The cruise control diet is a program developed by James Ward. It is hard to find much information online about James background, although it does not seem as though he has any qualifications or clinical experience in nutrition-based practices.
Despite this, his cruise control dieting e-book quickly gained a lot of followers once it was released.
It is first important to note that the cruise control diet is not technically a diet but more of a nutritional education program. The ‘diet’ does not provide any guidelines or recommendations in terms of calorie intake or portion control, but instead focuses on simply promoting natural and unprocessed foods to improve lifestyle choices.
The diet takes pride in not being another typical crash or fad weight loss program which have been repeatedly shown to not provide long-lasting results.
What Is The Cruise Control Diet?
The cruise control diet consists of just 4 general rules that users must stick to:
- Eat natural foods to help with fat-burning.
- Avoid processed foods that cause the body to store fat.
- Cheat meals including ‘junk’ food are allowed twice a week to improve compliance – although the amount should not be excessive.
- Do not try to count calories or keep food logs. This is said to be the most important rule because it is what makes the diet more of a lifestyle even when one’s ideal weight has been reached.
The idea behind the diet is to let the body naturally decide when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. This is labelled as a dietary “reset” (no, this is not a scientific term). The authors of the diet claim that it will enable people to crave the right natural foods when a certain nutrient is needed. For example, if someone has low iron stores, the body will crave spinach – rather than a Big Mac. Similarly, if the body is low in calcium and potassium stores, it will crave a banana and a glass of milk.
Quite unique and interesting claims.
The Three Phases Of The Cruise Control Diet
Phase 1: The Metabolic Reset Phase
This phase lasts 2 weeks and is meant to teach the body how to properly balance blood sugar levels and insulin. It educates users on how to avoid processed foods and choose natural foods instead. James states that this can teach the body to only crave food when it needs it as opposed to when it wants it.
Phase 2: The Cruise Control Stage
This phase lasts 3-4 weeks and teaches users to eat well-balanced natural foods at these correct times – as learnt in phase 1. However, junk food is still allowed twice per week to help provide the body with a significant amount of dietary fat.
Phase 3: The Rapid Fat-Burning Phase
This phase lasts 6-8 weeks and is a natural extension of phase 2. This phase is meant to be the point where users will note rapid amounts of fat loss. People will begin to avoid consuming junk food and will implement more organic foods that are as minimally processed as possible.
Please note that following the cruise control diet requires an upfront cost of $50. This cost gives the user access to:
- The Cruise Control Diet: A simple plan that explains to predominantly stick to whole-foods
- The Cookbook: A recipe book with over 70 whole-food recipes
- The Jumpstart Guide: A PDF to walk you through the first week of grocery shopping
Does The Cruise Control Diet Work?
Yes, and no.
It goes without saying that any diet that successfully gets people to focus on whole, natural foods, and restrict their intake of processed foods, can be labelled a good diet (at least better than most fad diets).
For this reason, the cruise control diet must be praised as it clearly trying to focus on getting people long-term results whilst seeking good health. Especially for people that have previously stuck to a standard western diet, starting the cruise control diet will definitely improve their health and will likely cause some amount of weight loss via a reduced calorie intake.
People that buy the diet also receive ~75 healthy recipes. This is a great idea as most people transitioning to a healthier lifestyle tend to come up short on meal ideas – sending them back to old habits! Providing those on the diet with a tonne of ideas will make meal planning a lot simpler and it takes the guesswork out of it.
The Problems With The Cruise Control Diet
The cruise control diet comes with 2 major issues; unjustified claims, and cost.
Before anyone buys this program they should know that all of the information it provides can be easily accessible online for free. It may sound like an exaggeration, but just a quick google search on healthy eating will essentially tell you the exact same nutrition principles that you will be paying for. In fact, the 4 general rules of the diet (listed above) are the only real tips that the program gives you.
Maybe what is even stranger is that the official website of the cruise control even provides a tonne of free articles that cover everything contained within the paid program, and more! Instead of putting forth any hard-earned money, people can just look through their blog and keep the extra cash (or stick to reliable sources such as DietProbe!).
This moves on to the second issue with the diet, and that is that the cruise control diet comes along with many unjustified claims to try and convince people to purchase the program. A few examples of these claims are:
- “practically effortless to reset your metabolism”
- “eating natural foods will help your body burn fat”
- “will only crave the right foods”
It is advised to ignore these types of marketing statements and instead do your own research to recognize that these sorts of claims are based on pseudoscience.
The cruise control diet is less of a diet, and more of an educational e-book that tries to teach people how to stick to eating whole natural foods.
Although the principle of the diet is great, there is simply no reason for anyone to buy the program as there is not much additional information the diet provides other than this simple message.
It is advised that people keep their cash and instead spend a bit of time researching basic dieting principles – for free!