Despite their enormous influence over fat metabolism, hormones are routinely forgotten as a potential target for different dietary regimes.
We often hear of detoxes, low carb programs and high-fat diets yet we rarely hear hormones even mentioned when diets are discussed.
The GOLO regime has changed all that.
It is one of the first dietary programs that’s said to specifically target the underlying hormones that can make fat loss extremely challenging.
What is GOLO?
GOLO is a commercial weight loss program available in the US which claims to target the underlying causes of weight gain via the use of a supplement known as ‘Release.’ It’s a mineral and plant-based formulation that is taken while you follow the GOLO diet to help restore blood glucose levels and balance the hormones that control fat metabolism.
The diet itself is not freely available and requires a subscription to the online community where you receive a range of diet plans, recipes, motivational information as well as the Release supplement to support you on your weight loss journey. The GOLO website does share a series of data to show that the program can result in a weight loss of up to 14 kilos over a six month period, although these studies have not been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal to ensure their validity.
GOLO vs Low GI
The GOLO diet plan is based on a low GI diet, which is said to help reduce insulin levels and as such support weight loss, especially for those impacted by glucose issues such as insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. Specifically, it is promoted as a filling diet, claiming that dieters will not be hungry after eating the meals which are based around lean proteins, healthy fats and unprocessed carbs in controlled portions. The program also encourages dieters to exercise regularly.
While GOLO hits a pertinent point, bringing key hormones such as insulin into the weight loss discussion, the reality is that the GOLO does not appear to be anything more than a calorie controlled, low GI diet that results in moderate weight loss when followed. While the supplement Release may help to keep glucose levels controlled, the reality is that plant and mineral supplements such as garcinia cambogia have been sprouted for their weight loss benefits for some time without groundbreaking results. While these supplements are unlikely to do harm, they are similarly unlikely to be doing anything major to directly impact weight loss either.
The good points of GOLO
What the GOLO program does do is highlight the key role hormones, including insulin, play in body fat metabolism.
Insulin is the number one regulator of both glucose and fat metabolism in the body and high insulin levels over time actually prevent you from burning body fat. High insulin levels left unmanaged will ultimately result in Type 2 diabetes which is why targeting them early is a key step in preventing diabetes and taking control of your weight.
Signs of insulin resistance include an inability to lose weight, sugar cravings, distinct abdominal fat and fatigue. Insulin resistance is a clinical condition and as such needs to be diagnosed by a medical professional so if you have any of these signs or symptoms it is worth having your insulin levels formally assessed.
The best diet to help manage, and ultimately reverse, insulin resistance is a reduced carbohydrate approach with higher levels of protein. Fasting regimes have also been shown to help manage high insulin levels.
Overall it is unlikely that GOLO delivers anything different or new in the diet space, but what it does do is remind us that when it comes to weight control, our insulin levels are important and if your insulin levels are high, it will pay to get them under control long term.
Susie Burrell is a dietitian and nutritionist. Continue the conversation on Twitter @SusieBDiet.