Diet fads come and go, but lifestyle changes are what have lasting benefits for those serious about getting healthy. Noom is a weight loss app that is quickly growing to one of the most popular weight loss programs. In fact, in 2018, it was the third most-searched weight loss program on Google!
If you have spent much time at all on social media, you have probably seen a Noom ad. Their strong social media presence may be part of their current success, but it does not help you understand the program. What is Noom, and will it help you reach your weight loss goals?
Here’s our take on Noom, its pros and cons, its claims, and what people are saying about it. If you’ve been curious about this app, our Noom review will give you the lowdown.
What Is Noom?
Noom claims to be the “Weight Loss App for Millennials.” Basically, it is a weight loss and food tracking app designed by a team of behavioral psychologists.
The psychologists bring a key difference to Noom that other weight loss apps lack. Noom not only helps its users track their food, but it also teaches tangible, sustainable lifestyle changes that will help with weight loss and maintenance.
The app has five main features, which are:
- A personalized calorie breakdown and goals that are personalized based on your answers to specific lifestyle questions.
- A food tracker that makes it easy for you to track your foods based on your calorie breakdown.
- A place to log weight, exercise, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
- The option for in-app one-on-one health coaching through a messaging system.
- Articles and quizzes from the behavioral psychologists that help you stay motivated.
In every one of these features, psychology plays an important role. This psychological component is what Noom claims makes their weight loss app unique.
How Does Noom Work?
After completing your health questionnaire, Noom will give you a daily calorie goal. It then categorizes foods based on how nutritious they are. The categories break down as follows:
- Green – Nutrient dense foods like fresh produce
- Yellow – Proteins and starches
- Red – “Treat” foods like desserts, alcohol, and pizza
None of these categories are forbidden, but the app will encourage you to eat plenty of green, smaller portions of yellow, and even smaller amounts of red.
Every time you eat something, you log it. The app comes with a scanner that you can scan food labels for packaged food, as well as a database you can search for foods that don’t have a bar code. In February of 2019, Noom’s database was named the most robust available, so you should have no trouble finding your foods.
Noom also offers one-on-one coaching during normal business hours through the app. If you are facing a situation that you are unsure how to navigate or are struggling with emotional eating, just message your coach to get support. All coaches are approved through the National Consortium for Credentialing Health and Wellness Coaches.
Finally, Noom connects you with a group of others who are using the app and tracking their own weight loss. This interactive group creates positive peer support. You’ll also receive daily articles and tips to help you stick with your goals.
Noom helps teach the basic strategies that make lasting weight loss possible. These include:
- Portion control – The app teaches portion control through food logging. Making better choices and limiting portions of less nutrient-dense foods leads to weight loss.
- Balance – Carbs, sugars, and starches are allowed, but in moderation. This makes Noom a lifestyle change that people can stick with.
- Psychology – Many people struggle with an unhealthy relationship with food. Noom addresses this through the psychological component.
- Social eating – Social eating, like parties and dinners out, can sabotage most weight loss programs, but Noom has a plan for this.
- Managing emotional eating – Like social eating situations, emotional and binge eating can hinder results, but Noom’s articles and support address this.
It also builds a supportive community around you as you focus on attaining your goals.
What Does Noom Cost?
On their ads, Noom claims to cost about the same price as a new pair of shoes. That is a difficult price to quantify, because what is a fair price for shoe to one person will be different for the next.
Noom charges a monthly fee for the app and coaching, and that fee is a recurring charge. This fee does change sometimes, but in the fall of 2019, the cost was:
- Monthly auto-pay: $59
- Two-month auto-pay: $99
- Four-month auto-pay: $129
- Six-month auto-pay: $149
- Eight-month auto-pay: $159
- Yearly auto-pay: $199
With this pricing structure, a longer subscription earns significant discounts. If you want to try out the app without a long-term commitment, you can start for just $1 for 14 days, after which time you either cancel or pay your chosen monthly recurring amount.
For most people Noom recommends a four-month commitment, which breaks down to $32.25 per month. This is pretty close to the claim of “the same amount as a new pair of shoes.”
What Will I Eat on Noom?
What makes Noom different than many weight loss programs is the fact that you choose what you eat. You can eat pizza from time to time, enjoy an occasional bowl of ice cream, and continue to cook your favorite recipes. However, you will learn how to categorize food and make better choices in order to fill your day with primarily green foods, and fewer red or yellow foods.
Because the program encourages green foods in the largest portions, your meals will consist of plenty of fresh produce. Noom does not require any particular timing for eating, but it does encourage you to opt for fruits and vegetables first.
If you struggle to know how to cook in a healthy manner, the app has a database of recipes you can try. Tap into this resource for fresh inspiration.
There are no protein shakes or meal replacements required with Noom. You will eat real foods every day and learn to manage your portions and your food choices.
Do I Need to Exercise with Noom?
Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, and Noom does encourage regular activity. It has an in-app pedometer to help you track your steps, if you wish. Keep in mind that using the pedometer requires you to keep your phone on your person at all times.
However, Noom’s focus is on food, not exercise. If you choose to exercise and log it, you will earn back half of those calories for food. You can choose to eat those calories or not, depending on your goals.
How Much Weight Can I Lose with Noom?
Noom advocates for a healthy rate of weight loss of between 1 and 2 pounds per week. The amount of weight any individual will lose depends on their current weight and their goal, and how consistently they use the program.
Before launching Noom as an app officially, its creators did a research study, which they published in the British Medical Journal. In the study, 43 overweight or obese participants used the program. At 15 and 24 weeks, all reported significant weight loss, with 64 percent of those who completed the program losing over 5 percent of their body weight.
The average weight loss at 24 weeks was 6.58 percent of body weight for those who started, but did not complete, the program, and 7.5 percent for those who completed.
In an earlier 2016 study, 77.9 percent of participants dropped body weight while using Noom for a total of nine months. This study found that logging dinner regularly was directly connected to increased success and a reduced risk of weight gain after completing the program.
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This #transformationtuesday, we're celebrating Cathy's incredible transformation. After years of yo-yo dieting, Cathy joined Noom, ditched the diet mindset, and decided to make a lifestyle change. "I feel transformed, vibrant, and full of enthusiasm. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have the tools and skills to stay on this healthy journey. Most importantly, I’ve learned to enjoy the healthy food, enjoy the strength from exercise, and enjoy the life I’m living!” Check out Cathy's full story by clicking the link in the bio! • • • #noomnation #weightloss #motivation #healthylifestyle #noom #healthy #nyc #weightlossjourney #nutrition #exercise #workhard
How much weight a person loses depends on how well they use the app and how well they embrace this new way of thinking about food.
Noom Reviews and Results: What Users Are Saying About Noom
Searching through recent, verified user reviews, it’s easy to see what people love about Noom, and what they do not.
Most people found that the app required very little time commitment to use. One reviewer said it took only 5 to 10 minutes a day to log and plan food and read the daily article.
The majority of reviewers who followed the right portions did lose weight while using Noom. The weight loss amounts were not staggering or fast, but reviewers did note several pounds of loss.
Positive reviewers indicated they felt the lifestyle change made through Noom was sustainable, even after their subscription ended.
What many reviewers liked about the program is the fact that it is forgiving. If you make a mistake, you have not wasted all of your hard work. Simply get back on track the next day. Also, reviewers appreciated that no food is off-limits as long as you follow balance.
The human interaction of the program was highly praised. The motivation from the daily coach connections helped many reviewers stay on track with their goals.
Finally, reviewers consistently touted the education side of Noom. Learning about nutrition and the psychology of weight loss helped users maintain their results and develop a healthier relationship with food.
The majority of reviews were positive, but a few negatives were discussed that you would need to consider.
Some reviewers indicated the app was effective, but not worth the cost. Similar free or low-cost apps offer the same tracking options with less expense. However, these do not have coaching.
People who wished to cancel their membership often expressed frustration with the cancellation process.
Users also reported that the one-on-one coaching was only available during business hours, when weekends and evenings are the times that most people face eating challenges and social eating scenarios.
Finally, some users and dietitians claimed the app did not include enough fat-heavy, nutrient-dense foods, like avocado and healthy oils. Noom does limit these because of their high calorie density.
Noom Review — Pros and Cons
So what are the pros and cons of Noom? Is it worth investing between $30 and $60 a month to use an app to track your food? Here’s a breakdown.
- Simple-to-use food log, calorie tracker, and activity tracker
- Easy-to-understand color coded system.
- One-on-one coaching
- Peer support group
- Daily scientific and psychological articles
- Ability to enjoy social food occasions
- No need to cut any one food group
- A program tailored to your specific goals and current state of health
- Offers a 14-day trial
- Focuses on creating lasting lifestyle change
- Offers option to track blood glucose and blood pressure if desired
- Somewhat pricey depending on the number of months you use it
- Similar food tracking, without the additional support, is available for less or for free
- Coaching is only available during normal business hours
- Have to choose to unsubscribe or recurring charges continue
- Weight will return if you do not change your lifestyle
- Huge price difference for paying monthly instead of four or more months at a time
- Requires daily logging to be effective, which means daily time spent on the phone
- Requires a smart phone and Internet connection
- May not include enough healthy fats for some people
Do We Recommend Noom? Our Final Noom Review and Recommendation
First, we appreciate the fact that Noom teaches portion control without restricting any food. You can eat your favorite desserts in moderation. This helps prevent rebound weight gain after a strict diet plan.
The app is easy to use and full of support. This helps motivate users to continue reaching toward their goals. It does require daily tracking, but seeing results and getting daily encouragement makes that easy, and it is not time consuming.
We love that Noom allows and plans for dining out. This means you don’t have to miss out on social occasions while losing weight.
The daily counseling and coaching is also a benefit of this app, though we wish it would be available in the evening or on weekends.
Noom has some scientific studies to back its success, but more long-term weight loss studies are needed to determinate if users are able to sustain their lifestyle changes and weight loss for life. Also, the cost may be prohibitive for some, though Noom costs much less than meal replacement programs. Finally, Noom requires the user to make active, healthy food choices, rather then relying on pre-packaged meals.
Overall, the science and psychology of Noom appears to work. The technology aspect appeals to modern adults who enjoy using their phones for many applications. If you stick to the program, follow the advice of your coach, and learn to make better food choices daily, you can have a successful weight loss journey with Noom.
Latest Noom Coupons & Deals:
Best Deal: 30 Day Free Trial
What Do You Think?
Have you tried the Noom App? Why did you choose it? What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it? Did it help you lose weight? Would you recommend it to friends and family?
We’d love to hear about your experiences with Noom! Share your feedback & Noom reviews with us and our readers in the comment section below.