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Author Roxana David
Roxana David
Updated on Sep 28th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Noom vs. Optavia 2023: Can an App Be Enough for Healthy Weight Loss?

Selecting the ideal diet and weight loss plan can be quite the challenge. With the market flooded with options, all promising quick, efficient results, it can be difficult to discern which meal delivery services truly deliver on their promise.

I’ve seen the spectrum of what the market has to offer, having investigated dozens of such services extensively, and I understand the nuances that set apart the truly effective, science-based plans from the less successful ones.

Among the many options, Noom stood out as my favorite. This app excels in guiding you towards making healthier choices, all while adapting to your lifestyle. Unlike Optavia, which presents more of a short-term diet solution, you can try Noom for a comprehensive approach towards sustainable, long-term weight loss.

Bottom line, Noom is a more effective solution in the long run. While Optavia can be challenging to maintain over time, Noom empowers you to gradually incorporate healthier habits. Continue reading my comparison below to learn more.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Noom (from $70 per month for a subscription per month)

🍔 Menu Variety:

Noom (thousands of recipes available)

⏰ Prep Time:

Optavia (from 5 minutes)

🍴 Customization:


👍 Ordering and Delivery


🙋 Customer Support:


Menu Variety

Winner: Noom

These companies offer distinctly different approaches to dietary planning. Optavia offers a more structured approach with pre-selected meals and snacks. However, Noom offers more freedom, emphasizing education and self-preparation of nutrient-rich meals.

Optavia offers structured meal plans with Fuelings, which consist of low-calorie, nutrient-dense meals, shakes, and snacks. These are provided as part of the plan and contribute to its goal of consuming small portions throughout the day.

One of Optavia's plans with the food in boxes and on plates
I don't like how Optavia features so many processed and sweet foods in its plans

Optavia’s plans are based around prepared snacks that fit within its dietary guidelines. The Lean & Green prepared meals, however, are very limited and come frozen, so you’ll need to follow the recipes provided by Optavia to cook most of your meals.

On the other hand, Noom doesn’t provide meals or ingredients at all. Instead, it emphasizes education on how to incorporate nutrient-dense meals into your own diet. You are responsible for shopping and preparing all of your meals.

A breakfast meal based on Noom's recommendations
I lthik it's great that Noom focuses on helping you include healthy, unprocessed foods in your diet

Noom's approach offers more flexibility in terms of menu variety, as you’re not confined to pre-selected meals and snacks. You have the option to add on a custom meal plan for an additional cost, but fundamentally, Noom is more about providing nutritional guidance and less about providing the actual food.

When it comes to actual numbers, Noom wins categorically. It boasts a huge database with over 3.7 million food and portion options, including nearly 200,000 items from 850+ restaurants. This is especially great if you’re eating out often and it doesn’t restrict your social life. In contrast, Opavia offers only around 200 specific recipes for the frozen Lean & Green meals provided. While that’s still a lot, it can’t beat Noom’s extensive collection.

Meal Customization

Winner: Noom

Noom provides more flexibility with its food color coding and focus on portion control rather than strict dietary restrictions, while Optavia only offers some degree of customization with its Fuelings options but has pre-packaged meals.

With Optavia, meal customization is somewhat limited as all the food is pre-made and pre-packaged. However, within the Optimal Weight plans, you can swap out Fuelings, and with the Optimal Health 3 & 3 PlanⓇ, you can select your own Fuelings. 

You cannot add or remove ingredients from Optavia’s pre-packaged meals. Optavia does, however, offer specialized plans for certain groups, including individuals with diabetes, gout, nursing mothers, seniors, and teens.

On the other hand, Noom's food categorization system allows for greater flexibility. I like that it assigns foods to green, yellow, and orange categories, depending on how often you’re encouraged to include them in your diet. Like I mentioned before, Noom does not provide meals but instead focuses on educating you on balanced eating habits.

Unlike Optavia, Noom suggests limiting higher-calorie foods, but it doesn't restrict them completely. This approach encourages you to control your intake rather than completely eliminating certain foods, which allows for greater customization in your meal planning.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Optavia

Optavia wins this section as, unlike Noom, it sends you actual meals as part of its plan. Optavia sends all meals either at once or monthly if you subscribe. Meals are in powdered form and clearly labeled, requiring no refrigeration. However, despite being convenient, it might not be a great choice if you prefer a more natural diet.

Optavia sends you the meals on a monthly basis, differing from most meal kit services which usually deliver weekly. I found it surprising that shipping is available to all US states and territories.

Orders are processed and shipped within 2 business days. From the shipping date, it typically takes 5-8 calendar days for the delivery to arrive. For instance, if you place an order on a Monday, you can expect it to arrive by the following Friday. I have good news about unboxing: most of the packaging, either cardboard or plastic, is easily recyclable.

When it comes to the apps, both Noom and Optavia make it easy to find resources regarding weight loss, as well as dietary advice and inspiration. Optavia’s app also allows you to track your orders or handle returns.

Noom's mobile app
I love how many recipes you can find on Noom's app, including plant-based recipes

Meal Prep

Winner: Optavia

Since Optavia comes with pre-made snacks and low-prep meals, it wins this category. Noom provides recipes only, so the timing of the meal prep depends on your personal preferences and skill.

Optavia meals primarily consist of powdered meals prepared by adding hot water. This ready-to-eat approach may be useful for those seeking convenience, but it does involve a level of processed food, which I personally don’t like.

The plan includes clear instructions to prepare your dinners and integrate fresh fruits and vegetables. Optavia’s Lean & Green recipes offer guidance on preparing healthy, low-fat meals with lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables. This framework helps you develop better eating habits and transition from weight loss to weight maintenance, but it also involves more time spent cooking.

Noom, on the other hand, does not provide prepared meals at all but categorizes foods into green, yellow, and orange categories, offering ample recipes and guidance for a balanced diet. It encourages eating more “green” foods while limiting “orange” foods to 25% of daily calories.

Both platforms include recipe databases that you can use as a foundation for your diet. However, I feel like Optavia’s recipes focus more on incorporating its frozen food into complete meals, which is more limiting than Noom’s freer approach.

Customer Support

Winner: Noom

Noom can offer you more accessibility and flexibility thanks to the range of customer service options and 24/7 availability of some features, while Optavia provides a personalized touch with its live Coaches.

With Optavia, you'll have access to its Client and Coach Support team to assist with any queries you may have regarding ordering, program plans, or products. This service is available during specific hours on weekdays and weekends.

You can expect responses to your email queries within 2 business days. You'll also benefit from a network of live Coaches, many of whom were Optavia clients themselves. However, it's worth noting that these Coaches are financially incentivized by Optavia, which may influence their advice. I also find it annoying that if you wish to cancel Optavia, you’re required to do so by phone. That’s a no-no for introverts.

On the contrary, Noom provides multiple ways to reach out, including the unusual feature of direct communication with the company's CEO. You have 24/7 access to its chat feature and FAQ page for instant answers to common questions. If you prefer speaking to a person, you can call Noom's customer service team during its operating hours.


Winner: Noom

Noom is a lot cheaper than Optavia when it comes to the monthly cost of the plans. However, you need to take into account that Optavia sends you snacks and meals for that cost as well, which can end up being a significant part of your final diet.

Optavia offers 3 different plans, each with a varying cost. The 5 & 1 Plan comes in at $395.25 monthly, including 5 free boxes of Fuelings with your first order, which otherwise would cost you over $100. 

The 4 & 2 & 1 Plan is priced at $442.00 and offers a 20% discount on your first order, requiring no extra purchases or freebies. Lastly, the Optimal Health 3 & 3 Plan's cost will depend on the number of Fuelings you select. 

With each of these plans, remember to factor in the additional costs of fresh produce and lean proteins for at least one meal a day. Shipping is free for Premier members for the last 2 plans, but for the 3 & 3 plan, you'll need to pay $7.

On the other hand, Noom operates with a subscription-based model, the cost of which decreases with the length of your commitment. For one month, the price is $70 without any discounts, while 2 months cost $129, and a whole year goes for $209.

I like that you can still access Noom even without a subscription. It allows you to track your daily calorie intake, weight, and exercise progress. This can be a good way to sample the Noom experience before committing fully.

Additionally, Noom offers several Premium programs at an extra cost, such as the Noom Mood program, which costs $149 for 16 weeks of personalized coaching, mood tracking, and weekly stress management activities.

Features Comparison: Noom vs. Optavia



Best for

Creating long-term healthy eating habits

Weight loss snacks without meals

Starting price

from $70 per month for a subscription


Shipping cost


Free on orders over $250

Minimum order


$395.25 per month (5 snacks per day)

Menu variety

Thousands of choices per week

60+ choices per week

Prep time


5 minutes or less

Low-prep options

Eating out (restaurant recommendations)

Prepared snacks

Allergies catered to



Special diets

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free


Customer support

24/7 online chat, email, phone

Email, phone


Get a free trial


And The Winner Is: Noom

Both Noom and Optavia present effective strategies for weight loss, but they do so in distinct ways, each catering to a different set of preferences and lifestyles. I chose Noom because it doesn’t include processed foods and isn’t as restrictive as Optavia.

Noom has a comprehensive app and holistic approach to health, encouraging conscious eating and exercise habits. It also fosters a deeper understanding of personal nutrition and lifestyle choices. You can try it and see how it uses personalization to offer you the best experience on your health journey.

The app may not be right for everyone due to its extensive tracking features and emphasis on self-directed meal planning. If you're looking for more options in healthy pre-made meals, you can refer to our list of the top 10 weight-loss meal delivery services.


Is Noom like Optavia?

Noom is primarily an app-based program focused on psychological strategies and self-monitoring to change eating habits. Optavia, on the other hand, provides pre-packaged meals and snacks alongside personalized coaching. So, while Noom and Optavia both aim to assist you in losing weight and leading healthier lifestyles, they operate differently.  

What is the downside of Optavia?

One downside of Optavia is the reliance on pre-packaged meals, which you might find limiting or less enjoyable than fresh food. Plus, the program can be costlier than other weight loss options. Also, some users have expressed concerns about the multi-level marketing structure of the coaching system.

Is Optavia worth the money?

In my opinion, Optavia doesn’t provide enough for your money. If you appreciate the convenience of pre-packaged meals, then Optavia might be a good fit for you. However, the portions are very small, even for a weight loss program, so you might end up too hungry to follow the diet if you don’t want to cook on the side. If you don’t mind cooking, Noom might be a more cost-efficient option.

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