The internet is filled with websites claiming to provide the secrets to fat loss.

However, when it comes to losing weight, there are no secrets or magic foods.

Many of these websites that make fraudulent claims can be difficult to spot. They use deceptive marketing techniques and often twist scientific research to sell their product.

The Venus Factor 12-Week Fat Loss System is a weight loss program designed exclusively for women. It’s a nearly textbook example of dishonest advertising used to sell a diet program.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the following are examples of some of the false claims dishonest advertisers often make about their products:

  • You’ll lose weight without dieting or exercising.
  • You don’t have to watch what you eat to lose weight.
  • You’ll lose weight permanently.
  • The product works for everyone.
  • You can lose 30 pounds in 30 days.

When you first visit the Venus Factor website, you’ll see a landing page with a video explaining the magic behind the Venus Factor 12-Week Fat Loss System. The video makes some of the above fraudulent claims almost word for word.

It also makes countless other unsubstantiated and absurd claims. The following are just a few of these false promises:

  • It’s able to turn women of all ages into “women who can eat whatever they want without gaining weight.”
  • It’s the “future of female weight loss.”
  • Every 10 pounds you lose will look like 20 pounds.
  • The diet will teach you which foods make losing “even a single pound” impossible.
  • They have discovered a “female fat loss loophole.”
  • The diet leads to weight loss no matter how much bread, pizza, or pasta you eat each week.
  • You’ll learn seemingly supernatural secrets that celebrities you know by name are using.

The sales video also makes countless scientifically inaccurate statements. For example, it claims the latest medical research proves that the hormone leptin is in complete control of everything to do with female fat loss.

While this hormone does play an important role in controlling your body weight, it’s only one part of a complex weight loss puzzle.

In this article, we’re going to look at how the Venus Factor 12-Week Fat Loss System is supposed to work and why it fails to live up to its marketing hype.

We’ll also break down the countless misleading statements that appear on their website so that you’ll know in the future how to assess if a diet is worth your money.

The Venus Factor 12-Week Fat Loss System is touted to work by controlling your leptin levels.

Leptin is a hormone produced by your fat cells. Normally, when your leptin levels rise, your appetite decreases. As leptin decreases, your appetite increases.

Just as people with diabetes develop insulin resistance, people who are obese can develop leptin resistance. People who are leptin resistant still feel hungry despite an increase in leptin levels.

These two health conditions often go hand in hand. People with higher leptin levels are more likely to also have insulin resistance, and both conditions have a strong relationship with obesity.

What it includes

The Venus Factor 12-Week Fat Loss System has been around since at least the early 2010s and is currently selling for $37. The price includes:

  1. the 12-week diet and nutrition program
  2. the 12-week workout program
  3. how-to style workout videos
  4. access to the Venus Community blog and forum
  5. access to the Venus Index Podcasts where other Venus members tell their success stories

A red flag

An immediate red flag about the program is that there’s very little information about the program’s content available directly from their website.

Once you buy the program, you’ll have access to the 12-week diet and nutrition program. The eBook details a diet program that’s anything other than a “female fat loss loophole” as it’s marketed.

More than half of the nearly 200-page eBook is made up of sample dietary plans. The majority of the rest of the eBook is made up of generic dietary advice available from nearly any nutrition blog or textbook.

The diet advice in the program can be summarized as:

  • Eat fewer calories than you’re burning.
  • There are no good foods or bad foods.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Minimize your intake of soy, sugar, sugary beverages, and artificial sweeteners.
  • For 6 weeks of the program, you’ll eat fewer calories than you’re burning 6 days per week and eat the same number of calories as you’re burning once per week.
  • For the other 6 weeks, you’ll put an emphasis on eating carbohydrates, protein, or fat.

The program doesn’t require you to take any supplements, but the eBook does provide a link to a supplement containing African mango and oleanic acid.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this program.

It’s difficult to accurately judge the effectiveness of the Venus Factor 12-Week Fat Loss System due to a large number of fraudulent reviews online.

Eating fewer calories than you’re burning and exercising regularly can indeed help you lose weight. However, these concepts are fundamental to any effective diet and not unique to Venus Factor’s program.

Although the actual content in the Venus Factor diet reiterates many basic nutrition concepts that may help with weight loss, the main problem with the program is its deceitful marketing.

There are no magic foods

Even though the company makes it sound like they found a weight loss secret, there’s no evidence that diets specifically targeting leptin are more effective than other diets.

The Venus Factor diet plan is also only marketed toward women. Although it’s true that women have higher leptin levels than men, there’s no evidence that a diet designed to control leptin would be effective in women but not men.

Despite what Venus Factor’s marketing suggests, there are no magic foods to lower leptin levels. Eating high protein foods may help you feel full and eat less.

The Venus Factor sales video talks about how leptin resistance can be reversed. However, a clear criteria for defining leptin resistance hasn’t been established, and the majority of leptin studies have been performed on mice with a gene defect that’s rare in humans.

Healthy habits

It’s possible that the following healthy habits may contribute to improving leptin resistance, but none of these habits are unique to the Venus Factor system:

Venus Factor doesn’t seem to be a scam, but it uses deceitful marketing techniques and makes assertions that aren’t backed by research.

In the company’s legal disclaimer, they claim that the average woman who follows the program loses an average of 1 to 1.5 pounds per week.

The company doesn’t provide any information about how they came up with these numbers. But assuming they’re accurate, that’s about the same amount you’d lose on any diet that’s based on eating fewer calories than you’re burning.

Misleading references

The company provides a scientific reference page on its website with no context of how the studies were used in their program. Also, many of their sources are old, the oldest being from 1975 and the newest from 2012.

The sources are organized seemingly randomly and use a mix of different formatting styles. Many of the studies don’t have any obvious relevance to the fat loss program the company is selling.

Misleading marketing

Venus Factor has an affiliated marketing program where they offer a 75 percent commission to websites that generate sales for them.

If you search terms such as “Venus Factor reviews,” “Venus Factor pros and cons,” or “Is Venus Factor a scam?,” the top search results are primarily blogs that pretend to give honest reviews of Venus Factor’s system but are actually designed to create sales.

There are no secret foods when it comes to weight loss. Diets that promise rapid weight loss usually rely on a large calorie restriction and aren’t sustainable.

Instead of trying to lose weight fast, a more effective strategy is to focus on sustainable dietary changes and exercise habits that you’ll be able to stick to for your entire life.

The Mediterranean diet is one type of dietary habit that has been consistently shown to lead to positive health outcomes.

Following this diet means eating minimally processed foods. It includes lots of:

  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • nuts and seeds
  • legumes
  • whole grains
  • herbs
  • spices
  • fish
  • seafood
  • extra virgin olive oil

And a moderate amount of:

  • poultry
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • yogurt

The Venus Factor diet uses questionable marketing techniques and misleading claims to sell its program to women.

Even though they claim to have found a “female fat loss loophole,” the diet is unremarkable and not worth your money.

If want to lose weight but don’t know where to start, the USDA’s website has a large database of free resources you can use to learn about the core principles of nutrition.