Full Disclosure: One of the ways I make money on this website is by using “affiliate links.” All this means is that if you click on a link in this post, I may earn a small commission if you purchase something after clicking. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it keeps Consult Colleen up and running. Most importantly, I only link to products and services that I truly trust and believe in. Thanks for your support!
Diet is a dirty word. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I’m all about long-term healthy lifestyle changes: Not eliminating food groups, getting on the fad-diet bandwagon, or finding a quick way to drop 10 pounds.
That’s why when I heard about Noom, a diet-and-fitness app that helps you lose weight by understanding WHY you make poor choices rather than controlling WHAT you eat, I had to give it a try.
Noom works by helping you create truly healthy habits that will stand the test of time. Developed by psychologists, the app educates and supports you in your healthy-habit-creation journey.
While some people are put off by Noom’s pricetag, consider this: If you get rid of your unhealthy habits, you won’t need Noom forever. Instead, because you have the tools to keep eating and exercising well, you won’t be buying into another fad program 6 months down the road.
What does Noom do, exactly?
When you first log onto Noom.com, it’ll prompt you to fill out a simple questionnaire that asks you about your age, weight goal, and current eating and fitness habits.
Once you’re in the app, you’ll start logging your activity, tracking your meals, and entering weight changes. You can sync with certain devices to help make tracking easier, and to record your blood pressure or blood sugars, etc.
In addition to tracking, Noom prompts you to spend 5-10 minutes each day learning through educational articles and quizzes. The idea behind this is that Noom explains WHY you are making changes: WHY fruits and veggies are good for you, rather than “eat more greens. Full stop.” You can save the information for later so you can go back and remind yourself.
And then perhaps the niftiest part of the app is the accountability feature. You can recieve one-on-one text or call coaching from a Board Certified Healthy Coach during typical business hours (9-5, M-F). You can also join forums in the app and communicate with fellow Noom users, encouraging one another to stay the course.
What I like about Noom
I’m a big believer in their focus on “nutrient dense” foods. I don’t think eliminating an entire food group is a healthy move, so I like that Noom helps you wisely track protein, fat and carb intake.
The app pushes you to eat more foods that contain water to keep you full without adding in the weight factor. It uses a “Traffic Light” system to help you categorize foods:
- Green Foods: eat all you want (fruits and veggies)
- Yellow Foods: your proteins, eat them but not too much
- Red Foods: eat them, but in limited quantities
Even though it’s a lifestyle app, Noom does require calorie-counting. The app gives you a calorie number to try to fit your red, yellow and green food groups, and shows you when you have gone over with a colored bar graph.
It also shows you if you have stayed within your calorie count but perhaps have eaten more “red” calorie foods than they recommend. For example, you might get 300 of your daily calories of red foods, with a total of 2000 for the day. You can stay within the 2000 daily calories but go over the 300 red foods.
Through tracking, I found I was going over a lot with red foods. The foods that have more water are more filling and the ones with less water are red foods. I was eating fruit bars, which seemed “healthy,” but they were dehydrated so it was a red food.
And that’s what’s great about Noom: It helps you really analyze what you’re eating, and WHY it might not be working for you. Now I know that eating a handful of strawberries is better than consuming a strawberry fruit bar — not because the nutrition information is necessarily different, but because without the proper water content I’ll probably be reaching for another snack in an hour if I eat the bar.
The better choice is what will keep me fuller longer, because over time those small changes will help me lose and keep off weight.
Also, it’s awesome that the app does allow you those “red” foods in moderation. If you’re craving ice cream, go ahead and eat some! Just make sure to counter-balance it with plenty of “green” eats.
What I didn’t love about Noom
— There is a pedometer that comes as part of the app but the problem I had was that I don’t always carry my phone in work. It does sync with GoogleFit but not with FitBit and that is what I had.
— I liked that there’s already a decent food database and option to barcode scan your foods if you don’t see the exact food in the database, but it can be tedious to add new foods to the program since you’ll have to enter nutrition information.
— I have to be patient. Let’s be honest, we’re all tempted to find the “quick fix” and that’s why fad diets (I’m looking at you, Keto..) are so popular. But part of the reason there are so many trendy diet and exercise programs is because when one fails to offer long-term success, there’s a new one to take its place. Noom is meant to work over time, not offer instant gratification (which I don’t love, even though I know it’s good for me!). It can take a while to see weight loss, and that might be discouraging.
In conclusion: Is Noom worth it?
Simple answer? Yes. This app is for folks who are ready to transition their entire lifestyle and lose weight at the same time, but are in no rush to lose weight. Losing weight slowly is good for you because you are more likely to keep it off.
Noom is great at identifying your triggers. I learned that I ate because I was bored, I ate mindlessly and my portions were out of control. All of these things were great awakenings for me. It helped me identify negative behaviors and helped me with solutions.
The website site says “Noom teaches you how to change the way you interact with food and exercise,” and I think that is a very accurate description. Creating habits takes time, but is a long term solution for good health.
And like I said at the beginning: Try a quick tally of all the money you’ve spent on diet and exercise programs in the past that haven’t helped you keep weight off long-term.
Now consider this: The $45/month for Noom may be the last money you ever shell out to help you lose weight. After a few months with Noom you’ll have the tools you need to cancel your subscription and just keep living your awesome new healthy life!
Ready to get started? Click here to sign up for your FREE 14 day trial. You can cancel anytime by telling your coach that you’re done.