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The Special K Challenge – Weight loss at what cost?


Posted on January 21st, 2010 by Matt Schoeneberger

Well, I took the Special K Challenge.

No I didn’t, but I saw a commercial for it and decided to check it out. For those of you not familiar with it, Kellogs is challenging people to lose weight with Special K and other Kellogs food products. They even give you entire menu ideas (loaded with Kellogs products).

When you start they ask the reason you want to lose weight and give you a few answers to choose from, ask when you want to start, and you’re provided your plan. They don’t ask your age, weight, body composition, weight loss goal, or anything else typically used to calculate a diet plan.

I chose the most basic plan I could and looked at the first day. I investigated the calorie and macronutrient content of the day. Here it is:

970 calories, 133 grams of carbohydrate (48 grams of sugar), 43 grams of protein, 16.5 grams of fat

55% of daily calories come from carbohydrate. As you know, Jeff and I are not supporters of a high carbohydrate intake and this is high. Now, some cultures do maintain good health on high(er) carbohydrate intake levels, but these cultures are not eating processed cereals, and here’s why:

On the Special K diet, 20% of calories come from sugar! On the diet you will also consume such ingredients as high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, soy protein isolate, sugar, maltodextrin, fructose, hydrogenated oils, soybean oil… all ingredients I would recommend you put in your body in very limited quantities, if at all.

Will you lose weight? A resounding “Yes!”

Will you better your health? Not a chance! Remember, weight loss will not necessarily make you a healthier person. There is a complex relationship between weight and health, and more weight is not always dangerous and less weight is not always better. For a better understanding, check out the first chapter of S.P.E.E.D., available free here.

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