Updated: 09/29/2015 - Sponsored by Leptigen

Special K Challenge Review - Does This Meal Replacement System Work? Are lack of results and unhealthy weight loss deal breakers?

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

special-k-challenge-product-imageThe Special K Challenge generated a lot of buzz with their “What will you gain when you lose” campaign, so we decided to put their claims to the test with one of our in-depth reviews. We looked at the ingredients, side effects, health concerns, customer service, and scientific research behind their claims. We also looked at the reviews we found online to see if the Special K Challenge was indeed a healthy way to lose weight.

EDITOR'S TIP: Combine Special K Challenge with a proven fat burner such as Leptigen for better results.

What You Need to Know

The Special K Challenge is a meal replacement plan where you replace each of your meals with one of Special K’s product offerings. This is a brilliant marketing ploy and resulted in increased sales for Kellogg. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, dieters can have a serving of Special K cereal, Special K waffles, or Special K Protein bars. The meals are readily available at most grocery stores, and can be taken just about anywhere, making this diet convenient and easy to follow.

Kellogg’s has been around since 1906, and they’re a well-known, reputable company in the food industry. This diet was introduced in 2011 as a way to reduce caloric intake while making sure that your body gets the fiber it needs. This diet is affordable and easy to follow, there’s plenty of support online, and Kellogg’s customer service is easy to get ahold of, but read on…

Lack of Results – Minimal weight loss or weight gain

The Special K Challenge leads to minimal weight loss, or even weight gain. Most people that took this challenge initially gained weight as their body got used to a dangerously low caloric intake. “The Special K Challenge has dieters consuming less than 900 calories per day,” said our research editor. “This can put the body in starvation mode, and can lead to weight gain as our bodies retain water weight.”

“I gained three pounds on the Special K Challenge,” said one user.

“I was always hungry, and couldn’t fill my stomach with the foods they offered,” said another.

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Unsafe Weight Loss – Another Concern

Because of the low caloric intake encouraged by the Special K Diet, many experts have called this diet an unsafe way to lose weight. “The Special K Challenge only allows dieters to consume a maxiumum of 829 calories per day, which isn’t enough to keep the body healthy,” said one expert online. This diet also pushes their own foods, some of which contain high amounts of sugar, making it harder to lose weight.

“Without balance and a normal caloric intake, long term weight loss is unsustainable,” said another. Many customers agreed with these experts as well. “I felt like my body wasn’t getting enough, the Special K products just weren’t giving me the calories I needed to make it through the day,” said one review.

Our experts have researched weight loss habits and have shown that if there’s something particularly troublesome about a diet (cost, side effects, unhealthy recommendations, difficult workouts, etc.) the likelihood of sustained weight loss is significantly lower. If the Special K Challenge really does promote a dangerously low caloric intake, this could make weight loss difficult for many people.

Most experts recommend a balanced third meal with the Special K Challenge. “With a third meal, participants see an average daily intake of 1500 calories, which is a healthy number for those trying to lose 2-3 pounds per week,” said one expert.

The Science

There’s plenty of science out there proving that the fewer calories you eat, the more weight you’ll lose, so the Special K Challenge definitely has that going for it. Unfortunately there’s also research proving that it’s unhealthy to consume less than 1200 calories per day for the average adult. The Special K Challenge encourages abnormally low caloric intake, which can be dangerous for many people. If you follow their plan completely, you’ll likely lose weight, but you could also experience major health issues. We recommend a balanced diet with supplements that are scientifically proven to help you burn fat and boost your metabolism.

The Bottom Line

The Special K Challenge was an intriguing review for us. Anytime a company that has been around for over 100 years, like Kellogg’s has, we tend to believe what they say. Unfortunately the low caloric intake that they encourage is proven to be an unhealthy path to sustainable weight loss. Because of that, we can’t recommend this as a weight loss plan that we would endorse. We’re also concerned with the lack of results and the absence of exercise recommendations to accompany this diet plan.

If you’d like an alternative that is healthy and supports sustained weight loss, we suggest you find a product that is backed by published scientific research and is a proven way to lose weight without putting your body into starvation mode.

One of our staff’s picks so far in 2015 is a diet supplement called Leptigen. This new diet supplement contains 4 ingredients that have scientifically proven benefits for weight loss. The proprietary blend has been featured in published studies, and offers substantially improved weight loss when compared to a placebo. Reviews online agree that this product helps them lose weight by boosting metabolism and targeting fat loss, and it doesn’t have the negative side effects associated with many diet supplements.

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(Feel free to scroll below for our previously published full-length Special K Challenge Review)

Previous Special K Challenge Review (Updated March 14, 2014):

What You Should Know

Click Here To See Our Highest Rated Review

The Special K Challenge was designed by Kellogg around their Special K breakfast cereal. According to Kellogg, the Special K Challenge will help you lose six pounds or 1 inch in two weeks.

The details of the plan are: eat two Kellogg's meals for breakfast and lunch and then a healthy dinner. Breakfast can be either 1 cup of Special K cereal with 2/3 cup of skim milk or Special K Waffles with light syrup. Lunch can be the cereal again or the Special K Protein Meal Bar. You are to eat vegetables and fruit throughout the day as snacks and can drink any beverage as normal. You are also allowed two Special K Protein Snack Bars during the day.

The purpose of the diet is to reduce overall calories, which you would certainly do if two of your meals consisted of one cup of cereal. This diet plan is contrary to other plans such as the South Beach Diet or the G.I. Diet, which promote higher levels of proteins than this diet. The Special K Challenge is carbohydrate intensive which helps to put fiber into the diet but may not promote long term satiety or energy.

There is substantial feedback on the Special K Challenge across the internet and it is quite mixed. The majority of posters speak about being hungry all the time while on the diet. This may be due to the reduced protein. Protein makes the body feel fuller longer whereas carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels quickly and give an immediate boost but do not last as long.

The Special K Challenge would also be rather expensive when compared to preparing your own meals at home. The protein bars are similar in price to many competitive products and range from $1.00 to $2.50 per serving.


Healthy foods and Special K products.

See Our Featured Diet


  • Easy to follow plan.
  • May reduce overall calories and produce short term weight loss.


  • Expensive when compared to homemade food.
  • Does not provide long term guidance for weight management.
  • May not provide sustained energy or satiety.
  • Doesn't boost the body's metabolic rate.


While the Special K Challenge may sound like fun, especially with the personalized plan, we feel it lacks substance as a reasonable long term weight reduction plan. Many experts agree that the best weight loss plans include a permanent change in eating habits along with exercise to burn calories and boost the body's metabolism. There are also many weight loss products on the market today that work in conjunction with better nutritional management to burn fat. We feel that this may be a better solution than the Special K Challenge.

GD Star Rating

31 User Reviews About Special K Challenge

Leave comments below
  • 1

    well, i’ve been on the diet for 1 wk. i bought all the special k products and have been very careful to follow the diet. i think the recipes are good ones as well as easy to fix. sad to say, i’ve actually gained 3 lbs so far. i went back & reviewed the diet plan carefully, so i’m not sure what the problem is. i don’t have a lot of experience with dieting, but this diet has lots of sugar in it, which is surprising to me. i also work out everyday, so i guess this diet is just not kicking up my metabolism.



    It might just be water weight.


    Your Name

    you can change your menu every day. if you want to eat something on there that has less cal then what they have on your menu you can swap it out. that’s what i did and you dont have to eat all the food if it says sandwhich fruit and something else. just east the sandwhich and see if your full save your fruit for later for an evening snack. i spread out the food that was on my menu and i was never hungry and i only ate enought to fill me up


  • 2

    is it really wrk n hw to eat i mean by adding milk or sumthng els plz do rply n m 17yrs now


  • 3

    It is in reality a great and helpful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.


  • 4

    How many time should eat at a one day?;the age of 22 girl can eat?


  • 5

    I am 16 years old and weighed 160 pounds when I started the day before yesterday. I weighed myself today and I now weigh 158 pounds . 😀 ! This diet IS very hard to stick to though if you’re use to eatting whatever you’d like through out the day. I suggest drinking ALOT of water, and lots of fruits and vegetables to keep yourself from feeling hungry. And make sure to not eat past 6:30 !


  • 6

    I was on the special K challenge right before i got pregnant i was working on losing the weight on put on from my 4 year old i was 155lbs when i started the special k and i got down to 139. i followed my meal plans every day and i was never starving on this challenge. i just had a baby and he is 6months old, i am 170lbs right now i am planing on going back on the special k challege to lose weight again. i say the challenge works and will give it 5 stars.


  • 7

    This challenge won’t hurt you.It clearly has all things you need to lose weight healthy. I am tired of food ruling my life and something as easy as the challenge will simplify my life. The only change I am going to make is the ceral and small fruit for breakfast if I eat early I will have protein product for morning snack and if I am out I will eat sensibly some small health meal[I don’t need to eat like a cow. If there is a good space before dinner I will have a challenge drink or snack. If I had a nice lunch out I will have a bowl of cereal and fruit for dinner and snack for mid evening. This is a challenge I can live with and I plan to make it my life plan. Thank you.


  • 8

    Helloo!! ok, so i am going to try the diet today or tomorow. to people who don’t think they can afford the special k diet.. just buy the cereal and eat 3 bowls of cereal and your snacks could be vegs.. :) thats what im doin..!! <3 thanks!


  • 9

    Please give me the price of special K challenge.


  • 10

    I hope you guys actually think next time you try to make a valid argument. You’re supposed to fill up to at least 1200 calories with fruits and veggies alongside the special k products. If you’re only eating those small products, that’s your own stupidity, and not the fault of the diet. Your body only needs 1200 calories a day.



    Well said. It clearly says that you can eat as much fruit and veg as you like throughout the day


  • 11

    This plan (if you follow their meal suggestions) only offers a little over 800 calories. Your body needs around 1500 calories to function. So yeah, you’ll feel hungry. It’s an insane diet.



    I think this diet would work for people that want to lose weight. I lost 8 lbs in 2 days. That’s because I had flu like symptoms and used the bathroom for 2 days straight! Waaaay too much fiber for me!


  • 12

    lol that is fuuny!!


  • 13

    not that good to some ple so i did do and im tellin my friends not to do it so dont it can hurt u and u can die



    The Special K Challenge can hurt you and kill you? From what I have heard it has helped lots of people lose unwanted weight. As for hurting you or killing you, so can driving in your car if there is a crazy person driving around you. Maybe it didn’t work well for you but that doesn’t mean that it won’t for someone else or hasn’t for many people already!



    lol….lol….thats the funniest thing i have ever heard!!! i think McDonalds will kill you before special k does lol



    You’re right, so ignore the lols. It’s a starvation diet, just over half what your body needs to function.



    Starvation diet? You’re eating at least 7 times per day while on this diet….just not Burger King or Taco Bell which is part of the reason why we are by far the country with the most obese people…stop reading these posts if you’re against the plan.


  • 14
    Renee Itts

    how do I follow the video and work out???????????


  • 15

    My husband and I started this together. We have either cereal or shake for breakfast and dinner with our regular meal being lunch. This prevents the big meals at the end of the day. This biggest benefit to us is portion control and reduced calories. This plan also gives us the option to switch things around. If we know we are going to dinner with the parents then we flipped and have shakes (or cereal) for lunch. Eating reasonably for your one regular meal and exercise is key. If you can do the little things to cut calories (light bread, 2% cheese and baked chips) you can get yourself to the lower end of the calorie scale. We have found this easier to do during the summer months as we prefer to be outside in the evening either walking or riding bikes which there is more time to do since dinner prep time is drastically cut. We have also switched out the snacks on occasion to the Nabisco (or whatever brand) of 100 calories. Gives you a little more variety while still maintaining the calorie count. Since we have began, we have both noticed fewer cravings of the sweets, require smaller portions for our “main” meal and weight loss. In the first two weeks, he lost 15 pounds while I lost 8. We both feel healthier and have completely embraced watching what we eat.


  • 16

    i just started the special k challenge last sunday, so it has almost been a week. i love it so far i dont feel like any changes have been made yet but it takes 2 weeks. but i just eat the cereal for breakfast then lunch have a protein shake and snack bar then for dinner il have another protein bar and eat some veggies. but i also allow myself to snack on the multi grain special crackers after lunch. i havent been working out yet but plan to.


  • 17

    I like the Special K program. For me, I have to have a plan that is simple to follow and food that taste good. With the variety of cereals Special K makes, this program easy. I especially like the snaks that they have (their new strawberry crisp bars are heaven sent and only 100 calories). I have followed the program for over a month now and have lost 14 pounds. But of course I am exercising as well and eating a healthy meal before six pm. My suggestion is that if you are looking for a simple porgram to follow …and you enjoy eating cereal..than you should give this program a try. If you eat the fruit and veggies as they suggest…you will not go hungry.



    I am now on my 4th day of Special K challenge along with the 10lb slimdown workout. I realized that eating the vegetables and fruits with meals and snacks helps with hunger. So far I am happy with the plan.


  • 18
    vandana singh

    my BMI is 23.5 it’s safe when i will take kellogg’s k challenge plese tell me


  • 19
    Mary Hicks

    special k is no longer carrying the points for the rebate 10 dollars off jeans. tired of paying full price


  • 20
    Audrey Tesiero

    Im starting your specail k challenge tomorrow. Ive been on weight watchers but havent been doing that for the last 5 months. I love your products and think the two plans together will be great and easy to loose the 12 lbs. Ive put back on. I will let you know how Im doing. Thanks Special K


  • 21
    rosalyn stevenson

    what is aspecial diets meal.


    Your Name

    can its relly work


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