9 Reasons You’re Gaining Weight On the GOLO Diet

Weight gain refers to an increase in the body’s total weight, typically measured in kilograms (kg) or pounds (lbs), resulting from an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. It signifies a positive energy balance, where energy intake exceeds energy expenditure, leading to the accumulation of excess energy in the form of body fat or lean tissue.

Although the GOLO diet aims to address this imbalance by focusing on insulin management to regulate metabolic rate, thereby assisting in weight loss or maintenance, some individuals may still struggle to achieve their desired weight goals.

While a 2019 study by Robert J. Buynak showed an average weight loss of 6.07 kg in the group receiving the GOLO program with Release supplement and 3.38 kg in the placebo group, numerous GOLO reviews from Trustpilot, CustomerAffairs, and online forums suggest that some people have actually gained weight while following the GOLO Diet.

This could be due to various factors such as genetic predisposition, underlying medical conditions, or differences in energy metabolism. Understanding the metabolic determinants of weight gain in humans is crucial for developing personalized and effective weight management strategies.

This article examines the nine most common causes of weight gain on the GOLO Diet, which are listed below. It also provides solutions for losing weight and discusses both the common medications that can cause weight gain and how to use GOLO effectively for weight loss.

  1. Positive energy balance
  2. Sedentary lifestyle
  3. Hormonal factors
  4. Genetic predisposition
  5. Medications
  6. Emotional factors
  7. Lack of sleep
  8. Aging
  9. Yo-yo dieting
  10. Environmental factors
  11. Socioeconomic factors

1. Positive energy balance

A positive energy balance occurs when the energy intake from food and beverages exceeds the energy expended through physical activity and basal metabolic rate. For example, if you consume 2,500 calories in a day but only burn 2,000 calories through exercise and normal bodily functions, you have a positive energy balance of 500 calories.

Despite efforts to GOLO diet, a positive energy balance can be a significant reason for weight gain. For instance, if you reduce your caloric intake to 1,800 calories per day, but your physical activity also decreases, leading you to expend only 1,700 calories, you still have a positive energy balance of 100 calories. A 2013 study by James O. Hill from the University of Colorado highlighted that small changes in energy intake and expenditure totaling 100 kcal per day could arrest weight gain in most people.

The study also emphasized that human physiology is geared towards maintaining energy balance at high levels of intake and expenditure, making it easier to gain weight when dieting without sufficient physical activity. Therefore, an effective approach to prevent weight gain during the GOLO diet should focus not just on caloric restriction but also on increasing physical activity to achieve a negative or neutral energy balance.

2. Sedentary lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is characterized by prolonged periods of physical inactivity, often exceeding 6 to 8 hours a day, where the individual engages in activities that require minimal energy expenditure, such as sitting or lying down. While the GOLO diet offers a distinct approach to weight loss by focusing on insulin management and metabolic balance, it’s important to note that a sedentary lifestyle can still impede your weight loss efforts.

According to the 1999 study by Professor Susan Jebb, the lack of physical activity is a greater contributor to weight gain than increased calorie intake, underscoring the need for exercise alongside any diet plan, including the GOLO diet. This study suggests that even a low-calorie diet like GOLO can be ineffective in the absence of adequate physical activity.

Therefore, to maximize the effectiveness of the GOLO diet, incorporating consistent physical exercise is crucial, as it addresses the significant variable of physical inactivity that can otherwise hinder weight loss.

3. Hormonal factors

Hormonal factors refer to the impact of hormones like insulin, estrogen, and adipokines on physiological processes such as metabolism and fat storage. Hormonal factors can significantly influence weight gain during dieting, often making it challenging to lose weight despite following a GOLO diet plan.

According to a 2020 study by Sarah Ding from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, hormonal imbalances associated with obesity and menopause can lead to increased risks of endometrial cancer. These imbalances include elevated levels of insulin, estrogen, and specific adipokines.

For instance, increased insulin activity due to a gain in visceral fat can make weight loss more difficult, as insulin is a hormone that promotes fat storage. Additionally, hormonal shifts such as decreased levels of circulating estrogen during menopause may lead to changes in fat distribution, further complicating weight loss efforts.

4. Genetic predisposition

Genetic predisposition refers to the increased likelihood of developing a particular condition or characteristic due to one’s genetic makeup. While many factors contribute to weight gain on the GOLO diet, genetic predisposition can play a notable role.

A 2021 study by Laïla Baratali from the University of Lausanne involving 3,033 people (53.2% women, average age 58.4) found that while genes can play a role in obesity, they don’t seem to affect how much weight you can lose or gain over time.

In this study, 2,542 people were followed for 5.3 years, and the results showed that what you eat has a bigger impact on your weight than your genetic makeup. So, for those looking to lose weight, the GOLO diet offers a different approach that could be more effective than just counting calories.

5. Medications

Medications are a significant factor in weight gain during dieting, often counteracting the benefits of a calorie-controlled diet and exercise. According to a 2005 study by Rosane Ness-Abramof from Tel Aviv University, medications like atypical antipsychotics and certain antidepressants are known to cause significant weight gain, thereby complicating the effectiveness of diet plans like GOLO.

The study suggests that if you’re on medications such as clozapine, olanzapine, amitriptyline, or mirtazapine, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider and possibly consider combination therapy with metformin to mitigate medication-induced weight gain while following the GOLO diet.

6. Emotional factors

Emotional factors refer to psychological elements like stress, depression, and anxiety that can influence behavior and physiological responses. Emotional factors can play a significant role in weight gain, even when one is following a GOLO diet. The 2020 study by Hye Jin Jang found that stress awareness had a significant impact on weight gain among women, showing an odds ratio of 1.271.

Moreover, depression was initially found to be associated with weight gain, although its significance diminished when adjusted for other variables. In the broader context, emotional factors like stress, anxiety, and fear can lead to cortisol release, which has been suggested to contribute to weight gain.

This aligns with other studies that have found relationships between cortisol levels, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance. Therefore, managing emotional factors can be crucial for effective weight control.

7. Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep, defined as consistently getting fewer than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults, can have significant implications for those following the GOLO diet. According to a 2018 study by Christopher B. Cooper from the University of California, individuals who regularly slept less than 7 hours per night were more likely to have higher average body mass indexes (BMIs) and develop obesity.

The same study noted that sleep restriction was associated with increased levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, and decreased levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, thereby potentially sabotaging GOLO diet efforts. The Nurses Health Study, which followed 121,700 female nurses over 16 years, found that women sleeping 5 hours or less were 32% more likely to gain 15 kg (33 lbs) or more compared to those sleeping 7–8 hours per night.

Another finding from the 2008 study by Francesco P. Cappuccio indicated that a reduction in 1 hour of sleep per day would be associated with a 0.35 kg/m22 increase in BMI, which equates to a weight gain of approximately 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs) for a person who is about 178 cm tall, as shown in this graph.

sleep deprivation weight gain

These sleep-related factors should be considered when following the GOLO diet for effective weight management.

8. Aging

Aging is the biological process of growing older, which is inevitable for all living organisms. In humans, aging is typically measured in years, and it is generally accepted that the process accelerates after the age of 30, leading to various physiological and metabolic changes.

The study from 2022 by Nathalia A. B. Souza from Rio de Janeiro State University says that as people get older, they tend to gain weight and their Body Mass Index (BMI) goes up, as shown in this diagram.

weight gain with aging
  • For men:
    • Weight increases by 0.10 kg each year
    • BMI goes up by 0.04 kg/m² each year
  • For women:
    • Weight increases by 0.22 kg each year
    • BMI goes up by 0.09 kg/m² each year

So, if you’re trying to lose weight on a GOLO diet, it gets harder as you age, especially if you’re over 30 years old. This is because your metabolism (how fast your body uses energy) usually slows down as you get older. This means older adults might need special diet plans compared to younger people.

9. Yo-yo dieting

Yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, refers to a pattern of losing and then regaining weight, often in cycles that can vary from a few pounds to several tens of pounds. According to a 2019 study by Raian E. Contreras from Helmholtz Zentrum München, weight cycling is driven by physiological counter-regulatory mechanisms that aim at preserving energy, such as decreased energy expenditure and increased energy intake.

Yo-yo dieting can be a significant reason for weight gain during the GOLO diet, exacerbating the obesity epidemic that affects more than 1.9 billion adults worldwide. Studies have shown that only 20% of overweight and obese individuals are able to maintain weight loss long-term, often due to weight cycling.

Weight regain often starts within the first year of weight loss, and the pre-intervention weight is usually reached or even surpassed in the subsequent 2 to 5 years. A study by Wing and Phelan in 2005 reported that 50% of individuals who avoided weight cycling in the first year after weight loss had a decreased risk of subsequent weight regain. This phenomenon is driven by a combination of factors including hormonal changes and alterations in energy expenditure, making it difficult for individuals to maintain their weight loss.

What medications can affect GOLO weight gain?

The following list shows the medication associated with weight gain on the GOLO diet, as per a 2005 study by Margaret Malone.

  • Amitriptyline
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Valproate (Depakote)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Insulin
  • Glyburide (Diabeta)
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • Pioglitazone (Actos)
  • Rosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • Prednisone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cyproheptadine (Periactin)
  • Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone acetate)
  • Propranolol (Inderal)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor)
  • Clonidine (Catapres)

What is the average GOLO weight gain?

There is no reported number for the average weight gain on the GOLO diet, as the data is not consistent and varies widely among individuals. Most people who report weight gain while on the GOLO Diet attribute it to a variety of reasons, including hormonal factors, emotional eating, and medication side effects. Due to these varying factors, it is difficult to provide a single, accurate number for the average weight gain experienced by GOLO diet users.

What are the common side effects of the GOLO diet?

The common side effects of the GOLO diet include headaches, diarrhea, and gas. These symptoms may vary in intensity and duration among different individuals.

How to use GOLO to lose weight without side effects?

To use the GOLO Diet for weight loss without side effects, start by following the meal plans and portion guidelines provided in the program, which focus on balanced nutrition and insulin management.

When asking about how to take GOLO, incorporate the Release supplement as recommended to help regulate blood sugar levels and support metabolic efficiency. Pair these dietary guidelines with regular exercise, as advised in the GOLO Metabolic Plan, to maximize weight loss and improve overall health.