The Cruise Control Diet Review

James Ward, author and creator of the Cruise Control Diet, admits everything anyone needs to know about safe, effective long-term weight loss is widely available. He asks rhetorically, “does the world really need another diet website?” [1]

Apparently yes, because while all the information you need to permanently lose weight is already out there, it’s “buried in a sea of myths, lies, and outright ignorance.” He says his diet “project” was to pull it all together and “spread the word to as many people as possible, to help them get in the best shape and health of their lives, and hopefully to have them pass on the message.” For $40 apiece. Ward says he’d like to see an “end to the insanity that has become the diet industry. Most importantly, that we can live in a world where weight loss is but a mere afterthought.” [2]

…The speed of your weight loss on the Cruise Control Diet will depend on how much total weight you have to lose.

Don’t we all? Don’t we all. But is Ward’s Cruise Control Diet the solution? First, let’s see what’s what.

Cruise Control Diet Claims

What is the Cruise Control Diet?

The Cruise Control Diet is a program that promotes eating whole foods to lose weight. The Cruise Control Diet plan and Cruise Control Diet book are both outlined by 4 general rules:

  1. Eat whole, natural, healthy foods that help your body to burn fat;
  2. Avoid processed, packaged, and other foods that cause your body to store fat;
  3. Cheat once in awhile so you don’t end up dropping the whole program because you feel deprived and—lastly but perhaps most importantly—
  4. Do not count calories or points or keep journals or so-called “artificial” portion controls.

“Instead, let your body’s natural hunger instinct guide how much (and when) you should eat. While the first 3 rules are common to any sensible weight reduction plan, the fourth one is what sets the Cruise Control Diet apart from other programs. It’s also the secret behind its success.” [3]

…if you’re expecting unrealistic outcomes, like losing 50 pounds in a month, this isn’t the diet for you.

The Cruise Control Diet is among an emerging list of diets—actually balanced meal plans—where there are no gimmicks, gadgets, bars, shakes, protein powders, supplements, or the like. It’s about eating real, fresh, and healthy foods often, with very limited carbs, lots of veggies and fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Oh, and eating from the fridge—as opposed to the pantry. Avoiding boxed, frozen, jarred, or in any way processed foods, with added stuff from sugars to artificial flavorings, sweeteners and chemicals with unpronounceable, ten-dollar words.

The Cruise Control Diet claims that the average weight loss on this diet is “30 pounds in 8 weeks.” Wow. But wait, there’s a qualifier:

The speed of your weight loss on the Cruise Control Diet will depend on how much total weight you have to lose. For example, someone who needs to lose 100 pounds could lose the first 30 in as little as a month. On the contrary, someone who needs to lose 30 pounds total might do so in 8-10 weeks. [4] 

Hmmm. Okay so the first statement isn’t true. Or is it?

Maybe the average Cruise Control Dieter needs to lose a hundred pounds. They say,

…nevertheless, if you follow the program as instructed one thing is for sure: you will make speedy, lasting progress you (and everyone around you) can be proud of. [4]  

Another bold statement, but probably not far off the mark—because the key phrase here is you must follow the program as instructed.

Healthy meals you prepare yourself, based on Ward’s guidelines; avoiding (or preferably eliminating for life) processed foods loaded with additives, sodium, trans fats, and tons of sugar.

The Cruise Control Diet also claims its benefits include more than just weight loss; you’ll experience a boost of natural energy as your metabolism resets back to its functional state. So, all the fun stuff you’re not doing because you don’t have the energy to get up, much less play tennis? On the Cruise Control Diet you’ll have that up-and-at-’em back. And, Cruise Control Diet creator Ward says on the website,

…you can expect all general markers of health to improve (e.g. blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, etc.) as you continue to lose weight. [4]  

Again, a big claim but given this diet is about eating healthy, getting healthy (or healthier) seems logical.

This is a way of eating, they say, for anyone who wants to lose weight but especially for the “classic yo-yo dieter who will realize the most benefits.” It’s also a good diet for people battling the bulge for years and have tried every diet. This is a permanent fat solution, Ward says. Beyond the energy and fat loss, overall better health is another reason to jump on the Cruise Control Diet bandwagon. Though Ward makes sure folks understand that…

…if you’re expecting unrealistic outcomes, like losing 50 pounds in a month, this isn’t the diet for you. And it’s also not a diet for vegetarians and definitely not for vegans; you’ll eat meat. [4] 

…By the way, I’d watch it with the Cruise Control Diet free download claims on the Internet.

Sounds good, right? Ward says “no pills, powders or potions.” Just rid your diet of the stuff that’s keeping you fat: processed, refined, artificially flavored, sweetened and sugar-packed foods, especially foods that are so-called “diet” foods. This is a common theme, folks.

Essentially a meal plan for life, you are taught how to do the diet, what to eat (and not eat), what to shop for, and ideas on planning. The fastest way to get the diet instructions in your hands is through the Cruise Control Diet digital download; a .pdf file. You click “purchase,” and then save the file to your computer for you to read and access whenever you need it.
By the way, I’d watch it with the Cruise Control Diet free download claims on the Internet. Some are questionable and may contain viruses. I’m always leery of those, so a word to the wise. That said, some people claim to have found free downloads and you shouldn’t bother paying the $40. I cannot find a safe location; don’t risk it, is my advice.

And although once you purchase the Cruise Control Diet from the website you can download the book, a hard copy will be mailed, and for that you pay $10-$14 shipping and handling. [5]

What Do You Eat on Cruise Control Diet?

Healthy meals you prepare yourself, based on Ward’s guidelines; avoiding (or preferably eliminating for life) processed foods loaded with additives, sodium, trans fats, and tons of sugar. Though he does allow that everyone needs a cheat day to stay sane, so I suppose that’s the day you’d eat an order of fast-food fries, a pile of pancakes, or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind the Cruise Control Diet

It’s not rocket science. Don’t eat processed foods. They’re full of added sugars, especially the villain high-fructose corn syrup and sugars called different names like dextrose. Eat high-fiber foods. Eat foods made from good fats. Enjoy lean meats, lots of fresh fruits, and vegetables. Some people call it “going clean.” [6]

And when you cut the processed foods and avoid the bad carbs like those found in the sugars found in processed and refined flour, “[a] modest reduction in dietary carbohydrate has beneficial effects on body composition, fat distribution, and glucose metabolism”. [7]

Word on the Street About the Cruise Control Diet

While it’s probably best, if this is a diet you want to try, to purchase the book on the actual site, I did find a copy on Amazon (at twice the cost of the actual Cruise Control Diet website product; don’t ask me why anyone would spend more for less) with just a few reviews, all very critical of both the “rip-off” cost. Two reviewers thought the book (and diet) was “not worth the money,” and one was put off by the “bad presentation” in the video pitch for the Cruise Control Diet.

From an “Amazon customer” in the summer of 2017 (1 star):

This program costs a lot of money! It is poorly written and there are many grammatical errors. I am embarrassed to say that I did not read the reviews and that is a shame on me! Unfortunately, I was three days out of the 60 day return policy, so I lost all my money. Save your money, there are better more economical plans out there. [8] 

Reviewer “Deborah Okoniewski” (2017, 1 star) was furious.

I just watched the long video, he states in the beginning no cost, what a liar, and what a rip off. Anyone who lies from the beginning does not deserve my time and money. [9] 

Not sure if she purchased or was just ranting. To be fair, on the website Ward does a video presentation he calls “free”—which it is: you can sit and listen.

Eat whole healthy foods. Period. That’s the big secret.

(Also, the counter says the video is 3 minutes and 19 seconds. It’s been on for 12 minutes now, as I write, and he’s still talking about being embarrassed at the gym, feeling fat, and sounding desperate—as he keeps saying he’s going to reveal secrets in a moment, shortly, any minute now; which is don’t eat “diet” processed foods stripped of the good stuff and loaded instead with added sugars, which flood the liver and then turns to fat because it can’t all fit in your little liver).

More “secrets” are really only revealed when you purchase the book/program.

The secret is cut out the soda, candy, artificial sweeteners, syrups, white stuff including white bread and white rice, even potatoes, white pasta and essentially everything that comes in a box because it all contains sugars, additives, and often, bad fats. Eat whole healthy foods. Period. That’s the big secret.

Alternatives to the Cruise Control Diet

A popular diet because of its simplicity and straightforward approach, when people poke around online to learn more, they often also search for these diets:

  1. Trim Down Club (Recommended)
  2. Weight Watchers
  3. Beyond Diet
  4. Paleo Diet
  5. 21 Day Fix

Trim Down Club vs Cruise Control Diet

Unlike the Cruise Control diet, the Trim Down Club is an actual club, an alliance, a group of thousands of like-minded people all in the same boat.

Of these diets, all of which I have researched carefully, Trim Down Club is my pick and here’s why: Like the Cruise Control diet, the Trim Down Club focuses on meal planning and in particular, preparing meals at home with whole, fresh, healthy foods as opposed to purchasing processed or packaged, and therefore manufactured, foods. There are, however, a number of differences between the two, most importantly though is the foundational philosophy of the Trim Down Club; don’t do it alone.  The Trim Down Club helps to re-educate people about what and how we eat so folks can make changes that stick for life by purging the processed, packaged foods that help keep people fat, and instead prepare and share whole, fresh, nutrient-rich meals with the entire family. This is also evident in their efforts to encourage dieters to make sure to add regular exercise as part of a lifestyle change. Unlike the Cruise Control diet, the Trim Down Club is an actual club, an alliance, a group of thousands of like-minded people all in the same boat. Anyone who has been on a diet where fellowship between dieters is a core concept know that when you’re all in it together, there’s more support, camaraderie, accountability, and on those days when you really need to vent, a place to let it go and get support. That’s the benefit of being part of a club, in this case the Trim Down Club; having people ‘just-like-me’ (like a weigh-in and pep rally that was the bedrock of half-century old Weight Watcher’s, for example).

Weight Watchers vs Cruise Control Diet

So speaking of Weight Watchers, which is often searched with Cruise Control, there’s nearly 60 years of history to back it up. It’s one of the most popular diets ever. There are two big problems with Weight Watchers (and I know this first hand). First off, once you lose the weight, if you follow the plan and then go off the diet, nine times out of 10, the weight comes back. The other issue is all the prepared, processed, and packaged foods that are central to this diet. No, you don’t have to buy their foods, but most do; be it snack cakes (portion control, really) or frozen entrees (usually all white rice or white pasta with a bit of processed chicken for protein and a slew of carrots). It’s junk. Trust me on this. I have done Weight Watchers three times, and lost and gained the weight back. I didn’t do myself any favors eating all the packaged stuff.

Beyond Diet vs Cruise Control Diet

The Beyond Diet also shows up when searching the Cruise Control diet and it is definitely beyond. Think Paleo (which I’ll talk about next) but gone further; way further. It’s ranked as the worst diet by US News & World reports for a reason. It’s ridiculous, in my humble opinion.

Paleo Diet vs Cruise Control Diet

The Paleo Diet. Ugh. This diet also is frequently searched when looking up the Cruise Control diet. Some argue that it’s the basis for human nutrition, but fortunately, science has shown that to be bunk. We are no longer hunters and gathers. We don’t hide in caves from the sun and scavenge and forage for grubs, insects, carrion, berries, and roots.  Paleo aficionados contend that eating pre-agriculture is the best way to eat, meaning no grains or legumes. So here’s the thing: yes, there are foods that are farmed that are not good for us, but grains and beans are good for our bodies when they are whole foods and not refined or processed. Brown rice and black beans is a nutritious combo by way of example and are packed with micronutrients, fiber, and protein. So there’s that.

21 Day Fix vs Cruise Control Diet

Finally the 21 Day Fix. Not sure why this is often searched for with the lifestyle change-promoting Cruise Control diet. The 21 Day Fix is a fad and may be okay if you need to drop a few pounds in a few weeks, but you will regain that weight. It is the antithesis of lifestyle change. Period.

The Bottom Line: Is the Cruise Control Diet Worth a Try?


Some people need the guidance the Ward’s diet program provides. But to be honest, I suspect there’s not a thing in his book that you can’t already find online for free. Still, if you feel like you need help and have an extra $40 laying around waiting to be spent on anything, I suppose it cannot hurt.

So What Really Works?*

#1PS1000 ProgramReviewVisit
#2Mayo Clinic DietReviewVisit
#3Weight WatchersReviewVisit
#4Trim Down ClubReviewVisit

*Individual results will vary.


About the Author:

Daisy Mulcahey is a fiery redhead, skin browned from the sun and heritage, pulling and pushing a plow in a field somewhere in a tucked-in red plaid shirt, a worn gathered-at-the-waist black velvet skirt, and muddy work boots, cursing like a sailor. She works hard, loves hard, and does not play—meaning she is no fool. She’s a little fragile and often sweet, but has no problem kicking ass.

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  • Marlene Wheaton

    NO! As James Ward writes, “Beer is 100% Carbohydrates.” No alcohol on the serious phases. Since I don’t drink, this was not a problem.

  • Stan

    I was on site llistening about the cruise control diet got to the price with all the bonuses $29.99 was ready to buy pressed the button lost the site want to buy at that price what do I do???

  • Cheryl dodd

    Recipes I make healthier than his plan suggests. A few recipes and $149. What a scam

  • Holcomb Ronald

    Keto genic diet is free and recipes all over the Internet. You burn fat because you are using your body fat to make ketones for fuel instead of glucose.

    • smischke1

      It is dangerous to force the body into ketosis and in extreme cases can result in death. It is a ridiculous way to diet and does not result in any dietary changes that will maintain any incidental weight loss. Cancer can also result in weight loss, but I sure wouldn’t recommend that as part of any health program. There are plenty of good healthy diets out there that result in slow, controlled, but permanent weight loss.

  • Gwen redditt

    I just placed an order and shortly after I entered my information the screen disappears and I’m not pleased. Is this a scam,I will contact my credit card company in a few mi utes if u do contact me

  • Helen Hines

    I thought he said he never wrote a book? I can’t believe I wasted an hour or more listening to him babble about a cook book that you have to buy? It turns out it’s another scam a click bait. Instead of just getting to the point and telling us the main foods that help you lose weight, you get sucked in waiting for him get to the punch line only to be disappointed bcuz it’s another scam. Diets cook books don’t work for me bcuz I’ve tried several times and didn’t work out bcuz first of all I hate reading and secondly I hate cooking.

  • Patricia H

    You have to know it’s BS because of that horrible bait commercial they use. The type that you can’t fast forward and are forced to listen to a story for close to 10 minutes before “he” tells you what he’s selling. If it’s legit, it would be straightforward.

  • R Penney

    . All of the links in the PDFs go to the South Beach Diet website. Want to know what fruits, meats, etc., are allowed? Go to the South Beach Diet website!! Of course, nothing in this hour plus long spiel online gives even a whiff of a scent that it is nothing more than the South Beach Diet…but it is. It is a scan and a fraud and will cost you over $50.00 by the time you order the book and pay postage. The South Beach Diet book is available at any bookstore or Amazon for about 25% of that!! How do I know? I bought the book about a year ago!! I am returning the unopened package containing this book and am very curious to see if I will ever receive a refund. Fortunately I paid with a credit card and have all the emails to and from their Customer Support Center wherein I wrote what I have just written here and was given instructions on how to return the material. So it behooves them to process a refund as I am instructing my credit card company to withhold payment.

  • Jeff

    This review is really lacking. First, you complain that it’s a diet, like that’s some kind of fraud on the part of the seller. People like to distinguish “diet” from “lifestyle change” nowadays with the former being temporary and the latter being a permanent change in the way you eat. To me, in the beginning, you *are* eating a temporary diet in order to lose weight. Once you reach your target weight, you don’t have to be quite so strict, as you’re no longer trying to lose weight, but you can’t go back to your old way of eating either as that’s what made you overweight in the first place. To me, since the seller offers the plan as a permanent change, it falls under the heading of “lifestyle change”.

    Next, you complain that the program is simultaneously too complex and too simple.

    “…this program has a lot of moving parts, which can be rather overwhelming for someone looking to lose weight…”


    “…sounds pretty basic if you ask me.”

    Finally, you never told us if the program works. Just that there are a lot of people being paid to say that it does. In light of that, how ’bout trying the program out yourself and reporting your results? Hmm???

    • Dear Jeff, thank you for your comment. We appreciate you sharing your concerns over the overview of the “Cruise Control Diet”, we do try to give as much information as is accessible to us and of course cannot vouch if the program works or does not for everyone. We do, however, rely on people sharing their experiences and feedback. If you have tried the program or are going to try it please be sure to post your opinion about the program so potential customers can get a better idea of what it is like from a perspective of someone who has actually followed the suggested guidelines.

      • Jeanne Rux

        i have been on this eating plan for a couple of weeks now and have lost 10 lbs. my husband has lost the same amount. I have found the hardest part for me is leaving out the soda. i love my Dr Pepper! I have not been paid to leave this comment, nor do i have anything to do with it, other than being a bona fide dieter that ordered the book. the book does have recipes in it, although i have not tried any. i just wing it with what i have on hand and stay within the basic rules, meat, vegs, fruit, nuts and oh yes, eggs. i have started having my cheat days, but found that it messes with my blood sugar if i eat garbage. that’s a good indication, right? so far, i am happy with it, and feel that it was money well spent.

    • Jeff Zhorne

      Excellent assessment of the article/review. I concur

    • Marlene Wheaton

      Yes, this program does work. I started in October and by November 15th had lost 18 pounds. For a person who tries every diet out there and then gains the weight back, this program made the most sense for me. You are allowed a cheat meal once a week, but you don’t have to use it if you stay serious about it. I slipped up due to my mom’s death, but i am right back on it, which the book also discusses as normal. I believe in this program!

  • Thirdsister Daniel

    Please don’t buy any books. Read this and change your lifestyle easily with no gimmicks. My doctor put me on a low sodium diet eight years ago. I don’t eat processed foods, gravies, or canned foods*. I make my own soups or use the low sodium options with stock. I never count calories, fat, or carbs, just keep sodium level down to 1500-2000 mg per day. Occasionally I eat Hardee’s hamburgers and Wendy’s salads and Arby’s sandwiches and Dominis pizza! I just keep track of the sodium and adjust thru the week. If sodium levels are unknown, I assume they will be high and adjust my eating the day before and after, and increase my fluid intake to flush the extra sodium.
    My menu consists of FRESH fruits and vegetables, white meat, eggs, and fish, frozen vegetables, any kinds of crackers, cheese, and HOMEMADE soups, stews, chili, and pastas of all kinds! *I use canned tomatoes and tomato sauces that are sodium-free. The key is to use lots of lemon, herbs and spices, real unsalted butter, and No-Salt for flavoring. Bread, juice, and sugary foods are minimal but not denied. I just have no desire for them any longer.
    I eat 4-5 meals a day, regular portions, and never eat dessert. I no longer have a sweet tooth, but will occasionally have a small bite of something that looks interesting.
    During the first three months I lost over 30 lbs. eight years ago. Today I weigh five lbs more because I have been inactive for three months due to a fall. The only other times I have ever gained any weight back has been when I have increased the sodium levels. My blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars are all normal/low. I am 60 years old and do construction and house renovation. I hope this will encourage those of you who want to be healthier to get started and don’t feel like you can’t trust anyone out there to tell you the truth. No one is paying me to write this and I haven’t published any books. I’m just a woman who got great advice from an awesome doctor. God bless you.

    • Helen Hines

      Is your doctor Joel Furman?

      • Thirdsister Daniel

        No I have a local doctor.

  • Tom McCarty

    I purchased this program and followed it pretty close except I don’t eat sugar on my cheat days. Im a 60 year old man and was weighing about 245 when I started last november, I’m down to 207 and feel so much better. I love the cheat days, keeps me going knowing I can cheat once a week. I usually have pasta or pizza on cheat days. I try only to drink on weekends, and usually wine. My goal was to get to 200lbs but now I’m close to that I will keep on going and never go back to my old eating habits.

    • Dear Tom, thank you for sharing your experience and congratulations on such a great progress and success!

  • Janis Z

    I purchased this program and like others couldn’t download it but sent an email & they sent a link. I read the Introduction & where 4 pages in it pushes you to purchase a ‘branded’ protein powder to use for your 1st 2 weeks ($69/ jar). I immediately demanded a refund before even receiving the books…was told to refuse shipment to be refunded – this morning The refund is $12 less I paid-can only leave a voicemail message at their tel #.

  • Kay Boone

    i purchased this but was not able to download the informational books at that time—-now I cannot find the download links—where are the links?

    • R Penney

      Just Google “South Beach Diet” and you will get all the information you need to follow this diet. It is nothing more than a rebranded South Beach Diet and you can buy the book for much much less than the $50 plus postage for this James Ward book. All of the links you are directed to are the South Beach Diet website for information. Of course, if you listen to the James Ward spiel, there is absolutely zero mention of the South Beach Diet but that is where you are directed for lists of allowed meats, fruits, etc., etc. All of this is already available in the “handy dandy” paperback book, “The South Beach Diet:” It is a scam and a fraud, period!!

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