Is dieting the best way to lose weight?
Most diets work by reducing the number of calories you eat. This can be done by eating smaller meals or eating less often—or even by eliminating certain food groups.
Counting calories teaches you how to make strategic food swaps so you can eat the foods you like and ditch the foods you hate. For example, an apple and a cookie both contain roughly the same number of calories and you know which one you want!
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
· Proprietary Blend 405mg: Banaba Extract (Lagerstroemia speciosa, leaf), Inositol, Rhodiola Extract (Rhodiola rosea, root), Berberine HCl (from Berberis vulgaris), Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides, fruit), Salacia Extract (Salacia reticulata, bark), Apple Extract (Malus pumila, fruit)
(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
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:
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.”