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What is Noom?
Noom is a weight-loss app that has a unique approach to helping you manage your diet and lose weight. Instead of designing a rigid, one-size-fits-all system that restricts your food choices, Noom has developed a psychology-based approach to help you heal your relationship with food. I tried Noom for 30 days to see if this approach really works.
- Overall: 4.1/5
- Value/price point: 4/5
- UX: 4/5
- Information quality: 5/5
- Personalization: 5/5
- Convenience: 3/5
- Easy to follow: 4/5
- Accessibility: 3/5
- Community: 5/5
- Customer support: 3/5
- Goal attainment: 5/5
Getting Started on Noom
To complete your account set-up on Noom you have to first take a quiz. This quiz gathers information about you, your weight-loss goals, and your motivation. Based on this information, along with your height, weight, age, activity level, etc., Noom customizes a plan for you that includes a target for how many calories you should eat and lessons to help you change your habits and behavior.
How Does Noom Work?
Noom is a weight loss program designed to help you lose weight. Like other apps, Noom does this by creating a calorie deficit based on estimated caloric needs. Noom factors in sex, age, weight, height, and other information to determine these needs for each individual user.
The difference between Noom and other weight loss apps, like Noom vs. Weight Watchers, is that Noom focuses on small behavioral changes. This helps users establish a healthier lifestyle, rather than simply following a short-term diet.
Every day, Noom gives you a short lesson about the psychological effects of negative thinking, focusing on food restriction, and why having the proper motivation will help you lose weight fast and reach your goal.
Noom wants you to weigh in every morning after you wake up. This is the best time to weigh in because you haven't added any food or water to your stomach that could add pounds to the scale. Weighing in at the same time each day also helps you monitor your progress more accurately because your weight will fluctuate throughout the day. Keeping a daily record helps you see the bigger picture.
The meal tracking on Noom is the meat of the program. There are three ways to log your meals:
- Search. There is a database of dishes with preloaded nutrition content. Some of it seems input by other users, some of it seems more professional. If you search for common items, you will likely find some version of it in the database.
- Create your own. The app also lets you fully customize your own dishes. You're responsible to input the ingredients and portion sizes to get an accurate count of your calories.
- Scan. Noom also lets you scan barcodes of ingredients or pre-packaged foods to streamline your food logging.
Instead of giving you recipes to follow or restricting foods in a list, Noom labels all foods based on caloric density, or how many calories a food has based on its weight. Noom puts all food into three categories:
- Orange foods: These are calorie dense foods like red meat, cheeses, and processed foods. Small portions of these foods are higher in calories and the nutrients they offer aren't enough to justify the calories.
- Yellow foods: In this category you have foods like legumes, fish and lean meats, and some vegetables like avocados that have high fat. These foods have nutrients but are also fairly calorie dense.
- Green foods: These are the foods with the lowest caloric density like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that will fill you up for very few calories.
You can also input your exercise, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels if you've made those part of your weight-loss routine.
How Much Does Noom Cost?
The average user begins with a 3-4-month subscription, which comes out to $42.25 per month, but you will be billed up front for the full amount of $169. Keep in mind that these prices can fluctuate, so check the Noom website beforehand to stay up-to-date.
Here's a breakdown of Noom’s current subscription plans:
- Monthly auto-renewing plan: $70
- 2-month auto-renewing plan: $129
- 3-month auto-renewing plan: $159
- 4-month auto-renewing plan: $169
- 5-month auto-renewing plan: $174
- 6-month auto-renewing plan: $179
- 7-month auto-renewing plan: $184
- 8-month auto-renewing plan: $189
- 9-month auto-renewing plan: $195
- 10-month auto-renewing plan: $199
- 11-month auto-renewing plan: $205
- Annual auto-renewing plan: $209
If you're still unsure about how much Noom costs, start with the 14-day free trial and then decide if this is a weight-loss plan that you can stick with.
My Personal Experience with Noom
Before I started, I thought I would use Noom as a way to jump-start good habits, because I am about 15 pounds over my goal weight and I have a wedding to attend in August. I decided to make my overall goal on Noom to lose those 15 pounds by that time. Full disclosure, I'm a fairly active person and while I was trying Noom, I tried to work out once or twice per week to supplement my efforts.
I started Noom in May, which meant I had three months to hit my overall goal. For the sake of this review, I also set a 30-day goal to lose 5 pounds because I felt like it would be a good measure of how effective Noom is. I put all of this information into Noom's initial quiz, downloaded the app onto my mobile device, and set up my account. My custom plan was $149.00 for three months, and after paying, I was ready to go.
My ideal way to split my calories was 25 percent coming from orange foods, 35 percent from yellow foods, and 45 percent from green foods. Some days when I logged my foods, I saw a larger percentage of orange or yellow, but no matter what food choices I made, I stayed pretty close to my calorie goal. At my final weigh-in at the 30-day mark, I had lost weight; 4.8 pounds, to be exact. Noom does a lot of things well, and that certainly contributed to my success. That said, there are also a few things I think you should be aware of before taking the app plunge.
The Benefits of Noom
- Information quality. If you've ever tried dieting before, you've probably acquired a fair amount of knowledge about nutrition—macros, calories, hydration, etc. However, Noom also teaches you how psychology plays a part in your diet, and how the best diet plans can be hindered by psychological factors. Learning those principles gave me a new perspective and helped me diagnose the problem when I felt unmotivated.
- Personalization. Noom doesn't have a blanket membership that gives you access to their system. Everything is personalized to you based on your body, your goals, and what motivates you.
- User experience (UX). Noom's app is designed well and is very easy to navigate. The menus are clear and I had no trouble with the app crashing or being otherwise buggy. Logging your meals is a straightforward process, but only if you're willing to settle for estimated calories based on recipes in the database. Inputting your own custom meal prep recipes can be tedious and time-consuming.
- Easy to follow. One of my favorite things about Noom is that you're pretty much free to eat whatever you want as long as you understand the impact it has on your calorie split—orange, yellow, and green foods. When you really boil it down, your plan will put you in some sort of calorie deficit to lose weight, but Noom's approach makes the process feel a lot less restrictive.
- Community. Noom has support groups in the app that are monitored by coaches. You can use Noom Circles within the app to find communities of Noom users with similar interests. The Noom official Facebook page is big and active, and although it is not particularly community oriented, there are a lot of unofficial support groups on Facebook. Noom also has a large community on Reddit that is very active and supportive.
- It works. That's the bottom line. I lost 4.8 pounds in 30 days, which was actually surprising to me. For the first couple of weeks, I did not see any movement on the scale, which was disappointing, but the lessons on Noom targeted that disappointment on a psychological level which helped me stay on track.
What Could Be Better
- Convenience. I chose to make my experience easier by logging all of my meals using the search function. Food tracking can be simple if you do it this way. However, I had to settle for calorie estimates based on what recipes were in the database. There is a possibility that this method could sabotage you if you're consistently using recipes that are counting fewer calories than you're consuming.
- Accessibility. In my opinion, these plans are worth it because of the results I saw. However, there are no tiered membership options like you'll see with other programs. You either pay the price or you don't use Noom's program. The lack of tiered-membership options could alienate you if you're on a tight budget.
- Customer support. Every interaction I had with someone from Noom (personal coaches, guides, tech support, etc.,) was very friendly and professional. However, some of the messages from coaches and guides seemed scripted, almost as if the message came from an AI bot. I think it is understandable because of the amount of people who use Noom, but this discouraged me from using the coach feature.
Noom offers a unique approach to weight loss that worked for me. It is a little pricey compared to other weight-loss programs, but anyone who has been discouraged by a negative cycle with restrictive dieting and not reaching their weight-loss goals could potentially benefit from using Noom. Even though I only tried Noom for 30 days, I'm excited to keep up with the program and reach my overall goal.
At ACTIVE.com, we're passionate about bringing you products that we trust and would personally use. That's why we developed an 11-point evaluation system to determine the quality, effectiveness, and usability of the training programs we feature in our reviews. We test each program and vet it against our system before arriving at an overall score. Additionally, we consulted with ACTIVE's Advisory Board, which includes nutritionists, competitive athletes, coaches, and certified trainers to make certain that the products that we feature are of the highest standards.
Disclaimer: The health and safety of ACTIVE's readers is of the utmost importance to us which is why we recommend consulting with a doctor or physician before partaking in a new weight loss or nutrition program.
FAQs About the Noom App
Does Noom work?
Individual bodies have different nutritional needs, but generally speaking, if you follow the program, log your meals accurately, and stay on target with your daily calorie allowance, there is no reason you shouldn't see some progress from using Noom.
How does Noom work?
Noom is a psychology-based diet program that helps you lose weight by keeping track of your calories, meals, exercise, weight, hydration, and a number of other customizable measurements. Along with the diet, Noom gives you daily psychology lessons to change your relationship with food and goal setting.
Noom uses a color system—green, yellow, and orange—to categorize food based on calorie density, or how many calories you're consuming per portion of a given food. Noom also has an option to purchase 1-on-1 personalized coaching to help you stay on track.
Is it worth paying for Noom?
Noom can be a little more expensive than other weight-loss programs, but Noom's approach is unique. If you've tried restrictive diet programs with limited success, or if you find yourself in a yo-yo cycle of losing weight but not being able to keep it off, Noom may be worth the money for you.
Is Noom hard to cancel?
No, Noom is easy to cancel through your account settings in the app. If you cancel, you'll have access to the app and the whole program until the end of the billing cycle. However, if you prepay for a plan, you can request a refund through the chat function in the app, or by following any of the other methods on Noom's contact page.
How much does Noom cost for 3 months?
Noom's membership fee pricing differs for each person based on their weight-loss goals.
For me, based on my goals, the 3-month plan cost $149.
Is there a free version of Noom?
If you use ACTIVE.com's link, you can get a 14-day free trial. After that period, you'll be billed based on the plan you signed up for. If you don't want to be charged by Noom after your trial, make sure to cancel the account. Deleting the app won't automatically cancel for you.