All diets have the same goal – to help us lose weight. When accompanied by an appropriate form of physical activity, they usually give outstanding results, not just in the short run but on a permanent basis.
What they also do is give us more energy and strength thus improving our overall health. They also achieve a balance in our bodies, especially when it comes to hormone production and metabolic processes. The GOLO diet is said to do precisely that – it creates a balance in our bodies if we follow a plan it prescribes.
But does it actually help us shed those pounds or is it just a run-off-the-mill nutrition plan like many others?
What is the GOLO diet all about?
GOLO stands for a slightly abbreviated form of the diet’s official tagline: “Go lose weight, go look great, go love life”. It does sound a bit too idealistic but it worked. This diet was the most googled diet in 2016 so it comes as no surprise why we’re so interested in uncovering the secret behind this magical diet plan.
Instead of focusing on limiting the intake of carbs and fats, GOLO focuses on maintaining the hormonal balance in the body. Although you might think this diet is a DIY nutrition plan, it comes at a price – you actually have to purchase the plan. And the hormones we mentioned earlier?
Well, you can’t just obtain them at your local drugstore – you have to buy the ‘Release supplement’ sold exclusively by the company. The purchase also includes the GOLO metabolic plan and a myGOLO membership. With these two, you get a detailed nutrition plan and coaching advice from the GOLO team of experts.
The diet promises you will:
- Be provided with a sustainable weight loss tailored according to your energy levels
- Optimize glucose and insulin levels through well-balanced nutrition
- Combat cravings and still stay energized
- Maximize fat loss with minimizing muscle loss
- Lose an average of 1-2 pounds of fat per week (provided that you stick to the plan)
- A full 60-day refund if the plan doesn’t work
One of the main postulates of the diet plan is that it helps us lose weight through the change in hormones induced by the supplement components. So, is it true that hormones affect our weight?
According to A Review of Weight Control Strategies published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, ‘obesity is a multifaceted problem with many contributing factors’, hormones being of them. Many hormones participate in the regulation of body weight and most notably, insulin – a peptide hormone which ‘increases with feeding and decreases with starvation’.
Why is insulin so important in this context?
Official GOLO website claims that their plan optimizes insulin levels which, in return, helps to keep insulin steady throughout the day. This is particularly important for people who want to combat Insulin Resistance.
Their official website doesn’t reveal much about the supplement, but they say it contains three primary ingredients: magnesium, zinc, and chromium, all of which play a crucial role in metabolic processes. The supplements also contain 7 natural plant-based ingredients – Rhodiola, Inositol, Berberine HCl, Gardenia extract, Banaba leaf extract, Salacia bark extract, and apple fruit extract.
So, the question arises, how safe is it to use the supplements and is it really necessary?
According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, many of these ingredients have their established limits. For example, the intake of zinc must be restricted to no more than 40 milligrams per day and the Release has 10 mg per pill. On a similar note, daily intake of chromium should range anywhere between 20 mcg to 35 mcg and the Release contains 70 mcg per pill. Keep in mind you have to take a pill with each of the three meals!
If we add the fact that certain foods, such as whole grains, red meat, and broccoli already contain these minerals, you will likely go over the prescribed and advised daily intake. This calls for extra cautionary measures so the best thing you can do is advise with your physician before taking the Release or going with the diet plan.
Could GOLO be a scam?
Whenever you experiment with your health, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Even more so when you use supplements, such as the Release which is mandatory within the GOLO plan.
Unfortunately, relevant institutions, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), do not regulate supplements. The official FDA website tells us that ‘federal law does not require dietary supplements to be proven safe to FDA’s satisfaction before they are marketed.’ With this in mind, the only way to avoid adverse effects is to consult a health professional.
Adding even more confusion and uncertainty is the fact that the research conducted on the effectiveness of the plan is limited exclusively to the brand’s own studies, the results of which are published on their website. What worries is that none of the researches has been published in widely recognized and credible medical journals and magazines. In addition to this, the studies were conducted on a small number of subjects which leaves a lot of room for speculation and calls for additional studies to clear out any doubts someone might have.
GOLO team of experts comprised of certified nutritionists and medical experts claims that the GOLO plan is ‘a sustainable lifestyle change’, ‘developed by medical professionals’ with ‘notable clinical results’. (Doctors recommend GOLO) On the other hand, there are no ‘unbiased’ opinions on the effectiveness of the plan.
Lastly, what remains unclear is whether it’s the supplement that aids the weight loss or is it simply the regiment and exercise plan you also have to follow?
Bottom line: What can you expect from the GOLO diet?
You can’t really tell unless you try. If you do, make sure to practice caution and consult with a health professional. Some people will actually lose weight although it’s highly probable that the weight loss will be driven by the dietary plan and the exercise.
The GOLO plan advocates regular exercise and a decrease in caloric intake – why not try it before you resort to the GOLO?