Monday, February 1, 2010

The Special K Challenge

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We also know that to maintain a healthy weight, we have to watch how much we eat and get plenty of exercise. BUT, as far as I'm concerned, that doesn't mean that eating only cereal is a good way to do it.

I'm sure that if you've seen TV or have opened a women's magazine in the past 5 years, you know about the Special K Challenge. You know, when you replace two meals a day with special K cereal and get to enjoy two snacks each day along with a 'sensible' meal. Kellogg's has actually created quite an elaborate and detailed website that helps the dieter create their own personalized plan. They can choose the type of plan that fits their lifestyle and personality.

Now, I used to eat Special K cereal quite often. I do love cereal and would eat it more often if I didn't care about the fact that just about every cereal is incredibly processed with a lot of sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. (There are definitely some cereals available though that are fairly healthy, just have to look for them)

The thing with this plan is that everything you eat except for the one 'sensible' meal is processed food product made by Kellogg. Now people, I know you're all more sensible than this. If you're reading this blog, chances are you either a pretty health conscious person already or you're working to incorporate more healthy habits into your daily life. So, I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but it annoys me that a company is misleading consumers masquerading over processed foods as healthy ways to loose weight. In one protein meal bar, I counted 6 forms of sugar, including high fructose corn syrup and also soy protein isolate. Both ingredients that should not be in our foods. Now, I'm not saying that all of their products are bad or that they're the only company doing this, and I'm definitely not saying that companies have all the control over what we eat. Actually, I'm saying that marketing campaigns like this reinforce the fact that we all need to be responsible for what we eat and knowing how to eat in order to have a healthy diet. It's not all about cereal and meal replacement bars (Special K or any other brand). We need to eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein.

The Special K Challenge is another fad diet that may work in the short term, but chances are it's not going to be a healthy and sustainable way to eat 5 months from now.

If you think this might be a good option to drop those last 5lbs or the 10lbs before your class reunion, take a second and think about what you're really going to put into your stomach and how it'll effect your body down the road. And if your friend is talking about trying it, stear him/her towards the produce aisle!

Agree with my assessment or do you think it might be okay? Have you tried the Challenge or something similar? And what did you think of the Grammy's last night?

15 comments:

Jocelyn said...

Interesting take on the special K challenge. I've never really looked into it but I kind of thought it seemed to be BS anyways. Sadly I think most people want that quick diet lost solution and don't care about long term things.
I thought all the performances were pretty awesome last night on the Grammy's...all excited for Taylor Wwifts. She was so off key!

Terie said...

Awesome post. Never even considered the challenge because at the end of the day you would not have eating all the required nutrients you get from fresh, whole foods - the kind that hasn't been processed or sugared up. I agree with you 100% - eating sensibly, volume eating with the volume being mostly nutritious foods and oh my gosh, portion control!!! Thank you for bringing this up, very important! Missed the Grammy's --darn it!! :D

Barbara said...

Oh , I already ate something unhealthy this am. Stress eating. Watched a bit of the Grammys. Pink was pretty incredible , what's Beyonce , Taylor , everyone else going to do now that the bar, literally has been raised? Loved Botecelli and Bilge ! Had to watch Emma on PBS in the middle. Did any Verve poeple win ?

Salt said...

This is a great post. Gosh the Special K challenge has been pushed at us for so many years, and while I never did it, I also never stopped to think about how bogus it could be. I totally agree with you.

And I missed the Grammy's. Shoot!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

Don't get me started on this kind of thing. LOL! It pains me to hear people say they are going to try this or a similar plan. Losing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle isn't rocket science, but it does take time. Plans that promise a quick fix are rarely healthy. Glad you pointed this out.

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

I definitely agree with your assessment of the Special K challenge. I'm sorry, but any diet that does not include mostly FRESH, WHOLE foods - and that has you eating the same things day in and day out - is not healthy! People who take the Special K Challenge might lose weight, but they will be lacking in vital nutrients and will never be able to sustain that loss unless they dedicate their lives to eating Special K products.

Julie said...

Hi Lisa,
You have a very interesting post today. I did try the Special K diet or challenge about a year or two ago. I did loose a few pounds but eventually gained them back. It wasn't until I began running that the weight stayed off for good. Thanks for sharing!

Chloe (Project Live Well) said...

I completely agree with this assessment. Its WRONG that they advertise it / that this diet even exists. Yes, people might lose weight but as soon as they stop (and this really wouldn't be a good diet to follow in the long run!) then they'll put the weight back on.

Brandi said...

GREAT post. And yes, I am part of that choir. I think relying on a company to tell you what to do and eating a diet with lots of processed foods isn't a good thing at all. I actually almost never eat processed foods anymore, and I feel awesome. The only diet I've ever been on is Weight Watchers (which had some pluses and some minuses) and though you can buy the Weight Watchers food and products, I never did. The best way I think to learn to eat is by heading to a farmer's market, finding fresh products and experimenting a bit at home.

Toni said...

I agree, eating a variety of healthy foods is the way to go.
On my post you asked about circuit training, I think it's a great workout and an awesome way to fit in cardio and strength. It was really fun to mix it up.

SueMac said...

Great post! It's like all processed foods, they're really not good for you, but Kellogg's is a company and they're in it for the money..... they really don't care if we're healthy, they just need a great bottom line. Missed the Grammy's, dang it.

runwritetherapylife said...

I feel the EXACT same way. I get super annoyed watching their comemrcials and seeing the ads. Whole foods offer me a "diet" that I can maintain for life. Processed foods do not, and never will (they won't keep me full and just make me feel deprived and wanting mroe sugar).

Jamoosh said...

Well said. Funk a bunch of Kellog's dieting "wisdom"

Julie said...

i used to eat special k like it was my jobbbbbbbbbbbbbb then i stopped when i checked out the shoogs and ingreeds in those bad boys. the diet is so unrealistic because who the heck is gonna eat special k for every meal for the rest of their life!

Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather said...

I totally agree with what you say. I could not imagine only having 1 real meal a day. I think I would feel sick from it.

It's sad that their trick works with a lot of women that are looking for a quick fix. Real weight loss shouldn't happen overnight.