Whatever Happened To The Special K Diet?

Do you remember way back in the early 2000's when the Special K diet took over and united dieters into thinking cereal was the magic cure to losing weight? We have to give the cereal brand some credit. Their marketing genius obviously succeeded in getting the masses to run out and buy their cereal and bars. In fact, Special K's advertising is still being discussed today. Huffington Post reports tweets that gathered thousands of followers to reminisce over the diet's "red swimming costume lady". "I think about this ALL the time," one woman tweeted. "I remember being a kid and watching this thinking I'd always be slim like the lady on the Special K advert as I will do that diet when I'm older."

It's interesting that cereal marketing is still being discussed, because it appears the diet itself has poofed and vanished into thin air. And for good reason. Here's all you need to know about this diet trend that dominated in the beginning of a new century and why it didn't last.

So what is it? According to Healthline, simply put, the Special K diet is a two week program that involves replacing two meals a day with a bowl of Special K cereal and low-fat milk, and keeping one "regular meal." You are allowed to eat two snacks consisting of fruits, vegetables, or a Special K bar. There were no recommended times of when to eat or calories to count. And although it sounds like a simple plan to follow, it's not sustainable.

Dieting trends have shifted through the years

Registered dietician Keri Glassman, R.D., shares with My Recipes the dangers of the Special K plan. "This short term diet plan with no changes made to overall lifestyle diet habits is not a sustainable way to live a healthier lifestyle or to meet your weight loss goals long term," she says. "Diets like this one is often what leads people into yo-yo dieting."

Glassman goes on to give her thoughts on why the diet's popularity fizzed out. "I think there is a focus on eating real, whole, unprocessed foods and that people are much more aware of this," she says. According to Spoon University, 1 cup of Special K cereal has 23g of carbs, two sugars, and high fructose corn syrup making it less than an ideal meal for today's dieter who is more focused on consuming natural ingredients.

Today, you won't find any info on the Special K diet if you look on the Kellogg's company website. Yahoo News reports that even the brand's CEO, John Bryant, admitted the Special K eating plan was, "Basically asking people to deprive themselves where they have less calories." And adding, that in reality, "People want to have weight wellness." 

The Special K diet certainly made an impact on our dieting culture in the early 2000's. However, considering that today's diets are more focused on wellness over weight loss, and natural over processed foods, perhaps it's best that we leave this eating plan in the past.