Author: John Barban
Editorial Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 5 out of 5
Value for Money: 5 out of 5
Editorial Quality: 5 out of 5
Ease of Use: 4 out of 5
- Extremely detailed guide, everything you need is included
- Success stories from other women very motivational
- Explains scientific theory in simple language
- Based on calorie control – proven effective
We didn’t like
- The meals may not be to everyone’s taste
- Overcomplicates things in some cases, e.g. “the venus index” to describe ideal body ratios.
If you’re looking for a single source to teach you everything you need to achieve your ideal body shape, The Venus Factor may be the book for you. But is it as simple as the success stories make it look? And what is the mysterious Venus Index ratio? Read this review to find out.
What Does It Do?
The Venus Factor has no qualms about marketing itself as a weight loss program for women only. I must agree it caters to the fairer sex very well for a few reasons.
Firstly, there’s a huge emotional and support aspect to The Venus Factor. The package includes entrance to an online community which gives you a method to communicate with other women at various stages of their weight loss journey. You can participate in forums, listen to member podcasts as well reading and creating blogs.
It’s a simple fact that the success of weight loss for us women depends greatly on our emotional state. I was a serious emotional binge eater in college myself. Disappointing exam results? I’d treat myself to a bag of chips or five. Failed date? A tub of ice cream.
I don’t know about you, but I turn to others for support during moments of waning willpower. Something like The Venus Factor community would have been incredibly useful to me when I was trying to drop 100 pounds. Real-life friends get sick of hearing about your diet after a while!
The Venus Factor doesn’t only help women by offering warm fuzzy feelings. It’s tailored its diet and exercise program to female physiology too. Did you know about the effects of the hormone leptin on a woman’s body during calorie restriction? Do cravings and and ravenous hunger sound familiar? They used to rule my life. The solution offered by The Venus Factor is a meal plan which alternates calorie intake each day and a weight training exercise program to restore leptin sensitivity.
Does It Work?
At its core, The Venus Factor program is a calorie reduction and exercise regimen, so you know it’s not a scam. The author dresses it up with fancy terms like “Reverse Taper Protocol” and “Ego Depletion” but at the end of the day, the goal is to expend more calories than you consume. This is good news as sustaining a calorie deficit is the only reliable and healthy way to burn fat.
The plan includes a few days per week of eating at your maintenance calorie intake. The reason for this, it states, is that continuous calorie limitation causes “your leptin levels [to] fall dramatically leading to metabolic changes that could slow the fat burning process”.
This is less significant than they make it sound. If you eat at a calorie deficit every day you will continue to lose weight. However, “cheat”, or as they call them “eat up” days do wonders to boost morale and willpower, leading to better chances of success in the long term.
Who Is the Author?
One of the first things I always investigate when looking at a weight loss ebook is the author. You can tell very quickly by looking at his or her credentials whether the book is a scam or legitimate. I’m happy to say that The Venus Factor passed this test with flying colors.
For a book written by a man – John Barban – The Venus Factor does a great job at understanding the psychology of female dieting. When you look at his credentials, it’s not surprising.
His formal education background is a degree in human biology and nutrition and a Masters In Human Biology and Nutrition also from the University of Guelph. He did further graduate research and taught exercise physiology at the University of Florida. He also has numerous personal training certifications including the NSCA CSCS, ACE PT, CSEP etc, and was also a certified kinesiologist. Impressed? I certainly am.
What Do I Get for My Money?
When you purchase the Venus Factor, you get literally everything you need to follow their 12 week plan. Well, apart from your groceries and gym membership, that is. I’m going to run through a brief summary of each part of the package.
Main Diet and Weight Loss Manual
The main document is a hefty 179 page pdf download. This alone would be worth the money – it’s packed with value.
First, you’ll be introduced to the Venus community – women who have followed the Venus Factor method and remained friends. The book is full of uplifting and motivating success stories which makes it feel like you’re embarking on this journey with friends. This community of women is a reoccurring theme throughout the package and one of its biggest selling points for me. If they can do it, so can you!
Next comes the science part. Numerous questions are answered, including why weight loss is more difficult for women than men and how to minimize hunger while dieting. Luckily the Venus Factor is designed to optimize weight loss for women specifically. I’m not allowed to reveal all the secrets here, but let’s just say that the book explains how to overcome these biological disadvantages.
The main manual gives a general overview of nutrition and how calories are a measure of the fuel that feeds our body. While it doesn’t ban any foods, it heavily suggests that you limit the usual offenders – processed carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners and sodium.
The rest of the book explains how to determine your daily calorie goals using the “Virtual Nutritionist” calculator on their website and provides sample daily meal plans for each target. At the very end, the concept of the “Venus Index” is discussed. The Venus Index is a formula used to define your ideal body shape in terms of health and appearance. The author recommends tracking measurements instead of weight, a refreshing change for those whose emotional state is tied to the number on the scale (this was me for years).
The Venus Factor Fat Loss Cookbook
As the name implies, this is a 155-page cookbook packed with low calorie-recipes. A sample day would be:
- Eggs benedict for breakfast
- Fish tacos for lunch
- Barbecue pork with coleslaw for dinner
- Two light snacks
This certainly isn’t a haute cuisine cookbook. The recipes are basic American-style. However, you’re free to make adjustments or eat something else entirely – as long as you stay within the calorie limit.
12-Week Workout System
I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed with the workout system provided by the Venus Factor. The plan is built around a variety of basic strength-building moves. You need to do these three times a week for the duration of the program. Nothing too intense – don’t worry, you’re not going to end up looking like a female Arnold Schwarzenegger with this program (unless you want to – you’re free to up the intensity!).
You can expect pushups, squats and some moves involving light dumbbells. Exact instructions for every single day are provided, with videos. You really have no excuse not to follow this. Trust an ex-personal trainer to keep you accountable!
The Venus Factor Final Phase
When you’ve finished the initial 12-week Venus Factor plan, you may be feeling a bit lost. Not to worry, you get an entire book explaining what to do after you’ve finished. The Venus Factor Final Phase is a 94-page pdf download focusing on building muscle and refining fat distribution.
It takes the form of another 12-week plan, this time with relaxed meal requirements and a more intense weight training plan. As before, videos for each workout are included. You can pretty much continue with this program until you attain the goddess physique of your dreams (go girl!)
What I Like
It should be clear by now that I love the community aspect of The Venus Factor. So many other weight loss programs I’ve tried are cold and detached, but this one is the opposite. If you’ve tried and failed traditional diets, this could be your key to success.
While I do recommend it for veteran dieters like myself, The Venus Factor is also perfect for first-timers. If you know absolutely nothing about nutrition and exercise, this set of ebooks has it all. What to eat, when to eat it, how to cook it and instructional exercise videos. It provides all the tools for success, all you have to do is use them.
Although it’s not for everyone, I like calorie counting. The Venus Factor is a soft introduction to calorie-controlled diets. The recipe book will give you a feel for the right proportion of carbs, fats and protein, so you’ll be able to continue on your own long after the two 12-week plans.
What I Dislike
While overall I’m impressed with The Venus Factor, there are a few things that I didn’t like. They’re mostly down to personal preference though.
As I’ve said numerous times, this is a calorie deficit plan, plain and simple. Could you easily get the same results without the book? For sure. If you’re already an expert on calorie counting, you may feel that there’s nothing new here.
Personally, I dislike how the book overcomplicates simple concepts, branding them with Venus Factor names. For example “reverse taper protocol” just means eating more calories when you’re nearly at your goal. It’s common sense. If you diet forever you will continue to lose weight beyond healthy levels.
I think the “venus index”, is much ado about nothing. It asks you to do some hefty math and calculate your ideal measurements based on a particular ratio. I prefer to use the mirror. If I like how I look, I’m happy. If I’m a bit too wobbly for my liking, keep dieting. Keep it simple.
I find the recipes in the book quite boring. They’re certainly not likely to offend anyone’s tastebuds but don’t expect a culinary adventure. That said, if the recipes tasted too good, I know I’d be in danger of overeating. When losing weight, your focus should be more on the nutritional content of your food, rather than taste.
In addition, the recipes are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians, which is a shame.
If you’ve read this review so far, it should be apparent that I am a fan of The Venus Factor. It contains everything you need to start your weight loss journey, all in one place. No need for other apps, websites or books – the Venus Factor community, recipe plan and exercise tutorials have you covered.
It’s a godsend in particular for emotional eaters like myself and first-time calorie counters. If you often find yourself giving into cravings during low moods or moments of weakened willpower, The Venus Factor could just solve this problem.
Even though I have lost the weight I put on during the early years of my marriage and am now in maintenance mode, I would consider investing in The Venus Factor for the exercise and muscle refining manual. I could certainly do with “toning up” in a few areas! And the Venus community sounds absolutely warm and welcoming.