Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Special K Diet: What You Need to Know

        Health | Diets

Does the Special K Diet Work?

The questions that are probably running around in your head are, "Will I really lose six pounds in two weeks if I follow the Special K Diet plan? Does it really work?" The quick answer to these questions seems to be maybe. According to the study Kellog's cites, you will lose weight. However, how much weight you will lose might be a better question to ponder. The answer there isn't quite as simple. A Purdue University study found that the 28 participants lost up to six pounds over the two-week time span [source: Grieger]. Pay attention to the language, "up to six pounds," since this implies you might not lose that much. It's also important to remember that this plan is essentially designed to jump start weight loss and encourage limited-calorie, low-fat eating habits. But it really shouldn't be followed for more than the initial two weeks. If you do decide to drop the diet after two weeks and return to your pre-diet habits, it's likely you'll regain the weight you just lost [source: Zelman]. Another potential problem you may run into is constant hunger. This is a low-calorie diet, and much of the foods you'll be consuming are actually high in sugar. Check the labels on the cereal, protein bars and snack bars and you'll find that sugar is often the third ingredient listed. Foods like these with a high glycemic index typically equal hunger for those consuming the food [source:].

On the plus side, though, as mentioned, the plan can encourage healthier habits among its followers. Many people agree that skipping breakfast is a bad idea. So, at the very least, following the two-week Special K Diet can get you in the habit of having something for breakfast, which is a step in the right direction. In fact, while conducting a survey of several studies, two researchers concluded that, "breakfast eating may prevent obesity and related chronic conditions through a number of behavioral and biological mechanisms, including being part of an overall healthful eating pattern … aiding in appetite control throughout the day" [source: Timlin and Pereira].

Now that you know a little more about the Special K Diet, you can think about this information and determine if the diet is right for you.

Be sure to check out the links on the next page for more information on dieting and related topics.