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]

The Cruise Control Diet Review

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]

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

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]

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,

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]

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.

(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

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.

Top 5 Diets in 2018

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

*Individual results will vary.