The number one most searched for diet program on Google in 2016, GOLO, has become a big name in weight loss. Boasting highly successful results in helping users lose weight and keep it off, GOLO offers a complete program that differs from many fad or exclusion diets. Using a combination of a supplement, healthy diet and community support, GOLO helps users lose weight. The program was developed by a team of doctors and calls strongly on the science of weight loss in its marketing.

GOLO is especially helpful for people who have tried everything to lose weight, and have had no success. The specially designed program is holistic and also addresses insulin resistance, a common medical concern that is often left undetected and can prevent weight loss. The scientifically-based supplement in combination with careful meal planning can help eliminate this hidden factor that prevents weight loss.

But, is the science that the GOLO program claims as support well substantiated? Are the methods GOLO proposes for weight loss viable and based on verified scientific evidence? Apart from the scientific claims and clinical trials provided by GOLO, do other peer-reviewed scientific studies support the methods GOLO uses? Find out the answers to all of these questions in our complete GOLO review that will provide you with a comprehensive overview and analysis of the program.

A GOLO Review: What is GOLO?

GOLO is a weight loss program containing three main elements which are explored in further detail in the sections to come. In brief, they are:

  • GOLO Release Supplement: GOLO claims this supplement, made from natural ingredients, works to “promote metabolic support” by controlling blood sugar levels.
  • GOLO Metabolic Fuel Matrix Eating Plan: This eating plan helps you maintain your blood sugar levels while also providing fuel for your body so you aren’t hungry while on the plan.
  • GOLO Online Support: You have access to coaches and an online tracking system to help you optimize results.

Through these three areas, GOLO supports weight loss, claiming that the average user loses 20 pounds in the first 3 months, and nearly 50 pounds after a year.

On their website, GOLO specifically addresses the type of person who will most benefit from the program. The company suggests that people who are unable to keep their weight under control may have developed insulin resistance. Citing high levels of belly fat that are associated with insulin resistance, GOLO indicates that it targets this problem. You can lose weight, including belly weight by getting insulin and blood sugar levels balanced out, GOLO claims.

GOLO also notes that through their program, people not only lose weight but become healthier as well. Some patients who had other conditions associated with being overweight, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, were able to reverse these conditions, reducing or eliminating a need for prescription drugs.

GOLO is run by a team of professionals including doctors and nutritionists. This is an attractive point of the company. Throughout the website, testimonials from doctors and scientific evidence are cited in support of the program. While many diet programs make claims, they are often pseudoscientific at best.

Just because GOLO has completed clinical studies and has some scientific evidence doesn’t mean it’s perfect or that you should automatically trust it. As you’ll see in the review, other factors also come into play. With a full understanding of the program and the evidence that favors it or, on the contrary, raises questions, you’ll be able to evaluate it and determine whether or not it’s right for you.

What is Insulin and What Does It Do?

GOLO says it regulates insulin levels and enhances its performance. What exactly does this mean? And more importantly, what is insulin in the first place?

Insulin, although it may make you think of diabetes, is a hormone that all of us have. It is made in the pancreas and helps your body’s cells make use of sugar, or glucose, from the carbohydrates you eat. Insulin is used in the body to control blood sugar, helping keep it at a normal, healthy level. (1)

You’ll often see insulin described as a “key” that tells your body’s cells to open up and use blood sugar for energy. When your blood sugar levels are high, insulin helps your excess blood sugar move to the liver or muscle tissue where it is stored, often as fat. This way, between meals or when you’re exercising, your liver may release the glucose to be used. When you eat, your insulin levels rise to make use of your higher blood sugar counts. (1)

Sometimes, your body may not produce enough insulin or your cells become resistance to its presence. This can develop into diabetes. (1)

What causes insulin resistance?

There a wide number of factors that may influence this. One of them is being overweight. Belly fat is particularly seen as a cause of insulin resistance. Why? Because belly fat produces certain hormones and substances that may cause your body’s cells to stop responding to insulin.

GOLO can help you counter insulin resistance and eliminate this problem in your body. By optimizing insulin, GOLO helps your body have greater control over fat storage and instead make use of your fat stores as energy for your cells.

 

About 1 in 3 people in the United States have what’s known as prediabetes, which includes insulin resistance. Most people don’t even know that they’re prediabetic, meaning that they have no chance to reverse it and avoid being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Weight loss and exercise can help people avoid developing diabetes. (2)

GOLO Release Supplement Breakdown

The GOLO Release Supplement is a pill that you take with each meal. However, they recommend adjusting the dosage depending on how much weight you have to lose and how quickly you start losing weight once on the program. The supplement includes 7 plant based ingredients and 3 minerals. Together, the ingredients work to optimize insulin, control blood sugar levels, and balance hormones, GOLO claims.

GOLO helps stabilize blood sugar. There is no hunger between meals and the supplements have no side effects. That’s a great achievement.
says Dr. Ina de Beer.

By controlling your blood sugar levels, GOLO argues, you’ll provide your body with steady energy, avoiding cravings and sugar highs and lows. Overweight people may suffer from insulin resistance, and in controlling this, may be able to lose weight. Why? Blood sugar in your body is sent to the cells by insulin. In your cells, your body uses the sugar as energy. However, if your body is no longer sensitive to insulin, your body’s cells won’t be able to use the blood sugar, making you feel hungry. You may feel cravings or constantly hungry as a result. Your body may also store more energy as fat as well. Basically, if your blood sugar and insulin are out of whack, you’re more likely to gain weight or be obese. (3)

Release aims to reduce insulin resistance and help control blood sugar levels.

Let’s take a look at each of the ingredients in detail to understand their functions:

Ingredients in details:
Magnesium (30 mg)

This mineral has several functions. This essential mineral helps maintain blood pressure, keep bones strong and contribute to a steady heartbeat. With relation to metabolic function, there is still inconclusive evidence as to whether or not magnesium plays a role. People who have major health conditions including diabetes are noted to consume lower quantities of magnesium than what’s recommended. (4)

A possible link with diabetes has also been noted in several studies. In one of them, it’s noted that magnesium deficiencies exist at rates of 25-38% of patients with type 2 diabetes. This may indicate a link between insulin resistance and a lack of diabetes. However, the same study showed no evidence that magnesium supplements in moderate amounts (41.4 mmol Mg) would improve glycemic (blood sugar) control. Rather, the study suggested further research using greater amounts of magnesium would be helpful. (5)

A report sponsored by a magnesium supplement company references a number of studies suggesting that magnesium can reduce insulin resistance in diabetes. Although the report acknowledged that evidence is inconclusive for metabolic regulation through magnesium supplementation, a positive relationship between maintaining magnesium levels and reducing the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance is supported. (6)

Zinc (5 mg)

According to GOLO, using a zinc supplement can increase insulin sensitivity. We found studies providing varying levels of support towards this argument. One study suggested that zinc’s impact on insulin resistance was too small to support its use, and more research is necessary. Another study produced more favorable results and suggested that zinc supplementation may help prevent diabetes in pre-diabetic patients.

Chromium (70 mcg)

This mineral, GOLO says, is part of the glucose tolerance factor. The glucose tolerance factor involves several elements including chromium, and can actually enhance insulin’s activity in the body. This means greater regulation of blood sugar. Suggested uses of supplemental chromium include both diabetes and obesity, according to one source. (7,8)

Banaba Extract

There is early evidence showing that banaba extract may help reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, this extract has been used to support weight loss. However, these uses need further research and investigations. (9)

Inositol

Inositol is a substance similar to a vitamin found in many plants and animals, but can also be produced artificially. The substance is connected to insulin sensitivity and may help improve the body’s response to insulin. Inositol helps improve cell’s reactions to insulin, meaning they respond more quickly to glucose in the blood. (10,11)

Rhodiola Extract

This extract is popular, but there is little scientific evidence to support its use. Some of the most common uses of Rhodiola include for increasing energy and stamina, helping the body resist strength, and even treating diabetes.

Berberine HCI

Berberine HCI is possibly effective for treating diabetes, perhaps reaching levels of control as powerful as the popular diabetes drug, metformin. The drug metformin works to help diabetics respond normally to insulin. If Berberine is consumed in high enough quantities and has these effects, it may make a big difference in the body’s ability to control blood sugar. (12)

Gardenia Extract

An extract from Gardenia fruit may be helpful in treating a number of conditions including insulin resistance and diabetes. However, there isn’t extensive evidence to support this.

Salacia

This is another powerful plant-based substance that may be able to control blood sugar levels and insulin with similar results to conventional diabetes drugs. There is promising evidence that Salacia could form part of a treatment plan for diabetics. (13,14)

Apple Extract

A specific compound in apple skins, apple polyphenols, may help people lose weight, particularly stubborn belly fat. (15)

Does the GOLO Release Supplement Deliver?

The ingredients used in the supplement all seem to be scientifically linked to metabolic control and/or weight loss. Although there are varying degrees of evidence to back each ingredient, some with less evidence than others, all seem to be based on relevant studies and research.

The exact quantities of the plant extracts are not listed, and so it’s not possible to compare recommended quantities of the ingredients and what’s included in Release.

However, GOLO’s claims seem to line right up with what’s provided in terms of functions in the ingredients of Release. GOLO promises to help regulate blood sugar and insulin performance, resulting in losing weight. All ingredients show functions related to these promises such as insulin and blood sugar control, supporting energy levels and reducing cravings, and encouraging weight loss.

The Bottom Line: Given the ease of finding quality scientific research, studies and evidence in support of the ingredients in their ability to achieve desired results, the supplement seems to be soundly developed.

GOLO Metabolic Fuel Matrix Eating Plan

The eating plan proposes following sound dietary and nutritional advice to minimize hunger and cravings, while also promoting weight loss. According to GOLO, the plan is personalized based on each user’s energy needs. GOLO views food as fuel, recognizing food’s importance in our lives and in providing us with the energy we need. “Matrix Meals” as GOLO calls them, help users learn to balance the correct amounts of different food groups such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to maximize energy and maintain blood sugar weights, while also encouraging the body not to store fat.

The plan, says GOLO, includes normal foods and achieves a weight loss rate of 1-2 pounds per week. This falls within the range of healthy rate loss recommended by the Center for Disease Control which advises that:

…evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off.

While the specifics of the plan aren’t available on the website, the general idea seems to suggest that the main goals of the diet are healthy eating, a preference of whole grains over refined carbohydrates and adjusting quantities of food groups to favor proteins, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables, and fewer carbohydrates.

This diet is nothing different than what most nutritional advice supports. Groups such as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) promote diets such as the DASH diet for reducing insulin resistance and losing weight. Based on serving sizes, this dietary plan also helps people understand how much of each food group they should consume. The NIDDK also suggests making use of the United States Department of Agriculture’s food plan, “Choose My Plate” for helpful tips and resources on maintaining a healthy diet.

As the Harvard School of Public Health suggests, dietary recommendations have changed over time.

…calories matter, but focusing on food quality is an equally important part of preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss.

The former advice that “a calorie is a calorie” is no longer valid, and quality in a diet does matter. Eating whole foods rather than processed foods produce better results. Glycemic index improvements are often seen by favoring proteins over carbohydrates. The article goes on to share one very important piece of advice: that there isn’t one diet that fits all. Every person’s body and lifestyle are different, meaning that the same diet may produce varied results depending on who uses it. (9)

Does the Metabolic Fuel Matrix Eating Plan Deliver?

The eating plan does seem to follow conventional diet wisdom that promotes good health and weight loss. However, at the same time, these resources can easily be found for free in places other than through GOLO.

What does that mean for you?

If you want the support that GOLO offers with hands-on materials that help you understand nutrition and access to their on-hand customer support staff, it may be worth the investment. However, you may also consider researching healthy eating through some of the resources suggested above (offered through government programs such as NIH and USDA). Another alternative would be to meet with a nutritionist or dietician.

Do take into account that GOLO reviews vary from raving to claiming that “no results” were seen. Some reviews complain that the eating plan is too complicated to follow and requires too much work. Unfortunately, the company does not allow reviews to be posted publicly on their Facebook page, so finding a range of reviews was limited to other sites.

GOLO Online Support Membership

With GOLO’s program, you’ll gain access to the online and customer support through myGOLO.com. Through this support, the company provides everything from personalized coaching to weekly meal plans, shopping lists, recipes, seasonal menus, and tips for using the GOLO plan when eating out. Online tracking is also available so that you can see your progress.

A community of support is also provided through the member’s only Facebook page (separate from the public page).

This is the kind of support that is great if you use it. After reading some of the negative reviews, it’s clear that not every customer makes use of these services. Complaints of the products not working were often met with responses from the company offering further customer service support to help identify how to tailor the program to the individual. So, it must be said that in order to support the unique situation of each person, the company provides help through customer service “coaching” so that users can reach their goals. However, whether or not they use it is another thing.

It’s unclear, however, who gives the customer support. Ideally, when working on your diet to achieve weight loss goals, you would have access to a registered dietitian or nutritionist. These qualified professionals can provide coaching and help hold you accountable. GOLO doesn’t specify whether the customer support staff has any of these qualifications.

Does GOLO Have Any Side Effects?

GOLO claims that there are no known side effects to taking the supplement Release. However, they do note that users who are being treated for diabetes should check with their doctor before taking the supplement. In addition, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take Release.

Some of the ingredients may have adverse effects. For example, magnesium can cause upset stomach, diarrhea and other digestive issues for some people. It’s best to fully investigate using this supplement with your doctor, especially if you take any prescription medications. Your doctor will be able to provide you with the best advice surrounding this supplement and any possible side effects.

GOLO’s Clinical Trials: A Window into the Science of GOLO

GOLO has performed its own clinical trials to ensure the effectiveness and safety of its plan and products. In addition, GOLO claims that there have been 200 independent studies about the supplement Release, however, they are not listed on the website.

The clinical trials done by GOLO make note of a three-tier system including diet, the supplement, and exercise. However, throughout most of the website, little to no mention of exercise is made. The trials were conducted on both severely overweight and moderately overweight subjects. In the trials done in South Africa, the results from the control groups, where volunteers participated in the meal plan but did not take the Release supplement, still show weight loss but to a lesser degree. For example, in the 90-day study, those on the complete GOLO program lost up to 3 times what the average person in the control group lost. This suggests that the supplement plays an integral role in achieving the greatest weight loss results.

What Customers are Saying: User Feedback and Testimonials

There are plenty of enthusiastic reviews for GOLO posted on their website, both from regular customers and from the clinical trial participants. Real weight loss, reduced cravings, and improved health are some of the benefits noted by users. Below you can check out Debbie and Patrick’s testimonial:

View more GOLO Success Stories in the Gallery.

As mentioned previously, the company doesn’t allow reviews to be posted through Facebook, only the best ones are picked to show potential customers on the GOLO website. However, other websites such as highya have a greater variety of reviews available, both positive and negative. Main complaints include that the program is too complicated to follow, customers saw no results, or that they’re unhappy with the refund policy. The good news is that GOLO follows up on nearly every complaint with advice and an offer to solve the problem.

GOLO Program Pricing and Shipping

GOLO offers several different options for purchase, beginning with the full GOLO Rescue Plan which includes all elements of the program. Then, users can opt to purchase additional bottles of the Release supplement as needed.

The pricing available on the website at the time this review was written is as follows:

Rescue Plan (Complete GOLO Program): $49.95

Includes:

  • Rescue Plan (guide)
  • Matrix Meal (guide)
  • Truth and Change (guide)
  • 30-day supply of Release supplement
  • 1 year membership to myGOLO.com

With the Rescue Plan you can add additional bottles of supplements for a reduced cost.

  • $29.95 – 30 day supply of Release (90 count)
  • $49.95 – 60 day supply of Release (180 count)

Reorders of supplements not purchased at the same time as the plan are slightly higher in cost:

  • $34.95 – 30 day supply of Release (90 count)
  • $59.90 – 60 day supply of Release (180 count)
  • $74.85 – 90 day supply of Release (270 count)

In order to purchase these additional supplements, you must have purchased the Rescue Plan once before.

Standard shipping is available for free to US locations with your purchase.

If you’re not satisfied, you can get your money back within 30 days of purchase.

The Bottom Line on GOLO

The GOLO program is based on a sound diet plan and the use of a supplement. Based on the scientific information available describing the possible uses of the ingredients, the supplement appears to be an effective choice for those looking to control their blood sugar levels and lose weight. The clinical trials performed by GOLO also support this, although these trials are not peer-reviewed and are not as conclusive as trials performed by third parties.

Who is GOLO a good option for?

GOLO may be especially good for people who are overweight and have tried to lose weight using only diet in the past but haven’t had success. The additional support of the supplement, instructions in the meal plan and customer service may be helpful for achieving lasting weight loss. In addition, for those who have had trouble losing belly fat, GOLO’s plan may work.

Things to Consider

  • GOLO is not a replacement for treatment related to conditions such as insulin resistance, prediabetes or diabetes type 1 or 2. You’ll need to consult with your doctor about using this product and whether or not it’s advisable to use in combination with your other medications or treatment plans.
  • GOLO offers a diet plan that can be easily replaced with similar plans and information available for free. If you haven’t tried following a healthy diet, following the recommended ratios of food groups for meals, it may be worth your time to try this first. A quick search for insulin resistance diets turns up a great number of cookbooks, guides, and recommendations.
  • Exercise isn’t a main part of the program. To achieve your best possible health, exercise is essential. Especially to reduce the effects of insulin resistance, exercise is encouraged. There are many ways to include exercise in your life, and lots of advice about how to motivate yourself to exercise. If you do end up using GOLO, make sure you include exercise in your plans.
  • For any lasting weight loss, you’ll need to put in time and effort on your part. Changing eating habits can be difficult for some people. Ultimately, your success depends on you. You’ll have to seek customer support through GOLO to tailor the program to meet your needs if you don’t see the results you’d like.

Overall, especially when compared to fad diets, the GOLO plan is much more comprehensive and scientifically based. They are clearly invested in the scientific backing of their program by including a team of doctors and qualified personnel in the development and promotion of the program.

The bottom line?

GOLO seems like a real, quality option for helping people lose weight. However, as with any weight loss plan, it’s best if you check with your doctor before beginning so that they can help make sure it’s right for you.