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Losing weight can be very frustrating. You may have already tried the various diets available today, but none of them seem to produce the claimed results.
Most diets can be very restrictive, which is usually what makes you want to quit altogether.
However, every time you quit another diet, you only lower your self-esteem and prolong your weight loss journey. You need a regimen that summarizes everything you need to do in a healthy and efficient way.
You need a diet that doesn’t eliminate all the thing you love while creating the results you've always wanted.
Luckily, you might be able to find that with the Special K Challenge!
The Special K Challenge claims to provide quick weight loss results by simply substituting your daily breakfast and lunch with Special K cereal or any other Special K product, your dinner can be a healthy meal of your choice. It provides weight loss results by reducing the caloric intake of each individual. By strictly following this plan for two weeks you can lose up to one jeans size in 14 days.
Essentially, you need to eat a bowl (45g) of Special K cereal with ½ cup of skim milk for breakfast and lunch.
Kellogg's has used different scientific studies to support their Diet Challenge, which shows that 3 out of 4 participants actually achieved significant weight loss results, losing up to six pounds over a two-week period.
The Special K Challenge uses a weight loss strategy that forces you to eat fewer calories than you actually burn. By substituting Special K cereal for two or even three meals every day, you will most likely take in fewer calories than if you ate a complete meal.
A cup of Special K cereal combined with non-fat or skimmed milk is only about 250-280 calories, which means that your total caloric intake for breakfast and lunch combined is just over 500 calories. Kellogg's suggests that your third meal is healthy and low in calories. The problem is that Kellogg’s has no guidelines or clear instructions on what the last meal should be. Although their official website suggests you consume lean proteins like chicken, beans or fish with the meal, the total number of calories for the last meal is not indicated.
Eating in a caloric deficit each and every day will cause weight loss and there are many studies proving this claim (1) (2).
To figure out how much weight you will lose with the Special K Challenge, you first need to know your maintenance calories. You can find plenty of online calculators that will determine this information in seconds, or you can use the following formula: Body Weight (lbs.) x Activity Level (14-17) = maintenance calories. 14 is the lowest activity level, 17 is the highest.
Now that you know your maintenance calories, subtract 500 calories form your first two meals as well as the calories from your third meal. You will now have a different number. Take this number and determine your estimated weight loss rate by using an online calorie-counting calculator.
You need 1500 calories to sustain your body weight. If your last meal contains 500 calories, your total daily intake will be 500 (Special K Cereal) +500 (Last Meal) = 1000 calories. Subtracting 1000 from 1500 leaves you with a daily deficit of 500 calories or a weekly deficit of 3500 calories. 1 pounds of fat contains 3500 calories, so in this case, you would lose 1 pound every week.
Day 1 Meal Plan Example:
Day 2 Meal Plan Example:
Day 3 Meal Plan Example:
The first big problem with the Special K Challenge is the diet plan. The plan is not personalized for each person, it only acknowledges your weight and height and doesn't take activity levels and lifestyle into consideration (3).
The second problem is the weight loss rate. With the Special K Challenge you will most likely lose weight way too fast. A good, sustainable weight loss is between ½ and 1 pound a week. Overweight individuals would lose between 2 and 5 pounds a week (4).
Also, you can track your weight loss but there is no measurable form of your progress in anything other than numbers. No measurements, no before and after photos, nothing.
Other disadvantages include:
“My wife did the Special K ‘challenge’ and successfully lost about 7lbs (admittedly that was over 3 weeks, not the 2 that they claim). The problem we had to face afterward was the weight creeping back on. So about a month later she did it again – had similar results. But again, the weight has come back. Unless you plan on using the special K challenge as a kick-start to a long-term weight loss program then I wouldn’t bother.” -Joe Vargas
“The cereal that helped me lose fifty plus pounds. Instead of late night snacks, just a bowl of Special K (usually after 8 PM) did the trick.” -Jill D.
“While I generally try to avoid soy protein isolate, my nutritionist told me about this cereal and I’ve been eating it several times a week with almond milk. It is mildly sweet and keeps me full for quite a while. It has an impressive protein count and because I try to avoid carbs it’s great for me.” -Sari Azrak
The Special K Diet is definitely not a long time weight loss option. It works great for short term goals though! The Special K Challenge is a good way to regain control of your appetite, helping you live a healthy lifestyle. There simply is no magical pill or any type of substitute for healthy eating and regular exercise. Most users simply “fall off the wagon” after completing the Special K Challenge. The idea you should follow would be to continue eating healthy and exercising daily in order to stay fit and healthy forever.
Amanda is a gym instructor and a diet and nutrition fanatic that has reviewed 100s of supplements for the benefit of consumers. She struggled with obesity 7 years ago and after losing more than 30lbs, dedicates most of her time in helping others achieve similar results and transform their lives. You can contact her via the "About Us" page.