Special K, Challenged

“Drop a jean size in two weeks?” Meghann Marco was incredulous as she read the promise on a box of Special K. So she’s going to follow all the rules and in two weeks time, walk into Express and see if she can fit into a pair of size 2 denims. Day 1 already has her allergic to oranges, so it’s sure to be a wild ride.

Previously, Meghan wrote a “Field Guide to the Apocalypse” and tested out to see how magic the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser really is (verdict: it’s magic).


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  1. Here’s an online rundown of the plan, in case anyone is interested:


    Oh wait, there’s an asterisk:

    *Consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program. A registered dietitian can help you develop a healthy eating plan. Average weight loss is 5.0 pounds. Average waist circumference reduction is 1.3 inches.

    Does Meghann intend to consult her physician? I think it would be a prudent step if she wants to claim that she’s following the plan to a T.

    Already we’re off to a misleading start, because there are a few questions: If Average waist circumference reduction is 1.3 inches, then how does that translate in pants sizes? For women or men? Check out this Wikipedia article here for more details.

    Based on that information, it would appear that two criteria would blow their claim out of the water:

    * If you are a man, the special K challenge is at worst, misleading, as 1.3 inches is .7 inches shy of a pants size.
    * If you’re a woman then it’s a shot in the dark because it depends on the store and the metric that special K is using compared to the “standard” US metric, which of course, isn’t standard at all and frequently isn’t adhered to at different stories.
    * If you are obese this is further complicated by the fact that the scale changes when you’ve over a certain pants size….

    Another prudent step for Meggie to follow up on might be actual getting the specific size information from Express and converting it to standard sizes for us laypeople.

  2. AcilletaM says:

    So someone Paris Hilton-size is going to see if the Special K diet is going to make her Nicole Ritchie-sized? Snore.

    Plus this seems more geared to women trying to get out of the double digit sizes. In these cases it works because basically this diet is stop eating so much.

  3. Does Meghann intend to consult her physician? I think it would be a prudent step if she wants to claim that she’s following the plan to a T.

    That’s just legalese to protect the company. I don’t think they actually expect people to consult their physicians as part of the diet.

    Plus this seems more geared to women trying to get out of the double digit sizes. In these cases it works because basically this diet is stop eating so much.

    But no one is going to eat nothing but Special K for breakfast and lunch for the rest of their lives. Plus, it tastes bad.

    It makes more sense for someone who just wants to shed a few pounds quick than someone who needs to lose a lot of weight over time.

  4. JMC says:

    The Special K “diet” is idiotic. Chances are whatever you’re eating for two meals a day has WAY more calories than a couple ounces of cereal. You could lose the same amount of weight eating pure sugar for two meals. You’re just eating less calories, it would work just as well with Cap’n Crunch.

    On the other hand, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is the invention of the millenium. You can actually clean a disgusting stovetop without, like, applying pressure. It’s the balls.

  5. basically this diet is stop eating so much

    That’s pretty much what it is. It would probably work with most cereals if that’s really all you ate for two of your meals.

    The thing I find amusing is that in the commercials, they show a bowl of the cereal that is clearly way more than a serving, as defined in the nutritional info. (I assume that to follow this diet, you really are only supposed to eat one serving per meal).

  6. Ran Kailie says:

    Oh man, I thought I was the only person who had that reaction the first time I used one of those Mr. Clean magic eraser things.

    Had scuff marks on the walls in a townhouse I rented, and when we were cleaning up to move out nothing would take them off, not bleach or anything. Frustrated I did what most people would do, thats right I called mom.

    Mom tells me to go buy one of these things. I think my commentary to my roommate was, its a fucking sponge, there is no way a fucking sponge is going to take that crap off. Fine I’ll try it.


    It took all of the nastiness off the walls, including the smokers film from the first few years we lived there and my roommate smoked.

    Greatest invention ever!

  7. MissPinkKate says:

    I did a cereal diet once for a few days. You definitely lose weight- because you’re STARVING.

  8. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    This is very similar to my patented broccoli diet. You eat nothing but broccoli for a month. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, all broccoli. I guarantee you’ll lose at least 15lbs or your money back.

  9. KevinQ says:

    The ad says drop one size. She says she’s a size 4. Why does she think this’ll make her a size 2?


  10. Women’s sizes don’t have odd numbers.

  11. @rectilinear:

    I don’t think consulting a physician is a necessary step to make the diet work, however, if she intends to follow the steps exactly as they are laid out then that’s what she ought to do. Otherwise, Kelloggs can just claim that she didn’t follow the steps if she tries to call them out.

  12. tz says:

    No, it’s simple. Just leave the Special K with milk in a warm place overnight on the first day and then eat it. The food poisoning will do the rest (I unintentionally – and not with Special K – dropped 8 pounds and TWO pants sizes last week using this method – the massive dehydration helped too).

  13. She could always go on the Crystal Meth diet. She’d get a lot of housework done with her Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and lose up to 20 pounds in the process.

    ‘Going on the Special K diet’ sounds funny to me because it sounds like the recreational drug Ketamine.

  14. Papercutninja says:

    “recreational drug”, it’s more of a date rape drug, but alright.

    In terms of Meghann following the plan, she’s following the plan to a T as per the advertising. Most people that are sucked into buying Special K aren’t going to read the fine print. They’re going to read the quick instructions, ignore the asteriks and be on their way.

    This ought to be interesting. It’s like Mythbusters for comsumers. Marketingbusters.

  15. etinterrapax says:

    I too am a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser believer. It’s one of the few products of the last decade or so to completely live up to its own hype, nay, exceed it. Generics are just as good.

    Now I’m hungry for cereal, though. I don’t hate Special K, but I do find it rather pointless. It’s lacking in so many areas, including vitamins and fiber. Of course you’ll lose weight. One serving of that, with skim milk, ew, is more or less not eating anything. Sounds like a (stupid) plan.

  16. GHB is the date rape drug usually. Being raped while on Special K would be horrible. Especially if that person was on K, since K distorts reality and perception. Or so I am told.

  17. bambino says:

    TZ, ain’t that the truth. I lost 45 lbs in 2 weeks. My secret weapon? Mononucleosis! And I’ve kept it off 2 years later! Of course, some may find the constant delerium and 104 fever an obstacle, but hey, no pain no gain, right?

    etinterrapax: ‘and in land, peace’?

  18. Isn’t a size four like ridiculously petite already? I don’t know, but it’s only two sizes up from size zero. Did Meghan think she’d lose bone mass?

  19. Size 4 isn’t “super petite.” It depends on how tall she is. A girl who is 5’11” and size four is pretty slender; a girl who is 4’11” and a size four is going to be pretty chunky.

    If you want a really good diet, go on my plan. I alternate weekly; the first week I eat nothing but ketchup, the second week I eat nothing but steam. It’s more than a diet; it’s a lifestyle.

  20. marge says:

    i’ve rarely heard stories of ketamine being used as a date rape drug. in my experience it seems to be popular with college age raver dorks and the like

  21. JMC says:

    Back to the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I keep expecting a report to come out that they are made of something horrible and deadly, such as a mysterious substance that fell to earth, presumably from space, and should not be taunted.

  22. ChuckECheese says:

    @JMC: This is a very late comment, but I must answer your rhetorical question. Indeed, Magic Erasers are made of something horrible and deadly, to cats anyway. They’re made of… melamine.