dieters could opt to do their own challenge, with their favorite high-fiber, high-protein cereal along with nutritious snacks and a healthy dinner meal.)

If you take the Special K Challenge, think of it as a prelude to a well-balanced diet plan, and let those six pounds serve as a motivator to help you keep going.

The Special K Challenge: What You Can Eat

The Special K Challenge is a simple, economical diet plan that uses familiar foods most people enjoy. Dieters can choose from among a wealth of Special K cereals, bars, enhanced waters, and shakes.

Here's a sample meal plan on the Special K diet:

Breakfast : One serving of Special K cereal with 2/3 cup skim milk and fruit.

Lunch: Repeat breakfast meal or substitute a Special K Protein Meal bar.

Dinner: Eat your normal meal.

Snacks: Eat two snacks each day of Special K products (bars, cereal, snack bites) or fruits or vegetables.

When choosing cereals or bars, check the labels and select those high in protein and fiber for greater satisfaction. Be sure to read the serving size on the label, and use a measuring cup at first to make sure you're getting the recommended portion.

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