The Cruise Control Diet is a trending approach for weight loss.
You can lose an average of 30 pounds in 8 weeks without relying on pills, gimmicks, restrictions or protein shakes. The weight loss is also sustainable.
At least, that’s what the marketing says.
It sounds amazing. But, does the Cruise Control Diet work? That’s what we’re looking at in this review. Read on to find out what the diet is and what you can expect.
What is the Cruise Control Diet?
The Cruise Control Diet is promoted as a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. It is meant to be especially powerful for anyone who struggles with yo-yo dieting.
There are four key components to the system:
- Eat natural foods that help fat burning
- Avoid processed foods, packaged foods and other foods that cause fat storage
- Allow yourself some treats
- Don’t count calories, don't keep food journals and don't do anything similar. Instead of those techniques, focus on the way that your body responds and on your hunger
The first two are common pieces of weight loss advice. The third is an idea that some people advocate, while others don't.
The last approach is what sets this diet apart. This is promoted in the marketing too.
But, before we go into that, let's talk about what you get.
The Cruise Control Diet PDF
The main aspect of the program is simply a PDF guide.
Signing up costs $39.99 (so, $40 basically) and gets you a physical version of the core program book, along with a cookbook and a jumpstart guide. You pay $9.99 shipping if you’re in the United States or Canada, more if you’re overseas. This gives a total price of around $50.
You also get a digital version (of the core book) once the order has been made. This basically gives you a digital and a physical version of the same book - which is convenient.
That's a decent amount to pay for one book and a few extra bonuses. But, if it works, the price might be worth it.
You don't need to buy any pills or specific meals, making this cheaper than many other diets.
Are There Any Guarantees?
The Cruise Control Diet does come with a 60-day money back guarantee. To obtain this, you need to return the physical product within that 60-day window. You also need to pay for shipping and tracking for the product you're returning.
How the Cruise Control Diet Works
The Cruise Control Diet claims that it isn't restrictive and that you don't need to record or count anything. So, how do you lose weight?
There are two key concepts at play.
1. Whole Foods
The general idea is that you're moving away from processed foods, towards meals that you prepare yourself, using whole ingredients.
Doing so is powerful for health and for weight loss. Whole foods are often more satisfying and can help you feel full. This aspect alone promotes weight loss. You're also putting more time and thought into your meals, which is a good thing.
2. Intuitive Eating
The other idea is basically intuitive eating.
Instead of cutting food out, you're focusing on how your body responds. This involves paying close attention to hunger cues.
Intuitive eaters often avoid viewing foods as 'good' or 'bad'. That approach can reduce emotional association with food and make weight loss much easier.
Cruise Control Meal Plan
The site for the Cruise Control Diet is intentionally vague. So, beyond the idea of ‘natural foods’, there isn’t much information about what you are eating.
There also isn’t a meal plan as such. You are meant to simply be focusing on whole and healthy foods, which includes avoiding processed options. This also means you’re mostly cooking meals yourself.
The foods that you focus on include the following:
You’ll notice that the choices are mostly conventional ‘healthy foods’. This means you are still consuming carbs and grains. Likewise, the diet isn’t suitable for vegans or anyone who needs to avoid gluten.
Still, you could modify the principles to account for any food restrictions or preferences.
Reviews for the Cruise Control Diet
There are surprisingly few realistic Cruise Control Diet reviews, which is an immediate indication of quality. I did find some reviews that suggest the program works well. At the very least, you do seem to get the physical book and it does teach some weight loss concepts.
The reviewer goes on to mention email support being sent most days. That would be a key advantage and the feature is highlighted on the site as well.
Other people also mentioned that the diet worked for them and they lost weight.
These are great outcomes. They’re also not surprising, as many of the concepts are legitimate. Even so, I found no more than half a dozen reviews that seem to come from actual users. That’s not encouraging for a diet that is meant to be incredible.
There are also indications that the book itself is poor quality. The sites Consumers Compare and Birth Order Plus both highlight this aspect. They refer to reviews for an Amazon product that has since been removed.
Given the nature of Cruise Control Diet’s site, I would be surprised if the book was decent. This is a serious problem because most of the information can easily be found elsewhere.
Does it Work?
The simple answer is yes, the Cruise Control Diet does work.
- It relies on sound principles, including whole foods, intuitive eating and cutting out processed alternatives.
- The approach is less strict than many other diet types, making it more realistic in the long-term.
- It may be especially powerful for people who struggle with restrictive diets and rules.
The diet also doesn't rely on pills, shakes or other products you need to buy regularly. This makes it more practical in many situations, especially if you're on a budget.
But, it has limitations too.
- Intuitive dieting is hard (we'll talk about why it is shortly). It works well for some people but not for most.
- You're just getting a book, which mostly relies on general principles. That's not going to be enough in many cases.
- You can learn the same approaches by picking up a book on intuitive eating (like this one) or finding articles on that topic.
Personally, I wouldn't trust Cruise Control Diet itself. The website is too full of hype and is vague in most areas. Still, the approach is more reliable than many fad diets, so it's not a horrible approach either.
One final note - the underlying concepts can also be applied to other diet types.
For example, Healthy Gamer Girl talks about how intuitive eating can be relevant to the keto diet. The idea is often combined with intermittent fasting as well, especially for people who fast some days and eat ‘regular’ food other days.
Cruise Control Diet Side Effects
There aren't any significant side effects associated with the diet - partly because it just relies on whole foods. But, you may experience side effects like sugar cravings if your diet was heavy in sugar or processed food previously.
Those side effects are associated with the change to your diet, not from the Cruise Control approach itself.
Who Made the Cruise Control Diet?
While the diet sounds powerful, there are some red flags from the beginning.
For one thing, the website offers little information about the company or person behind the diet. We’re told that the creator is James Ward. But, nothing much is said about who James Ward is and even whether he is a real person.
The most information I could find is the image below, which is pretty useless.
Contact information is provided, including a mailing address (in Billerica, MA), a phone number and a contact form. That’s about it.
This isn’t much information about who created the approach. There’s no way of knowing whether they have any skills or background in the field.
Instead, the website mostly feels like someone is trying to cash in on the weight loss trend.
Cruise Control and Slimbiotine
I also want to point out one odd pattern.
The Cruise Control Diet is promoted as a powerful way to lose weight and includes the idea of focusing on food, not supplements. Yet, the site’s sidebar includes a link to a 20-page special report that promotes SlimBiotine.
This product is a “probiotic slimming solution”, and is basically a probiotic with a few extra ingredients (including cinnamon extract). Probiotics can be powerful for health and may even offer some weight loss benefits.
But, that’s beside the point. There are countless probiotic supplements out there and you can also turn to fermented foods for the same benefits.
I’m more concerned about the way this is being promoted, which includes phrases like this:
That’s a concerning pattern for a site that offers a food-based weight loss approach.
Weight Loss Claims
The Cruise Control Diet makes many bold claims, right from the beginning. This includes ideas like losing 30 pounds in 8 weeks.
Claims like this aren't typically realistic. Instead, the amount of weight loss depends on how much you have to lose (as it normally does), along with your previous eating patterns. The site for the diet highlights this as well.
To me, the style feels like manipulation. They do make it clear that not everyone will lose 30 pounds in 8 weeks. Yet, their marketing claims remain over-the-top.
This is another reason to be wary with the site.
Cruise Control versus Intuitive Eating
As we mentioned before, Cruise Control is basically just a variation on intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating has become popular recently and there are many sites and books out there that focus on it. The concept is that you’re supporting and nurturing your body, responding to its needs – rather than trying to follow a strict diet and arbitrary restrictions.
Because intuitive dieting sounds so good, many sites have published articles detailing exactly what you can (and cannot) expect. One example is Dr. Axe, who has a fascinating breakdown of the idea.
This style tends to be more sustainable than most diets. And, like the Cruise Control site claims, it can work well for yo-yo dieters.
The advantage is that this isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. That means you can never fail at the diet. You don’t even have cheat days because eating ‘bad’ food is a standard part of the diet.
For people who struggle to stick to a diet, this aspect is powerful.
Intuitive dieting suggests the main reason people aren’t losing weight isn’t food at all. Instead, it focuses on emotional concepts and the way we often eat based on how we feel, not what we need. Key advantages include:
- Less stressful. With no counting or calorie control, intuitive eating and the Cruise Control diet are easy approaches to follow.
- No guilt. The approach allows for ‘guilty pleasures’, so there is no sense of blame if you decide to have ice cream for dessert (or even for breakfast).
- Psychological benefits. The idea helps break the idea of ‘good food’ and ‘bad food’, along with the deprivation effect. This should help promote a healthy relationship with food. It also means you’re not likely to binge on chocolate because it is forbidden. Many people find that allowing treat food actually decreases the chance that they will eat it.
- Can be inexpensive. There are no specialized foods to worry about and no need to source obscure ingredients. This makes the diet cheaper than most other alternatives.
- Can be tailored. The idea of healthy food can be interpreted in many ways. This allows you to alter the approach so it suits your own needs and choose the food that makes you feel good.
- Enjoyable and satisfying. Intuitive eating has a strong focus on enjoying food and listening to your body. This can be satisfying. It’s a key reason why the approach is so easy to follow.
- Supported by research. There are many studies that suggest intuitive eating can work well. Benefits include weight loss, improved psychological health (1), better self-acceptance and satisfaction (2), increased physical activity (3), improved overall health and decreased risk of eating disorder symptoms (4).
Many authors support the idea or similar approaches, such as in this article from Refinery 29.
Limitations of the Idea
In principle, intuitive eating and the Cruise Control Diet are both solid concepts. Like most approaches, they do work for some people and they can be effective.
Simply eating good food and listening to your body should be enough to promote weight loss. But, if that were true, people wouldn’t struggle with weight loss so much.
Instead, there are some reasons why intuitive dieting often doesn’t work. These include:
- Easy to overeat. Like the idea of moderation, intuitive eating is a vague concept. It’s easy to eat too much high-calorie food or to eat too frequently. With no counting and tracking, you may not even realize you’re doing so.
- Hunger signals aren’t always accurate. Listening to your hunger is great – but it won’t always work. For example, some hormonal issues or health problems can mean people feel hungry even when they’re not. Other issues can also present like hunger.
- Making good food choices is tough. The general concept here is that you’re choosing healthy food. But, definitions of what is healthy vary. Many recipes with healthy ingredients are also high in calories. Balancing your food intake is not easy when most of the guidance you get is vague.
As The F*** it Diet points out, intuitive eating can also be a very bad fit for some people. It can make them obsessional about hunger and create additional eating issues.
Overall, there are more advantages than disadvantages. But, the idea won't work for everyone. Some people will struggle with the ideas and may even gain weight rather than losing it.
For that matter, intuitive eating is often promoted as having mental and emotional benefits first and foremost. While many people do lose weight, weight loss often isn’t the main goal.
The Cruise Control Diet is better than most. It follows sound principles, ones that could lead to weight loss. Some people also like having a single guide that they can follow.
Still, none of the concepts are unique. You could find more guidance and support from other resources. Intuitive dieting mightn't be a good fit for you either. You might find that the idea is simply too vague or is difficult to follow.
You could also consider other whole food focused diets, like the following:
Some of these are better than others but they are all other options that can be effective.
Want to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?
Weight loss is a huge industry, with no shortage of hype. But, long-term weight loss doesn't come from a crash diet or a popular fad.
Instead, you need sustainable habits and healthy foods.
Check out my recommended weight loss products to see where you can get started