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Special K Challenge: Does it Work?

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By Lauren Keith - bio | email

Special K Cereals says you can "lose an inch from your waist in just two weeks" by replacing a few of your meals with their cereals and snacks.  It's a claim that definitely gets my attention, so I decided to take the challenge myself and also enlisted the help of my friend, Liz Glastetter.

"I think I'll be able to do it, if you do! If we do it together!" she laughs.

That's step one in any good diet, right....enlist a buddy? Together, Liz and I try to work out together during the week as much possible. Some weeks are better than others! We're in no way pretending we need to lose a bunch of weight, but like any other gal out there, we'd like to tone up, especially with float trips and swimming parties we've each planned this summer. Supposedly, that's where Special 'K' fits in.

"We have crackers, waffles and fruit at least!"  says Liz.

Thank goodness...cuz we also have a whole lotta cereal!  If we stick to this plan though, Liz and I should lose an inch off our waistlines in just two weeks!  First, Kelloggs says your first meal should be a bowl of cereal or two of their special waffles. Then load up again on a second bowl of cereal or a Special K bar or protein shake. For your third meal, eat as normal. When you get hungry through the day...and you will....munch on unlimited plain fruit or vegetables or some of the Special K snack crackers. You can drink beverages as normal.

"This is our food for the next two weeks," says Liz.

I'm already starting to doubt I can do this, but, if it works, it might be worth it. Liz and I each measure our waists and no revealing those numbers either! Next, we each vow to stick to the plan.

"I think by the end of this, we're not going to like cereal at all," she admits.

Agreed! Meantime, in this two-week period, I caught up with Southeast Hospital dietitian Raina Childers who says this plan can work.

"I think people who have a little more weight to lose, will see the most results most quickly, where people who are struggling to lose that last few pounds, it's going to be hard no matter what they try to do," says Childers.

She also says there's a lot of good research to back up this diet plan. Basically, it's meal replacement with frequent feeding or mini meals...something she advises in her own work.

"I'm a big believer in frequent feeding so people are eating between four and six mini meals a day," says Raina.

Truthfully, she says, there's nothing so special about Special K. Just eating healthy mini meals can do the trick, she says. However, Raina believes the Special K plan lacks protein. That's why you'll want to add some in during your third meal, or at least drink the Special K Protein Water.

She also warns: this diet works because of portion control, so a big whopping bowl of cereal is breaking the rules!

"You can overdo it, even on Special K," says Raina.

So.....Does it Work?

Liz measures her waistline  two weeks later and says, "Almost an inch!"

Yup, Miss Skinny Pants over here lost the full inch. Me, on the other hand...just a half-inch, but I'm still pleased. Here's the thing. It's hard to tote cereal to work, especially milk. Also, I'm on the road a lot covering news stories, so I've gotta bring some fruit to munch on these cereal bars, which aren't all that tasty to me, at least. That's the downfall I encountered.  YOU may not. Meantime, Liz admits it's not easy sticking to this plan either.

"I couldn't do cereal all the time," she says.

Here's the other thing--you'd better try to stick to the plan, or you're wasting money. In all, I spent $45 on food for the two of us in this two-week period. That's cheap *if* this is mostly what you eat...if not, well, that's tough to swallow.

"I'm thinking a grade B minus," says Liz.

"I was thinking grade B," I say.

"What? You're a tough grader, so that's why I went lower!" she laughs.

She always gives me a hard time about being a tough grader. So, if you're looking for a jumpstart to your diet, maybe try this....and happy munching! The Special K Challenge Diet Plan earns a good grade somewhere in the B range on this Does it Work Test.

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