What exactly is Noom?
Noom is a weight loss program that has created a buzz among health enthusiasts lately, and you might be wondering whether or not it’s worth the hype.
Noom is an app designed to help people lose weight, get fit, and stay healthy. Subscription to Noom gives you access to a personalized diet plan and a health coach, as well as a traffic light system that ranks food based on how many calories they contain.
Users can also record their diet and exercise habits and discuss their weight loss journey on Noom’s social platform.
How does Noom actually work?
Through the unique traffic light system, Noom ranks foods as either “green”, “amber” or “red” depending on how many calories they contain.
For example, food such as spinach and broccoli, which contain few calories, would be considered “green”, whereas unhealthier foods that are considered “red” – such as chocolate and cookies – contain more calories and should therefore only be consumed in small amounts.
In order to provide the user with a personalized weight loss program, you’ll need to answer some questions regarding your weight, height, and lifestyle habits, in which the algorithm will then use to calculate a personalized weight loss plan.
According to the app’s creators, personalized weight loss plans can help deliver long-lasting weight loss results, as opposed to generic diets and weight loss fads.
Soon after you log into the app for the first time, you’ll be paired with an appropriate health coach who will be on-hand to provide relevant dietary information and advice to help you achieve your goals.
Is Noom really worth it?
The idea behind Noom is to encourage people to self-monitor their weight loss journey.
It’s been proven by a 2017 study that people who frequently and consistently record their dietary habits are more likely to experience more consistent weight loss and keep it off in the long run.
On the other hand, while self-monitoring weight loss starts off successfully for many people, it tends to decline in time.
Noom aims to remedy this by providing a health coach to advise and encourage users, as well as a social aspect to the app where people can discuss their weight loss challenges and successes with other Noom users.
There’s also been some research into the effectiveness of Noom.
For example, in 2016, a study analyzed dietary data from Noom users who recorded what they ate at least twice a month for 6 months. It found that of 35,921 Noom users, 77.9% reported a reduction in body weight while using the app.
Researchers also found that users who monitored their weight and eating habits more frequently experienced more consistent weight loss.
In a separate study from the same year, researchers used Noom to deliver a diabetes prevention program (DPP) to 43 participants with prediabetes, each of whom were either overweight or obese.
The study aimed to investigate how effective the DPP was in promoting weight loss among participants.
All of the participants saw significant weight loss by week 16 and week 24 of using the DPP, with 64% of participants losing more than 5% of their body weight.
While this suggests that Noom could be successful in helping people lose weight, the study didn’t compare the app with any alternative programs or diets, and therefore it’s difficult to say whether Noom is really any more effective than alternative weight-loss strategies.
How much does Noom cost per month?
The price varies depending on the suggested plan that Noom recommends for you, and you then pay upfront for those months. For example, if you aim to lose 20 pounds you’ll likely be recommended a 2-month plan, and if you don’t lose the weight in this time, you’ll be charged another payment to continue with the program.
That said, Noom is quite reasonable compared to other weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers. A monthly plan is priced at $59 or annual membership will cost $199.
However, considering the add-on payments if you don’t reach your goals within the recommended window, the cost can easily add up, which is a complaint amongst reviewers.
This is Noom’s current subscription pricing plan – though they do offer significant discounts throughout the year, which are worth looking out for:
- Monthly auto-recurring plan $59
- 2-month auto-recurring plan $150
- 3-month auto-recurring plan $180
- 4-month auto-recurring plan $240
- 5-month auto-recurring plan $300
- 6-month auto-recurring plan $360
- 7-month auto-recurring plan $420
- 8-month auto-recurring plan $480
- Annual auto-recurring plan $199
Does Noom give you meal plans?
Noom offers you custom meal plans designed around the foods you like to eat. It does this by using your data inputs to create a custom diet plan from the Noom food list which meets your calorie requirements for the day.
This doesn’t mean you’re restricted however as if you want to change things up, you can simply add custom foods to your diet plan, and Noom will work these into your diet.
You eat the foods you want, but Noom calculates your portions, allowing you to stay within your calorie limits for the day.
How many weeks is the Noom program?
The average Noom plan is designed to last 16 weeks, but you’re encouraged to buy up to twelve months at a time so that you can maintain your weight loss and prevent the weight from piling back on.
You’ll be given a recommended program length depending on your weight loss goals, and this will also influence how much you pay.
Pros of Noom
- Promotes sustained weight loss
Noom isn’t a quick fix, but nor does it exclude foods or encourage eating windows. By placing emphasis on eating whole foods and developing a healthy relationship with food, Noom aims to help you lose weight and keep it off in the long run.
- Accountability and support
Noom encourages you to be accountable for your eating habits and the thoughts which facilitate them. However, there’s also plenty of support from certified health coaches who check in with you weekly to encourage you and celebrate how far you’ve come.
- Connect with others
The social aspect of Noom makes you realize you’re not alone in your weight loss journey. You can share your experiences with other Noom users, trade tips and advice, and encourage one another.
- Psychological approach
Noom’s daily affirmations and insightful articles make it much more than a weight-loss tool. These insights encourage us to investigate why we overeat or make bad food choices, and through greater self-awareness, we can improve our relationship with food.
Cons of Noom
- It can get expensive
Now and again there are free trials or discounts available for Noom, but many people complain that the cost can quickly add up. However, it’s no more expensive than other options on the market.
- It’s a big commitment
Reporting everything you eat on a daily basis can be daunting, and it’s not for everyone. Noom also requires you to weigh yourself daily, which is extremely difficult for some people.
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