Special K Diet – How It Works, Diet Plan, Pros and Cons

The basis of the Special K diet is manageable. The diet is a challenge of two weeks to use Special K cereal in place of two meals out of three meals every day.

Though, it is two weeks diet plan, eating the same cereal for two meals each day doesn’t allow eating diverse foods and nutrients. Additionally, the Special K diet doesn’t create eating patterns for more than two weeks.

The Special K Diet support replacing meals with bars and cereals to boost weight loss up to 6 pounds in 2 weeks. The health community suggests it is not sustainable. Additionally, most of the Special K products are less satiating protein and fat, which make you feel hungry.

How Special K came to market?

The Special K diet was grown as a chain of a marketing strategy by the cereal creator itself. In 2002, Kellogg’s funded research study from Purdue University to discover if eating ready-to-eat cereal as a replacement of meal twice a day would result in weight loss.

Consequently, the Special K challenge was sold to the crowds with the main focus on women. The Kellogg’s claimed that the Special K diet challenge is a simple and amazing way to lose the weight in 2-weeks. The challenge took guesswork to replace the two meals with Special K cereal with a healthy 3rd meal.

The Special K Challenge was a famous weight loss diet option from the decade. Many women preferred it for quick weight loss.

How Does It work?

The nature of the Special K Diet is that it is a controlled meal portion challenge for two weeks. In place of two meals, you have to eat Special K cereals. Additionally, it allows portion-controlled vegetables, snacks, and fruits to manage short term weight loss goals.

However, the Special K diet is not for long term weight loss but a healthy plan for short weight loss goal.

The Special K – Diet Plan

Early Morning: (6:00 am – 7:30 am)

Drink warm water with lemon and honey


Green tea with honey and lemon

Calories: 66

Breakfast: (8:00 am – 9:00 am)

Consume 1-bowl Special K with 1-cup milk(low-fat).

You can also mix half apple

Calories: 270

Pre-Lunch:(10:30 am)

One orange or apple or berries or grapes.

Calories: 48–67

Lunch: (12:30 pm – 1:00 pm)

Consume 1-bowl Special K multigrain with honey and 1-cup low-fat milk.


Vegetable soup


Tuna sandwich or salad

286 Calories

290 Calories

268 Calories

Post-Lunch:(2:30 pm)

Yogurt 1-small bowl.

Calories: 220

Evening Snacks: (4:30 pm – 5: 00 pm)

Consume Green tea and one multigrain biscuit

4-baked veggie wafers

73 calories

156 calories

Dinner: (7:30 pm – 8:00 pm)

Eat 1-bowl of special K multigrain with 1-cup low-fat milk and honey.


Eat chicken or grilled fish with balanced spinach and asparagus salad.


Consume Carrot cake (low-sugar) or Fruit salad.

286 Calories

150-258 Calories

70-180 Calories

The Special K diet plan is adaptable and provides you 1200-1250 calories every day. Make sure to add Special K cereals in your two meals every day. Avoid having fatty foods. Include foods with rich vitamins, fiber, protein, and minerals.


Make sure to measure your portion size. Eating too much of Special K cereal will not provide desired results.

Substitutes for Special K Diet

If you have allergy with any food or don’t like it then here is the list of foods to replace for 14 days as a substitute.

  • Berries – Orange
  • Green tea – white tea or Black tea
  • Honey – Organic maple syrup
  • Lemon – Apple cider vinegar
  • Apple – Pear
  • Banana – 2 dates
  • Orange – Grapefruit or kiwi
  • Low-fat milk – Soy milk
  • Grapes – Blueberries
  • Chicken soup or Vegetable – stir-fried veggies or Mushroom soup
  • Tuna – Chicken breast or Salmon
  • Yogurt – Buttermilk
  • Digestive biscuits – Multigrain biscuits
  • Baked veggie wafer – Spring rolls(Steamed)
  • Grilled Fish or chicken – Lentil soup or Ground beef
  • Asparagus – Leek or celery
  • Spinach – Chinese cabbage or Bok choy
  • Chocolate mousse – Sour cream
  • Carrot cake – Beetroot cake or Squash cake

Foods to Eat


  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Beetroot
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Bok choy
  • Bottle gourd
  • Bitter gourd
  • Cauliflower
  • Leek
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Cabbage
  • Bell peppers
  • Drumsticks
  • Squash


  • Peach
  • Apple
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Musk melon
  • Plum


  • Tuna
  • salmon
  • chicken breast
  • mushrooms
  • soy chunks
  • lentils
  • chickpeas
  • kidney beans
  • ground lean turkey
  • ground lean beef

Fats & Oils

  • Rice bran oil
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Ghee


  • Low-fat milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Eggs


  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel seeds
  • Fenugreek
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Cumin seeds
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander powder
  • Cayenne pepper powder


  • Coriander leaves
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • dill


  • fresh fruit juice
  • Buttermilk
  • fresh coconut water

While you try to consume the healthiest foods, make sure to avoid consuming high glycaemic index or cardiovascular problem causing foods. Here are the foods you need to skip or eat fewer quantities.

Foods to Avoid

  • Vegetables – Sweet potato and Potato.
  • Fruits – Jackfruit and Mango
  • Fats & Oils – Safflower oil and Lard
  • Dairy – Butter, Cheese, and margarine.
  • Beverages – Avoid Packed fruit juices, Alcohol, packed coconut water, and carbonated beverages.

Useful Tip

Avoid added sugar while consuming Special K cereal. You can include two chopped dates or fresh strawberries for sweetness.

How do you feel during the Special K diet?


You will feel amazing about your body as you complete the first day of your diet plan.


You may experience a little tired as you have to skip the carbs and high sugar food. Do not lose your hope. Following your diet strictly helps to lose water weight and extra fat. It will make the mentally strong and prevent the urge to consume fatty foods.


On day-6, you will feel challenging as you feel tired of eating the same healthy foods. Make a twist in your Special K recipes to prevent boring feeling.


As your complete day-8, you will see more difference in your body. You will see a weight loss of 4-pounds. Once you notice the results of your diet, you will be able to do better in the next 6-days.


On day-12 you will be most successful in your dieting and crave for junk foods after losing some amount of weight. Have patients and avoid junk foods and stay hydrated.


It will get a big smile on your face as you successfully lose 6 pounds and feel much lighter.

Ahead 2nd Week

It is not recommended to continue this diet after the second week. You will have low strength and immunity in the body may have serious health issues. If you wish to continue the diet, then take at least two weeks break. After the break or two weeks again continue your Special K diet.

What is best in this diet?

The best thing about the Special K diet is losing weight quickly without stripping your nutrients in the body. It will also not kill your taste buds. Keeping up this diet plan is easy and simple. You will find all the ingredients easily in the supermarket and don’t require heavy cooking.

If you desire to eat interesting foods, then twist your cooking methods.

Special K Diet Recipes

Here are a few easy and simple recipes to make your special K diet exciting. You can have this multigrain flake yummy and tasty.

Baked Vegetable Cutlets.


  • Special K – 2cups
  • Carrot – 1
  • Beetroot-1
  • French beans – 4-5
  • Onion 1/2
  • Potatoes -2
  • A handful of peas
  • Egg-1
  • All-purpose flour-1 tablespoon
  • bread crumbs-50 g
  • Coriander leaves-A handful of
  • garam masala-1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt-1 teaspoon
  • dried mango powder-1/2 teaspoon
  • pepper-1/2 teaspoon
  • vegetable oil-1 tablespoon

How to Prepare

  • Chop all the veggies into small cubes
  • Boil potatoes
  • Grind Special K
  • Beat eggs in a bowl
  • Add all-purpose flour and some water and make a thin consistency.
  • Heat vegetable oil in the frying pan and fry the chopped onion for 2-minutes.
  • Include boiled potatoes and other veggies.
  • Add 3-tablespoon of ground special-k cereals and peas.
  • Mix pepper and salt and sauté for one to two minutes.
  • Include dried mango powder and garam masala.
  • Mash potatoes and fill the veggies in mashed potato.
  • Turn off the heat and let veggies cool down for 20 minutes.
  • After cool down, using your hands or spoon make flat shape cutlets.
  • Dip the cutlets in flour or light beaten eggs and water mix.
  • Coat the cutlets with bread crumbs.

Why This Recipe Is Advised

It is a delicious and healthy recipe. You can make it easier. Try this recipe at your home party. You can use any meat or vegetable to prepare cutlet.

Special K Nachos and Yummy Yogurt Dip


  • Special K flakes – 2-3 cups
  • Yogurt- 100 g
  • Cucumber -1
  • Carrot -1
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1-teaspoon
  • Cedar cheese-15gm
  • Chili flakes-2-teaspoon
  • Lemon-1-tablespoon
  • Egg-1 (lightly beaten)
  • All-purpose flour-3-4 tablespoon
  • Salt- a pinch
  • Pepper-a pinch
  • Water 100 ml
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon

How to Prepare

  • Pour some water in a bowl and slowly mix Special K flakes. Do not add more water.
  • Let the cereals absorb water and become soft, moist, and fluffy.
  • Mix all-purpose flour to have a consistency like bread dough.
  • Keep the dough on a butter paper and roll the dough like pizza using a rolling pin.
  • Prepare a thin dough sheet using a rolling pin.
  • Cut the dough as you desire for shape.
  • Carefully place the baking tray.
  • Sprinkle some pepper.
  • Slowly coat the top of the dough with egg wash. Again, sprinkle pepper.
  • Bake it for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°C.
  • Include a thin slice of carrot and cucumber.
  • Add some cedar cheese.
  • Include some chili flakes and a pinch of pepper and salt.
  • Lastly, add some lemon juice.
  • Mix well and remove the special K nachos from the oven and wait till they get cool.
  • Eat nachos of Special K with a delicious dip.

Why should you try this recipe?

It is not easy to handle favorite food cravings, but Special K nachos are a healthy recipe to fulfill your cravings. You can enjoy it as crunchy snacks.

These recipes will help to satisfy your favorite food cravings. Remember, only the Special K diet will not help with weight loss. You will require to do exercise to extend your energy and mobilize stored extra fat.

Here is the exercise to follow while on the Special K diet.

Exercise Plan While on The Special K Diet

Doing exercise is important to have a healthy and active lifestyle. As the Special K diet provide 1200 to 1250 calorie diet. Avoid doing strenuous workouts. Rather, try to perform stretching and yoga exercises. Do yoga practice at least 20 minutes every day. Here is the essential workout to have toned muscles and active cells.

  • Arm Circles – Perform 1set of 5-reps, do it clockwise and anticlockwise
  • Wrist Circles – Do 1set of 5-reps, perform it clockwise and anticlockwise
  • Shoulder Circles – Perform 1set of 5-reps, do it clockwise and anticlockwise
  • Ankle Circles – Do 1set of 5-reps, perform it clockwise and anticlockwise
  • Pawanmuktasana – Perform 15-30 seconds
  • Trikonasana – Resist till comfortable
  • Supta Matsyendrasana – Hold till feel comfortable
  • Anulom Vilom – 2-sets, 10-reps

Eating the right foods and doing exercises helps greatly in weight loss. Make sure to avoid doing errors practice.

Dos and Don’ts While on The Special K Diet


  • Begin your day with yoga, power walk, and stretching exercise.
  • Stick with your diet plan. You can substitute and do small changes to your diet, but the calorie consumption should be the same.
  • Try to consume 2-servings of Special K every day.
  • Consume fruits, healthy proteins, and veggies.
  • Eat yogurt and low-fat milk.
  • Drink enough fruit juice and water.
  • Talk to your doctor before going for this diet.


  • Avoid waking up late and mixing breakfast or detox drink in the early morning.
  • Don’t skip your breakfast.
  • Avoid including sugar in Special K diet.
  • Skip overeating.
  • Avoid eating unhealthy snacks.
  • Do not use sweet, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid late night working.

Pros of the Special K diet


The Special K diet is affordable in comparison to other dieting supplements, specific powders, and other ingredients. An 11/2 ounce of Special K box cost around $2.50.


The Special K diet uses the guesswork from the meal you eat. You have to replace two meals every day with a controlled portion of the cereal bowl. You will spend less money and time for preparing your meals. Other products and Special K cereals are familiar to most individual and easily available at the local grocery store.


The Special K diet doesn’t need any long-term diet or questionable supplements. It is a comparatively, safe diet.

However, there are some cons to this diet which may not suit some people.


Increased Appetite

The most annoying con of the Special K diet is it may increase your appetite. According to the study of 2002, the two groups were consumed Kellogg’s cereal during their two meals every day and recorded increased hunger.


You may experience boredom after eating continues Special K cereals, again and again, every day.


The Special K diet is not for long-term weight loss. You can use it as a short time diet for only two weeks. It also provides insufficient nutrients. Consuming the same food all the time may limit your overall nutrient intake.

How It Compares

The Special K diet is comparable to other food replacement such as Nutrisystem or Slim fast. You should replace at least one meal with specific and branded products. This diet may not meet your complete nutrition recommendations.

USDA Recommendations

The USDA recommends guidance for improving and managing entire well-being and health. Their dietary suggestions include calories recommendations and tips for a balanced diet. The Special K diet requires some rules.

Limited Calories

The Special K diet is similar to other meal exchanging with a controlled portion of all foods. This replacement of a meal diet primarily serves by limiting entire everyday calories intakes.

For example, according to a study of 2002, Purdue University discovered that from two different groups, eating cereals every day in place of meals reduces the calories by 600 every day.

Consuming fewer calories helps to lose weight, but you should maintain balanced and healthy food.

Insufficient Nutrients and Variety

While the different meal replacement diets offer a variety of healthy foods, it will focus on extra controlled portions. The Special K diet depends basically on Special K cereals, which limits the nutrients of foods suggested by USDA. It is the reason to recommend this diet only for two weeks.

The cereals of Special K are not whole grains. Therefore, these cereals contain less fiber, which boosts full feelings.

A cup of Special K cereal contains only 3grams of fiber, which is only 10% of the daily value. These cereals provide low satiating protein that is 2grams each cup.

The results of this study show evident in earlier studies that shown increased appetite while eating ready to eat cereals in place of two meals. These cereals also contain low potassium, so, the diet recommends consuming fruits and vegetables with high potassium.

Additionally, this diet contains low saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol. Special K cereal is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as A, B, C, D, B12, iron, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and folic acid.

The Special K Diet: Benefits

  • This diet is easy to follow
  • All foods suggested for diet can be found easily.
  • Keep your weight in check.
  • It is a medium and low-calorie diet that assist in weight loss faster.
  • You can have a healthy snack as an alternative at home.
  • You can also include fruits, nuts, and honey with Special K recipe to make it extra delicious.
  • Special K diet is made up of whole grains that are rich fiber.
  • The Special K diet prevent hunger pangs.

The Special K diet – Side Effects

  • Since the Special K diet is low in calories, you may get weakness or fatigue.
  • The presence of sugar in the Special K cereal may cause to raise your sugar levels.
  • The salt present in the cereals may harm diabetic people.
  • You may get irritated from mood swings.

Expert views

  • You can have up to 6-pounds of weight loss after following Special K diet with regular exercise.
  • Consume 8-10 tablespoon or a bowl of half medium size per serving each day of your diet.
  • You can follow the special K diet only for 2-weeks as a short-term diet. Continuing Special K diet may cause your weakness due to low calories.
  • Do not continue this diet more than 2-weeks. You can take a break of again 2-weeks and then continue.
  • If you stop the Special K diet in between, then you will not lose the fat. It also causes fat gain more than before.
  • If this diet affects your health, then immediately stop the diet.
  • Remember, do not stop or pause the diet because you got bored or unable to resist your food urge.
  • Fortnight can be a good time to follow the Special K diet plan. Begin on any time or day as per your comfort.
  • There are multiple varieties of Special K diet. Make sure to read the content before looking for varieties.
  • Avoid choosing cereals to contain more salt or sugar. Using cereals with added sugar will not work effectively for weight loss.
  • There is no specific age limit for the Special K diet as it is not for long term use. You can easily start your weight loss diet.
  • Obese people should take advise of their doctor to prevent complications. Take advice to know the amount of weight you should lose.

Types of Special K Cereal

Special K Breakfast Cereal – Chocolatey Delight

These cereals are created from rice and wheat flakes mixed with chocolate slices. It is the most reliable and yummy breakfast. You can also have it as a late-night feast.

It tastes delicious and gives crunchy texture with every bite.

Consuming 14-grams of whole grains provide 11-vitamin and minerals every serving. It also includes 3 grams of fiber and vitamin A, B, C, and E for effectiveness.

Kellogg’s Special K – Red Berries Cereal

The red berries cereals are another variety of Kellogg’s cereals.

These are made from wheat and rice flakes and strawberries.

The red berries Special K cereals provide good fiber and a sufficient amount of fructose syrup of corn.

This breakfast provides 110-calories every serving.

Kellogg’s Special K – Blueberry containing Lemon Clusters Cereal

It is another combination of Special K cereals. This variety contains cereals, blueberries, and lemon cluster. It provides delicious taste and vitamin C and E.

Kellogg’s Special K – Vanilla Almond Cereal

This type of Special K cereal includes almonds with the delicious vanilla smell. It will maintain your satiety levels until your next meal.

The Special K diet is effective for weight loss up to 6-pounds in 2-weeks. The diet was popular and declined later. Still, it is in the market at an affordable price to try and lose weight. It is a safe diet and does not harm your health.

Make sure to do regular exercise and eat healthy foods to get effective results from the Special K diet.

Additionally, watch your sleeping hours it should be 7-8 hours. Good sleep is important for healthy weight loss.

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