GOLO Diet Plan: How It Works, Pros and Cons

Do you want to know more about the GOLO Diet Plan? How it works, what foods to eat and can it help you to lose weight?

These are the questions that we will try to answer here.

There are dozens of weight-loss diets to choose from, with new plans sprouting up every year. Many quickly fade away, but a program called GOLO has shown some staying power.

One of the top diets searched online in 2016, GOLO continues to generate buzz. Here’s what this plan is about, what the research says, and if you should try it.

What is GOLO Diet?

Rather than limiting carbs or fat, the GOLO plan (developed by a team of doctors and pharmacists, according to the company) focuses on balancing hormones.

The GOLO philosophy is that hormone imbalances are triggers of stress and anxiety, which leads to fatigue, hunger, and poor sleep quality.

All of this, in turn, drives overeating, bingeing, and emotional eating.

GOLO’s creators believe that diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to generate lasting weight loss, however.

To supplement these healthy habits, they created a patented capsule they call Release, which is an integral part of the program.

How It Works

GOLO for Life claims to help you lose weight through insulin management. Customers invest in a 30-, 60-, or 90-day GOLO Rescue Program that promises to help restore hormonal balance and repair metabolism.

The GOLO website doesn’t provide a lot of information about the eating plan. But if you look at the research provided and conducted by the company, you’ll find details about what you will have to do.

1. Reduce calories. You can expect to eat between 1300 and 1800 calories per day. Restaurant dining is allowed as long as you follow the eating guidelines.

Home meal prep guidance (in the booklets) and online recipes are provided. As part of the calorie-restricted eating plan, users are also expected to practice portion control.

2.Exercise. In the research, participants were directed to participate in 15 minutes of exercise per day or 105 minutes per week and to “preferably exercise using high-intensity workouts (HIT).”

3. Take the GOLO Release supplement. The supplement is the cornerstone of the diet and, according to the company, is what makes the program different than others on the market.

GOLO Release

The GOLO supplement contains these three primary ingredients, according to the Nutrition Facts label on the product.

Magnesium is an important essential mineral responsible for strong bones, a healthy heart, and good blood circulation.

Some research suggests magnesium may help restore insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics who are deficient, but there is no strong evidence to support its use by the general population for weight loss or improved metabolism.

The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium ranges from 310 to 420 milligrams for most adults.

The release provides 15 mg per tablet or 45 mg per day. You will also consume magnesium when you eat certain foods like almonds, spinach, and legumes.

Related: Magnesium Deficiency Signs and Symptoms

Zinc is an essential mineral that is found naturally in some foods.

Limited studies have suggested that zinc supplementation may be helpful for weight loss, but even the scientists conducting research say that there is not enough evidence to know for sure.

The National Institutes of Health cautions that getting too much may be harmful; the upper limit for adults is 40 milligrams per day.

The release provides 10 mg per pill (30 mg if you take three pills daily).

Eating certain foods like red meat, oysters, and fortified cereals and poultry will also boost your zinc intake.

The NIH also says that zinc supplements may interfere with certain medications including certain antibiotics or medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Chromium is a mineral required by the body in small amounts.

There is some evidence to support the use of a chromium supplement for improved glucose control, but the evidence is inconclusive, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Strong evidence to support the use of chromium as a weight loss aid is lacking.

There is no upper limit established for chromium, but the estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake for chromium ranges from 20 mcg to 35 mcg for most adults.8

The release provides 70 mcg per pill or 210 mcg per day if you take it as directed.

Keep in mind that you will also get chromium in your diet if you eat common foods like broccoli or whole grains. It’s also in red wine.

Release ingredients also include a “proprietary blend” of several herbal compounds in the supplement; the company does not disclose the amount of each herbal ingredient.

As a consumer, this may make it difficult for you to discuss the supplement with your physician. Most health experts recommend that you discuss herbal supplements with your health care team to make sure that the products do not interfere with your current medications or the safe management of a health condition.

These herbal ingredients include:

Rhodiola: This root extract may help to reduce fatigue and improve exercise performance, but may also cause dizziness or dry mouth.

Inositol: This nutrient has been used in psychiatric settings to treat depression with some success.

Berberine HCl (from barberry root): An herbal ingredient, it’s been used with some success in treating several conditions including diabetes.

Gardenia extract: There is limited research to support the use of this fruit extract. There is a very small study that loosely suggests gardenia fruit extract supplements may be helpful for weight loss, but the research does not provide enough evidence to say for sure if gardenia extract can help you lose weight.

Banaba leaf extract: An herbal supplement, it may help with weight loss and management of diabetes. There is little known, however, about the long-term use of the supplement.

Salacia bark extract: This herbal supplement is sometimes used to manage diabetes.

Some research suggests that it may help to manage blood sugar after eating, but no strong evidence to support its use for weight loss.

Apple fruit extract: This supplement boosts your intake of pectin, a form of soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber can help you to feel full longer after eating, but you can get soluble and insoluble fiber naturally from foods.

Increasing your fiber intake quickly can cause some short-term stomach problems.

GOLO Diet Foods

Protein

One of the GOLO Diet’s four “fuel groups,” protein can include meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, nuts, and eggs.

Like all the foods on the GOLO Diet, whole foods are strongly encouraged.

Pork tenderloin is acceptable; pork sausage with added ingredients is not.

Carbohydrates

This group includes whole grains, but also beans, fruit, and starchier vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.

Fats

This “fuel group” comprises seeds (such as chia, hemp, and flax) and oils (such as olive and coconut).

Vegetables

The fourth “fuel group” is made up of mostly green vegetables, from broccoli to zucchini.

Processed and Refined Foods

Skip them all and focus on whole foods only.

Added Sugars and Sweeteners

This goes along with the ban on processed foods; avoid sweet baked goods and sweetened beverages, including those made with sugar substitutes.

Recommended Timing

The eating plan calls for three balanced meals every day, each made up of one or two portions from the diet’s “fuel groups.”

For most people, one capsule of Release is to be taken during or just after each meal.

Resources and Tips

Along with the supplement, the Rescue Program also includes a guidebook that explains the eating plan and access to support tools and services on the myGOLO.com website.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Whole Foods

The GOLO Diet eating plan recommends eating whole foods and seeking nutrient-dense options, like leafy green vegetables and whole grains.

Exercise

Exercise is an important component of any weight-loss plan. The GOLO Diet acknowledges this and encourages users to exercise at least 15 minutes per day, preferably at high intensity.

Sound Nutrition Advice

Some people will probably lose weight successfully on the GOLO Diet. But the weight loss results are likely due to simple caloric restriction combined with high-intensity exercise.

When people consume 1300 to 1800 calories per day and burn a few hundred extra calories per day, they are most likely producing the calorie deficit required for weight loss.

So while the GOLO Diet has some solid nutritional backing, the GOLO supplement may not be necessary and has some downsides.

Cons
No Independent Research or Reviews

On the GOLO website, you’ll find statements made by customers and by doctors whose names, but not credentials, are listed.

One of the GOLO reviews is by the diet’s founder, Keith Ablow, MD. He is a psychiatrist who does not list any experience with weight loss on his professional website.

Another concern is the lack of peer-reviewed research.

When weight loss studies are published in peer-reviewed journals, the researchers generally have to follow certain guidelines to demonstrate that they have provided unbiased and well-designed evidence for their conclusions. The research provided to support GOLO’s effectiveness does not follow those rigorous guidelines.

Many of the ingredients in the supplement have been studied, and some show promise for people who are trying to lose weight.

But more evidence is needed before any of the ingredients become standard care for obesity or metabolic disorders.

The lack of strong, impartial GOLO reviews and research doesn’t mean that the diet will fail or cause harm.

But if you think that you have hormonal imbalances, a dysfunctional metabolism, or reduced sensitivity to insulin, it’s probably safest to visit your physician. You can also look for a board-certified weight loss doctor whose credentials you can verify.

Well, can you lose weight on the GOLO diet?

It’s pretty unclear. GOLO cites multiple studies on its website as proof that the diet program works, but the studies were paid for by the company and they weren’t found in the peer-reviewed National Library of Medicine database, per Crandall.

And while it’s important for weight loss to eat a healthy, balanced diet (like the one GOLO seems to suggest), it’s important to be cautious about GOLO’s claims regarding insulin, says Peter LePort, MD, a bariatric surgeon, and medical director at MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center.

Conclusion: If you want to start with the GOLO diet plan it is good to consult with your doctor first.

How these supplements will affect your health and are they really good for your metabolism. This is just a review of the GOLO Diet and we can’t tell is it good or bad for you.

References: health.com   womenshealthmag.com   verywellfit.com

GOLO diet plan how it works

GOLO diet plan review

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