More than any other new diet plan, the GOLO Diet yielded the most Google searches in 2016. A lot of people have been wondering just what the plan is about, though a lot of searches can bring many different results, leaving more confusion than anything. One common misconception is that the plan was created by Dr. Keith Ablow, who is a psychiatrist and television personality that once considered running for the United States Senate.

However, Ablow did not develop to the GOLO Diet and only serves as a spokesperson for the program. It was actually several doctors (according to the GOLO website) that worked on the diet for a total of five years, starting up their own study. So now that we have that cleared up, let’s take a look at the GOLO Diet and find out the truth, and also see if it’s the right weight loss plan for you.

Inside the GOLO Diet

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The doctors behind the GOLO Diet came in with the belief that insulin has a large effect on someone’s weight. Their five years of studies included people that needed to lose more than 100 pounds, and people that needed to lose roughly 50 pounds. According to their study, the people that needed to lose more than 100 pounds had lost an average of 53.4 pounds (2.1 pounds per week) over the course of 25 weeks while those that didn’t get the full GOLO treatment lost 20.9 pounds during that time.

Over the first 90 days, those same patients lost 25 pounds on average with the complete GOLO program while the others lost 8.1 pounds. Then, those that needed to lose 50 pounds lost an average of 28.4 pounds over 25 weeks with GOLO while the control group lost an average of 12 pounds. Those sound like great numbers, but you have to remember that they were not evaluated by the FDA.

While losing that much weight in 25 weeks sounds great, just how does it work? The creators of the GOLO Diet say that the insulin and cortisol in your body can be tamed to the point where you can control whether you lose or gain weight. To do this, GOLO uses what they call the Metabolic Fuel Matrix eating plan to keep your insulin levels in an area where it is burning fat. They say that it is even more effective than counting calories, which has been disputed by a lot of experts.

The GOLO Diet says that other weight loss plans simply don’t work because of spikes in insulin, whereas this diet will keep you in the “insulin optimization zone” that burns fat and gives you energy, while avoiding cravings and fat storage. So what is the exact science behind those statements and what will you be eating on the GOLO Diet? Those are very good questions that have gone unanswered for the most part.

Eating on the GOLO Diet

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There are a lot of diets out there that will at least tell you exactly what foods you can expect to eat while on the program (like the MIND and DASH Diets), but this acronym diet doesn’t join the ranks. Instead, the GOLO Diet offers up a “three tier solution” to get you started…for a price. Before you can do a lot of homework on the GOLO Diet, you have to spend $39.95 to release the secrets.

With that money, you will be sent 30 days worth of their supplement called Release (more on that later) in addition to a couple of pamphlets that include a seven day kickstarter plan. You also get shopping lists, weekly meal plans and sample menus, which is nice. All of these foods are designed to follow your Metabolic Fuel Matrix, which is still a mystery for most outside of the GOLO circle.

So, what exactly are you eating on the GOLO Diet? Not many people seem to actually know. Instead, GOLO just makes the claim that you will be eating “real food” where you don’t have to count the calories. Basically, you will be avoiding most carbs, eating vegetables and meat more than anything. Essentially, it’s the Paleo or Atkins Diet behind a $40 paywall that supposedly unlocks all of the secrets to healthy eating.

Release Supplement

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The biggest part of the GOLO Diet is actually the supplement that we mentioned earlier called Release. You get 30 days worth of the Release supplement with your $40, and is said to optimize your insulin while controlling your glucose and hormones to make them fat fighting machines. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, unfortunately the FDA has not approved marketing for Release.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside of the Release supplement to see if it’s different than any other diet pill or multivitamin out there:

  • Magnesium (30mg) 8% of Daily Value
  • Zinc (5mg) 33% of Daily Value
  • Chromium (70mg) 58% of Daily Value
  • Banaba Leaf Extract
  • Inositol
  • Rhodiola Extract
  • Berberine HCI
  • Gardenia Extract
  • Salacia Extract
  • Apple Extract

Compared to the FDA approved insulin control drug Tresiba, it’s definitely lacking in things such as glycerol and metacresol, though it at least has zinc. Unlike most diet pills, the Release supplement does not have caffeine, which they say sets it apart from others. You are supposed to take these supplements with each meal (three times per day).

You might be thinking that this is a supplement that you should be taking for life so that you can control your insulin in a healthy level, but that’s not the case here. GOLO says that you are supposed to phase out Release as you approach your goal weight since your “metabolism improves.” There are reorders available for 90 days, though, if you feel so inclined. If that doesn’t raise some red flags, then we don’t know what does.

Exercise on the GOLO Diet

Like many of the other popular diets out there, you aren’t required to exercise to help lose weight. After all, if you aren’t eating many calories then you really don’t have to exercise to lose weight, but it will improve your health overall. There are some exercise plans available with GOLO, though, which centers around what they call the Perfect 5.

This exercise plan (which is another thing that is only fully unlocked with at least $40) claims to be a “combination of dynamic burst and spot training.” These exercises are five minutes long, which is hardly enough time to work up a sweat. Perhaps that’s why they say that any fitness level can do their workouts.

Even if a diet says that you don’t have to exercise to lose weight, you should be adding in physical activity anyway. Even 30 minutes per day of brisk exercise will help you tremendously, including in the weight loss department. Weight loss plans like The Biggest Loser Diet promote a lot of exercise while this one seems to ignore it almost completely.

Summing it Up

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Normally in these reviews there is more detail into the diet, such as what you can expect to eat on a near daily basis and what types of exercises you will be doing. The GOLO Diet does a good job at hiding all of that information unless you are willing to pay, which should be enough to keep most people away. However, a lot of people have signed up for GOLO and made it the most searched diet of 2016.

Is the information you unlock by paying money going to be worth it? Probably not. Does it actually work to help lose weight? According to the studies that they performed and weren’t evaluated by an outside source, yes. Everything about the GOLO Diet just screams “fad” or “scam” as it has received some very negative reviews outside of those that lost weight in their study (which they say were not paid reviews).

Insulin control is something that should be monitored by your physician, and not a popular diet that seems to keep a lot of their information secret. Also, a psychiatrist and author that most people haven’t heard of isn’t the greatest spokesman, as more successful diets (like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers) have used much bigger names. That’s no knock on Dr. Ablow, but using his title as a doctor seems very misleading in this instance.

Essentially, you are paying for a supplement that doesn’t have much inside of it that would make you lose weight and a few sheets of paper telling you what foods you should be eating. Calories are the biggest contributor to weight loss, and you are told not to count them with the GOLO Diet. Just about any doctor will tell you that you need to focus on calories above all else to lose weight.

The GOLO Diet has added what they call nutritional counseling and personalized coaching, but these are not licensed professionals that you would be talking to. Most likely, they are chat support agents reading from a script. All in all, could we suggest the GOLO Diet? Sadly, this is one that you should pass on and not believe the recent hype.


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