If you visit the GOLO diet website, you’ll see a handful of healthy, happy people, one of whom is standing behind a pair of what were presumably his old pants that no longer fit. That is because he looks to be two-thirds of his former size.

There’s no missing the message: the pants are big; he is not, thanks to the meal plan and supplement that the company says has helped half a million people lose weight and keep it off, often leading to vastly improved health. Debbie, who, along with the other testimonials featured, has an asterisk next to her name indicating that her results may not be your results, lost 112 pounds in a year, and “feels great.” And a doctor whose name is listed as Dr. Paul (no second name, city, or affiliation) is quoted as saying he lost 110 pounds. “I am no longer type 2 diabetic, and my blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and heart rate have all come down.”

Intrigued? We were too, so we interviewed the plan’s co-founder, Jennifer Brooks. Then we talked to Caroline Apovian, MD, professor of medicine and obesity expert at Boston University School of Medicine, as well as Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CSCS, a dietitian and owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness in New York City to get their opinions.

Here’s what you need to know about the GOLO subscription diet and supplement service before diving in.

Contents

How does the GOLO diet work?

GOLO is based on the concept that getting your insulin under control — rather than simply reducing caloric intake or cutting out entire food groups — is the key to a properly functioning metabolism; once your metabolism is working better, you can lose weight and keep it off more easily, according to the company’s website.

There are several hormones that are thought to be involved in appetite, metabolism, and weight management, and GOLO focuses on insulin, which is supposed to regulate your blood sugar. Simply put, when your insulin isn’t doing its job of distributing energy to your cells, the sugar stays in your blood and your body stores the extra as fat. The idea behind GOLO is that it’ll get your insulin and blood sugar levels where they belong, thus helping you use energy efficiently.

What do you get when you sign up for GOLO?

When you pay to sign up, you receive a welcome kit, which contains two booklets: Metabolic Plan and Overcoming Diet Obstacles. They spell out in easy-to-understand terms the theory of the diet, how much you can eat, what foods you can choose from, and what to do to stay on the plan when, for example, you have to grab lunch at a convenience store. It also advises on how to get started with exercise, if you’re not in a routine. Also in the kit is Release, the program’s supplement, and you can sign up for a myGOLO account, which offers online support, access to more tips and recipes, and other information.

What is the GOLO meal plan?

The meal plan itself is mix-and-match, according to Jennifer Brooks, the company’s president and co-founder. A booklet lists permissible foods (all of which are readily available whole foods like meats, vegetables, and fruits) with guidelines for how much you can have at each meal.

You then pick one to two servings from each category: proteins, carbs, vegetables, and fats to create your meal; this combo, she says, is designed to keep your blood sugar steady and stave off hunger. “We do have meal plans for people who want more structure, but this way people can eat the same foods as their families,” she says. You can also use bonus servings that you’re allotted based on how much you exercise, move around, and your age and sex — that’s where you can have the occasional treat or extra portion.

You eat three meals a day; you may have a snack if you go longer than four to five hours between meals or if you exercise, and breakfast and lunch are larger than dinner. A sample breakfast might be two eggs (two servings of protein), a piece of toast (one carb) with butter (one fat) and a fruit (another carb); lunch might be a salad (a veggie) with 3 ounces of chicken (one protein serving), dressing (a fat) and a roll (a carb), she says.

Nothing is off-limits, says Brooks, but ideally you’re eating whole — not processed — foods. “We know it’s a transition for a lot of people,” she says, many of whom are coming off of meal replacements and processed diet foods, which the website says can “weaken” your metabolic health.

The better choice of a carb at a given meal, for instance, might be half a cup of brown rice over white. “But if you eat white rice once in a while, it’s okay, even if it’s not the best choice. We want people feeling great, not going back to their old habits,” says Brooks. “It’s a balanced eating plan to teach people how to eat for healthy weight management.”

Expert take: Eating a moderate amount of whole foods is sound advice, but the idea of managing insulin resistance for weight loss and better health is not a newsflash. “We’ve known for a long time that processed foods and too much sugar and simple carbs can make you store more fat and give you insulin resistance,” says Dr. Apovian. There are a number of weight loss plans that recommend portion control, whole foods, and limiting foods that make your blood sugar spike.

If you want to lose weight but your insulin levels are normal, says Dr. Apovian, “studies show that any diet can help you lose weight.” Still, avoiding processed foods, sugar, and saturated fat is a good call, even if you don’t have an insulin issue: “Something in processed foods could actually be causing hyperinsulinemia,” or too much insulin in the blood, “and eventually insulin resistance,” she adds.

What’s in the GOLO supplement?

GOLO also sells a supplement called Release, which claims to “work fast to stop further weight gain and starts to repair the imbalances that prevent weight loss,” according to the website. It contains a proprietary blend of plant ingredients and minerals the company purports “work together to regulate glucose and fat metabolism and keep insulin steadier longer” as well as “slow the digestion of fat and carbohydrates triggering the release of satiety hormones” and “help reduce stress and anxiety, the common triggers for cravings and emotional eating.”

Here’s what’s in Release:

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Chromium
  • Rhodiola root extract
  • Inositol
  • Berberine HCl
  • Gardenia
  • Banaba leaf extract
  • Salacia bark extract
  • Apple extract
  • vegetable cellulose
  • dextrin
  • Glycine
  • silica
  • citric acid

Expert take: “There is no convincing evidence that any supplement can promote long-term weight loss,” says dietitian Rumsey. Dr. Apovian agrees, pointing out that a reliable study would be one that is randomized and placebo controlled; there is no research of that quality that has shown significant weight loss benefits from any herb.

As for the zinc, magnesium, and chromium in Release, they are all essential minerals the body needs, but the evidence that any of them can help you lose weight is either thin or nonexistent and most people get enough from their diets. “You can take a multivitamin if you think you’re not getting enough,” says Dr. Apovian.

But there are studies on the GOLO website.

Indeed there are. You can read all of the studies here.

Expert take: Just because a company posts research doesn’t necessarily make it conclusive research. All of GOLO’s studies are funded by the company and none are large-scale, notes Rumsey. “That makes it hard to know if we can extrapolate data to a larger group. Also, all of them are a short timeframe,” and so don’t speak to the long-term results the company touts. This study, for example, started with 49 people but at the end of 26 weeks, there were only 35 left.

And this one, which did have a placebo and a control group, only held on to half its 68 participants — the other 34 didn’t complete the full 13 weeks (which, it’s important to note, isn’t a long time to begin with if you’re claiming your program keeps weight off).

This is not to say that GOLO will not do what it claims; just that we don’t have enough evidence.

How much does GOLO cost?

GOLO sells its supplements from its website, and with your first order you get all the specifics of the plan outlined above. One bottle (a one to two month supply, per the website) is $49.95, while three bottles (lasting 90-150 days) is $99.90. GOLO offers a 60-day money back guarantee and free delivery.

Expert take: You can eat a healthy, portion-controlled, whole-food diet without paying for the privilege, says Dr. Apovian, and there’s no convincing evidence that a supplement will speed your weight loss along.

Rumsey takes it even further, arguing against signing up for any kind of structured diet at all. “It’s an externally based way of eating and doesn’t take into consideration your body or your history — it may work in the short term, but like all other diets, will not work long term for most people,” she says.

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That’s not to say you should throw yourself on the couch with a Costco pallet of cheesecake, but focusing on weight is not the path to wellbeing, in Rumsey’s opinion. “Health is about your behaviors around food, movement, and stress — not about your weight,” she says.

If you do want to lose weight — or your doctor advises you to do so — losing even a small percentage of your body weight can reduce disease risk, according to the CDC. Rather than following a diet plan of any kind, Rumsey advises that you eat more intuitively: “Tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness signals and use these as a cue to begin and end eating. Tune into your internal signals around when (and why) you want to eat certain foods, in certain amounts, rather than listening to external signals — i.e. diets,” she says. Over time this will naturally help you to eat what your body needs. “By doing this you will eat enough to nourish your body and find your body’s natural set point weight.”

While eating as Rumsey describes may not take you to two-thirds of your body size, it will help you feel a lot better. Plus, it’s free.

The bottom line: GOLO for Life is a simple, portion-controlled diet plan involving readily available whole foods. Part of what you’re paying for is the supplement, for which outside experts say there is insufficient evidence to prove it will help you control your weight.

Stephanie Dolgoff Deputy director, Health Newsroom, Hearst Lifestyle Group Stephanie, an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author, has written and edited about health, fitness, and wellness for such publications as Good Housekeeping, Self, Glamour, Real Simple, Parenting, Cosmo and more.

What Is the GOLO Diet—and Can It Help You Lose Weight?

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?

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.

RELATED: What Is the Noom Diet? A Nutritionist Explains

The supplement GOLO dieters take

According to the GOLO website, Release “contains important plant extracts and key minerals clinically proven to help manage the physical and psychological aspects of weight.” The company claims that Release optimizes blood sugar and insulin regulation, balances hormones, extends hunger, and controls cravings.

The supplement is taken with meals for the entirety of the program, although GOLO recommends reducing the dose if you only have 10-20 pounds to lose, or if you’re losing more than four pounds per week. They also advise phasing out the supplement once your reach your goal weight.

According to studies done by the company, study participants on the GOLO plan lost on average a total of 37.4 pounds (16.1% of body weight) and 6.4 inches around their waists. They also dropped more than three dress sizes and five pants sizes.

GOLO further says that a randomized, double-blind on overweight subjects in 2018 showed that those who took Release lost significantly more weight and waist inches than those who took a placebo. All of the studies, however, were funded and conducted by GOLO, and the research isn’t found in the peer reviewed National Library of Medicine database. That’s a red flag.

In addition, the amounts of the various ingredients in Release are not known, because the formulation is patented. But according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, some of the ingredients may trigger nausea or digestive upset. Red flag number two.

RELATED: What Is the Dubrow Diet—and Should You Try It?

What reviewers say about GOLO

In existence since 2008, the GOLO plan is available for purchase on amazon.com and GOLO’s own site. The program currently has 62 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of three stars. For $49.95, buyers receive a 30-day supply of Release, a metabolic (eating) plan, and other booklets, including one on goal setting and emotional eating, as well as a GOLO diet membership.

While the details of the diet plan aren’t specifically stated in the marketing materials, GOLO claims that users can eat more food and still lose weight, and they can eat foods they love. Some Amazon reviewers say the diet consists of typical healthy foods, including produce, lean protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed carbs, in smaller portions, along with encouragement to exercise.

One reviewer noted that the program suggests cooking a week’s worth of food ahead of time, which may be unrealistic for some. A handful of customers praise the simple meal plans, but one noted that the lack of an app for tracking presented a challenge.

Several stated that they did not lose weight. But to be fair, it’s not clear how many of these folks were carefully following the plan, or if they utilized the GOLO membership, which includes access to online coaches.

RELATED: The Best Diets of 2019—and Why the Keto Diet Ranked So Low

Should you try GOLO?

Bottom line: There is a lot of unknown info. The GOLO plan is difficult to evaluate without third-party, peer-reviewed research on both the diet itself and the Release supplement. Also, you have to purchase the plan to know the exact parameters of the diet. What’s allowed and not allowed, as well as the nutritional composition of suggested meal plans, are not clear because this information not found on the company’s website.

Without independent data on Release, it’s difficult to say if it indeed leads to better results, and if it’s safe for all. But here’s what we do know: Many people have successfully lost weight and kept it off by simply consuming more whole food-based, balanced meals, eating mindfully, garnering support, and being active. These healthy habits don’t require pills, booklets, or memberships.

Before deciding if GOLO is right for you, check out the Amazon reviews for yourself, and talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of the ingredients in Release based on your current health and medications. And and consider other options backed by published studies, such as the DASH diet and the MIND diet.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.

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You probably stumbled upon the mysterious GOLO Metabolic Plan while desperately searching for weight-loss programs after New Year, and if you perused their website, you also probably have no fucking clue what the GOLO Metabolic Plan actually is. That’s because their website is crowded with healthy-sounding jargon that seems designed to confuse wide-eyed dieters into believing the hype, such as, “The secret to sustainable weight loss is to eat more food, not less while optimizing your metabolism and maintaining healthy insulin levels to lose fat.”

Simple!

But like… how does that even work? With the help of nutritionist David Friedman, author of Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction, we’re here to make some sense of this strange-ass weight loss program.

What is the GOLO Metabolic Plan?

The program promises to promote weight loss by managing insulin levels, but again, their website never really explains how. The concept is encouraging: Studies have shown that meal plans based on foods that stabilize insulin levels (such as mushrooms, spinach and berries) can promote weight loss. However, the GOLO Metabolic Plan is somewhat contradictory in this regard, since it allows you to eat “the foods you love to eat, including bread, butter and pasta,” which are some of the absolute worst offenders when it comes to causing insulin spikes.

The brand also positions itself as an alternative to counting calories; however, their weight loss claim relies on you consuming somewhere between 1,300 and 1,800 calories per day (did we mention the contradictions?). Furthermore, research provided (and indeed, conducted) by GOLO shows that dieters who successfully lost weight on their plan “were directed to attempt 15 minutes of exercise per day or 105 minutes per week and to preferably exercise using high-intensity workouts.”

Finally — and this is where things become extra sketchy — GOLO dieters are expected to consume the GOLO weight loss supplement, Release, with every meal. The supplement (which costs about $35 per monthly supply) contains several minerals and healthy-sounding extracts, like magnesium and banana leaf extract. But it’s worth pointing out here that scientists generally agree that supplements do absolutely nothing when you already eat a well-rounded diet.

How does the plan work, then?

Despite their somewhat inexplicable fixation on insulin levels and weight loss supplements, the GOLO Metabolic Plans is actually quite simple: It works by encouraging dieters to cut calories and get more exercise, aka, the same as every diet ever. “The GOLO diet has you restricting your caloric intake to between 1,300 and 1,800 calories per day,” Friedman explains. “Eating half of the calories that you would usually consume each day will obviously cause you to lose weight.”

Exercising more is another no-brainer when it comes to weight loss. “Research shows the average obese woman gets the equivalent of about one hour of exercise per year, and for obese men, it’s about 3.6 hours per year,” Friedman says. “Most average-sized Americans spend only two hours per week being physically active, which doesn’t include any vigorous exercise. The GOLO diet recommends that participants do 15 minutes of ‘high-intensity workouts’ every day — that’s 1.75 hours per week, which is equivalent to the amount of exercise that the average obese woman does in 18 months.”

All of which obviously amounts to significant weight loss. “When people practice portion control by consuming 1,000 or 1,500 fewer calories per day, and they burn an additional 300 calories per day from vigorous exercise, they can easily lose up to eight pounds per week,” Friedman says.

So… is this program worth it, or nah?

As far as I can tell, if you already know how to eat less and exercise more, signing yourself up for the GOLO Metabolic Plan is essentially just signing yourself up for a supplement delivery service. And again, the supplement is a crapshoot: “It may help you slim down faster, but there’s no way to know for sure until there’s research comparing two control groups — those who eat less calories and exercise without the GOLO supplement and those who include them in their diet and exercise regimen,” Friedman says. “Until such unbiased, third-party research exists, eating less and exercising more is a much cheaper and proven weight loss solution.”

You heard the man: Say “YOLO!” to the GOLO and go run down the block instead.

Ian Lecklitner

Ian Lecklitner is a staff writer at MEL Magazine. He mostly writes about everyone’s favorite things: Sex, drugs and food.

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The GOLO Diet was the most searched diet on Google in 2016. Even if millions of people have been seeking out information on it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a diet worth trying. The GOLO Diet claims to optimize insulin levels to fight insulin resistance and help you lose weight fast – but does it work? Here’s my GOLO Diet review, and a closer look at the Release supplement they sell.

What is The GOLO Diet?

The GOLO Diet was coined by Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist who specializes in addressing depression and anxiety and testifying as a witness in legal cases involving psychiatric issues. So what kind of nutrition education does he have? Like many doctors who write diet books or create diet plans, next to none.

GOLO is marketed as a diet that “optimizes and controls insulin” to help you lose weight – but you won’t get too much more info on the diet itself until you part with your hard-earned money. Here’s what we do know about the GOLO Diet:

The GOLO Diet seems to consist of three main parts: taking the “Release” supplement, following the “Metabolic Fuel Matrix” eating plan, and using the “GOLO Roadmap”, which coaches you through your weight loss. The Roadmap includes a one-year MyGOLO.com membership to provide you with recipes, shopping lists, meal plans, workout suggestions and online support from staff and other dieters.

As far as I can tell, GOLO doesn’t rule out any foods or mandate that you eat weird food combinations to lose weight (like the Military Diet does). According to the GOLO Diet website, it focuses on “fresh meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats – and of course fresh breads, pasta, and butter.” That sounds like a decent plan to me, but you won’t get the specific guidelines on portion sizes, recipes, etc. until you buy their Release supplement.

GOLO Release Pills – What’s In Them?

image: GOLO

As for the Release supplement? The GOLO website doesn’t list all of the ingredients or supplement facts, but here’s what I could dig up about what’s in Release:

  • Magnesium – 30 mg
  • Zinc – 5 mg
  • Chromium – 70 mg
  • Proprietary Blend – 405 mg
    • Banaba Extract: an extract from the leaves of the crepe myrtle tree, which is native to southeast Asia. Banaba is traditionally used to lower blood sugar.
    • Inositol: a vitamin-like substance holistically used for restoring insulin sensitivity
    • Rhodiola Extract: an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-fatigue agent
    • Berberine HCl: an extract from plants used in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic agent
    • Gardenia Extract: an extract from the fruit of the gardenia plant, holistically used to treat insulin resistance
    • Salacia Extract: an herb native to India and Sri Lanka, traditionally used to treat diabetes
    • Apple Extract: holistically used as an antioxidant agent for skin health
  • Traces of other natural ingredients

When you buy into GOLO, you pay for either a 30, 60, or 90 day supply of Release (which costs $50-$100) and get the meal plan along with it (which is branded, but seems to just be an outline of a healthy diet).

So to me, it looks like they’re encouraging you to eat a healthy diet but want you to buy the program to reap the benefits of Release, which raises the questions: Does Release work? And does the combination of the GOLO Diet and the Release supplement work to manage insulin resistance and promote weight loss?

GOLO Release Pills Review

The GOLO website says that, “The purpose and function of the Release supplement is to provide powerful metabolic support, while your body is in the process of healing metabolic dysfunction, and help you feel better during that time.” GOLO claims that the ingredients in Release are backed by numerous studies supporting their efficacy, but no links to these studies are provided.

There’s some evidence that the minimal amount of zinc in Release could benefit blood glucose control, but there’s also research saying that both zinc and chromium have no effect on blood glucose levels.

What GOLO claims really has the big benefits in its Release pills is the Proprietary Blend, a mix of seven plant-based ingredients. Of these ingredients, there’s some evidence that Salacia, Berberine, and Banaba Leaf extracts help lower blood glucose – but since we don’t know how much of each is in the blend, it’s impossible to gauge the dosage of each in Release.

As a whole, Release hasn’t been proven effective, except in studies funded and released by GOLO. Red flag!

Release pills have only been studied by #GOLO & not published in peer-reviewed journals. #redflag

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance is a health concern for many people, especially those who are obese. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body absorb glucose – when glucose is in your bloodstream, insulin essentially acts like a key, opening doors in the cells throughout your body to allow the glucose to be absorbed and used for energy.

When you eat, the glucose broken down from food is released into your bloodstream and your blood glucose levels rise, triggering the release of insulin to help get the glucose out of your bloodstream and into your muscles for use or liver and fat cells for storage. In a healthy person, this system helps keep blood glucose and insulin levels in a normal range.

Excess weight, lack of physical activity, and chronic inflammation are major contributors to insulin resistance, which occurs when cells don’t respond properly to insulin and therefore can’t easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream.

At that point, your body basically calls for backup and releases more insulin to help get the glucose out of your bloodstream. Over time, if your cells continue to respond improperly and require lots of insulin in order to receive glucose, your body can fail to keep up with that increased need for insulin and diabetes can occur.

image: Unsplash

From there, the cycle continues – insulin resistance can further cause obesity and high blood sugar. The good news is that insulin resistance is reversible – as you exercise more (to use up extra glucose as fuel) and lose weight, your cells can become more sensitive to insulin and your blood sugar and insulin levels can fall back into normal ranges. The GOLO Diet claims to reverse insulin resistance in order to break the cycle and help you lose weight.

Does The GOLO Diet Work?

According to GOLO, “The GOLO Release supplement and Metabolic Fuel Matrix help control glucose spikes so that insulin is kept in the insulin optimization zone to help you stop storing fat, maximize fat utilization, and maintain energy levels throughout the day.”

The plan seems to emphasize choosing foods low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) basically measures how much a certain food raises your blood sugar. Foods that raise your blood sugar drastically (think white bread, soda, foods high in simple sugar) clearly aren’t great for insulin resistance, while foods that don’t drastically raise your blood sugar (think beans and lentils, high fiber grains, vegetables, etc.) don’t wreak havoc on your insulin signaling.

I like to think of the low GI foods as “slow carbs” because they provide slow and steady energy. Pair them with lean proteins and heart healthy fats and you have a meal that’s fantastic for overall health and weight loss.

All in all, following a diet that doesn’t throw your blood sugar out of whack is a win in my book, so GOLO gets a thumbs up from me in that respect. You can follow a lower glycemic index diet like this without joining GOLO… and there’s no need to pay for unnecessary supplements. If you’re interested in a low GI meal plan, I’d love to help you.

image: Unsplash

Does The GOLO Diet Work for Weight Loss?

GOLO provides several research studies that they claim prove the efficacy of their program, citing average weight loss results upwards of 30-40 pounds after 26 weeks on the program.

But here’s the catch: those studies were funded, carried out, and published by GOLO – not in a peer-reviewed research journal – so the results remain questionable. With what little is public about the “diet” part of the program (aka the Metabolic Fuel Matrix), it seems it’s on the right track with setting a healthy and achievable goal of 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.

If you were to buy into the GOLO Diet, my guess is that you’d probably lose some weight. Maybe not as fast as other fad diets would advertise, but you’d also be eating real food, be encouraged to exercise, and have support from other people trying to lose weight – all key elements to set you up for sustainable healthy lifestyle changes.

image: Unsplash

GOLO Diet Review: The Final Word

The GOLO Diet seems to provide guidelines for a healthy diet that incorporates protein, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in a way that manages blood sugar, which is a great way to go about weight loss. Aiming to lose 1-2 pounds per week is definitely a sustainable goal, so I’m a fan of that as well.

The main hang-up I have with the GOLO diet is with the supplement, which is pricey and not well-researched. If you’re looking for a healthy diet plan to help with insulin resistance and weight loss, I’d stick to one that isn’t so gimmicky (or costly) and doesn’t rely on bold supplement claims to prove its success.

Have you or someone you know tried the GOLO Diet? I’d love to hear what you thought.

Weight Loss with Golo®: Reviews and Results

What if you could lose weight without having to count calories?

According to the GOLO® diet, they have heard your concerns and have the answer.

What is the GOLO® Diet?

The GOLO® diet, created by Dr. Keith Ablow, is a combined eating plan and nutritional supplement regimen designed to lower insulin resistance.

It promises fast and easy weight loss while eating the food you love with no calorie counting.

Promoted as a lifestyle and not just another diet, The GOLO® diet is supported by 24/7 free membership to myGOLO.com which offers several useful weight loss resources including:

· Special Edition Seasonal Menus

· Recipes That Anyone Can Follow

· Weekly Meal Plans

· 7 Day Kickstart Plan – LOSE up to 4lbs & 2 inches in 1 WEEK

· GOLO’s dining out Restaurant Cards

· Printable Shopping Lists

How does the GOLO® Diet Work?

Insulin is a key hormone produced by your pancreas – one of the organs that makes up your digestive system.

When you eat food, especially carbohydrates, your blood glucose levels rise. This triggers the release of insulin.

Insulin’s job is to move glucose out of your blood and into your liver and muscle cells where it will be used for energy.

However, whenever insulin levels are too high, your body’s ability to burn fat is inhibited. The action of insulin is a “saving” process, while fat burning is “spending” process and your body is not very good at doing both at once.

Also, because of a sedentary lifestyle, genetics, medical conditions such as pre-diabetes, and eating too much fast-acting carbohydrate, many people have what is termed as insulin resistance. Their muscle and liver cells are not very receptive to the action of insulin. In this case, insulin and blood glucose levels can remain elevated and inhibit fat burning.

The GOLO® diet is designed to optimize blood glucose and insulin levels by consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index.

The glycemic index ranks foods from 1 to 100, according to how quickly they elevate your blood glucose levels. The “faster” a food is, the more insulin is produced, and the greater the interference with fat burning.

In contrast, low glycemic index foods release their energy more slowly, which means less insulin, more stable blood glucose, less hunger, and more stable energy levels. Less insulin also means easier and faster weight loss. You can find a comprehensive list of foods rated by glycemic index here.

Golo® diet meals are built around lean proteins, healthy fats, low glycemic fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. All of these foods are known for their ability to release energy slowly to ensure insulin levels are kept under control.

Unlike many very prescriptive diets, GOLO® dieters create their own meal plans based on their individual nutritional needs using the Metabolic Fuel Matrix. This helps you to calculate how much food you should eat and the ratios of carbohydrate, protein, and fat to ensure you lose around 1-2 pounds per week.

What separates the GOLO® diet from other low glycemic eating plans is the nutritional supplement – Release. Release is a plant-based supplement that contains:

· Magnesium (as magnesium oxide) 30 mg

· Zinc (as zinc oxide) 5 mg

· Chromium (as chromium nicotinate glycinate) 70 mcg

(The amount of each ingredient in the proprietary blend is not known – it’s a “secret,” so the effectiveness of any of these substances is not known).

Other ingredients include organic flaxseed oil, gelatin capsule (gelatin, glycerin, purified water, annatto), yellow beeswax, and sunflower lecithin.

Release is a mild laxative and diuretic. It is taken during a meal to keep blood glucose levels stable and is said to reduce insulin production. There are 90 Release capsules in a bottle, which is intended to last 30 days –you take one capsule at each of your three meals per day. Release, according to the manufacturers, will help control hunger and cravings, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase energy and stamina.

According to the GOLO® Diet website, following the GOLO® diet and using Release can produce the following results:

Expected Results in the First 7 Days:

· Lose up to 4 lbs.

· Waist reduction of one to two inches

· Feel better and sleep better

Within 30 Days:

· Steady weight loss without hunger and cravings

· More energy and vitality, look and feel better

· Free you from conventional dieting

GOLO® Studies

While following a low glycemic index diet can help control insulin, there is more to weight loss than just managing this hormone.

If you eat too many calories, your body will convert those calories to fat—regardless if that food is low-glycemic lentils or high glycemic cookies.

Eating lower glycemic foods sets the scene for weight loss, but it won’t work if you eat too much food in general. We consider the company’s claim that you can eat as much food as you want and without counting calories to be misleading.

The low glycemic index diet has been studied extensively, and while some studies confirm its effectiveness, others do not.

Combining a low glycemic index diet with sensible portion control and regular exercise will undoubtedly lead to weight loss. Merely eating lower glycemic index foods will not.

The ingredients in Release may offer some benefits, but the research is not strong.

The GOLO® diet, including the use of Release, has been subject to several studies conducted between 2009 and 2014. However, no other studies have been conducted on either the diet or the supplement.

In the studies, participants who followed the GOLO® diet and used Release lost more weight than those who did not. However, the studies were not peer-reviewed, were conducted on a small number of people, and of the several studies that we completed, results from only two studies have ever been published. You can see the GOLO® study here.

GOLO® Diet Results

As with any diet, the results you will experience on the GOLO® diet depend on several factors:

Willpower

Motivation

Dietary adherence

How active you are

Your current state of health

How much weight you need to lose.

The GOLO® diet website states that users can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week. The results page on the official website lists results ranging from 19 to 129 pounds over 26 to 102 weeks. Participants also lost between 5 to 12 inches from their waist measurements.

It’s important to stress that the GOLO® diet will not work if you simply pop the Release pills and then do nothing about your diet or lifestyle.

Release is not a weight loss miracle in a jar, and any effect it has will be very small compared to making diet and lifestyle changes. Think of Release as a booster and not a replacement for an otherwise sensible diet.

The GOLO® Diet – An Unbiased Opinion

The GOLO diet is based on solid nutritional principles. Eating foods that have a lower glycemic index can help stabilize blood glucose and insulin levels, which, assuming a calorie deficit exists, will lead to weight loss.

Low-glycemic foods tend to be more filling, contain more fiber and water, and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Diabetics have been using the glycemic index for several decades to control their blood glucose. Athletes use it to ensure that energy levels peak at the right time for training and competition.

However, as useful as the glycemic index may be for weight loss, it is not the only thing you have to consider.

Total food intake is just as important.

The GOLO® diet states that no calorie counting is involved. While you may not be counting calories, you will still need to control the ratios of protein, carbs, and fat that you eat, so some legwork is still required to create your meals.

This is a little misleading and may be disappointing if you were looking for effortless meal preparation.

The Release supplement may have some mild benefits, but will not make up for eating too much food.

Speaking of the supplement, it appears that you only get access to the diet plans after purchasing Release. This very much suggests that GOLO® is more about the supplement and less about a sensible eating plan.

Many users will buy the supplement but may not be so inclined to follow the diet plan. This helps explain the very mixed reviews of GOLO®.

Regarding the results, any sensible diet should produce sustainable weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. That’s the equivalent of creating a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day or, in other words, burning 500 calories more than you eat.

In fact, that is the standard healthy recommended rate of weight loss for any diet. The results from GOLO® are not better or worse for any other sensible, healthy diet.

GOLO® is a solid diet option, but we don’t consider it cutting edge. There are plenty of low glycemic eating plans around and most do not require you to buy a food supplement to get results.

The GOLO® diet can work, providing you do not rely solely on the supplement. You must combine it with the eating plan. You will need to control not only the type but the amount of food you eat. Regular exercise will also help you lose weight and keep it off.

Reviews from Real Users

Not sure if the GOLO® diet is for you?

Some people have done very well on this supplement and eating plan while others are less satisfied. Check out these reviews from around the internet to see what other GOLO® diet users are saying:

Dawn on highya.com says, “I have tried SO many different programs and diets, and nothing has worked. I saw GOLO advertised on TV, but I thought it was just another gimmick. When my husband saw it, he researched it and told me to try it. I did the seven-day kickstart program, and after the week was up, I weighed myself and just about fell over; I lost eight pounds! I didn’t always eat exactly what was in the kickstart program because I didn’t like everything, but I substituted with something similar. I like how I can have fruit and potatoes, and even bread! I don’t understand the insulin thing, but it’s definitely working. I’m not hungry, and I’m not craving other foods. I am so happy I found this program!” Kim on dietspotlight.com says, “I had horrible stomachache, nausea and diarrhea, immediately after taking. I am a healthy early 40s, so glad I started this on a weekend. I could not have gone to work taking this stuff, better off taking a laxative. AWFUL!!!!!!” TK on golo.com says, “I have tried many diet programs and none gave me real results like GOLO. I love the program it’s easy to follow…. It’s been a pleasure losing weight with GOLO. Helpful people, helpful company.”

GOLO For Life Review: Is It A Big Fat Weight Lost Scam?

This blog is supported by sponsored links & ads. But “Eddy with a y” only personally recommends companies I trust and researched.

Trying to lose weight can be tough. Sometimes diet and exercise just doesn’t cut it so we look to supplements and other similar products to help us achieve our goals. There are so many products out there that it can be tough to choose the right one. The company GOLO allegedly offers a solution for those struggling to reduce excess body fat by claiming to reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin. But does it actually work and how effective is it really? Let’s find out, shall we?

Golo.com is a website that offers a weight loss program called GOLO For Life. These weight loss supplements allegedly reduce insulin resistance which can cause weight gain. GOLO was founded in 2010 in Newark, Delaware.

How Does GOLO Work?

GOLO works to help with weight loss by helping against insulin resistance. Higher insulin levels can slow down metabolism, which leads to weight gain. The GOLO Rescue Plan is designed to reduce insulin sensitivity to help convert excess body fat into energy.

GOLO Features

At the time of this review, the entire GOLO rescue plan is available for purchase on the company’s website for $39.95. It includes a 30-day Rescue Plan, GOLO Release tablets, Metabolic Fuel Matrix, plus a Roadmap. You can also purchase a 60-day supply for $79.95 and a 90-day supply for $99.90.

The GOLO Release tablets feature a proprietary blend of all natural plant-based ingredients to allegedly control hunger, reduce food cravings, and stop fat storage. Ingredients include various plant and fruit extracts such as Banaba Leaf, Rhodiola Leaf and Apple. It also includes numerous vitamins and minerals as well.

The Metabolic Fuel Matrix provides a food plan without the need for counting calories. The Roadmap assists in the mental aspect of weight loss by giving you tools to assess any unhealthy eating habits and helping to correct them.

Golo Promo Codes & Coupons

If you’re looking for any type of discounts on Golo products, you may be able to find them on sites like Ebates.com and Swagbucks.com. These sites will give you rewards in the form of cash or gift cards when you visit their sites first. Then buy Golo from a retailer they list that sells Golo. It’s a great way to save money on Golo or anything else you plan to purchase online.

What We Like

Excellent BBB Rating: Better Business Bureau ratings can tell a person how well a company handles any customer service issues. At the time of this review, GOLO has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau but no accreditation.

No Stimulants or Allergens: The products do not have caffeine, gluten, soy, or dairy ingredients that can cause unpleasant side effects for some people. There have been no reports from customers about experiencing any unpleasant side effects.

Focus on the Mental Aspect: The weight loss program doesn’t just give you a meal plan to follow and some supplements to take. It also provides additional tools to think about in your weight gain cause, such as stress and emotional eating. The tools help you cope and overcome these issues with certain mental exercises.

Free Shipping: You can order the weight loss program without shipping costs. The company states on its website that products ship out by the next business day and express delivery takes 2-4 days. Free shipping includes Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Money Back Guarantee: The company offers a 60-day unconditional money back guarantee that starts as you soon as you receive your order. You can request a refund without returning anything.

GOLO Complaints

Not Ideal For Everyone: While there are no reported side effects, these weight loss products should not be taken by pregnant women or diabetics. If you have a serious medical condition, you should consult a doctor first to make sure these products don’t interfere with any medications you are taking.

Limited Clinical Evidence with its Claims: The company does post some clinical trials on its website to prove the effectiveness of its products. However, there are no available clinical trials from third-party sources. Take the information provided from the company with a grain of salt and do your own research.

Do You Want This Or Any Product For FREE?

Coupon, Discount and Promo codes are cool to save some money when you shop. But FREE is way better. online and offline. Why pay anything at all if you don’t have to? Don’t worry this doesn’t involve doing anything shady. This shopping hack uses a company that is listed with the Better Business Bureau. So it’s totally legit. Check it out here.

Beware the Weight Loss Claims: While the company offers numerous customer weight loss testimonials, don’t take their word for it. The weight loss supplements do not have approval from the FDA and are not intended to diagnose,treat, or cure any condition.

So Does GOLO Actually Work?

GOLO appears to be a legitimate weight loss program. The program features monthly supplements, meal plan, and a roadmap with mental exercises to help you achieve your goals. The products seem affordably priced compared to other similar offerings in the marketplace. The company also offers free shipping and a money back guarantee.

There is no real evidence from consumer feedback or clinical trials that these supplements actually work. So if you want something that is actually FDA approved, then you should check this out instead. If you have a serious medical condition, you should speak with your doctor first before trying this program out. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with GOLO so please leave a comment down below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you’ve enjoyed this review, you may want to read my other weight loss reviews about Flat Tummy Tea and Leptigen.

Until next time,

Eddy with a y

Golo Review
  • Our Overall Rating
  • Support
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3

Summary

Golo claims to help you lose weight but none of their claims are actually backed by the FDA.That said some people have claimed it does help them.

Sending User Rating 2.5 (76 votes)

Take a look at the Recent articles

Abstract

Objective: This pilot studied assessed the effects of the GOLO Weight Management Program with Release supplement on weight and glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Methods: 26 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity were recruited into an open-label study of the GOLO Weight Management System with Release supplement at a single clinical site. 16 subjects completed the study over a 13-week treatment period.

Conclusions: Treatment with the GOLO Weight Management Program and Release supplement for 13 weeks resulted in weight loss and improvements in glycemic control and insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Key words

Golo, Insulin Resistance

Introduction

Excess body weight from overeating, poor nutrition and lack of exercise is highly correlated with health conditions . Clinical weight loss in overweight and obese people is associated with improvements in clinical markers of health, including measures of blood sugar metabolism, insulin sensitivity and blood lipids .

Populations who are overweight and obese include people who exhibit a heterogeneity in glucose metabolism, ranging from normal to insulin resistant to type 2 diabetes . Elevated body weight and BMI are significant risk factors for the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus . People who are overweight and obese on this spectrum often have difficulty obtaining meaningful or sustained weight loss. It is well established that people who are insulin resistant or diabetic who lose weight and exercise tend to improve glucose, insulin and lipid metabolism .

The Golo Weight Management Program (GWMP) is a commercially available program that includes a diet and exercise plan in addition to a supplement known as Release (www.golo.com). The GWMP is designed to help people who are overweight or obese obtain a balance of nutrients from conventional foods, eat defined portioned meals leading to gradual weight loss and participate in a low-moderate level of daily exercise. The GWMP diet is a point-based system that includes foods from all four of the macronutrient food groups. Daily total caloric intake is based on the individual’s sex, age, weight size and activity level. Additionally, the program includes printed instructions, motivation and tips supporting compliance and recommends a minimum of 15 minutes of exercise per day.

The Release supplement contains 7 plant-based ingredients and 3 minerals (Figure 1). Scientific evidence suggests that chromium, zinc and Banaba leaf (Lagerstoemia speciose) extract supplements may have positive effects on glycemic control, lipid metabolism and healthy weight management .

Figure 1. Package Insert Release Supplement.

Banaba leaf is a traditional medicine from southeast Asia which has shown hypoglycemic effects through unknown mechanisms . Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in normal islet function and is used in the production of insulin. One mechanism by which zinc may work to control glucose is through supporting insulin signal transduction, which may not function optimally in those with visceral fat . Chromium has been shown to be an important cofactor in the action of insulin . These agents are included in many supplements sold to people with obesity and diabetes. However, more rigorous studies of the effects of nutritional supplements on these conditions are needed and an impetus for the current study.

In unpublished case studies of clinical and wellness program use in New Zealand, GWMP was shown to reduce body weight in both healthy and diabetic people who were overweight or obese . Secondary endpoints including measures of blood sugar control and lipid metabolism were observed to improve in subjects participating in the GWMP .

While the GWMP has been developed and used in both healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes, more research is needed to determine to what extent the program and supplement support healthy weight loss. Given the paucity of research of the validity of most commercial diet programs or over-the-counter supplements, a small pilot study was devised to guide further research into the GWMP and Release supplement. This open-label pilot study was intended to observe the effects of the GWMP and Release supplement in a representative group of subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity at one outpatient medical practice.

Methods

This open-label pilot study evaluating the effect of the GOLO Weight Management Program with Release supplement on weight and indicators of glycemic in subjects with stable type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity was conducted at one clinical site in the United States from July 2017 to October 2017. The site Buynak Clinical Research in Valparaiso, IN recruited subjects from the practice’s patient population or through social media advertisement.

Inclusion criteria were males and females age 18 to 69 with type 2 diabetes mellitus diagnosed for at least 6 months and BMI between 30-45 kg/m2. Subjects could be on diet therapy or single or combination anti-diabetic medications, although subjects using insulin, or any injectable anti-diabetic medication were excluded. Other exclusion criteria included diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, history of surgical treatments for weight loss or any unstable medical condition. All subjects provided informed consent in the form of a written consent form. The study was approved by Western Institutional Review Board.

The study consisted of 4 visits over approximately 13 weeks. At visit 1, study eligibility was determined, and subjects were given the commercially available GOLO Weight Management Program and instructed on the program’s diet and exercise guidelines (see below). Subjects were given the Release supplement and instructed to take one capsule three times a day with meals. Visit 2 included a telephone call to subjects to assess tolerability of the program. At approximately week 4, subjects returned for in-office Visit 3 and the final visit 4 occurred at approximately week 13 at the site. At each in-office, visit unused Release supplement tablets were collected, compliance was calculated by pill counting, and open labeled 90-count Release supplement bottles were dispensed as needed.

Body measurements were completed at in-office Visits 1, 3 and 4 and included fasting weight, height, waist and hip circumference, and resting blood pressure and pulse. A Tanita bioimpedance scale (MC-780U) was used to measure weight and calculate BMI, body fat and visceral fat. Laboratory evaluations were completed at Visit 1 and Visit 4 which included hemoglobin A1C, fasting insulin, fasting blood glucose, lipid panel (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides). A metabolic panel was also completed at Visit 1 and Visit 4 that included sodium, potassium, chloride, BUN, creatinine, calcium, total protein, albumin, alkaline phosphate, AST, ALT and carbon dioxide. Homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance HOMA-IR was calculated using the formula .

The primary endpoint for the study was change in weight at the end of approximately 13 weeks of treatment with GWMP and open-label Release supplement. Secondary endpoints included changes in body measurements and body composition analysis, vital signs, A1C, fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin levels and HOMA-IR at the end of 13 weeks of treatment. Additional secondary endpoints included changes in lipid panel and metabolic panel results at the end of the study. Additional safety evaluations included the tracking of adverse events throughout the study period.

Change in the 16 subjects’ measurements were analysed over the 13-week treatment period. The change between the first and last visit were analysed using repeated measures, two tailed t-tests at a significance level of 0.05. A total of 26 subjects consented to participate in the study. One subject screen failed for a BMI outside of inclusion criteria.

GOLO Weight Management Program

At visit 1 subjects were educated on the GWMP diet and exercise plan and were given the same supplemental information given to GOLO commercial customers. Subjects were instructed to select at least one serving from each of 4 food groups (protein, vegetables, carbohydrates and fats) at each of three meals. Protein or protein-carbohydrate snacks were permitted within the subject’s daily calorie allotment. Examples of possible serving choices were outlined in the GOLO literature.

The total amount of food that the subject consumed per day was based on the subject’s basal metabolic rate and exercise activity. Basal metabolic rates were derived at enrolment through a predetermined conversion based on sex, age, waist size and activity level. Subjects were instructed to add additional calorie allowances based on additional exercise as outlined in the GOLO literature. Daily calorie goals represented an approximately 500 calorie reduction from baseline maintenance levels. Compliance to diet was tracked through subject daily food diaries and subjects’ calorie calculations that were later verified by study staff. Exercise was tracked in 15-minute increments in a subject diary.

Results

The baseline characteristics of the study participates are listed in Table 1. 5 Males and 11 Females completed the study and attended all study visits and were included in the final analysis. 10 subjects withdrew or were removed from the study for the following reasons: 5 lost to follow-up/voluntarily withdrew, 3 to adverse events (2 Loose stool, 1 abdominal pain) and 2 to poor study compliance.

The average age of males participating in the study was 57.8 years and for females 58.5 years. The average starting weight was 93.51 kg (SD: 13.45) and BMI was 34.06 kg/m2 (3.16) which is considered obese. Average hemoglobin A1c was 7.39 (1.44) and fasting blood glucose was 152 mg/dl (54.61) indicating poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Average initial resting systolic blood pressure was 125.38 mmHg (14.78), diastolic blood pressure was 76.38 mmHg (8.55) and LDL cholesterol was 98.19 mg/dl (36.85). These values were already at or near goal levels in this group of diabetic subjects, primarily due to pre-study treatment with blood pressure and cholesterol medications.

Changes from baseline visit 1 to week 13 in markers of glycemic control and insulin sensitivity are listed in Table 3. Reductions in Hemoglobin A1C were statistically significant and averaged -0.61% points (0.86; p=0.01) or 8.28% (0.09) indicating improved glycemic control in the 13-week treatment period. Fasting blood glucose levels changed favorably, -24.19 mg/dl (52.31; p=0.08) but were not statistically significant. Insulin levels were reduced by -2.91 uIU/L (5.75; p=0.06) indicating a beneficial trend that was not statistically significant. However, HOMA-IR, a standard calculation of insulin resistance, was reduced by an average of -2.25 (3.33; p=02) which represented an improvement of -35.64% (0) that was statically significant.

Changes from baseline visit 1 to week 13 in lipids and hsCRP are shown in Table 4. While no changes in lipids were statistically significant, treated subjects demonstrated favorable trends in all facets: total cholesterol reduction, LDL reduction and HDL addition. Triglycerides exhibited the largest change during the study with an average reduction of -21.81 mg/dl (59.66; p=0.16) showing a positive trend. Levels of hsCRP, a marker of general inflammation associated with cardiovascular risk, also demonstrated modest average reductions of -0.15 mg/l (1.58; p=0,71) that were not statistically significant.

In terms of safety, no significant change in other laboratory findings were observed (Table 5). Three subjects terminated from the study due to gastrointestinal adverse events including loose bowel movements or abdominal cramps. No serious adverse events were identified.

Discussion

In this study, weight loss and improvements in glycemic control and insulin resistance were demonstrated in a group of subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity treated with the GWMP and Release supplement for 13 weeks. Among the 16 subjects that completed the study, weight loss averaged -3.3 kg (SD 2.47; p<0.001) which represented an average of -3.53% (SD 0.02) weight loss. Of note, subjects demonstrated reduced fat mass of -2.34 kg (2.29; p<0.001) or an average -6.66 % (0.07) preferentially over muscle mass of -0.91 kg (1.78; p=0.06) or -1.65% (0.04). In addition, circumference measurements improved preferentially at the waist over the hips with a reduction in waist-hip ratio of -0.02 (0.04; p=0.03) that was statistically significant. Elevated waist-hip ratio has been noted as an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease .

Weight loss in subjects being treated for type 2 is often difficult to achieve, and treatments for type 2 DM often are often associated with weight gain . One explanation for the weight gain usually seen in diabetic patients is that as blood sugar control is improved with intervention, less glucose is generally lost through renal oversaturation (glycosuria), retaining these calories, and causing the weight gain . The finding of weight loss in this small group of subjects when the GWMP with Release supplement was added to their existing anti-diabetic regimen provides evidence in support of the product’s use in this population.

Treatment with the GWMP with Release supplement for 13-weeks also resulted in improvements in glycemic control as measured by Hemoglobin A1C. While the initial average A1C of study subjects at baseline (7.5) indicated poor diabetic control, the average A1C level at week 13 (6.8) met the goal A1C level recommended for diabetic patients (less than 7.0) . The exact contribution to glycemic improvements from changes in diet, weight loss or components of Release supplement was not determined in this study and may be multifactorial.

Glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a marker long used by physicians to measure patients’ glucose levels over the previous 8-12 weeks. For this reason, HbA1c is generally considered a more reliable marker than fasting blood glucose to reflect average levels of blood glucose . Thus, a reduction in HbA1c, along with improvements in body weight, may indicate an improvement in metabolic function.

This study also demonstrated a significant improvement in insulin resistance as measured by HOMA-IR in these subjects treated with the GWMP with Release supplement for 13-weeks. Elevated levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes, and elevated HOMA-IR serves as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although reductions in fasting insulin levels in this study were not statistically significant, the trend was favorable. However, reductions in HOMA-IR averaged -35.64% (0), a clear demonstration of improvement in insulin resistance.

Commonly used anti-diabetic medications that effect insulin sensitivity are pioglitazone and metformin . The reductions in HOMA-IR demonstrated in this study approximated that seen with these prescribed medications. In this comparable study, pioglitazone reduced HOMA-IR by 39% which was statically significant, while metformin reduced HOMA-IR by 25% and was not statistically significant . The components of the GWMP that are responsible for the improvement in HOMA-IR have not been clearly identified. Weight loss itself can lower HOMA-IR levels, although not to the extent seen in this study . This study indicates the components of the Release supplement may play a role in reducing insulin resistance and are possibly additive to that achieved by diet alone.

The significant improvements in HOMA-IR demonstrated by the GWMP system with the Release supplement suggest a beneficial role in other disease states including the Metabolic Syndrome or PCOS. In these disorders, insulin resistance is generally a major component and treatment of the insulin resistance improves clinical outcomes . More studies would be needed of the GWMP with Release in these individual areas of interest.

Favourable changes to other laboratory tests were observed from baseline visit 1 to week 13 which were not statistically significant. Improvement in liver transaminase enzymes are often seen with weight loss and most likely reflect decreased inflammation from fatty liver . Changes in female sex hormones are also seen following weight loss and may represent decrease peripheral fat conversion of hormone pre-cursors . No other significant changes in metabolic panel values or other safety variables were observed.

The study was limited by selection of subjects at only one clinical site. In addition, the study was open-label and lacks the rigor of a double-blinded placebo-controlled study. Poor subject compliance with the GWMP diet and exercise component may also have influenced the results of the study. Although compliance with the Release supplement as obtained by pill counts (95 percent overall compliance by pill count) was excellent, compliance with diet and exercise recommendations was variable and more difficult to quantify. The relatively high drop-out rate (10/25- 40%) of the subjects consented for the study reflect this difficulty in obtaining compliance with the program. Frustration with previous diet plans and unrealistic expectations about lifestyle change likely contributed to drop outs. In addition, enrolling a population with type 2 diabetes that likely has failed other attempts at diet, exercise and medical therapy presented challenges to compliance.

This study was not designed to elucidate which components of the GWMP and Release supplement were responsible for clinical improvements and may be multifactorial. This study serves a basis for the completion of larger studies in these areas.

Conclusion

In summary, the GOLO Weight Management Program with Release supplement demonstrated weight loss and improvement in glycemic control when added to standard anti-diabetic medications in this small, single center pilot study. Improvements in insulin resistance as measured by HOMA-IR approximated those seen by existing anti-diabetic medications. Further studies will be needed to evaluate the role of the GWMP with Release supplement in diabetic and non-diabetic populations in these and other clinical measures.

Acknowledgement

The author thanks Jacob Hoffman, BS/BA for statistical analysis.

Conflict of interest

The author receives funding from GOLO, LLC per a research and consulting agreement, ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT03478202

Data sharing plan

All the individual data collected during the trial will be available, after declassification, in addition to the study protocol, informed consent form and clinical study report immediately following the publication, ending in 36 months, to researchers who provide a methodologically sounds proposal to achieve aims in the approved proposal. Proposals should be directed to [email protected] Data are available only in hard copy format.

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What if I told you the reason your weight loss was at a standstill wasn’t because you weren’t eating well or exercising effectively, but because of a hormone imbalance-something that can, allegedly, be “fixed”?

© Eugene Mymrin – Getty Images The GOLO Diet claims insulin is the reason even the most dedicated dieters aren’t losing weight. Apparently, you can change that by following the plan, but experts aren’t so sure.

According to the creators of the GOLO Diet, that could very well be the case. The hormone in question? Insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. Per the GOLO diet’s website that one hormone can curb weight loss efforts even if you’re eating healthy foods and exercising regularly because it “causes fat storage and slows your metabolism.”

That’s why the GOLO diet offers a program that promises to help you lose weight by “balancing hormones that affect weight, helping to regulate blood sugar levels, supporting proper glucose metabolism and managing fatigue, while allowing your body to become naturally efficient at releasing stored fat versus storing it.”

Sounds almost too easy, right? Here’s what you need to know about the GOLO diet and program before jumping in.

Okay, what exactly does the GOLO diet entail?

Here’s the deal: It seems that no foods are flat-out banned on the diet, which is good, says certified diabetes educator Jessica Crandall, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. According to GOLO’s site, the diet includes, “fresh meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats-and of course fresh breads, pasta, and butter.”

But don’t get too excited-unless you actually purchase the diet’s booklets and a 30-, 60-, or 90-day supply of its Release weight-loss supplement (ranging from $40 to $90), it’s not really clear what your portion sizes or calorie intake should be.

But about those supplements…the GOLO diet prides itself on its Release supplement, which contains “a blend of seven all-natural plant-derived ingredients from around the world and three minerals, each of which is backed by numerous studies supporting their safety and efficacy,” according to the company website. Upon further look, however, the supplement is made from minerals (zinc, chromium, and magnesium) and plant extracts (Banaba leaf extract and rhodiola rosea).

It’s unclear, however, what those “studies” are, as GOLO doesn’t link to them. Another thing worth noting about supplements: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate them, says Crandall-which means the could contain ingredients different than the ones noted, or in different amounts.

Well, can you lose weight on the GOLO diet?

Honestly, it’s pretty unclear. GOLO actually cites multiple studies on its website as proof that the diet program really works, but the studies are paid for by the company and they weren’t found in the peer-reviewed National Library of Medicine database, making those findings questionable.

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.

Here’s the deal: When your body releases insulin, you start to feel hungry, says Dr. LePort. GOLO’s Release supplement, however, aims to keep insulin levels from rising and essentially trick you into eating less frequently. What Dr. LePort didn’t get from the site was how these plant extracts and minerals actually balance hormones.

Also, tbh, unless you have a medically-diagnosed issue with your insulin levels, like diabetes, messing with them at all is likely not a good idea for your overall health, says Dr. LePort.

So should you try the GOLO diet or program?

Dr. Leport doesn’t see anything harmful about the balanced meals that incorporate healthy servings of carbs, proteins, and fats, but, again, the overview of what GOLO meals are made up of is limited. And, as for the supplements, he can’t speak to their safety or benefits.

What he can speak to is the fact that you can lose weight safely and naturally. It won’t be linear, and it won’t be easy, but your best bet is to eat whole foods in a caloric deficit (meaning you eat and drinking fewer calories than you burn with exercise) that is appropriate for your age and weight. It’s a foolproof plan that won’t risk your health with unregulated supplements or upset what the hormones in your body is meant to be doing.

The bottom line: There’s not a ton of data on the GOLO diet or the supplements it uses, so proceed with caution. A better option, per experts is to eat whole foods and aim for a caloric deficit appropriate for your age and weight.

Gallery: Here’s how much I lost after I stopped drinking soda

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1/5 SLIDES © Amanda Ogle

I don’t remember when my soda habit started – that’s how young I was when I took my first sip. I’ve always loved the sweetness and the fizziness. And that crisp feeling of the bubbles as they went down my throat.

Growing up, I only drank water when one of my parents suggested I have a glass. Why would I drink water when I could have grape, orange, or strawberry soda? The yummy possibilities seemed endless.

via GIPHY

I drank five or six cans most days during these early years. And, of course, it didn’t help that I was often washing down junk food.

It was around the age of 10 that I started to think of myself as a fat kid. That’s when I started to notice that my clothes were always tight and that most stores didn’t carry the cool clothes that all the other kids wore in my size. I played volleyball and basketball, which gave me more friends and made me active daily, but I didn’t change my eating habits. In fact, I ate more – and washed it all down with soda – because I was always so hungry after practice.

My teammates liked me, and my coaches referred to me as “the muscle” or “the power,” which is a nice way of saying “the fat girl on the team.” I was the funny, chubby friend who always poked fun at my own weight because I thought that if I made fun of myself, no one could hurt me but, well, me.

2/5 SLIDES © Amanda Ogle

1) ‘Despite The Fact That I Joked About My Weight, I Had No Self-Confidence’

I hated myself and my body. The only thing that made me feel better was eating and drinking soda. I would feel ashamed and embarrassed of my weight, eat a tasty meal with a cold soda, feel okay for about 10 minutes post-meal, and then feel ashamed and angry at myself for consuming junk again. The vicious cycle had no end.

By the time I hit my teens, I’d stopped looking in mirrors because I was so unhappy with myself. I got dressed in the morning, changed in the locker room, and showered at night, all without looking in the mirror. The slightest glimpse of my reflection saddened and outraged me.

As my weight went up, my health got worse. I started losing steam more quickly at basketball and volleyball practice and was short of breath a lot. I was tired physically – and tired of feeling ashamed of myself all the time.

3/5 SLIDES © Amanda Ogle

2) ‘When I Was 14, I Weighed 190 Pounds’

My freshman year of high school, I decided I’d had enough. Since I was already very active (thanks to sports), I knew the change had to come in the form of diet.

People kept telling me how bad soda was, so I decided to give up soda and see if anything changed. (The idea of making over my plate while also nixing soda was too much to bear, so I started small.)

At first, quitting soda was hard. I did it cold turkey; I craved the sugar and constantly got headaches. No matter how much water I drank (yuck), they wouldn’t go away. A few times, I tried getting my sugar fix with sweet tea, but it didn’t really work.

There were times when I wanted to give in and have a soda, but I knew that if I caved, that was it. So I stayed the course. After about a month, I got fewer and fewer cravings, and my headaches stopped.

4/5 SLIDES © Amanda Ogle

3) ‘People Started Telling Me I Looked Thinner-But I Didn’t Trust Them’

After several weeks of everyone telling me I was losing weight – and even noticing my jeans were baggy – I finally started to think people might be telling the truth. The varsity boys’ basketball playoffs were coming up, and I decided to order a size medium T-shirt for the games instead of my regular size large.

When the shirt came in, I remember holding it in the bathroom and telling myself, “Don’t get mad if this doesn’t fit. I’m sure you have lost some weight, but if this doesn’t fit, it’s okay. You have other T-shirts to wear to the game. Just don’t get upset.”

I put on the T-shirt without a struggle, so I decided to turn around and face the mirror. The shirt fit and was even a bit loose. I noticed I had a defined waist, and I cried in front of the mirror. It was the first time I remember looking at myself in the mirror in years. I vowed to keep up the progress and never go back to where I’d been.

Over the course of three months, I’d lost 30 pounds – just from eliminating soda from my diet. After all, by cutting soda, I was removing roughly 800 calories and 220 grams of sugar from my diet on a daily basis!

I could run faster, my athletic clothes weren’t tight anymore, and I physically felt better. I could feel that I wasn’t carrying around as much weight. It motivated me to keep going and make healthy choices about what I was putting into my body. I had self-confidence like I’d never had before and felt on top of the world.

5/5 SLIDES © Amanda Ogle

4) ‘Losing 30 Pounds Made Me Want To Make Other Healthy Changes’

I didn’t learn to love salad, greens, and quinoa overnight – I actually don’t love salad to this day – but I started to realize I didn’t need the massive amounts of food I was consuming.

As a teen and through college, there were plenty of late-night meals that consisted of chicken fingers and loaded cheese fries. But instead of bingeing, I ate a half-portion or ordered a kid’s meal. I also learned to love water. I experimented by adding lemon, cucumber, strawberries, and other fruits – and am happy to say that it’s now my drink of choice with meals.

via GIPHY

What’s more, growing up as a student athlete, even a chubby one, set me up for a lifetime of activity and showed me how important moving really is. I quit organized sports after my junior year of high school but still made a point to regularly exercise throughout my senior year and college.

I’m now in my late twenties and do a mix of HIIT workouts, running, and boxing four to five times per week. I’ve lost another 10 pounds, bringing my weight to a pretty steady 150 pounds these days. Yes, I fluctuate within five to 10 pounds like every normal human does, but even if I stray off-course during the holidays or on vacation, I always get back on track because I don’t ever want to go back to where I once was.

I’m not “perfect” with eating in any way, but I do make conscious decisions about what I’m putting into my body. And I know if I’m putting something indulgent in that it’s a treat and not the norm. To this day, soda is not a part of my diet.

I have a rule for myself: I’m allowed to have one soda on Christmas each year, just for the taste. But some years, I find myself forgetting to have one, and on the years I do have one, I feel horrible after drinking it. It’s a reminder of how I felt when I was stuck in the vicious cycle, and it’s enough to help me remember I don’t ever want to get sucked back in.

5/5 SLIDES

Have you heard of the GOLO diet? To be frank — none of us at POPSUGAR Fitness had heard this term until Google shared their top diet searches for 2016 . . . and “GOLO Diet” was at the top of said list. We had a collective “wait, what?” moment, before frantically researching to see what this was about.

First stop: find the experts (aka, chat with our dietitian friends). They must know something about it, right? Well, RD and MPH Lisa Eberly had “No idea . . . I work with 70 RDs who chit chat all day long about new diets and research, and I’ve never heard it come up.” Interesting. We found that “insulin resistance” was a term that came up often with “GOLO diet,” so we asked Lori Zanini, RD and certified diabetes expert. “Honestly, I have never heard of it until right now . . . I have never had any clients that have tried it.” Lori also mentioned she was with another RD when we called her, who had also never heard of the GOLO diet. WHAT IS GOING ON?

So we opted for our own internet research. We were off to a suspicious start, but wanted to give this the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it’s really helping people! After all, enough people searched this diet to make it the #1 search on Google in 2016 . . .

Here’s what we know:

What Is the GOLO Diet?

According to GOLO.com, a “scientific breakthrough reveals the real cause of weight loss and how to reverse it.” Sounds promising! The cause in question? Insulin, said Jen Books, GOLO’s VP of marketing. “GOLO was developed by a team of doctors and pharmacists over the course of five years,” Brooks told POPSUGAR, via email. “Their research led them to develop a natural solution for weight gain based on managing insulin, the main hormone that controls weight loss, weight gain, metabolism.”

Brief overview: no counting calories, just managing insulin. They say this is the key to sustainable weight loss and maintenance.

The diet was created by psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow — who has a specialty in anxiety and depression — and a team of (unnamed) doctors and pharmacists, according to the website. The site describes the diet as a “natural, healthy solution that specifically targets weight gain.” Dr. Albow is a New York Times best-selling author, so that offers some promise as to the legitimacy of the program.

But . . . what is it? From what we’ve gathered, it’s a diet intended to optimize your insulin levels — the program is entirely rooted in insulin regulation as a means of weight loss. You start a “30 Day Rescue Plan” for $39.95, which includes literature and a GOLO supplement intended to kickstart your program for “adopting the GOLO lifestyle.”

How Does it Work?

Here’s how they describe it: “GOLO works to optimize your body’s insulin levels, keeping them steady all day so you burn fat, maintain energy, and eliminate the crashes that cause hunger and cravings.” The site also reports an average weight loss of 48.6 pounds in a year. So is it a matter of just monitoring your blood sugar levels and eating foods that have a low glycemic index?

“Its effects almost entirely depend on your genetics — So if you don’t know your DNA it’s a crap shoot.” ADVERTISEMENT

The plant-based supplements contain magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, chromium, and a proprietary blend of roots and fruit extracts. GOLO’s site calls it “a weight-loss supplement that actually works.” Could the promise of a “diet pill” actually be real? It’s hard for us to tell. Consumerscompare.org noted that they also have not been able to find customers outside of company-controlled websites to ask. Brooks told us that the “Release” supplement helps to “optimize insulin performance” and “provide metabolic support.”

Our registered dietitian Lisa saw the ingredients list and told us “it’s like a low-key laxative.” She noted that this is effective for those with diabetes, or prediabetes. “Magnesium can have effects on insulin resistance, but only in people who actually have prediabetes or diabetes. The only major effects in people with healthy insulin are diarrhea and potentially a calming and relaxing effect. It can lower blood pressure in certain circumstances, too. Its effects almost entirely depend on your genetics — So if you don’t know your DNA it’s a crap shoot.”

As for the meal plan, the site guarantees results, saying “You will see amazing results in the first seven days and realize that there is a smarter, healthier solution.” It’s described as “the right combination of proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fat to promote weight loss.” We haven’t seen any recipes to verify this, but from from what we’ve seen on Pinterest, they seem to be in line with the low-glycemic index diets — something that Harvard has actually verified as an effective way to lose weight. The site itself refers to the recipes as simple, with insulin-friendly foods. “Meals are based on our patented Fuel index which measures the metabolic effect of food so they are balanced to have the exact amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates that maximize energy without spiking insulin or storing fat,” said Brooks.

The “Roadmap” is a “FREE membership” to myGOLO. GOLO guarantees that “Whether you need motivation to get fit, guidance on changing eating habits, want to take charge of your health, or need to reduce stress or overcome emotional eating, we give you the tools to help you reach your goals.”

In Sum

A diet that says you can eat bread, pasta, and butter — with no calorie counting — and a pill that boosts weight loss sounds very enticing. Especially one that was created by a doctor, that guarantees results within the first seven days.

The thing is, we just can’t find anyone who has tried this — or even knows what it is. We found a few YouTube user reviews on their personal success with the program, yet still, we can’t find enough substantial information outside the company’s own website to give you the real go-ahead.

If you’ve got an extra 40 bucks a month to experiment, it doesn’t seem like there are any adverse side-effects to this program.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim

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