Weight loss: There’s an app for that.
Mobile apps are, admittedly, a convenient way to begin your weight loss or fitness journey.
Here we review the Noom fitness app. Noom’s goal is to help people lead healthier lives. They value healthy lifestyle habits over weight loss, and their program focuses on behavioral change, rather than dieting.
With the help of health coaches, nutritionists, licensed MDs, and clinical fitness experts, Noom offers a program to its members through a mobile app to help them reach their target weight and accomplish their health and wellness goals.
Members receive advice on how to develop healthy eating patterns along with guidance and support from online coaches.
Noom’s program itself isn’t a diet at all. The program teaches members about nutrition, challenges stigma, and addresses the mental and emotional hurdles many people face when it comes to losing weight.
How Does Noom Work?
Noom supports its members by helping them build healthier habits. They believe that the best way to encourage people to have a healthier lifestyle is to develop a product that makes their lifestyle more enjoyable.
Quick-fix diets don’t work. I know that; you know that. Noom knows that. Changing our lifestyles, our behavior, and our habits is a much healthier approach to weight loss and healthy living.
To join Noom, you complete their initial evaluation, and then a custom profile is created for you through the Noom mobile app. Keep track of what you eat and when you eat it, and the app will provide health tips and suggestions as you go. At the end of each day, Noom shows you a summary of your habits.
Noom offers specific programs that typically follow a 16-week plan. For example, as a member, you can sign up for the Healthy Weight program or the Diabetes Prevention program.
Noom’s program uses a calorie-counting method, and they encourage healthier eating by color-coding foods as green, yellow, or red foods. The basis of their color-coded system is a food’s density — for example, foods that are lighter and lower in calories are green. Through this system, Noom aims to teach you how to balance your diet appropriately.
Noom’s entire program is within the app — even their lessons and support — so you can’t participate in the program without the mobile app. This seems like kind of a cool feature, but for some people, having a web option might be helpful. Let’s take a look at the main focuses of Noom’s program.
Noom encourages daily food tracking. They give you a daily calorie limit, determined by factors like age, gender, weight, height, and your weight loss goals. Noom analyzes your food choices and then groups them into color-coded categories.
There are more than 150,000 foods in their database, and you can add and track your own recipes.
Lessons and Tasks
Noom values healthy lifestyle habits over weight loss, and their daily lessons and tasks focus on behavioral change. They share new articles and quizzes with you every day, which only take a few minutes to read or complete.
Noom’s lessons and tasks are meant to help you define your goals, learn the psychology behind weight loss, strengthen your willpower, and manage stress. They want to teach you how to make your new healthy lifestyle last, “so you can keep the weight off for good.”
Accountability, Support, and Motivation
Noom provides each member with a “goal specialist.” The goal specialist checks in with you weekly to make sure you’re following through with Noom’s program, and provides encouragement and motivation.
For added support from a community of members, you’ll also have access to a weight loss group. For a lot of people, this extra bit of support and encouragement is exactly what they need.
Some things you might like about Noom:
- It’s not a diet
- It’ll provide you with insight into the foods you’re eating
- Nothing is off-limits — you can eat what you want
- Noom tries to help you build healthy habits rather than just lose weight
- You get an individualized program
- Noom offers 1-on-1 coaching with a goal specialist
- You can get support and connect with other members through the Noom community
- Noom has a database of more than 150,000 foods
- 60% of users have been able to keep weight off for 1+ years
Some things that make you go “hmm…”
- The goal specialists aren’t necessarily experts and may use auto-responses
- Noom’s program is exclusively through a mobile app, so you have to do the program entirely from your phone or tablet
- Their program prices are more expensive than some other weight loss programs
- A lot of former members complain of poor service and not being able to cancel their membership
We all know Noom isn’t the first — and won’t be the last — weight loss program out there. Here are two of their top competitors.
Noom and Weight Watchers both work on an app-based system, but Weight Watchers offers members in-person meetings, giving members the chance to connect with health coaches and each other in real life. They also have a different approach from Noom — Weight Watchers is more focused on the long game.
MyFitnessPal is known as a fitness app, but their motto is “Fitness starts with what you eat,” so diet clearly plays a role in how their program works. MyFitnessPal combines food tracking with daily activity and exercise tracking, and doesn’t boast a lot of the extra features that other diet programs offer.
The Noom Fitness App Review Verdict
Noom seems to be a program that has its members’ best interests at heart. Focusing on behavior and encouraging healthy habits is noble, so I’d love to be able to recommend Noom to anyone looking for a solution to weight loss.
However, I can’t get past the reviews of some of Noom’s members, and the thought that the coaches are auto-responders. From a service standpoint, given the price of Noom’s program relative to the number of complaints, I can’t with total confidence recommend the app to everyone.
For someone who’s looking for a more psychological approach to weight loss, and who won’t rely on coaching support or accountability, it seems like a fine option.
For someone who would like to have their hands held through their weight loss journey though, with a white-glove level of service, Weight Watchers is worth a look.
Have you tried Noom? Share your experience!