If you watch TV at all, you’ve probably seen the commercials for Kellogg’s special attempt at a special diet with their famed Special K products. Basically, they claim if you eat two 1 cup bowls of their cereal a day, you will lose six pounds in two weeks.* In short, the program instructs you to start your day with a piece of fruit, a cup of their cereal and skim milk. And then at lunch, you get to do the same thing. And then at dinner, you get to eat normally. Oh, yes, and you get two snacks a day that are Special K branded.
Argh! This kind of marketing ploy makes me crazy! Why? Well for one, this is a very unhealthy, unbalanced diet approach. You aren’t getting all the nutrients that you need to keep your body functioning properly. This is what you are getting:
- Little to no fiber. Fiber is important in that it makes you feel fuller longer. Further, it prevents or relieve constipation, as well as lowers risk of diabetes and heart disease. Without it, you can experience constipation, infrequent and hard stools and abdominal pains.
- Little to no healthy fat. Why is this a problem? Fat is bad, right? Wrong. Fat is essential for lubricating your joints and manufacturing hormones, and actually making you feel satisfied. Also, healthy fat (unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids) is important in keeping your cholesterol levels in check and your body systems functioning properly.
- High in Saturated fat. Special K non-cereal products tend to be high in saturated fat, which raises LDL, the bad type of cholesterol and therefore increases your risk of heart disease.
- You are getting a lot of sugar. Sugar is an enemy of a healthy diet. It is digested quickly and contains few essential vitamins and minerals.
- You get a decent amount of protein. This is a good thing…but when combined with all of the factors above, it isn’t. You need fiber and healthy fat too.
Second, the Special K Diet doesn’t teach the consumer (you) what is a healthy diet. It tells you what to do and doesn’t explain the importance of a balanced diet and why eating right is the best, long-term strategy for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Third, you are consuming a good amount of processed foods throughout the day. Processed foods tend to have tons of additives, preservatives and chemicals…all bad for you. Our bodies are not designed to process these, and as a result, it is detrimental in the long duration.
And lastly, well, it is all self-serving and about market share…corporate America finding a way to make more money while sacrificing the consumer’s best interest…not something I’m all too fond of.
Look, resorting to quick fix strategies, where no thought is involved, is just not sustainable…in any way. It is more detrimental than anything. If you see a gimmick on TV about losing weight….there is a good chance it is just that…a gimmick.
* Weight loss may vary.