Golo.com Diet Review by Cardiologist Weight Loss ExpertApr 18, 2022
Golo Diet Review
There's this new diet called the Golo Diet. It's promoted by the website Golo.com. They have a well done website, but is it any good?
I have 2 major problems with the Golo Diet and we will take a deep dive into those issues.
The first one is that they are promoting an "insulin model" for weight loss. I have done countless videos now and reviewed countless studies that show no role of insulin for weight gain, in absence of excess calories. If you aren't overeating, it doesn't really matter.
Sure, if you are over consuming calories, yes you will store them as fat. And sure, insulin is one of many messenger molecules that will help direct the processing and storage of excess calories as fat. That's a normal physiologic process.
Insulin resistance is genetic. It's 100% genetic. You aren't going to give yourself diabetes by over eating, unless you have the genetics for it.
Golo Release Review
My second issue with the Golo.com Diet is that they are selling a "fat burner" supplement called Release. There are no legal fat burners that people can just buy over the counter. We do have great medications that help cause weight loss, but you need a prescription to get them. Yes, I prescribe them occasionally when they are indicated and warranted. But there is no magic pill over the counter. This dietary supplement isn't going to help you with that. Side effects can include excessive diarrhea and upset stomach.
Golo Release Ingredients
Release contains magnesium, zinc, and chromium. None of these have been scientifically proven to cause weight loss. The biggest component of this list is the higher than usual chromium dose, which you can buy over the counter for pretty cheap.
The ingredients list also contains a lot of plant extracts in a "proprietary blend" listed below the three main ingredients. Anytime you see the words "proprietary blend" you know it usually is very trace to none in terms of concentration and dosing. One of the plant extracts in the Golo supplement is banaba leaf extract, apple extract, gardenia extract, salacia bark extract (among a few others) which has not been shown to cause weight loss.
Golo ingredients, full list:
Release says they contain "seven natural, plant-based ingredients and three minerals” listed below:
- Rhodiola extract
- Gardenia extract
- Berberine extract
- Salacia extract
- Apple extract
- Banaba extract
These ingredients are generally recognized as safe by the FDA but have not been shown in research to help with weight loss.
If you don't have lab proven mineral deficiencies, as a physician I don't recommend supplementing because you really have no idea what these pills contain.
Research on Golo Diet Release Supplement
Golo has funded their own small scale research studies on the Release pill and found that participants did lose weight. First of all, this research is inherently biased because it's being funded by a company that has everything to gain from positive results. Secondly, they did not control any variables. When you take ordinary people and make them change their diet to a more wholesome diet eating more whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, put them on an exercise program, and give them supplements, you are biasing your study and aren't controlling for any variables.
The best research studies on dietary interventions, or lifestyle interventions are prospective randomized controlled trials that have a placebo group for comparison. These are harder and more expensive to do, but they give the best results.
The bottom line is that there are no research studies on the Golo diet at this time.
Who is Golo Diet's Founder
Previously the website only listed the President and CEO of the company, both of which are in sales and marketing and have no healthcare or medical background. But it seems that the company has rebranded itself and brought on a nutritionist.
The Golo diet website now says it was founded by Jennifer Brooks, a Holistic Nutritionist. A lot of people add the word "holistic" to almost anything and it seems to help with their marketing. I have a friend who is a "Holistic Urologist". It's unclear why that matters, but clearly it appeals to a segment of the population that is easier to market to or more gullible. Like most weight loss experts they have an origin story where they were once overweight and then lost weight to add more credibility. Here is Jennifer Brooks pictured below.
Reset Your Hormones with Golo
The Golo diet also claims to help reset your hormones and help you lose weight. There is really no such thing as resetting your hormone levels to help you lose weight. So why do some people feel better on this diet? Does Release actually reset your hormones?
No. Since most people that start the Golo diet are coming from a place of chronic dieting and being chronically underfed, when you increase your calories, you will notice your energy levels increase, your appetite and hunger signaling to normalize, and your mental well being improve. This is from increasing your calories back to normal. You get a boost of energy, feel better, and can do more. You feel rejuvenated. And, yes if you reverse diet, you will start to lose weight if you have been stalled from chronically low calories.
Golo Metabolic Plan
After you buy the 30, 60, or 90 day supply of their supplements, then you receive your "Metabolic Plan" which is basically guidelines for eating healthier foods. They recommend you eat more of some foods, and eliminate others. One odd elimination was artificial sweeteners. It's unclear why they recommend eliminating those. They actually have been shown to help significantly with weight loss.
Why Did My Friend Lose Weight on Golo By Eating More?
Your friend was metabolically adapted to low calories and excess exercise. If your friend has been chronically in a calorie deficit, they will lose weight once you increase calories back up to normal.
Does the Golo Diet Prevent Heart Disease?
No. No commercial diets have been shown to prevent heart disease. The only diet shown in research studies to improve cardiovascular mortality and reduce cancer is the Mediterranean diet.
Golo Diet Review Video
Watch my quick video on the Golo.com Diet and then come back for more! This was my fastest video to 10,000 views! I was quite surprised that that many people were looking for this topic. People were very engaged with my video and I had lots of people leave well thought out comments that I will address here.
Golo Diet Meal Plans
The Golo diet gives each customer a meal plan and they are mostly composed of wholesome nutritious food. No argument from me in that department! More wholesome, and less processed foods definitely are more filling, more satiating, and more nutritious. The Mediterranean Diet is only diet shown to prolong life, reduce cardiovascular mortality, and reduce cancer. The Golo diet is similar.
Golo Diet Plan
The Golo diet plan is just a whole food diet. Anyone coming from a more processed food diet, will immediately see a 36-67% reduction in calories just by switching over. This is and of itself is responsible for all of the weight loss. When you switch from a more processed diet to one that contains more whole foods, healthy fats, fresh fruit, and more natural ingredients, you will undoubtedly lose weight. The question always becomes, is this going to be sustainable weight loss?
How Much Does the Golo Diet Cost
The Golo Diet will cost you in supplements. In addition to the meal plan above, you have to purchase their supplements. Namely, the Release supplement. This will cost you anywhere from $49 to $99 (or more) depending on how much you buy. Anytime someone is selling you supplements in order to lose weight, it's time to run in the other direction. It's illegal to sell actual weight loss meds over the counter. Sure, we have prescription medications that work, but you need to see a doctor for those. You can watch some of my videos on those on my YouTube channel.
The problem with most of these commercialized diets is that they are mostly "marketing hype". They put you on an unsustainable diet that you can only tolerate for a few months hoping that you lose some weight and that you will tell your friends about it.
The Golo Diet is another diet in the long list of quick fix, expensive, pop a pill, keto diet style diets that promises a quick transformation. Anytime someone is selling a weight loss supplement, you really need to think twice about whether or not this is something worth pursuing. If you skip the Release capsules and just follow their diet and exercise program, you will likely still lose the same amount of weight with or without the Golo Release supplement.
If you want better overall health and better health outcomes you certainly should swap out your unhealthy diet for a healthy diet and start a daily exercise routine, I have plenty of free ones below!
What Are Your Weight Loss Goals?
Before you begin any weight loss program, you need to ask yourself, what are my overall health or weight loss goals? Do you want to just get fit? Be able to run a 5k? Build some muscle? Improve your chronic health conditions? What's your goal? It can be a mixture of all of these things.
What You Should Do Instead of Golo?
Instead of following the Golo plan you need to find something that works for you. It's much better to follow a diet that actually causes long term weight loss and that you can stick to for the rest of your life.
No one wants to eat kale and quinoa for the rest of their lives. Sure, you can. But you can't do that forever. I always teach my patients to eat a more reasonable and sustainable diet.
Weight Loss Mindset
Before you go on a weight loss journey you need to be in the right state of mind for weight loss. Otherwise, you'll jump onto Golo, then the next thing, then the next thing, and never lose weight. You will be stuck on the hamster wheel forever.
I teach a free weight loss mindset course and it's the best place to start to get in the right state of mind and begin this final weight loss transformation journey!
Best Exercise Program for Weight Loss
If you don't want the Golo Diet exercise program (which isn't well research and well vetted), you should grab my free exercise program before it becomes a paid program. You will have access to the best exercise routine that is research backed (I'm a certified personal trainer and a cardiologist) as well as video demonstrations of the exercises.
5 Quick Steps To Weight Loss
Also, grab my Free 5 Step Quick Guide to Weight Loss and you will have the complete set!
Below you'll find links to articles demonstrating that sugar and insulin do not cause weight gain.
If you want to read more on this topic, grab my book, it's a super fast easy read and costs less than a cup of coffee. (It's $17-25 on Amazon).
All of the articles below are discussed in depth in my book, in easy to understand terms. You do not need to go on a crazy diet to lose weight. You will be armed with all of the data and studies to disarm your friends that want to go on crazy anti-carb diets and that believe in magic fat burner pills.
Articles showing that sugar does not cause fat gain unless also accompanied by an increase in calories.
Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies
Articles demonstrating that differences in glycemic load do not affect weight loss or gain when calories are equated.
Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion: The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial
No difference in body weight decrease between a low-glycemic-index and a high-glycemic-index diet but reduced LDL cholesterol after 10-wk ad libitum intake of the low-glycemic-index diet
Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss
Randomized controlled trial of changes in dietary carbohydrate/fat ratio and simple vs complex carbohydrates on body weight and blood lipids: the CARMEN study. The Carbohydrate Ratio Management in European National diets
Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss
The effects of four hypocaloric diets containing different levels of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup on weight loss and related parameters
Treatment of massive obesity with rice/reduction diet program. An analysis of 106 patients with at least a 45-kg weight loss
Articles demonstrating that low carb diets do not cause more weight loss than low fat/high carb diets when calories and protein are equated.
Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets
Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men
Low carbohydrate versus isoenergetic balanced diets for reducing weight and cardiovascular risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Articles demonstrating that insulin levels do not predict weight gain.
The entero-insular axis and adipose tissue-related factors in the prediction of weight gain in humans
Articles showing that overfeeding carbohydrates or fats are both equally fattening in humans.
Fat and carbohydrate overfeeding in humans: different effects on energy storage
Effects of isoenergetic overfeeding of either carbohydrate or fat in young men
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