The Cruise Control Diet was started by James Ward. The program comes in the form of an ebook—priced at $39.99 plus $10 shipping—and claims to be a simple diet to follow with no point- or calorie-counting. It is said to be one of the most flexible diet programs out there.
Mr. Ward doesn’t claim to be a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician—just a “reformed health nut.” He had personally gone through a lot of restrictive diets, leaving him both hungry and eager to cheat at any given moment. He claims to have “finally stumbled on to what really works when it comes to weight loss and getting in the best shape humanly possible. Now, his mission is to spread the word to anyone who’ll listen.” 
So let’s see what Mr. Ward claims and how effective it might be.
How Does The Cruise Control Diet Work?
The main point to this diet is to regulate and control the hormones that cause weight gain by the food choices that you make. The basic rules are:
- Avoid Processed Foods altogether
- Give yourself a cheat day occasionally so you don’t feel deprived of your favorite foods.
- No extra synthetic supplements required
- Avoid fruit juices
- Choose foods that help burn body fat
- Avoid carbohydrates and sugar that ultimately cause unhealthy cravings. 
There are three phases to the program:
- Metabolic Reset Phase: this phase lasts for 2 weeks, focusing solely on regulating the blood sugar.
- Cruise Control Phase: the main part of the program, centered on the consumption of whole foods, with a sweet or savory treat once or twice per week.
- Rapid Fat Burning Phase: this major fat burning phase takes the foundation from the first two phases and boosts them.
The list of approved foods includes:
Asparagus, Avocado, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Green Peas, Leeks, Mustard Greens, Onions, Potatoes, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, and Zucchini.
Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cranberries, Figs, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Prunes, Raspberries, Strawberries, and Watermelon.
Lean Beef cuts, Chicken, Turkey; Cod, Halibut, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Shrimp, and Tuna.
Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Rye, Spelt, and Wild rice.
Healthy Seeds and Nuts
Almonds, Cashews, Flaxseed, Peanuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, and Walnuts. 
Is The Cruise Control Diet Safe?
Whole food diets are the most healthy and safe out there. They don’t rely on supplements or shake mixes, with the exception of a recommendation for a third-party probiotic supplement called SlimBiotine. It’s expensive, ranging from $49.95 for one bottle to $239.95 for three bottles (one heck of a markup, from $50 each bottle to $80 each when you buy three).  It’s not a requirement, and there are other good food-based probiotic sources, so you don’t have to purchase it to do the Cruise Control Diet.
The moderation approach, which doesn’t eliminate any major food groups, doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. The program allows the customer to wade, rather than jump, into weight loss, which may set you up for long-term success.
But without actually buying the ebook, it’s hard to tell exactly what the diet is. Potential customers get a “write up” before they purchase, explaining why the program works while bashing all of the other probiotics on the market. So while the premise of the diet is sound, this makes me wonder if Cruise Control isn’t primarily in the business of selling SlimBiotine.
Pros and Cons of The Cruise Control Diet
A real-food diet in an 8-week cycle is good for changing our fast-food, pre-processed lives. Allowing a small treat now and again helps dieters stick to their guns the rest of the time. A phase process eases a dieter into new habits. All good things. And Cruise Control offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on the book (not sure about the SlimBiotine) if it doesn’t work for you.
But if you live in one of the growing “food deserts” in our country, fresh, whole foods may not be easily available or affordable. And I am personally not fond of ebooks; I’d rather have an online program to follow or a physical book to read. I like to highlight or save information. $39.99 is a lot for an ebook! And what exactly is ten dollars for shipping, when it’s a download?
I’m also not fond of the fact that a very large percentage of the Cruise Control website features little “sound bites” that I’ve seen from dozens of other weight-loss hawkers: foods you must not eat, little teasers about “this one food can…” without any actual answer (“buy the book now to find out!”) Strategies like this tend to make me wary.
What Do The Customers Have To Say?
Reviewers seem to agree. One of the most candid review sites outside Amazon.com is SparkPeople.com. One reviewer sums up my wariness pretty well:
The theory of it what I just quickly read online seems fine. Eat clean, don’t starve, eat your cravings in moderation. Exactly what I do now on my own, so what are you paying for? Could not find that on the site what they sell you. What all these diets can’t sell you is the permanent lifestyle change that has to come from you once you stop paying for a “diet.” Just create what works for you on your own. That will be ever lasting, not temporary with another diet you have to pay for. 
Another commented on both the cost and opaqueness:
I couldn’t see what their actual plan was to check it’s [sic] legitimacy and reasonableness because it would cost me $39.99 with $9.99 for shipping and handling. 
The Bottom Line
I like the premise of what this diet preaches. I find the ebook format annoying myself, but some people may like it. Whole foods without starvation portions, no funky shakes or snacks, no counting, treats on occasion…it’s eminently doable for most folks. But I think the same information is probably available out there for less money. Spend it on fresh groceries instead.
Top 5 Diets in 2018*
6 Month MBG
|#1 PS1000 Plan||$$|
|#2 Trim Down Club||$||–|
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|#4 Weight Watchers||$$$$||–|
*Individual results will vary.
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