According to their website, The Golo Diet, which stands for “go lose weight, go look great, go love life”, was developed by a team of doctors, nutritionists and pharmacists in 2008. And in 2016 Golo Diet was the most Google searched diet. (Verywell Fit) Even so the Golo Diet has been surrounded by a lot of controversy and skepticism. Given that it claims to have a hormonal balance supplement and diet program that promotes extreme weight loss even though there is little scientific evidence to validate the results and effectiveness. So what is the Golo Diet and is it healthy?
What is the GOLO Diet?
A lot of people have heard something about this new diet by now, but many are wondering, what is the GOLO diet? The idea behind the GOLO diet is based around balancing hormones. According to the website, their philosophy is that hormone imbalances cause stress and anxiety, which then leads to fatigue, poor sleep quality, and hunger. Their idea is that this imbalanced lifestyle naturally leads to bad eating habits, including emotional eating and binge eating. GOLO’s creator’s opinions are that dieting and exercising by themselves won’t lead to weight loss, so they created a patented weight loss capsule called “Release”. The release capsule is probably the core part of the whole GOLO program.
On their website, GOLO states that Release “contains important plant extracts and key minerals clinically proven to help manage psychological aspects of weight.” They claim that the capsule optimizes blood sugar and regulates insulin, balances hormones, extends satiety and helps to control cravings.
The diet’s users take the Release capsule three times a day with the recommended meals of lean meats, vegetables and fruits, in conjunction with 15 minutes of exercise a day. GOLO recommends to those trying the diet to reduce the dosage if they only have 10 to 20 pounds they’re hoping to lose or if they are losing more than four pounds a week. They also advise gradually stopping the program if you reach your desired weight goal.
The few studies that have been done on the results of the GOLO diet participants were conducted by the company itself. The results, according to the company website, are as follows: The participants lost an average of 37.4 lbs (16.1%) of their body weight and 6.4 inches from their waists.
In addition to this, the GOLO company states that a randomized, double-blind study that was done on overweight subjects in 2018, found that those who took the Release capsule, lost significantly more weight and inches off their waist than the placebo subjects did. However, these studies were both funded and conducted by GOLO and none of the research can be found on the peer-reviewed National Library of Medicine Database. It is concerning because the ingredients in supplements are not very well regulated and most of the ingredients in Release are unknown. The National Library of Medicine Database cautions individuals that some of these ingredients can trigger nausea or cause digestive issues.
Keep in mind, the creators’ of GOLO Diet do not disclose information about the Release capsule or the diet program. Therefore, it is uncertain if this diet helps with weight loss or if it is safe or healthy.
What is the Macrobiotic Diet?
When looking at the GOLO diet, you can find bits and pieces of logic. Yes, an imbalanced lifestyle can lead to an imbalanced diet. And yes, it sounds reasonable that a capsule that contains plant extracts and minerals is good for you. The question is, is there an alternative diet that incorporates the psychological principle of the GOLO diet, without the expensive capsules and the big unknowns?
The answer to this is yes; It is called the macrobiotic diet. The macrobiotic diet is all about incorporating more grains, legumes, pulses (beans, peas. etc.) fruits, vegetables, prebiotic and probiotic, fermented foods, and nuts and seeds in our regular daily diet. These foods are proven to promote longevity. Macrobiotic diet is also a lifestyle as it recommends individuals to get outside, sit while eating, enjoy food, garden, explore nature and go for a walk. Unlike GOLO Diet, this way of eating and lifestyle was not developed by doctors and pharmacists. Instead, it is based on the diet and lifestyle practices of long standing world civilizations that have survived for thousands of years without developing chronic disease.
Why Choose the Macrobiotic Diet over the GOLO Diet
No Expensive Supplements
Beginning the macrobiotic way of eating does not require any supplements or plant extracts. It simply necessitates you learning how to eat a well-rounded, plant-based diet. This is much easier than it may sound once you get into the groove of it and learn about all the amazing food nature provides for us. When done right, this diet can provide all the essential nutrients humans need, including vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy carbs, and all those micronutrients that are so overlooked in the average modern diet.
No Intense Exercising
The macrobiotic diet does not require you to exercise intensively or to have an exact workout that you stick to every day. It does recommend that you try and get 30 minutes of walking, yoga, or other physical activity in a day. That, however, is just common sense for keeping your body healthy. The macrobiotic diet emphasizes respecting your body, not being too extreme on it, both in the eating department and when exercising. Therefore, it is a great, healthy diet for everyone even if you suffer from physical limitations.
No Calorie Counting
Another plus of the macrobiotic diet is that there is no calorie counting. Cutting and counting one’s calorie consumption is a common practice of dieters. This can be a somewhat effective weight-loss method, however, it never beats just eating right in the first place! Once you learn the basics of macrobiotics, which is simply learning how to build a healthy plant-based meal with simple guidelines, there will be no need for counting calories.
No Expensive Plans
Macrobiotics does not have a plan that requires purchasing. There are, however, references you can look into including a lot of books on the topic, such as “The Ultimate Guide to Eating For Longevity”, by Denny and Susan Waxman. Denny Waxman is a public counselor, teacher, and author on the subject of macrobiotics. Susan Waxman is If you want to get a more hands-on, in-depth grasp of how to practice a macrobiotic lifestyle, you can take a course at SHI Macrobiotics.
Again, the biggest difference between the GOLO diet and taking on a macrobiotic view of nutrition is that GOLO was developed by a team of people. There is no actual peer-reviewed proof that the GOLO diet works and the complete list of ingredients in the Release tablet remain a mystery. Whereas macrobiotics, on the other hand, is taken from the observations of how our ancestors have eaten and taken care of their bodily temples for thousands of years.