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Noom Review 2021: A Closer Look at this Weight Loss App

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  • Written by: Felicity Kay on Dec 10th, 2020

    What is Noom?

    Noom is an innovative wellness and weight loss app that empowers you to make informed eating choices. This is about making emotional and behavioral changes, rather than counting calories to shed unwanted weight.

    What I liked

    • 24/7 support from the app to make better decisions about food, including health and wellness coaches on hand.

    • The traffic light system approach to food. This makes it easy to know which foods to fill your plate with and which to hold back on.

    • There’s no diet to follow, so nothing’s off limits! Instead, it’s about better, healthier and more conscious eating.

    What I didn’t like

    • Having to input all my info after every meal.

    • Too many questions and notifications.

    • Unlike a meal delivery system, you have to do all the hard work yourself!

    Noom Weight Loss Overview

    For a while, my Facebook feed was full of ads for Noom. I’m not quite sure why - but they clearly worked! After seeing the ads for so long, I decided to take the plunge and try Noom out for myself. 

    I’ve never successfully stuck to a diet, so I liked that Noom is an anti-fad diet. Instead of setting yourself up for another yoyo dieting experience, Noom promises to make it easy to eat more thoughtfully and healthily. So is the Noom system as easy and effective as it sounds? I tell all in this expert review.

    How Does Noom Work? 

    Before you get started with Noom, you pick a track based on your initial health goals. 

    Then you’ll be prompted to fill out a long questionnaire. It’s the longest I’ve ever seen and  must have taken me about 15 minutes to complete.

    While there’s no doubt I could do with getting fit for good, I decided to start out with the “losing weight for good” option. This might be a good way to start - first change your relationship with food then, maybe later, get more serious about exercising.

    First up was a demographic profile, asking for my height and weight. Then I had to give an ideal weight. After inputting that I wanted to drop 10kg, I got this cheerful message:

    I really liked this.

    First of all, it demonstrated Noom’s method of rewarding and reaffirming positive choices and wins. Developing better habits and mindsets about eating can’t be done through a set of checklists. It’s a process where I have to be able to track my progress every step of the way.

    Beyond that, I liked that I could change things up and not be stuck with a particular goal. I could change my goals to either “rev up” my progress, or take it more slowly. 

    I then had to answer a series of questions on everything - from whether or not I had good eating habits, to what I usually ate. I was also asked things like whether I had a bad back, and even if I’d taken antibiotics in the last two years!

    To be honest, there were just so many questions that I definitely got “input fatigue.” Additionally, in and amongst the questions were peppy snippets of good advice and words of motivation that just prolonged the time it took to actually sign up. 

    Even worse, the tracker along the top didn’t seem to be moving particularly quickly and I kept willing it to show some real sign of progress! 

    Eventually, I got through all the questions and had to enter my email to be able to see my specific weight loss plan.

    But hitting the “Let’s Go” button under this chart brought up a screen telling me I was only halfway there. This brought me a moment of despair.

    The next sections were about habits and behaviors and then activity and nutrition.

    Once I eventually got to the end and signed up for Noom, I was taken to a page offering even more services that I was assured were only available at these prices during initial sign up. 

    I decided just to stick with the basic service, and assumed that I could add anything else on at a later date, should I want to. I’ll admit I was intrigued about the custom meal plan, because I had initially thought that’s what Noom was.

    I then had to fill out yet more details and create a profile.

    Since I filled the info out on my laptop, I then had to download the app to my phone, which was easy, and I was finally (!) good to go.

    How much does Noom cost?

    To give Noom a good try before you buy, there’s a 14-day free trial. After that, you’ll be billed $139 every four months. That works out to $34.75 a month. 

    There are also the above add-ons that you can try, including a custom meal plan and custom workout plan

    I didn’t add these on when I signed up, even though they were offered at 50% off (which was actually up to 75% if you look at the screen shot above). After I’d signed up, I received the same offers again in my email, this time being told they were up to 70% off - even though they were actually up to 75% off - which was odd.

    Noom Diet

    As already mentioned, Noom isn’t so much a diet as a lifestyle awareness app. It encourages users to log everything from their food to their exercise, and even their blood glucose and blood pressure.

    The “diet” works by giving each food a traffic light color - red being the foods you should keep to a minimum, green being the foods you can eat as much as you want, and orange falling somewhere in between. 

    While the basic plan doesn’t give you a personalized meal plan, there are plenty of recipes to get started that aim to help you eat as much “green” food as possible. 

    Some of the yummy sounding recipes I found while browsing through Noom’s suggestions included mango chicken salad with couscous, grilled buffalo chicken quesadillas, roasted orange tilapia and asparagus and sweet and sour shrimp. 

    There’s a huge variety and it shows just how much good food is out there if you know what and how you should be eating. 

    Here’s a quick summary of Noom’s pricing and the dietary needs it best accommodates:

    Pricing

    From $34.75 a month

    Meal plan options available

    Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, weight loss, diabetic-friendly, keto, carb-conscious, paleo, high-protein

    Additional offers

    Custom meal & workout plan, custom workout plan, custom meal plan

    Noom Customer Service

    Noom has really good customer service, as well as the Noom bot, to make sure you are always supported on your journey. I also really like that you can send an email to Noom’s CEO if you feel the need. How many other companies offer you that option? 

    There is also a comprehensive knowledge base that answered pretty much all my questions.

    Once I decided to cancel my Noom account, it was easy to do. That was a relief because I had assumed that, with the huge number of questions I’d had to answer to sign up, there would be just as many asking me why I wanted to end my membership! 

    To find out more about the process, take a look at this blog post I wrote about my experience and some of the alternatives you might prefer instead.

    Alternatives to Noom

    While Noom can be a successful way to lose weight, the responsibility is all on you to do the hard work of implementing the system. That means meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking - and you’re still expected to fit in your exercise!

    If you’d prefer to make your weight loss as easy as possible, a weight loss-focused meal delivery service could be a more effective way to go. While they are more expensive than Noom, they’re far less stressful and labor-intensive.

    My favorite Noom alternative is Diet-to-Go. It offers some of the nutritional and coaching support found in Noom, but it also provides you with delicious ready-to-eat frozen meals that make eating the right foods a breeze. As well as being diet friendly, Diet-to-Go also offers a good selection of vegetarian, diabetic, and keto options, as well.

    Next up is bistroMD, which provides freshly cooked meals backed by science. The meals are all made with healthy, whole ingredients and, with about 150 to choose from, you’re always going to find something you want to eat. 

    bistroMD is ideal for anyone with specific weight loss goals or lifestyle needs, with its range of plans that include a diabetic-friendly plan, a menopause plan, a gluten-free plan and a heart-healthy plan

    The Bottom Line

    If you stick with the Noom app, you’ll probably find yourself losing weight. That’s because it encourages you to think more healthily and holistically about what you’re eating. In addition, constantly logging your food intake and exercise output makes it easier to keep track of exactly what you’re eating, which, psychologically, helps you lose weight. 

    Having said all that, it’s not for everyone. If you don’t feel like you can commit to all the tracking and interaction with the app, on top of meal planning and prep, it’s probably not going to work for you. 

    FAQ 

    What exactly is Noom?

    Noom is an app designed to help users make changes in their lifestyle that allow them to lose weight, and maintain that weight loss long term. 

    There are no extreme eating habits prescribed here - instead, Noom helps you to “break your self-sabotaging behaviors and develop balanced relationships with food and yourself that last." 

    Noom, which was developed by a team of nutritionists, behavioral psychologists and personal trainers, says it has helped over one and a half million people to lose weight.

    Does Noom send you food?

    Noom isn’t a meal delivery or food service, so it doesn’t send you food. What it does  is use your personalized information to suggest recipes, but it leaves actually creating a meal plan to each individual user. 

    If you’re looking for a way to eat plentifully and healthily, without the hassle of having to come up with meals for yourself, you could look into a meal delivery service such as Diet-to-Go, which offers tailored diets for specific weight loss and lifestyle goals.

    What are “green” foods on Noom?

    One of the ways Noom makes it easy for users to understand what they should and shouldn’t eat is with a traffic light system. Doing so removes the “good” and “bad” labels associated with food anxiety and instead replaces them with more flexible suggestions.

    “Green” foods include veggies and whole grains and are the least calorie-dense but most nutritious items which should make up the bulk of any diet. “Yellow” foods, including meat and starches, have more calories than “green” foods and should be eaten more moderately, while “red” foods are the least healthy and the most calorie-dense and should be eaten the least frequently. They include desserts and red meat.

    How much is Noom a month?

    Noom offers a 14-day trial so you can see if this app will work for you. If you decide to stick with it, you’ll be billed $139 every quarter. That breaks down to $34.75 a month. 

    There are also  add-on plans, including custom meal and exercise plans that are available at an extra cost. You can sign up for them when you create your account, or add them on later, once you’ve gotten started with the Noom system.

    About The Author

    Felicity Kay

    Staff Writer, Delivery Rank

    Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
    When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

    Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
    When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

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