live it active



Wednesday Rant: Don’t do the Special K Challenge

Today I decided to replace the workout tip with a rant. Don’t worry, next week I’ll go back to the tip (unless someone is really upset and I will post one this Friday – seriously, let me know).

Last night during the commercial period of The Voice (great show by the way) a commercial came on that captured my attention. It was for Special K (the cereal). It featured a woman walking down main street window shopping wearing a bulky overcoat. As the woman is looking longingly at a red dress in the window the voiceover states “When winter turns to spring and you want to show more and wear less, see if you can get slimmer with Special K’s free personal plan”. Click here to see it.

First of all, this woman does NOT need to lose weight. She is a completely healthy weight. Secondly, if weight loss is her goal, eating Special K is not the answer. The cereal boasts that only 5% of calories per serving come from fat. Yippee! Low in fat and…high in salt and sugar – not yippee anymore.

One serving is equivalent to 1 cup (120 kilocalories) of cereal and I don’t know about you, but if I’m eating cereal I eat way more than a cup. In that one serving you consume 9% of your daily sodium and 8% of your daily carbohydrates (which includes 4g of sugar). If you eat more than a serving (like me) you’re looking at 18% of your daily sodium intake. Yikes.

Yes, the cereal contains a whole bunch of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients but you should really be getting these from natural sources – not a cereal.

And how many of you eat cereal in the morning and feel hungry (starving even) 2 hours later? Well, I do. Why? Firstly, if you are the rarity and follow the portion size rules, a 120 kilocalorie meal is pittance. And secondly, you haven’t eaten an ounce of protein. Protein is an excellent filler-upper as it takes longer to digest relative to carbohydrates.

So what’s the Special K Challenge that I mention ever so briefly in the title? While the commercial doesn’t reference the Challenge, it references a personal plan which is basically the same thing (click here if you want to read more). The Challenge encourages women to eat Special K for both breakfast and lunch and eat a regular dinner. Excuse me? You expect us women to last until dinner on 240 kilocalories? Yeah right. I would be the most hangry (a combination of hungry and angry) person you’d ever meet. OK – they do encourage you to eat snacks and fruits/veggies however, the snacks are more Special K delights (full of sugar/salt and low on the filler-upper quality).

So don’t do it. Don’t do the Special K Challenge. It’s bad. Eat regular, healthful meals that are balanced and full of variety. Enjoy your food.

M

Picture courtesy of becca.peterson26

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