What is Noom?
Noom is a popular weight loss app with tons of positive reviews and over 45 million users worldwide, that is based on psychology, technology, and human coaching skills to help users meet their personal health and wellness goals. Noom is backed by behavioral science and mindfulness techniques, which encourages individuals to make conscious choices about what and how much they eat. The Noom program emphasizes the importance of forming healthy habits and lifestyle changes to prevent and/or manage chronic and non-chronic conditions, such as stress and anxiety, hypertension, and diabetes.
How does Noom Work and What is the Noom Diet?
Noom uses a color-coded system that labels foods as green, yellow, or red based on their nutrient density and how often you should consume them. In general, green-labeled foods contain the highest amounts of nutrients and least amount of calories, while red-labeled foods contain more calories and fewer nutrients. Yellow-labeled foods fall somewhere in between the two categories.
Once you log into the Noom App, you’ll enter your information that will then create a customized weight loss and fitness plan determined by your health status, goals, demographics, and overall lifestyle. Soon after, you’ll even be matched with a clinical psychologist or trained coach who can provide ongoing support to help achieve your goals. Users will log and track everything from their food intake, exercise, sleep hygiene, stress management, and daily weights.
Focus on eating primarily whole foods: Although there are some cons to Noom’s color-coded approach (explained below), this system encourages users to choose nutrient-dense, whole foods to get the most out of their daily calorie range. Noom does not entirely eliminate any foods or food groups; it's really up to users which foods they’d like to fill up their day.
Backed up science: Noom is supported by a number of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles since it was founded in 2009. Some publications exclusively study the Noom program and its health benefits while other studies focus on weight loss, in general, and how the health outcomes are comparable to Noom.
Accountability and Support: Accountability and support from others can be an important piece of the puzzle for achieving our health goals. In addition to your matched health coach, users can join interest-based communities, known as Noom Circles, to gain insight and support from other Noom users. There are also daily ‘bite-sized’ lessons and activities to help individuals develop the coping skills and mindfulness techniques needed to manage stress and improve our relationship with food. You can go through these lessons at whatever pace you’d like.
Weight Loss Zone: Noom encourages you to be eating within the weight loss zone, but not below it. To ensure you’re not underfueling, Noom prohibits users to adjust their calorie goal below a certain range depending on if you identify as female, male, or don’t choose to select a binary gender.
Now here are the cons:
Misleading Color-Coding Approach: While the color-labeling approach to what and which foods to eat show benefits, for others, it can result in disordered eating habits and/or an unhealthy relationship with food. For instance, nut butters are labeled as a red food because it’s higher in calories, but almond butter contains monounsaturated fats, which may help to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. This approach to nutrition focuses mostly on weight loss and overall calorie intake rather than on ‘whole body’ health and maintaining a healthy relationship with food.
Limited Support: If you prefer in-person coaching, Noom may not be the right program for you. Noom only offers virtual coaching and support through the chat service and prohibits the use of video coaching with your matched health coach. This exclusively virtual coaching requires the use of a smartphone or tablet.
Price: Noom offers a variety of subscription plans, ranging from $70-$209, which may cost more than some are willing or able to spend on a weight loss program.
Meticulous Tracking and Time Consuming Food Logging: Users are required to keep track of their food intake and overall progress in order for the program to work properly. For many, this may not be realistic for our busy days and can increase stress levels.
Noom Health Coaches: Noom coaches may not be as legitimate as we think. Although coaches are required to complete ‘Noomiversity,’ Noom’s health coaching training platform, some may not be credentialed health professionals such as registered dietitians, doctors, and personal trainers. Finally, if you message your health coach during ‘off-hours’, you will likely communicate with someone who doesn’t know your full health history, dietary preferences, and goals that could result in conflicting and harmful recommendations.
Ultimately, many of our clients use Noom successfully and concurrently while working with us one-on-one for a more personalized counseling and support. We believe that there are individuals who can benefit from an approach like the Noom app. Despite the Noom reviews you read online, we also know there are many who don’t find this helpful, sustainable or healthy for their mindset with food, weight and health.
For a more personalized approach, or discuss options like Noom with one of our trained professionals, email us or call us today!