GOLO vs Plenity: Differences, Pros and Cons

The GOLO refers to a self-directed weight management approach, that combines dietary modifications, exercise, and nutritional supplement GOLO Release, aiming to support individuals in achieving their weight loss goals. On the other hand, Plenity refers to an oral superabsorbent hydrogel that is used for the treatment of overweight and obesity. It is a medical device approved by the FDA and is indicated for weight management in overweight and obese adults with a BMI of 25 or more.

When deciding between GOLO and Plenity, it’s important to understand that the primary difference between Plenity and GOLO lies in their mechanisms of action and their classification as either a supplement or a medication, rather than in their dosage or efficacy for weight loss, which can vary widely for both. Neither one is inherently more effective, although GOLO Release doesn’t require a prescription and includes a comprehensive meal plan.

Plenity works by occupying a portion of the stomach, promoting satiety and fullness with minimal adverse reactions. The oral superabsorbent hydrogel contains modified cellulose cross-linked with citric acid, creating a three-dimensional matrix. Despite Plenity’s lack of limitations on therapy duration, a 2020 study conducted by Nicholas Giruzzi from Washington State University revealed that individuals with a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, or heartburn should exercise caution when using it.

The fundamental difference, compounded by the scarcity of extended efficacy studies for both options, contributes significantly to variations in factors like pricing, accessibility, results, and user feedback. Consequently, choosing between GOLO and Plenity is a more complex decision than it may initially seem.

What is the GOLO diet?

The GOLO diet is a weight loss program that emphasizes the regulation of insulin levels and the enhancement of metabolism. It incorporates a meal plan known as the Metabolic Plan and includes a dietary supplement called Release, which is supplied by GOLO, LLC. The program can be followed for a duration ranging from one to three months, with individuals recommended to consume between 1,300 and 1,800 calories daily, spread across three meals.

According to a 2019 study by Buynak Clinical Research, GOLO’s Release supplement showed statistically significant efficacy in weight loss compared to a placebo. Subjects in the GOLO group lost an average of 6.07 kg (13.37 pounds) over a 13-week period, compared to the placebo group’s average weight loss of 3.38 kg (7.45 pounds).

Additionally, the GOLO group saw statistically significant reductions in waist circumference by an average of 7.26 cm (2.86 inches), compared to the placebo group’s 2.37 cm (0.93 inches) reduction, as shown in this diagram.

weight loss results from golo diet study 2019

The key difference between GOLO and Plenity can be traced to their active components. GOLO’s Release primarily contains 70 mcg of Chromium, 15 mg of magnesium, 10 mg of zinc, and a proprietary blend of seven plant-based compounds, including Banaba leaf extract, Rhodiola root extract, and Inositol. In contrast, Plenity’s active ingredients consist of only two natural components: cellulose and citric acid.

The main benefit of the GOLO Diet is potential weight loss. A 2019 study, funded by GOLO LLC., showed that participants lost an average of 13 pounds in 13 weeks on the GOLO Diet while using the Release supplement. However, it’s worth noting that this result may be attributed to calorie restriction rather than the supplement itself.

The main drawback of the GOLO is the pricing for the GOLO Diet, which revolves around purchasing the Release supplement, with costs ranging from $59.95 for 10-20 pounds of weight loss to $119.85 for 41-60 pounds of weight loss.

What is Plenity?

Plenity, also known as Gelesis100, is an oral hydrogel used to treat overweight and obesity. It is taken as a pill 20 minutes before meals with water. The hydrogel created by Plenity can absorb up to 100 times its weight in water, causing a substantial expansion within the gastrointestinal tract. This expansion activates stretch receptors in the stomach, sending signals to the brain indicating fullness.

A 2018 study by Frank L. Greenway from the Louisiana State University System found that Plenity resulted in a greater weight loss of 6.4% compared to a placebo at 4.4%. Among Plenity-treated patients, 59% achieved a weight loss of at least 5%, while 27% achieved a weight loss of at least 10%. Patients who were prediabetic or had drug-naive type 2 diabetes had six times the odds of achieving a weight loss of at least 10%, as shown in this graph.

plenity weight loss study results

The fundamental difference between Plenity and GOLO lies in their capsule consumption regimen. GOLO entails taking one capsule before each meal, three times a day. In contrast, Plenity requires individuals to take three capsules before lunch and an additional three before dinner.

The main benefits of Plenity include that it is an oral hydrogel, unlike other FDA-approved weight loss drugs such as Ozempic or Wegovy. Plenity doesn’t require injections; it is taken as capsules before meals. It acts as a medical device rather than a medicine, making it a non-invasive and non-surgical option for weight loss.

The main disadvantage of Plenity is reported side effects, including gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal distention, constipation, and abdominal pain. These side effects are considered minor and are generally manageable. According to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the incidence of diarrhea was 13.8% in the Gelesis100 group compared to 5.8% in the placebo group. According to Gelesis100, Plenity is contraindicated in pregnancy, chronic malabsorption syndromes, and cholestasis.

What are the differences between Plenity and GOLO?

The following list shows the 6 primary differences between GOLO and Plenity.

  1. Price differences between GOLO and Plenity
  2. Insurance coverage differences between GOLO and Plenity
  3. Scientific research differences between GOLO and Plenity
  4. Weight loss efficacy differences between GOLO and Plenity
  5. Availability differences between GOLO and Plenity
  6. Meal plans differences between GOLO and Plenity

1. Price differences between GOLO and Plenity

The cost structure for GOLO and Plenity reveals notable differences, largely due to the nature of the products and how they are sold. A one-month supply of the GOLO diet averages around $59.95, with options to purchase larger packages such as a three-month supply for $119.95 or a six-month supply for $199.95. These GOLO prices are subject to change and can be verified on the GOLO website.

In contrast, Plenity costs $98 for a 4-week supply, which comes to approximately $1.75 per meal or $0.29 per capsule. If you opt for a 12-week supply, the price drops by 15% to $249, equating to $1.48 per meal or $0.24 per capsule. It’s important to note that Plenity requires a prescription for purchase, which could add cost for a doctor’s visit. Lastly, the cost of Plenity could potentially be offset through insurance or healthcare savings accounts, unlike GOLO which typically does not qualify for such benefits.

2. Insurance coverage differences between GOLO and Plenity

Insurance coverage for GOLO and Plenity varies significantly due to their different classifications. GOLO is a herbal supplement and is not considered a weight loss drug or medical device, so it typically does not receive insurance coverage.

On the other hand, Plenity is a medical device approved by the FDA, and its coverage depends on your specific insurance plan. It is crucial to check with your insurance carrier to determine if Plenity is covered; if not, you may be able to use your HSA, FSA, or MSA to offset some or all of the costs.

Unlike GOLO, Plenity must be prescribed by a healthcare professional with prescription-writing capabilities. Additionally, prescriptions for Plenity can only be filled through GoGoMeds, a designated mail-order pharmacy.

3. Scientific research differences between GOLO and Plenity

The scientific research backing GOLO and Plenity reveals some key differences. GOLO has one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that evaluates its efficacy for weight loss, and this study was funded by GOLO LLC. While the study showed benefits, the fact that it was funded by the company itself may raise questions about bias.

On the other hand, Plenity has been studied more extensively, including a large-scale 2023 study by Deborah Bade Horn from the University of Texas. This study assessed a sample of 20,000 telehealth patients, with a mean age of 44 years and a mean BMI of 32.4 kg/m^2, who received at least one prescription of Plenity.

The Plenity study offers a more robust and independent data set, especially valuable for patients seeking evidence-based treatments. The study not only looked at the effectiveness of Plenity but also examined how it fits within broader weight management practices and healthcare accessibility.

4. Weight loss efficacy differences between GOLO and Plenity

The weight loss efficacy of GOLO and Plenity seems to vary significantly among users, according to online reviews, testimonials, and anecdotal evidence. Some users of GOLO report significant weight loss and improvements in metabolic health, attributing success to both the dietary supplement and the comprehensive meal plan provided.

However, others claim that the GOLO capsules are ineffective and believe that the low-carb diet alone is responsible for their weight loss. Plenity users also have mixed experiences; some report considerable weight loss and improvements in cravings and digestive health, while others complain about gastrointestinal side effects and limited efficacy.

A common critique of Plenity is that it may not always lead to the desired weight loss even when combined with a controlled diet and exercise. It’s worth noting that while some users have achieved their weight loss goals and maintained them, others have faced setbacks, especially during holidays or deviations from the regimen. Both GOLO and Plenity have generated a range of outcomes, and their efficacy can differ widely among individuals.

5. Availability differences between GOLO and Plenity

GOLO is readily available for purchase through its official website, offering consumers the convenience of direct-to-door shipping. Besides the official online store, GOLO supplements can also be found on third-party platforms like eBay or Craigslist, although the authenticity and safety of these products may not be guaranteed. Unlike GOLO, Plenity can only be obtained through a prescription.

To get Plenity, an assessment with a healthcare professional with prescription-writing capabilities is required. Once prescribed, Plenity can only be obtained through GoGoMeds Pharmacy, a designated mail-order pharmacy for the product. This restricts its availability compared to GOLO but also ensures a level of medical oversight in its use.

6. Meal plans differences between GOLO and Plenity

GOLO offers a comprehensive meal plan that is designed to work in tandem with its Release supplement. The meal plan includes a variety of recipes across more than 30 categories, aimed at promoting a balanced and healthy diet. Additionally, GOLO’s Metabolic Plan provides further guidance on lifestyle changes that can enhance weight loss and overall well-being. On the other hand, Plenity does not come with any meal plans or recipes; it is solely a prescription medication in the form of capsules. The focus of Plenity is on its hydrogel technology to create a sense of fullness, rather than providing a comprehensive dietary plan.

What are the overall Pros and Cons when comparing Plenity and GOLO?

Plenity and GOLO offer different advantages and disadvantages. Plenity boasts FDA approval, ensuring its safety and efficacy, and is also free of stimulants, making it a suitable choice for those sensitive to substances like caffeine. Moreover, the convenience of Plenity’s capsule form, which can be taken with water before meals, adds to its appeal.

However, the need for a prescription and its potentially high cost, which may not be covered by insurance, are downsides to consider.

On the other hand, GOLO offers a holistic approach focusing on insulin management and includes a comprehensive diet and lifestyle plan. Unlike Plenity, GOLO is available without a prescription, eliminating the need for booking a health assessment. But it’s worth noting that GOLO is not FDA-approved, so its effectiveness hasn’t undergone the same rigorous testing as Plenity.

What are the alternatives to Plenity and GOLO?

This list shows the alternatives to Plenity and GOLO.

  • PhenQ
  • Leanbean
  • Alli
  • Instant Knockout Cut
  • CalmLean

What are the alternative weight loss medications to Plenity and GOLO?

The alternative weight loss medications to Plenity and GOLO are shown below.

  • Ozempic
  • Metformin
  • Rybelsus
  • Trulicity
  • Mounjaro
  • Wegovy
  • Saxenda
  • Victoza

How do Plenity and GOLO compare to the Ozempic?

Plenity, GOLO, and Ozempic are all designed to aid in weight loss but operate through distinct mechanisms and come with different regulations. Plenity is an FDA-approved oral hydrogel that expands in the stomach to promote a feeling of fullness and requires a prescription. GOLO is a supplement that includes a meal and metabolic plan and is available without a prescription. In contrast, Ozempic is an injectable medication primarily used for managing type 2 diabetes but also offers weight-loss benefits. Unlike Plenity, both GOLO and Ozempic have effects on blood sugar management.