Who is John Barban? According to the internet, he is a nutrition and fitness expert with lots of qualifications; a guy who used to consult with companies that make weight loss supplements. In recent years, he came to a conclusion about women and weight loss which changed his views on dieting and weight loss dramatically. His website for the Venus Factor indicates that developing his product became a personal mission related not to his own battles with dieting and a genetic predisposition towards heaviness but to his sister's plight.
For the Love of a Sister
Barban couldn't help his sister lose weight after giving birth to her child. At around 200 lbs, she was ashamed of her body and her personal life was deeply affected by obesity. John Barban makes a point of highlighting this aspect of living with obesity; that it's hard on relationships and self-esteem, not just physical health. When he cracked the weight loss code for his sister, however, it was as a result of discovering something groundbreaking: men and women gain and lose weight very differently and the key to the code is leptin.
Leptin for Weight Loss
This is the hormone which tells your brain to stop eating: you are full. Too little in your bloodstream causes your appetite to spike and dieting leads to a significant drop in leptin. Women have a harder time losing weight than men do but their bloodstream contains twice as much leptin: how can this be? Barban doesn't go into details on his verbose home page. He doesn't give away secrets. His passion isn't to see overweight people get their lives back: he wants to sell his anti-dieting secrets.
Venus Factor Review
"Venus" refers to the female element of this program. How do you make your natural leptin levels work for you and why don't they do their job already? Of course, the idea is that you'll be so intrigued by this that you'll buy the program to find out. At first glance, there aren't any supplements to take and no strict diets to follow. In fact, with this program, you eat the foods you crave and still lose weight. His goal for you is to experience "metabolic over-ride" which will cause you to burn fat even at rest.
Is This a Scam or Fly-by-Night Program?
At first, I didn't like the continual hints about what the solutions were for someone like me who wants a common sense approach to losing weight. And, I didn't particularly care for the lengthy letter from John Barban that never really shared anything at all. His introduction suggests that practical, realistic changes are not the answer (fitness, healthy eating, etc.). The lingo seems to be leading you to a 12-week program that is not based on tried and true methods but another gimmick in spite of his promises that this diet is unique.
And then, towards the end of the page came the sales pitch with a three-figure price tag. For an item with no supplements, this is pretty hefty. Near the bottom he slashes this price from over $200 to just $37. That's always something that raises my "BS meter" and makes me suspicious. But, women like me are sometimes desperate for a solution. Having bought these programs in the past, I knew full well that the initial $37 price tag was just the beginning, and that there would be upsells. Being prepared for this, I actually bought it, knowing that if I didn't like it I could get my money back.
And, as it turns out...
Yes, there were upsells. I didn't bother with any of them, especially with the optional 30-day free trial to become a member of the Venus online support community. Because as soon as that 30-days is up, you begin paying $79/month thereafter. That's definitely not for me, even though you can cancel when you want.
I also didn't buy the cookbook or meal plans. All in all, there were about 4 upsells.
However, I do have to say that the downloadable eBook really does make sense. Sure, out of 181 pages, there are a number of them with testimonials. I physically printed out 70 or so pages of solid information, and there are another bunch of pages I'll print out that contain the meal plans - I'll print those when I get to the point of implementation which should be early next week since I'm planning a "start date" for the 12-week program.
Also, I still need to read everything so that I understand what he's talking about when it comes to leptin sensitivity, the section called "Eat-Up Days vs Cheat Days," "Hot Button" foods, how to plan my meals, meal timing/frequency, something he calls "Ego Depletion," metabolic rates (especially his discussion on resting metabolic rate or RMR), the "Theory of Fat Availability," his "Reverse Taper Protocol," and everything else.
Also, I will definitely be incorporating the exercises, which all look to be doable without a gym. I have access to some dumbbells and a bench, which is pretty much all I think I'm going to need.
The big "secret," it appears, is really a matter of timing when I eat, intermittent short-term fasting (for example, if you finish eating by 7:00 pm, don't take in any calories until 7:00 am the next morning), and cutting back on the refined carbs, etc.
I will say that I'm a tad bit overwhelmed by it all, but I think I'll be able to follow it - once I understand it! For $37 and no upsells, I don't see myself returning this, because the information itself seems valid, and I don't have a problem paying people for their expertise.