If you listen to podcasts as much as I do, you’ve probably heard ads for the weight loss program Noom, which says it uses psychology to help you lose weight and keep it off for good. I was curious to try it for myself, so when Noom reached out, I jumped at the chance to review it. I’ve used the program for two weeks now and below are the pros and cons of my experience so far.
Noom is not a diet and it doesn’t promise you’ll lose tons of weight fast. The goal of Noom is to teach you how to make better choices and build habits that you can maintain for permanent weight loss and better health.
Here are the best things about the Noom weight loss program:
1. Convenient (and private) app. Between working and momming, I don’t want to spend the little free time I have going to Weight Watchers meetings, dealing with special meal plans, or even going to the gym, for that matter. Because Noom is completely app-based, I can pull it out of my pocket any time I have a few minutes. Noom also offers a personal goal specialist you can message through the chat, so no need to bare your soul to a stranger face to face.
2. Easy daily steps. The best thing about the Noom program for me is the way it doles out ideas and tasks one at a time. Each day, you open the app to find prompts to weigh in and log your meals, plus tips on how to build better habits. Exercise and diet goals increase incrementally also. This makes getting started and sticking with the program so much more manageable.
3. Food analysis. On the Noom program you can eat whatever you like, but you’re given the tools to help you make better choices. I really love the food analysis feature, which categorizes what you eat as green, yellow, or red foods. (Think red light, yellow light, green light.) I learned that while I don’t eat that many red foods on a typical day, I occasionally go way overboard; and, in general, I need to eat more green foods and fewer yellow and red ones. This taught me to think differently about food. Rather than just eating less, I learned how to eat smarter. By eating more green foods, I could eat more and feel more satisfied.
4. Recipe search. There’s nothing worse than being hangry and not knowing what you can eat. Noom has a great recipe search tool that automatically shows you what fits in your remaining calorie budget. This saved me multiple times.
What could be better?
One of the unique things about the Noom program is that you’re paired with a goal specialist, who urges you along and answers any questions you may have. When you take the Noom quiz to get your customized plan, you can decide whether you want gentle nudges or a real taskmaster. For me, I didn’t find this personalization to be super helpful, but I did like when, after two weeks, I got to join a group of other Noomers. Hearing what was working for other people and seeing their questions was really helpful.
My other issue with the Noom program was that the step counter didn’t seem to be accurate -- and I hated not to use the counter because I wanted to take advantage of the way Noom would gradually increase my exercise goals based on much I walked. I ended up manually entering my steps into Noom each day.
In the end, the biggest con is also the biggest pro: your weight loss is completely up to you. You have control over what you eat and how you exercise. You can customize your program to work with your life. The program doesn’t force you to make arbitrary, unmaintainable changes. Instead, it teaches you to make little, incremental changes that become permanent healthier habits.
Already, I’ve developed some healthy habits that I’m sticking to every day without that internal debate of whether I should “be good” today or not -- like walking a mile every morning and eating healthier “green” snacks. In two weeks, I’ve lost four pounds. I still have a ways to go, but I will be sticking with the Noom program. I’m looking forward to establishing even more good habits and seeing long term results.
If you’d like to give Noom a try with a 14-day trial, start by taking the short quiz to customize your program.