The Protein Effect

Yesterday I hit the reset button on my diet!!  It was time to start clean and stop analyzing.  I don’t know about you but I can spend months and months trying to figure out what works for me and 4 months later I still haven’t lost weight.

I believe wholeheartedly that you have to be in the right place mentally to lose weight, especially as many of us know exactly what we need to do to lose weight.  For me, I have got to control my portion sizes while increasing my produce consumption and decreasing my sweets/processed foods consumption.  Easy right?

Truth is, it’s not easy.  Weight loss sucks.  It is hard depriving yourself of the foods you love and the foods that comfort you.  It’s easy for me to look at my diet lately and think “it’s not that bad”, but the reality is, it has not been conducive for weight loss.

Regaining and losing the same weight over the past 4 years has finally gotten old and thanks to this past weekend at Runners World my mind is now in a place where I can focus and control my eating.  It’s going to me tough, but I truly believe I am ready to tackle the next chapter in my weight loss journey.

When I return to dieting, it takes me a while to adjust, so paying close attention to what I’m eating is extremely important.  I have to make sure I am fueling my body, so protein is key!  Aside from protein found in lean meats, eggs, and protein powders I love, love, love Special K’s Protein products.

Special K Protein

Special K’s protein bars have always been a favorite of mine and a great late afternoon snack to tie me over until dinner but lately I’ve really enjoyed their protein shakes and protein cereal to keep me fuller longer.

Special K Cranberry Walnut Protein Bar


  • 1 1/2 cups of Special K Protein Cereal
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of unsweetened Almond Milk

Special K Protein Cereal


  • Lettuce, tomatoes, and mushrooms
  • Boca spicy veggie patty
  • Light ranch dressing


  • Light yogurt
  • Orange
  • Special K Strawberry Banana Protein Shake

Special K Strawberry Banana Protein Shake


  • 2 tortillas
  • 1 cup of ground turkey taco mixture
  • 1/4 cup light cheese
  • 2 tbsp non fat Greek yogurt

Although I was hungry come bed time last night, each of my meals fueled me through the day.  Being hungry at bed time for me is a really good thing.  It shows me that I didn’t over eat and it makes breakfast so much more enjoyable.  When I wake up with a growling tummy I know I’m burning fuel and losing body fat.

As I continue my journey I’ll definitely be turning to my three new favorite Special K protein products, Strawberry Banana Protein Shake, Cranberry Walnut Protein Bar, and the Special K Protein Plus Cereal.  I still strive to eat more produce but these products are a great way to consume more protein and to enjoy a sweet and healthy treat before dinner.

Have you tried Special K’s Protein products before?  How do you outsmart hunger?

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign; All opinions are my own.


  1. Kristi Romspert says

    Hi Ashley, I’m enjoying reading your blog. Congratulations on your recent wedding.

    I have not tried the Special K protein, but I had recently started eating Balance Bars for breakfast because the protein kept me full for so long. I found out the hard way though that if you don’t drink enough, adding a lot of protein can make you constipated. Make sure you are drinking more water with those :-)

    Have you tried using one of the apps such as Myfitnesspal or Spark to keep track of your calories that you eat and the ones that you burn? I’ve found that has really helped me to lose a few pounds. I wanted to lose at leaast 17 and I have lost almost 11 so far. Also Body Revolution has been great. I know that you had started that. It is pretty great.

    Good luck. Thanks for blogging. I look forward to reading what you have been up to.


    • says

      Hey Kristi! Thank you so much for reading Coffee Cake and Cardio. As soon as I read your first paragraph I drank a swig of water :) I’ll make sure to drink more.

      I’ve use MyFitnessPal in the past and loved it. I’m doing something else, which I’ll share about next week (yay) but I definitely recommend the online calorie counter apps. Congratulations on your weight loss!!! That is so wonderful.


  2. says

    I feel like this post encompasses everything I’ve been feeling lately! I know exactly what I need to do to lose weight, but it is so hard to look at my boyfriend and my friends and my roommates eating whatever they want and not gaining. I just try to remember that I have a different mental and physical relationship with food than they do!

    And I love having those nighttime stomach grumblings… I always wake up feeling refreshed and perky. If I overeat, I wake up feeling bloated, sick, and tired.

    As far as outsmarting hunger, fiber is my secret weapon. It always keeps me full!

  3. says

    You’re right, dieting is hard work and definitely not enjoyable. When I was unhappy with my weight gain about a year ago, I read something that really stuck with me. Something along the lines of “start now, the time will pass anyway”. Every time I tried to lose weight before, I would get discouraged thinking about how long it would take to lose the weight I put on (I tend to lose weight slowly). Feeling discouraged from the get-go was not a recipe for success. Thinking about how the time would pass whether I dieted or not changed my whole outlook. I may as well start now! It’s almost a year later and I’ve maintained a weight I’m happy with. I hope you stick to your good habits and reach your goal! You can do it.

  4. Jennifer says

    I am trying to fix my eating habits to help me lose about 25-30lbs and these just might help me. I just went to the Special K website after reading your post and looked at all of their new Protein Packed Products. Wow, some of them look really good! I live in Canada and they don’t sell those items here, so I have to plan a cross-border grocery shopping trip (thank God I only live 30 mins from the border).

  5. tara says

    I agree! I felt it was hard to change my diet when I needed to lose 20 lbs. That was 10 yrs ago, and it has stayed off,with exercise and eating well.
    i have found over the past few years how much easier it is to keep the weight off by eating whole foods. I no longer eat loads of cereal, sugar-added foods (lots of ‘protein bars-cliff, mojo,kashi’), or snacks.
    I feel soo much better/healthier as well.
    i know you eat real healthy, but you may see a difference if you cut out all the procssed food. I know its not easy to do, hopefully as you progress w/your weight loss, it will come easier (if ou chose to want to!)

  6. Christine says

    So, true – I know exactly what I have to do to lose weight. I love the Special K protein products as well. They always get me through the afternoon to workout after work. When I don’t have one, I am so hungry when I get home that I don’t do a good workout. I hadn’t seen the strawberry banana shake yet – I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks for letting me know about the post!

  7. says

    I’m not trying to lose weight but I am trying to gain muscle and increasing my protein intake is definitely one thing that I’m working on! I haven’t tried the Special K protein line but have heard good things :) Have you tried P28 bread? It’s one of my new fave finds!

  8. says

    I’ve read and heard from many friends about Special K as a great way to lose weight – I may want to try that sometime. I usually go for protein foods such as eggs and lean meat, but I don’t mind trying this product if it will really help me cut the fat. :)

  9. says

    Controlling eating is the hardest thing to do. I completely understand. And I also agree that being in the right place mentally is also the most important. I’m restarting as well and putting myself first for the first time in a very very long time.

  10. says

    You can live a good life and still eat nice food if you count calories and watch what you eat. Don’t have that fast food snack, instead have a piece of fruit. A nice juicy apple is much better for your health than a greasy plate of chips and actually costs less, so you win in the belly and the wallet at the same time. Thanks for sharing this one :D

  11. says

    I hit the reset button yesterday as well as I gave myself one too many weeks off of not being aware of everything I put in my mouth. Is it fun? Not at all. Is it necessary? For me it is. Is it worth it? More than you can imagine. Good for you in pushing that reset button. You will find a lot of support from people who know what you are going through and would love to help.

    I would love to eat Special K as my breakfast but find it doesn’t fill me up enough. I may look into the Protein plus to see if makes a difference.

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