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Health and Fitness

The Special K diet - weight loss wonder or waste of time?

by Maria Bell Published on 9 September 2013

The Special K diet seems to have it all - easy to do with minimum cooking and decent weight loss results - it seems all you need to look good on holiday is commit to a cereal habit two weeks before. But is eating cereal day in and day out actually healthy? Will you keep the weight off? And how do those women in those red bikinis always looks so darn good? We investigate…

How does it work?

We’d all love to lose an inch from around our waist, especially in only two weeks time, so as the Special K diet claims to do both of these things, it sounds pretty appealing.

Since it came into circulation the Special K diet has continued to be incredibly popular as a quick-fix solution to weight loss.

The diet consists of eating 2 bowls of Special K cereal with skimmed milk and some form of fresh fruit for two meals a day – most obviously breakfast and lunch. You can also replace one of these two meals with a Special K Protein Meal bar or Protein Shake.

Your third meal you eat normally but it must consist of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fat and fibre.

You are also encouraged to snack on fresh fruit or veg throughout the day or any of their diet products like the Special K cereal bars, Cracker chips, Pastry crisps, or protein snack bars. There are also recipes on their website to help you out with making sensible meal choices.

Sounds pretty achievable right?

So according to the plan, eating this way for 2 weeks on average a person should be able to lose about 6lbs – that’s nearly half a stone, which is pretty impressive. The thing is will you just put all of that back on again once you stop?

The answer quite simply is probably. The thing is the Special K diet is not supposed to be a long-term weight loss solution. This is supposed to be done for a 14-day period.

Despite this they do have the option for personalised diet plans on their website to help you maintain your weight afterwards - plus this service is free so it's definitely worth checking out.

Nutritionist Emma Wight Boycott says: “The Special K diet provides a low calorie dietary option for those who are searching for a simple low calorie diet. It does however, limit the persons micronutrients such as naturally occurring vitamins and minerals; vitamin A, vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium among others.

The diet is high in sodium, grains, carbohydrates, binders and fillers while being low in fibre, healthy fats, protein and of course naturally occurring nutrients.”

Really this is exactly what you’d expect from eating cereal twice a day, every day for 2 weeks. Yes, the diet is not perfect, but in terms of quick-fix diet plans, Special K is one of your better options.

Plus points:

  • Very simple to follow.
  • Higher in protein than other cereal options.
  • Takes all guess work out of calorie counting.
  • Pretty effective.
  • The Special K dieting advice services are all provided for free, so all you have to pay for is your cereal or other products.

Downsides:

  • Lacking in essential vitamins, minerals and fibre.
  • Not particularly filling as the fibre is lacking in the products, which means you’ll struggle not be hungry throughout the day.
  • Not much variety which can make people stray from the diet through boredom.
  • It’s likely that you’ll put on the weight that you lost.

Emma says: “In my experience with weight loss clients a diet high in protein, fibre, healthy fats and nutrients is the best for satisfying hunger, balancing blood sugar and reducing weight."

But what do you think? Have you tried the Special K diet? What are your experiences? Tweet us at @sofeminineuk.

by Maria Bell

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