There are many diets on the market, and one of the newest, the GOLO diet, is gaining momentum. But what is the GOLO diet and does it work as advertised? Here’s an overview of the GOLO diet, including an overview of the meal plan, price, and the commitment it requires.
What is the GOLO diet?
Unlike other diets like the keto diet or the Mediterranean diet, the GOLO diet is not so much a way of eating as a specific eating plan. While there is some flexibility in what you can eat on the GOLO Diet, the plan requires a special supplement from GOLO, LLC, the company that created the diet in 2009.
The theory behind this diet is to achieve weight loss by speeding up metabolism by reducing insulin resistance, which causes blood sugar levels to rise to prevent health problems associated with weight gain.
As for the creators, the company’s website says the team is made up of “dedicated doctors, pharmacists, and researchers.” However, the only people listed include the CEO and president, who have sales and marketing backgrounds and are not physicians or registered dietitian nutritionists. In fact, the website does not list any specific medical personnel.
“The GOLO diet is a short-term approach to weight loss,” says Vikki Petersen, a board-certified functional medicine practitioner who is also a board-certified clinical dietitian and founder and CEO of Root Cause Medical Clinic, who has clinics in California. and Florida. “Their goal is to control insulin levels, thus normalizing metabolism and hormones.” Programs range from 30 to 90 days.
The site offers limited information on the characteristics of the GOLO diet. Instead, you have to purchase their Release plugin to gain access to what they call the “metabolic blueprint.” As Petersen points out, the goal of the GOLO diet is to eliminate and reduce elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance, which is ultimately associated with the development of cardiovascular disease. By eliminating insulin resistance, in part through a supplement, GOLO claims to speed up your metabolism, resulting in fat loss.
How does the GOLO diet work?
GOLO says in their plan to really “stop dieting.” Instead, you simply take Release, which the company claims helps regulate insulin levels, causing your body to lose weight without counting calories or restricting food. There are several recommended foods, and some discouraged foods, that are common to many diets.
While the website lists studies supporting the safety of Release and the effectiveness of the GOLO diet for weight loss, it is worth noting that both the pilot and published studies are funded or sponsored by GOLO to varying degrees, and groups of subjects were very small.
People on the GOLO diet receive a metabolic program booklet that recommends 1,300 to 1,800 calories per day in three meals (each meal followed by a Release capsule). While they all have the same nutritional recommendations, their specific calorie intake recommendations are based on your gender, age, current weight, and activity level. GOLO also provides nutrition tips to encourage you to eat more whole foods (including fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and grains) while avoiding sugar and processed foods. This ensures that you can eat out while you’re on the right track. A minimum of 15 minutes of exercise a day is also recommended.
Before embarking on a diet plan, special precautions should be taken if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
“Important considerations include kidney function: You shouldn’t consume too much protein if kidney function is compromised,” says Melina B. Jampolis, MD, who runs a small private dietary practice in Los Angeles and is a member of Forbes Health Advisory. Board. . “And if you’re taking insulin or an oral diabetes medication, you may need to adjust it as you lose weight or make major changes to your diet to avoid getting your blood sugar too low.”
What is GOLO dietary supplement?
You can’t talk about the GOLO diet without mentioning Release, the official diet supplement. The first thing to keep in mind is that although the supplement was made in a laboratory that is regulated by the FDA, the agency cannot regulate dietary supplements and therefore cannot prove the safety or effectiveness of its claims. The supplement itself claims to promote healthy weight loss by boosting your metabolism and balancing your insulin levels, while also providing additional benefits like increased energy, reduced hunger, and reduced stress and anxiety.
The release contains “seven natural botanicals and three minerals,” including:
These ingredients are generally recognized as safe by the FDA.
Petersen says many of the minerals and ingredients in the release aren’t high enough to make up for a mineral deficiency or enhance impact. She specifically notes that apple extract, which includes fiber, is the last ingredient on the proprietary blend ingredient list, indicating a lower concentration in the supplement. “Maintaining optimal levels of these minerals is a good idea, but the formula is nothing special and doesn’t promote weight loss,” she adds.
Just because these ingredients are generally recognized as safe doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful when taking supplements. Especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes, for which you are taking medication.
“When it comes to supplements in general, people shouldn’t assume that just because a supplement is natural that it’s safe for everyone and won’t interact with other medications or cause side effects,” explains Dr. Jampolis. “They should talk to their pharmacist or [or doctor] to make sure what they’re taking is safe for them.”
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Foods you can eat on the GOLO diet
Petersen ranks the foods highlighted by the GOLO diet, which can be found in the booklet she receives free with her first purchase. Launching:
Animal protein: beef, chicken, pork, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt
Seafood: fresh or frozen
Healthy fats: coconut oil, olive oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.
Whole grains: brown rice and quinoa
Legumes: pinto, black, and chickpeas
Other Vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes.
Fresh fruits: especially berries
Green vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, cabbage and pumpkin.
Nuts: almonds, walnuts and cashews
The recommended foods are made up of whole, unprocessed foods, and Petersen adds that the list covers the most common food groups pretty broadly. However, he does have some issues with some of GOLO’s recommendations, such as focusing on animal protein, but not recommendations on the type and quality of that protein. Petersen also points out that other categories, including seafood, ignore the quality of the food, which can sometimes contain high levels of mercury and be harmful to young children, women planning to become pregnant, pregnant or breastfeeding. to the Food and Drug Administration.
Foods to avoid on the GOLO diet
Foods not recommended for the GOLO diet include:
Sweet cakes and sweet drinks
Processed foods like hot dogs, breakfast meats, and plant-based meat substitutes.
Typically, this list includes foods associated with poor health and inflammation. It is worth noting that these foods are simply not recommended, as the GOLO diet emphasizes that they do not restrict food. However, even when it comes to eating out, GOLO notes that you should follow its recommendations so as not to “sabotage your efforts.”
In fact, Dr. Jampolis points out that adding sugar can actually lead to insulin resistance, which is, of course, the leading theory behind the GOLO diet and its supplement. She points out that some of the top sources of added sugar include beverages like flavored sodas and juices, packaged snacks, breakfast cereals, sweetened fruit yogurt, and dairy products.
How much does the GOLO diet cost?
The GOLO diet plan itself is “free.” however, you must purchase the Release add-on to access the dining plan details.
A bottle of 90 Release capsules costs $49.95 and GOLO recommends that users take one capsule with each meal. Therefore, one bottle is enough for about four weeks. If you buy multiple bottles at the same time, you can get a discount.
Health benefits of the GOLO diet
Release’s ingredients are considered safe by the FDA, and following a metabolic plan can help people develop sustainable healthy habits after stopping Release. However, as with any diet, individual results and benefits will vary from person to person.
“Of course, focusing on whole foods and healthy fats and encouraging exercise are well-established elements of a healthy lifestyle,” Petersen notes.
Risks of the GOLO Diet
There are no true risks with the GOLO diet (aside from some risks for people with diabetes). However, as with any diet, individuals should talk to their doctors before they begin. The biggest problem with the GOLO diet is the lack of concrete evidence of its efficacy—all relevant studies are funded by GOLO—so weight loss claims of 1 to 2 pounds a week are unverified. Still, weight loss at this rate is safer than diets that promise rapid and massive weight loss.
“Most health websites include a statement that the product/website is ‘not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,’” explains Petersen. “The GOLO site includes this statement, but it also claims to ‘heal metabolic dysfunction,’ which could be misleading.”
Additionally, due to lack of research, there’s no indication as to how long weight loss results (if any) will last. GOLO notes that most people take Release for about three to six months, and it’s unknown whether any weight loss is sustained beyond that time period.
“Generally, reducing calories overall—the program decreases the average man’s intake by 700 calories and a woman’s by 500 calories—eliminating ‘empty calories’ associated with sweets and baked goods and increasing your exercise will likely create weight loss for many who try it,” says Petersen. “But whether it will be stable and long-lasting is another question, and there is no research on this particular program to provide that data.”
In terms of ending the diet, GOLO’s website states that since Release is safe for long-term use, “you can take it as long as you want or phase out as your metabolism improves and you reach your goal weight. Some people choose to continue at a lower dosage once they reach their goal.”