GOLO Diet: Review, Fundamentals, Efficacy, and Accessibility

The GOLO diet, also known as the GOLO Weight Management Program (GWMP), refers to a carefully designed regimen aimed at achieving sustained weight loss by optimizing insulin levels and metabolic function.

Supported by a 2019 pilot study conducted led by Robert J. Buynak, the GOLO weight management program, in conjunction with the GOLO Release supplement, demonstrated significant weight loss, reduced waist circumference, lower triglyceride levels, and improved insulin resistance markers compared to a placebo group.

This approach encompasses a comprehensive meal plan, the “Metabolic Plan,” and incorporates the GOLO Release supplement to aid in weight loss and enhance metabolic health. The cost of the GOLO diet primarily ranges from $39.95 to $59.95 per month for the supplement. Alternative diets like Optavia 5 and 1 plan or Weight Watchers offer similar benefits.

Table of Contents

What is the GOLO Diet?

The GOLO diet, which stands for ‘Go Lose Weight,’ is a commercially available weight management program that includes a specific diet plan, exercise guidelines, and a Release supplement.

A 2019 study by Robert Buynak on the GOLO Weight Management Program with Release supplement showed promising results in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity, leading to statistically significant weight loss of -3.3 kg (3.53% average weight loss) and significant improvements in various body measurement parameters, as well as reductions in Hemoglobin A1C and insulin resistance over a 13-week treatment period.

The GOLO diet aims to help overweight or obese individuals achieve gradual weight loss through balanced nutrition and portioned meals.

What is the origin of the GOLO Diet?

The GOLO Diet originated in 2009, developed by a team of doctors, pharmacists, and researchers with the aim of addressing the challenges of sustainable weight loss.

Chris Lundin, the CEO, and Jennifer Brooks, the President, have been key figures in the company’s mission, with Brooks being Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and having degrees in Culinary Arts and Mind-Body Transformational Psychology.

How does the GOLO Diet work?

The GOLO Diet operates through the management of insulin levels and the enhancement of metabolism. It targets insulin resistance, which can impede weight loss and contribute to weight gain. The diet employs a point-based system that encompasses all four macronutrient groups (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fibers).

The caloric intake is personalized based on individual factors such as sex, age, weight, size, and activity level. The program offers written instructions, motivational support, and compliance tips, while also advocating for at least 15 minutes of daily physical activity.

How does the GOLO Diet work for weight loss?

The GOLO diet works for weight loss by emphasizing a daily caloric intake of 1,300 to 1,800 calories and by avoiding sugar and processed foods, while also taking GOLO Release pills, as shown in this picture.

GOLO release diet pills

GOLO claims that this dietary supplement is ‘clinically proven’ and that its strategy aims to regulate insulin levels and enhance metabolism, potentially leading to weight loss, hormone balance restoration, and increased energy.

This graph shows how fast the Golo diet work for weight loss based on the number of people who used the GOLO pills, according to the Golo website.

golo diet average weight loss

However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of GOLO Release lacks independent verification for its ‘clinically proven’ status, as the pilot studies are sponsored by GOLO itself. This ‘clinically proven’ claim was one of the reasons for the lawsuit against GOLO.

What is the lawsuit against GOLO about?

The lawsuit against GOLO revolves around allegations that the company’s assertion of its dietary supplement being “clinically proven” is deceptive. The lawsuit argues that the studies supporting the supplement’s efficacy were commissioned by GOLO itself and lacked peer review, failing to meet the standard for widely accepted scientific proof.

The complaint emphasizes that scientifically and clinically proven claims require robust evidence and consensus within the scientific community, which the lawsuit contends GOLO’s claims do not fulfill.

What is the GOLO lawsuit update?

There is limited information available on the latest updates regarding the GOLO lawsuit from March 24, 2021. However, it is important to note that the lawsuit was filed by a former GOLO customer, Vincenzza Bubak, who accused the diet pill company of false advertising claims. Bubak alleged that GOLO intentionally marketed and sold Release supplements using false and misleading labeling and advertising.

What is GOLO Release?

The GOLO Release refers to a supplement that is part of the GOLO weight loss program. It is designed to be taken three times a day together with nutritionally balanced homecooked meals to aid in weight loss and improve metabolic parameters in individuals with obesity.

The supplement contains a combination of 7 plant-based ingredients and 3 minerals, including 70 mcg of chromium. In a 2004 study by William T Cefalu from Louisiana State University, Chromium supplementation has been shown to have a small effect on reducing body weight and this effect should be interpreted with caution due to its limited clinical relevance.

What is the effect of GOLO Release?

The effect of GOLO Release is a significant reduction in weight and improvements in metabolic parameters, including waist circumference, triglyceride levels, and markers of insulin resistance in subjects with obesity, as reported in Diabetes Updates, 2019. This graph shows the effects of the GOLO Release supplement after 13 weeks.

effects on weight loss on GOLO release

These effects were observed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the GOLO weight loss program with and without the Release supplement.

What are the ingredients in the GOLO supplement?

The Golo Release supplement consists of a blend of seven natural, plant-based ingredients and three minerals.

Here is a list of the 10 ingredients in the GOLO diet supplement.

  1. Magnesium
  2. Zinc
  3. Chromium
  4. Rhodiola extract
  5. Inositol
  6. Berberine extract
  7. Gardenia extract
  8. Banaba extract
  9. Salacia extract
  10. Apple Extract

All of these ingredients are generally recognized as safe by the FDA. They are carefully selected to support the goals of the Golo diet and assist in managing insulin levels and promoting healthy weight loss.

What are the primary active ingredients of the GOLO supplements?

The primary active ingredients of the GOLO supplements are chromium, zinc, and Banaba leaf extract. According to Buynak Clinical Research, these ingredients are believed to have positive effects on glycemic control, lipid metabolism, and weight management.

Chromium is an important cofactor in insulin action, zinc supports normal islet function and insulin production, and Banaba leaf extract is a traditional medicine known for its hypoglycemic effects. These components are commonly included in products marketed to individuals with obesity and diabetes.

Do the ingredients in GOLO supplements make you poop?

Yes, the magnesium content in GOLO supplements can lead to increased bowel movements, as magnesium is commonly known for its laxative effects. However, the extent to which this effect occurs can vary based on individual sensitivity and supplement formulation.

What are the pros and cons of the GOLO Release supplement?

This table shows the pros and cons of the Golo Release supplement.

Claims to promote healthy weight lossStudies funded by GOLO
Balances insulin levelsUnknown long-term effects
Plant-based ingredientsCaution with pre-existing conditions or medications
Can be continued at a lower dosageSafety and interactions should be discussed with healthcare professional

Who should not take GOLO?

GOLO is not recommended for individuals with diagnosed medical conditions like diabetes or disordered eating symptoms, pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, and those taking medications. It’s also cautioned for those with heart disease, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, allergies, and potential medication interactions.

Who is the GOLO Diet suitable for?

The GOLO Diet is suitable for individuals with obesity who are looking to manage their weight and improve their metabolic parameters, as per a 2019 study by Robert Buynak. The diet is specifically designed for individuals with evidence of insulin resistance, which is commonly seen in people with obesity. The GOLO meal plan emphasizes balanced nutrient intake and portion control to address these concerns effectively.

What is the GOLO meal plan?

The Golo Diet meal plan involves eating three balanced meals per day, totaling around 1,300 to 1,800 calories. The focus of the meal plan is on nutrient-dense whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and meat while avoiding sugar and processed foods like doughnuts, cakes, and pastries in order to manage insulin levels, normalize metabolism and hormones, and promote sustainable weight loss. The GOLO meal plan encourages the inclusion of lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, legumes, potatoes, and nuts.

What Is a Golo 7-Day Meal Plan?

The GOLO 7-Day meal plan is a comprehensive dietary regimen that spans a week and includes balanced breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Emphasizing low-glycemic index foods, portion control, and slow-release carbohydrates, the plan is designed to manage blood sugar levels and metabolic activity.

By incorporating nutrient-dense foods and the Release supplement, the plan aids in weight loss and overall health improvement, often resulting in an average monthly weight loss of around 10 pounds when coupled with exercise.

What foods are on the GOLO diet menu?

The 9 types of foods that are on the GOLO diet menu are listed below.

  1. Animal protein: Beef, chicken, pork, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt.
  2. Seafood: Fresh or frozen seafood.
  3. Healthy fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.
  4. Whole grains: Brown rice and quinoa.
  5. Legumes: Pinto beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans.
  6. Other vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
  7. Fresh fruit: Especially berries.
  8. Green vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, kale, and zucchini.
  9. Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, and cashews.

What are the best foods you can have on a GOLO Diet?

The best foods to have on the GOLO diet, particularly for increasing satiety according to a 2014 study by Candida Rebello from the Louisiana State University System, include protein-rich foods, low-fat dairy products, eggs, legumes, nuts, and dietary fiber sources to increase satiety.

What are the best food delivery options you can have on the GOLO diet?

The list of GOLO meal delivery services is shown below.

  1. Clean Eatz Kitchen
  2. EveryPlate
  3. Factor
  4. Green Chef
  5. HelloFresh

What foods are excluded from the GOLO diet menu?

The GOLO food list excludes foods containing added sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined ingredients, and processed items such as sausages and lunch meats due to their unhealthy additives and fats.

It also discourages the consumption of high-sodium fast foods, those high in saturated fats and empty calories, and deep-fried options, in alignment with the 2016 study by Kimber L Stanhope from the University of California. The study suggests that excess sugar consumption can lead to adverse health effects like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes through direct and indirect pathways, highlighting the importance of avoiding such foods.

What recipes are included in the GOLO diet?

The GOLO diet includes hundreds of recipes spanning 30 categories. Some of these categories include vegetarian meals, fish, gluten-free options, smoothies, salads, pizza sauces, seasonings, and side dishes.

In terms of serving sizes, GOLO recipes follow a numerical order for protein, carbohydrate, vegetable, and fat content. For example, GOLO 2121 represents 2 portions of Protein, 1 portion of Carbohydrate, 2 portions of Vegetables, and 1 portion of Fat, in accordance with the GOLO Smart Card.

What is a GOLO Smart Card?

The GOLO Smart Card is a tool designed to guide individuals on their dietary fuel (food) intake, ensuring that they consume balanced meals in appropriate portion sizes. It adjusts fuel intake based on one’s Personal Metabolic Rate and activity level, allowing individuals to understand how exercise can earn them GOLO Fit Points to consume more food.

Moreover, the GOLO Smart Card offers a straightforward weekly Fuel Log for tracking progress, aiming to facilitate fat loss, metabolic boost, enhanced energy, and overall well-being.

What Are GOLO Fit Points?

GOLO Fit Points are a concept introduced in the GOLO diet, earned primarily through exercise based on its intensity and duration. Once accumulated, these points can be “spent” on specific processed foods and treats, each assigned a point value based on its calorie content and nutritional value.

Although the system is designed to encourage participants to balance their consumption of less healthy options with physical activity, the GOLO Fit Points system can lead to potential side effects such as over-exercising or mental strain from continuous tracking.

What are the side effects of the GOLO diet?

The side effects of the GOLO diet vary from person to person. While the adverse effects were not mentioned in the 2019 pilot study, some users have reported symptoms such as nausea, flushing, and increased bathroom trips on customer review sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau.

What are the long-term side effects of the GOLO diet?

The long-term side effects of the GOLO diet remain largely undocumented in published studies. Anecdotal side effects reported by users through reviews provide limited insight into potential outcomes.

What reviews and complaints have been made about the GOLO diet?

There are several customer complaints and reviews about the GOLO diet. Some of the common complaints include customers not achieving expected weight reduction results, difficulty in obtaining refunds, dissatisfaction with customer service, and issues with return policies. Customers have expressed frustration with the lack of clarity regarding return procedures, the requirement to pay for return shipping, and the absence of information about return fees in the product’s paperwork.

What are the most common customer complaints from using the GOLO Release supplement?

The 7 most common GOLO diet complaints are listed below.

  1. Ineffectiveness
  2. Adverse health effects
  3. Issues with returns and refunds
  4. High prices
  5. Customer service complaints
  6. Shipping and delivery problems
  7. Product causing health problems
  8. Misleading marketing

What do the reviews say about GOLO weight loss results?

The reviews about GOLO weight loss results are mixed. According to the Better Business Bureau, some customers have reported positive results and experiences with the GOLO diet, while others have expressed dissatisfaction about gaining weight while using GOLO’s products.

What are doctors saying about GOLO?

Doctors, including licensed naturopathic doctor Brian Yeung, express skepticism about the GOLO diet, stating that it focuses more on selling a supplement called “Release” than on providing a comprehensive weight loss program. They criticize the lack of transparency in the product’s ingredients and question its effectiveness.

What are the Dr. Oz reviews about GOLO?

Dr. Oz gave the GOLO diet a rating of 2 out of 10 for effectiveness and mentioned a 20% success rate for weight loss. Despite this, he believes that the GOLO diet is not a sustainable solution for long-term weight management, a sentiment that adds to the mixed reviews surrounding Dr. Oz and GOLO.

Does GOLO really work?

It is not possible to conclude whether the GOLO diet truly works. While the GOLO diet emphasizes whole foods and exercise, which aligns with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the unverified claims of the ‘Release’ supplement and its cost should be considered.

What is the cost of the GOLO diet?

The cost of the GOLO diet’s Release supplement starts at $59.95 for a single bottle containing 90 capsules. When purchased in bulk, discounts are available: two bottles are priced at $49.95 each, and three bottles at $39.95 each. However, when asking how much does GOLO cost per month, the total will vary based on how much you spend on groceries.

What is the price of GOLO diet pills at Walmart?

The price of GOLO diet pills at Walmart used to be $49.95 for one bottle of 90 Release pills. While Walmart used to sell GOLO and other weight loss supplements in the past, they have discontinued carrying this specific product.

Can you buy GOLO at Walmart?

No, you cannot buy GOLO at Walmart. While Walmart used to stock GOLO and other weight loss supplements, they have stopped selling GOLO Release.

Where to buy GOLO Release?

You can buy GOLO Release from their official website. Buying directly from the official website often provides substantial discounts, including up to $60 off, compared to other sources. When asked where to buy GOLO Release apart from the official website, consider third-party websites such as eBay, Facebook Groups, and Craigslist.

Which stores sell GOLO diet pills?

Not many stores sell GOLO diet pills. GOLO Release is not sold by major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Costco, Walgreens, or Amazon. Most of the stores sell Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies, which are often mistaken for GOLO Release pills. However, that’s a completely different brand and product.

What is the difference between Goli and GOLO?

The fundamental difference between Goli and GOLO lies in their products and purposes. GOLO Diet is a weight loss program centered around an eating plan and its proprietary supplement “Release,” designed to enhance metabolism and manage insulin resistance for short-term weight loss. On the other hand, Goli is a brand known for its Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies, a supplement that combines apple cider vinegar with vitamins B9 and B12 in a convenient and flavorful format, primarily aimed at offering potential health benefits like digestion support and detoxification.

What Are The Alternatives To The GOLO Diet?

This list shows the GOLO diet alternatives.

  1. Plexus
  2. NOOM
  3. Ketogenic Diet
  4. Weight Watchers
  5. Nutrisystem
  6. Optavia
  7. Alli
  8. Ozempic
  9. Phenq

1. Plexus

Plexus is a company that offers wellness products, including weight management, gut health, skincare, general nutrition, and products for active lifestyles. It gained popularity with its appetite suppressant “pink drink” and utilizes a brand ambassador program for personalized sales.

However, there have been mixed Plexus reviews and potential troubles surrounding Plexus in the weight loss industry.


The fundamental difference between NOOM and GOLO lies in their approaches and offerings. NOOM is a psychology-based mobile app that promotes sustainable weight loss through daily behavioral changes, focusing on mindset and habit transformation.

In contrast, GOLO offers products like the GOLO Release supplement and emphasizes meal planning and metabolism optimization. While NOOM centers around psychological and behavioral support, GOLO incorporates products and strategies for weight management.

3. Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet is another GOLO diet alternative. It is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan that aims to promote weight loss. It involves reducing carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day while increasing fat intake to 70-80% of total calories. The diet’s premise for weight loss is to deprive the body of glucose and produce ketones from stored fat as an alternative fuel source.

4. Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers, also known as WW, is a weight loss program that focuses on sustainable lifestyle changes. It was established in the 1960s by Jean Nidetch and rebranded as WW in 2018. The program emphasizes exercise and healthy eating as key components of weight loss.

Unlike the GOLO diet, the WW program uses a points system based on factors such as starting weight, desired weight loss, food preferences, and exercise. 

5. Nutrisystem

Both GOLO and Nutrisystem are weight loss programs, but they take different approaches to help individuals shed pounds. Nutrisystem is a well-organized weight loss program that offers easy ordering and delivery of monthly meals. Unlike the GOLO diet, the Nutrisystem is designed to help individuals lose weight by providing them with portion-controlled, pre-packaged meals.

These meals from GOLO and Nutrisystem are delivered directly to your doorstep, making it a convenient option for those who struggle with self-control and portion sizes. They eliminate the need to count calories or analyze ingredient labels, offering a straightforward approach to weight management.

6. Optavia

Optavia is a diet program that offers meal replacements in the form of bars, shakes, snacks, and easy-to-prepare recipes. It is designed to help you lose weight and adopt healthy eating habits. The program gained attention on Instagram when TV personality Cake Boss shared his weight loss success using Optavia.

The difference between GOLO and Optavia lies in their core concepts. Optavia emphasizes consuming frequent, small meals throughout the day, with a recommended meal frequency of every 2 to 3 hours, totaling six meals per day. To help maintain satisfaction between meals, Optavia relies on meal replacements known as “Fuelings.”

7. Alli

Alli is an over-the-counter weight-loss pill that is commonly used as an alternative to the GOLO diet. It contains a 60-milligram dose of the prescription drug orlistat, also known as Xenical. Alli is specifically designed for overweight adults who are struggling to lose excess pounds.

Orlistat is an FDA-approved medication that works by reducing the absorption of dietary fat in the intestines. 

8. Ozempic

Ozempic is a medication that is used for weight management and also for managing type 2 diabetes. It contains the active compound semaglutide, which promotes weight loss by causing a feeling of fullness. Ozempic can be a valuable GOLO diet alternative for individuals looking to manage their weight and improve their health.

9. Phenq

PhenQ is another GOLO diet alternative. This is a weight loss supplement designed to assist individuals in achieving their fitness goals. It is presented as the ultimate secret to successful weight loss, with real-life stories, scientific evidence, and expert opinions backing its effectiveness.

According to their website, PhenQ is a revolutionary dietary supplement that has garnered massive attention for its effects on shedding stubborn pounds.