Michelle Pugle is an expert health writer with nearly a decade of experience contributing accurate and accessible health information to authority publications.
Melissa Nieves, LND, RD, is a registered dietitian working for a private practice.
The Golo diet is a weight loss diet. People on the Golo diet are encouraged to restrict calories to 1,300 to 1,500 per day and eat nutritionally-dense whole foods while avoiding processed foods and adding 15 minutes of daily exercise to their lifestyle. Part of the diet also includes taking a nutritional supplement called Release made by the diet maker. 
In this article, you’ll learn about the Golo diet benefits and how the diet works, including what to expect, what to eat, and what to avoid. 
Erik Witsoe / EyeEm / Getty Images
Weight loss benefits expected in people with obesity can include an average weight loss of 20 pounds within the first 90 days and an average of 48 pounds lost over a year, according to the Golo website.
However, peer-reviewed clinical studies on the Golo diet are lacking. The two most commonly cited research studies include one pilot study by the maker that didn’t have a placebo or control group. A placebo group is necessary for making accurate conclusions about whether or not specific interventions were effective. Third-party testing is also standard practice to avoid conflict of interests in study design and results. 
While the Golo diet is associated with weight loss in pilot studies conducted by the diet maker, the diet and its accompanying supplement release have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

One study published in 2019 suggests an average weight loss of about 1 pound per week in people with obesity. Participants who followed the Golo diet guidelines saw an average weight loss, for example, of 13 pounds in 13 weeks (compared with a placebo group who lost an average of 7.5 pounds).
Still, it’s difficult to conclude the efficacy of the Golo diet and release supplement due to the small sample size (68 participants) and lack of participant follow-up after 13 weeks. 
The company website claims the diet works by addressing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, they claim, is at the root of why it’s challenging to lose weight. The Golo diet metabolic plan works for weight loss in people with obesity because it requires calorie restriction, diet changes, and increased physical activity (15 minutes per day). 
Along with managing stress and getting adequate sleep, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says such lifestyle changes are beneficial for reversing insulin resistance. Food recommendations include eating whole foods that support healthy insulin levels, avoiding highly processed foods, and taking Release supplements. Additionally, 15 minutes of physical activity is recommended per day.
The company says this is not a diet, but a lifestyle. As such, you can expect these to be long-term changes. However, their site also claims their program offers ''30 days to better health,'' which they say includes better sleep and overall better outlook on life. 
The typical duration of testimonials for the Golo diet range from three months to two years, but there’s no set start and stop time for the Golo diet.
People typically take Release for three to six months, says the company website, although they also state it is “safe for long-term use,” and you can take it as long as you want or until you reach your weight or health goals. Then, you can discontinue use altogether or continue taking Release at a reduce dosage if preferred. 

The Golo diet allows nutrient-dense whole foods but discourages highly processed foods. 
The compliant foods have in common that they help regulate insulin levels, promote heart health, and “play an important role in controlling weight,” according to the website.

The non-compliant foods, on the other hand, make it more challenging for your body to regulate blood sugar levels. Snacking, suggests the Golo website, may be linked to stress eating or emotional eating, which can trigger insulin dysregulation, too.
Release supplements contain 10 key ingredients, including seven plant-based extracts and three essential minerals. 
Release helps balance hormones and improve metabolic efficiency, according to its makers.
According to the Golo company website, here are over 200 published independent experimental studies supporting the safety and efficacy of the ingredients in Release:

However, there isn't enough evidence from rigorous studies conducted on humans to draw health claims for some of these supplements, including Rhodiola and berberine or goldenseal.
People on the Golo diet will eat regular meals from the Golo meal plan and take one capsule with each meal for a total of three capsules per day.
You can make the Golo diet more cost-effective by following the food and physical activity suggestions but avoiding purchasing the supplement. Eating whole foods, avoiding processed foods, and increasing physical activity will make some difference to your overall health goals. If you’d still like to see if the supplement could help promote more weight loss, you could also take a lower dose but would also reasonably expect reduced results. 
The following are things to keep in mind while considering the Golo diet.
The compliant and non-compliant food recommendations are similar to the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations, which suggest eating more fruits and vegetables, a variety of carbohydrates but mostly whole grains, lean meats, and healthy oils while avoiding processed food items and trans fats. 
The difference here is that MyPlate recommends limiting milk and dairy to at least three servings per day, depending on individual caloric recommendations.
Changing your diet doesn’t necessarily have to be costly with the Golo meal plan, but the supplements can add up.
Release supplements cost this much according to their website:

The Golo and the DASH diet, or the dietary approaches to a hypertension diet, are similar diets promoted to reduce the risk of metabolic diseases like insulin resistance or prediabetes and hypertension.
The Golo diet is about reducing risk of or reversing insulin resistance with diet, exercise, and supplement. 
The DASH diet is promoted to reduce hypertension or high blood pressure and the risk of obesity and heart disease. Both recommend avoiding saturated fats and highly processed foods. They also suggest maintaining healthy hormone and metabolic energy levels with whole foods. 
For example, the DASH diet also recommends eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats in moderation. 
The DASH diet differs from the Golo diet in that it recommends limiting red meat and consuming low-fat dairy products. In contrast, the Golo diet recommends consuming beef and full-fat dairy products (within moderation). The DASH diet also differs in providing specific guidelines around sodium intake (1,500 to 2,300 milligrams per day).
The DASH diet is not suitable for people on dialysis, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
The Golo diet is a weight loss diet and supplement plan. It’s said to work by encouraging someone to eat more whole foods or nutrient-dense options, increase physical activity, and take a nutritional supplement made of plant-based extracts and essential minerals. People may lose up to 1 to 2 pounds per week, but clinical studies on actual efficacy or long-term weight loss are lacking. The supplement isn’t exactly science-backed, and it is a monthly bill. The Golo diet is similar to the DASH diet but encourages full-fat dairy instead of low-fat. 

Golo. Studies
Buynak RJ. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of the GOLO weight management program with and without Release supplement on weight and metabolic parameters in subjects with obesity. 2019(2):1-2. doi:10.15761/TDM.1000109
Golo. Shop.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Insulin resistance and diabetes.
Golo. Meal plans that work.
NCCIH. Rhodiola.
NCCIH. Goldenseal.
USDA. MyPlate Plan.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. DASH eating plan.
National Kidney Foundation. The dash diet.
By Michelle Pugle
Michelle Pugle, BA, MA, is an expert health writer with nearly a decade of contributing accurate and accessible health news and information to authority websites and print magazines. Her work focuses on lifestyle management, chronic illness, and mental health. Michelle is the author of Ana, Mia & Me: A Memoir From an Anorexic Teen Mind. 

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