The Golo Diet: A Comprehensive Guide to Losing Weight and Improving Metabolic Health

The Golo diet is a commercial weight loss program that aims to help people lose weight and improve metabolic health through a combination of dietary changes, exercise, and taking a proprietary supplement called Release.

With its focus on balancing blood sugar levels, reducing insulin resistance, and promoting a healthy metabolism, Golo has grown in popularity in recent years among dieters looking for a holistic approach to weight management.

This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look at how the Golo diet works, its purported benefits, scientific evidence, potential downsides, cost considerations, and more to help you determine if it could be an effective option for your weight loss goals.

What is the Golo Diet?

The Golo diet was created in 2009 by a group of doctors, pharmacists, and other health professionals who believed that imbalanced insulin levels and insulin resistance are the root causes of struggles with weight loss, fatigue, and other metabolic issues (1).

Rather than restricting calories or eliminating food groups like many other diets, Golo aims to “heal metabolic dysfunction” by optimizing insulin levels and blood sugar regulation through natural dietary and lifestyle changes (2).

The main components of the Golo diet are:

– Following the Golo meal plan

– Taking the Release supplement with meals

– Increasing physical activity

– Accessing coaching and support

The meal plan provides guidelines for eating regular, balanced meals full of nutrient-dense whole foods. Release is a proprietary supplement blend claimed to help manage insulin and blood sugar. Increased exercise and support resources round out the regimen.

According to the company, this multi-pronged approach works synergistically to boost metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, curb cravings and hunger, and promote sustainable weight loss.

How Does the Golo Diet Work?

The Golo diet works in three main phases to promote weight loss while also improving energy levels, metabolic markers, and overall health. Let’s look at each step:

Phase 1: Metabolic Reset

This initial 7-day phase prepares your body for the dietary changes to come. You’ll eliminate inflammatory foods, refined carbs, and added sugars that may negatively impact blood sugar regulation (3).

Recommended foods during the metabolic reset include:

– Lean proteins: chicken, turkey, fish, eggs

– Non-starchy veggies: leafy greens, broccoli, peppers

– Whole grains: oats, brown rice, quinoa

– Low-sugar fruits: berries, grapefruit, pomegranate

– Healthy fats: olive oil, nuts, seeds

You’ll also begin taking Release with each meal to start balancing insulin and blood sugar levels.

Phase 2: Steady Weight Loss

During this core phase, you’ll progress to eating three balanced meals and 1-2 snacks per day. Meals are built around lean proteins, fruits/veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.

The provided meal plans, recipes, and food lists make it easy to put together Golo-approved meals. You’ll continue taking Release before each meal.

Daily exercise is encouraged during this phase. The Golo app and fitness resources help you stay active.

According to the company, following the meal plan alongside the Release supplement will result in steady fat loss of 1-3 pounds per week on average without intense hunger or deprivation (4).

Phase 3: Transition and Maintenance

Once you’ve reached your weight loss goal, you’ll enter the transition phase. This involves gradually reducing your reliance on Release by spacing out your dosage over time

The meal plan remains the same, focusing on balanced nutrition and whole foods to support your new, lower weight. You can continue taking a maintenance dose of Release as desired.

Regular exercise, stress management, and other healthy habits adopted during the program will help maintain your weight loss success long-term.

Golo Diet Foods: What You Can Eat

The Golo diet encourages eating whole, unprocessed foods to nourish your body and optimize metabolism.

Here is an overview of the recommended foods on the Golo meal plan (5):

Lean Proteins

– Chicken and turkey (skinless)

– Eggs and egg whites

– Fish and shellfish

– Pork tenderloin

– Beef (90% lean)

– Tofu and tempeh

Non-Starchy Vegetables

– Leafy greens (spinach, kale)

– Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage)

– Tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms

– Carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, squash

Whole Grains and Starchy Carbs

– Oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat

– Sweet and regular potatoes

– Winter squashes

– Beans and lentils

– Whole-grain bread and pasta

– Fruits

Healthy Fats

– Olive oil, avocado oil

– Nuts and seeds

– Nut butters

– Coconut oil, ghee

– Olives, avocados

Dairy and Alternatives

– Greek yogurt

– Milk

– Cheese

– Cottage cheese

– Unsweetened nut milk

Sample 1 week Golo Diet meal plan

1Veggie omelet with onions, peppers, spinach + berriesTurkey burger on a whole wheat bun + oven fries + saladBroiled salmon + quinoa + sautéed zucchiniCottage cheese + mixed nuts
2Oatmeal with almonds, banana, cinnamonGrilled chicken sandwich on whole grain bread + carrot sticksVeggie & bean chili + brown rice + Greek yogurtApple with almond butter
3Spinach smoothie with almond milk, berry, protein powderTuna salad stuffed in a bell pepper + melon chunksVeggie stir fry with tofu over brown riceHummus with celery and carrots
4Scrambled eggs with peppers, onions, cheese + grapesButternut squash soup + turkey sandwich on whole wheatPasta with meatballs + side saladEdamame sprinkled with sea salt
5Overnight oats with chia seeds, almond milk, peachFalafel pita + tzatziki sauce + cucumber saladChicken fajitas with peppers and onions + guacamoleCottage cheese with walnuts and honey
6Avocado toast on whole grain bread + hardboiled eggBurrito bowl with turkey, rice, beans salsa, avocadoGrilled salmon + broccoli + baked potatoCarrots and hummus
7Greek yogurt with berries, chia seeds, sliced almondsQuinoa tabbouleh salad stuffed in a bell pepperVeggie pizza with pesto, mushrooms, peppers, onionsAir popped popcorn drizzled with olive oil

In addition to the meal plan, you’ll take the Release supplement before each meal. Let’s take a closer look at Release and how it aims to support weight loss on Golo.

What is Golo Release?

Release is a proprietary dietary supplement formulated by Golo consisting of plant extracts, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

It contains the following key ingredients (6):

– Chromium

– Zinc

– Magnesium

– Banaba leaf extract

– Rhodiola rosea

– Berberine

– Inositol

– Gardenia jasminoides

According to Golo, Release works by:

– Optimizing insulin response and sensitivity

– Reducing glucose absorption

– Increasing satiety and energy

– Supporting healthy blood sugar regulation

– Promoting weight loss

– Reducing cravings and hunger

The company claims the ingredients work synergistically to help balance insulin, curb appetite, and allow the body to release stored fat.

However, Release has not been independently studied to confirm these effects. There is some preliminary research on the ingredients:

Banaba leaf extract

Banaba leaf extract has gained attention for its potential benefits in improving insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. It contains a compound called corosolic acid, which is believed to be responsible for its therapeutic effects.

Insulin sensitivity refers to how effectively your cells respond to the hormone insulin, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Impaired insulin sensitivity can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Several studies have suggested that Banaba leaf extract may help improve insulin sensitivity. It is thought to work by enhancing glucose uptake in cells, promoting the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into tissues, and reducing blood sugar levels.

One study published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism found that individuals with type 2 diabetes who took Banaba leaf extract supplements experienced improved insulin sensitivity, as well as decreased fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) compared to a control group.

Another study in the journal Endocrine Practice showed that Banaba leaf extract may have beneficial effects in individuals with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes insulin resistance. Participants who took Banaba leaf extract supplements had improved insulin sensitivity and reduced fasting blood sugar levels compared to those who received a placebo.

It’s worth noting that while these preliminary studies suggest potential benefits, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Banaba leaf extract on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Additionally, individual responses may vary, and the supplement should not replace other diabetes management strategies or medical advice.

If you have diabetes or concerns about blood sugar control, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before considering Banaba leaf extract or any other supplement. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs and help you develop a comprehensive plan for managing your condition [7].

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root or Arctic root, is a medicinal herb that grows in high-altitude regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine for its adaptogenic properties, which means it may help the body adapt to stress and support overall well-being.

In recent years, there has been interest in exploring the potential benefits of Rhodiola rosea for weight loss and stress-related overeating. While there is some preliminary evidence suggesting these effects, further research is still needed to confirm and understand the mechanisms involved.

Regarding weight loss, Rhodiola rosea may indirectly support weight management by reducing stress and enhancing mood. Chronic stress can contribute to weight gain and overeating, as it often triggers emotional eating and cravings for high-calorie foods. By reducing stress levels, Rhodiola rosea may help individuals better manage their eating habits and reduce the likelihood of stress-induced overeating.

Moreover, Rhodiola rosea has been shown to improve mood, enhance cognitive function, and alleviate fatigue. These effects may indirectly contribute to weight loss by promoting a positive mindset, increasing motivation for physical activity, and reducing feelings of tiredness that can lead to sedentary behavior.

However, it is important to note that Rhodiola rosea should not be considered a magic solution for weight loss or stress-related overeating. It should be used as part of a comprehensive and balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and other evidence-based strategies for weight management.

As always, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or incorporating Rhodiola rosea into your routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances (8).

Chromium Picolinate

Chromium picolinate is a nutritional supplement that has gained attention for its potential effects on insulin function and fat loss. The statement suggests that there is some evidence to support the idea that chromium picolinate may have these benefits.
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that plays a crucial role in various metabolic processes within the body. It is involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, which are closely linked to insulin function and fat storage. Chromium picolinate is a form of chromium that is often used in dietary supplements due to its potential bioavailability and effectiveness.

1. Insulin Function:
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that plays a central role in regulating blood sugar levels. It helps transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells, where it can be used for energy or stored as glycogen. In people with insulin resistance or diabetes, the body’s cells don’t respond effectively to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Enhancing insulin function can be beneficial for managing blood sugar levels.

2. Potential Effects on Insulin Function:
Some studies have suggested that chromium picolinate might enhance insulin sensitivity, which means that cells become more responsive to the effects of insulin. This enhanced sensitivity could lead to better glucose uptake by cells, potentially helping to regulate blood sugar levels more efficiently. Improved insulin function might also have implications for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and managing existing diabetes.

3. Fat Loss:
Fat loss refers to the reduction of body fat, which can contribute to improved overall health and reduced risk of obesity-related diseases. Chromium picolinate’s potential influence on fat loss is thought to be connected to its effects on insulin and metabolism.

4. Potential Effects on Fat Loss:
Some research suggests that chromium picolinate might have a role in promoting fat loss. It’s theorized that improved insulin sensitivity may lead to better regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, potentially affecting how the body stores and uses fat. Additionally, chromium picolinate has been proposed to influence appetite and food intake, which could indirectly impact fat loss efforts.

5. Research and Evidence:
While there is some research supporting the potential benefits of chromium picolinate on insulin function and fat loss, the results are not entirely consistent across all studies. Some studies have reported positive effects on insulin sensitivity and fat loss, while others have shown no significant differences compared to placebo. The overall evidence is still somewhat inconclusive and more research is needed to establish clear causal relationships.

6. Considerations and Precautions:
It’s important to note that the effects of nutritional supplements can vary depending on individual factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. Before incorporating chromium picolinate or any supplement into your routine, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. Additionally, relying solely on supplements for fat loss or improved insulin function is unlikely to yield significant results without a comprehensive approach that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits.

In conclusion, the statement that “Chromium picolinate may enhance insulin function and promote fat loss” highlights a potential area of interest in the realm of nutrition and health. While there is some evidence to suggest these effects, more robust research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and determine the extent of these benefits.

But more research is still needed on Release itself. Taking the supplement as instructed alongside the Golo diet meal plan aims to magnify weight loss results.

Does Golo Work for Weight Loss?

According to Golo, the diet can lead to weight loss of 1-3 pounds per week on average when followed consistently alongside the Release supplement and exercise. But what does the science say?

There are a few small studies on the Golo diet funded by the company showing promising results

In one 2018 study, overweight adults taking Release lost 5% more body weight compared to placebo over 3 months (10). Another small pilot study found Golo dieters lost 17.6 pounds on average over 12 weeks (11).

While these corporate-sponsored studies suggest Golo can promote weight loss, larger scale independent research is still lacking. We can’t draw firm conclusions just yet on whether Golo yields more weight loss compared to traditional diet and exercise alone.

However, the meal plan does emphasize eating whole foods low on the glycemic index, which is a smart approach for weight management and metabolic health. Pairing this with regular exercise, stress management, and support systems can benefit weight loss.

For many people, Golo may still provide an advantage over trying to eat healthy and lose weight solo without guidance. But more research on its long-term efficacy is needed. Talk to your doctor to evaluate if the diet is appropriate for your needs.

Pros and Cons of the Golo Diet

The Golo diet has several benefits that may appeal to dieters, along with some potential downsides to consider.


– Comprehensive program: Golo offers meal plans, recipes, coaching, and other resources for guidance.

– Allows all foods: No foods are completely off-limits, making Golo more flexible than restrictive diets.

– Promotes whole foods: Emphasizing minimally processed foods and complex carbs is beneficial for health.

– Incorporates exercise: Golo provides fitness guidance to complement the diet.

– Personalized support: You get access to Golo coaches for accountability.

– Science-backed: Some research suggests Golo can promote weight loss short-term.


– Requires supplement: Taking Release is central to the program yet lacks extensive independent testing.

– Calorie-focused: Golo centers on calories and glycemic index versus overall nutrition quality.

– Costly: Purchase of Release makes Golo pricier than many commercial diets.

– Coaching limitations: Golo coaches aren’t certified diet or health professionals.

– Long-term efficacy unknown: More research is needed on sustained weight loss and health impact.

– Potential for weight regain: Maintaining results long-term requires continued effort and adherence. Like any diet, relapse is common.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding if Golo is the right fit for your needs and circumstances. Consulting a healthcare professional can help determine if it is safe and appropriate.

How Much Does Golo Cost?

One unique aspect of Golo is that you must purchase the Release supplement to gain full access to the diet resources and meal plans. The costs are as follows:

– Starter kit (90 capsules): $49.95

– 2 bottles (180 capsules): $99.90

– 3 bottles (270 capsules): $119.85

– 6 bottles (540 capsules): $229.70

Since you take 1-3 Release capsules daily with meals, one bottle will last most users about one month.

Golo offers discounts for purchasing multiple bottles at once. You can further save by looking for Golo coupon codes online.

While not overly expensive, Golo does cost more upfront than basic self-guided diets. Factor this into your budget if you plan to follow Golo.

What Do Golo Reviews Say?

Golo has received generally positive feedback from users, with many reporting weight loss success:

– “I lost 15 pounds on Golo and it taught me how to eat healthier overall. The support from my coach really kept me motivated.”

– “This is the only diet that has actually helped me lose weight and keep it off. I love that no foods are off limits.”

– “Golo worked well for me at first. I lost 30 pounds in 2 months. However, results stalled after that even while taking Release.

– “I liked the easy to follow meal plan but found the required supplement expensive. I had to stop Golo because of the cost long-term.”

– “Coaching and support was lacking. I didn’t lose much weight either. This diet just didn’t work for me personally.”

Experiences can vary quite a bit on Golo diet. While many find it effective, results depend on consistent adherence and response to Release may differ individually. As with any diet, Golo won’t be universally effective for all.

Golo Alternatives

Golo provides an appealing option for those seeking structured guidance and community support to complement healthy eating habits.

But alternative diets can also deliver results sans the required proprietary supplement. Here are some other science-backed diets to consider:

Mediterranean Diet: Emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, fish, olive oil and minimal red meat. Shown to aid weight loss and improve health (12).

Volumetrics Diet: Focuses on eating foods high in volume but low in calories like fruits, veggies and soup. Can promote weight loss without hunger (13).

DASH Diet: Diet low in sodium shown to lower blood pressure and encourage weight loss (14).

Intermittent Fasting: Cycles of fasting and eating shown to be effective for fat loss for some people (15).

Flexitarian Diet: Semi-vegetarian plan focused on plants with minimal meat. May support weight loss (16).

MIND Diet: Combination of DASH and Mediterranean diets. May improve brain health and help manage weight (17).

Any diet that creates a modest calorie deficit in a healthy, sustainable way can be effective for weight loss. Work with a healthcare professional to find the right fit.

Is Golo Safe?

When followed as instructed, the Golo diet is likely safe for generally healthy adults. However, some precautions apply:

  • Consult your doctor before starting Golo if you have any underlying health conditions or take medications, as Release may interact.
  • The calorie levels may be too low for teens or very active individuals with higher needs. Increase calories if hungry.
  • Those with a history of disordered eating should avoid restrictive diets that demonize foods.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not follow Golo due to calorie restriction and supplement use.

Release contains minerals and herbal ingredients generally recognized as safe. However, effects from long-term use are unknown. Monitoring health markers may be prudent.

Talk to your healthcare provider to assess Golo diet risks and benefits for your individual health status.

Who Is Golo Best For?

The Golo diet may be a good fit for:

– Individuals seeking structure, guidance, and community support for their weight loss efforts.

– Those looking to reduce insulin resistance, balance blood sugar, or manage pre-diabetes.

– People who want flexibility and don’t want to eliminate food groups completely.

– Folks interested in holistic wellness approaches alongside balanced eating.

– Budget-conscious dieters, since Golo meal plans use regular grocery store ingredients.

– Busy people who need convenient resources and tools for tracking nutrition, exercise, and more.

However, Golo may not be ideal for those wanting maximum personalization, meal delivery, budget-friendly options, or in-depth nutrition education from qualified professionals.

Carefully consider your needs, preferences, and resources to determine if Golo is a good match or if another program may better suit your lifestyle.

Should You Try Golo?

The Golo diet offers a prepared meal plan, support tools, and proprietary supplement to help you improve metabolic health markers and lose weight in a gradual, sustainable way.

Preliminary research and anecdotal reports suggest Golo may be effective when followed consistently.

However, you can achieve similar results from any nutrition plan focused on whole, minimally processed foods that creates a modest calorie deficit without relying on questionable supplements.

While more evidence is needed, Golo may be worth considering if you respond well to structured programs, personalized support, and prefer holistic wellness approaches. But the diet requires long-term commitment to the Release supplement for maximum results.

Talk to a doctor or registered dietitian to determine if Golo is the right path for your weight loss and wellness goals. Focus on making lifestyle changes you can sustain forever, rather than short-term fixes.


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2. GOLO LLC. The Science Behind GOLO – Ingredients in GOLO Release.

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4. GOLO LLC. How It Works: Learn How GOLO Gets Results.

5. GOLO LLC. Food Lists: Know What To Eat On The GOLO Diet.

6. GOLO LLC. Ingredients in GOLO Release: How Our Formula Works.

7. Li X, Lv Y, Yao J, et al. The Effect of Banaba-based Nutraceutical Supplement on Metabolic and Obesity Parameters in Humans: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Phytother Res. 2020 Sep;34(9):2245-2253.

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9. Onakpoya IJ, Posadzki PP, Watson LK, Davies LA, Ernst E. The efficacy of long-term chromium supplementation in reducing glucose levels and lipids in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014 Jun;39(3):215-22.

10. ZenBio Inc. Efficacy Evaluation of a Metabolic Support Formula in Overweight Individuals Undergoing a Diet and Exercise Weight Loss Program: A Prospective, Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Study.

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12. Esposito K, Maiorino MI, Petrizzo M, Bellastella G, Giugliano D. The effects of a Mediterranean diet on the need for diabetes drugs and remission of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: follow-up of a randomized trial. Diabetes Care. 2014 Jul;37(7):1824-30.

13. Rolls BJ. The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off. HarperCollins; 2012. 9780062139799

14. Siervo M, Lara J, Chowdhury S, et al. Effects of the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet on cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Nutr. 2015 Jan 14;113(1):1-5.

15. Lieberman HR, Agarwal S, Fulgoni VL 3rd. Intermittent Fasting: Review and Position Statement by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2021 Apr;121(4):702-714.

16. Derbyshire EJ. Flexitarian Diets and Health: A Review of the Evidence-Based Benefits and Risks. Front Nutr. 2019 Nov 22;6:155.

17. Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, Barnes LL, Bennett DA, Aggarwal NT. MIND diet score more predictive than DASH or Mediterranean diet scores. Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Sep;10(5 Suppl):P166-7.

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