Noom is a health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help you lose weight for the long run. It focuses on making tangible, sustainable lifestyle shifts rather than encouraging more extreme styles of eating .
Designed by a team of health coaches, nutritionists, licensed medical doctors, and clinical exercise specialists, Noom’s customized, clinically proven, 16-week courses promise to help you stop dieting and reach your long-term weight loss and health goals.
Noom, Inc. is based out of New York City and has been in business since 2014. The company knows that sticking to a plan is hard, which is why their proprietary behavior change programs were developed by world-class experts in psychology and motivation to help you maintain your drive and experience meaningful, lasting results.
There’s a lot to like about Noom. In addition to providing eating plans designed by registered dietitian nutritionists , Noom allows users to log meals, access workout plans and track exercise, read articles, search recipes, set goals, receive support from a personal health coach, rate your motivation level, track progress, and connect with a group of peers with similar goals. It even addresses emotional eating, and how factors like stress and boredom may impact eating decisions.
As apps become routine tools to help us navigate life, new options geared toward weight loss keep popping up. One, called Noom, is designed to foster healthier habits and shed weight long-term. The Noom diet was one of the most searched-for diets over the past year, and it continues to be trendy.
The app, which costs a minimum of $45 per month, allows you to:
- Generate a personalized calorie breakdown based on a series of lifestyle questions
- Track the foods you eat by searching a database or scanning barcodes
- Log exercise, weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar
- Receive in-app 1:1 health coaching during business hours
- Stay motivated with interactive articles and quizzes
Since it was developed by psych docs, the ideology behind the coaching and content is designed to “‘trick your body into building healthy habits, faster.”
The best thing about the Noom app is that it encourages eating real, whole foods and recommends more nutrient-dense meals and snacks as often as possible. After taking a quiz with questions about how active you are, how much weight you’d like to lose, if any, and other medical conditions and demographic factors, an algorithm breaks down your personalized energy needs and how many calories to eat from protein, fat, and carbs.
To help you follow those guidelines, the app asks you to log what you eat, an evidence-based method that helps you stay in touch with how much you’re eating and what types of foods you gravitate towards.
Another great aspect of Noom is that it incorporates an in-app pedometer. Tracking steps is another habit that can help you continuously challenge yourself and reassess your personal goals as they relate to fitness.
The individualized coaching is also essential, since it provides a veritable cheerleading team through your phone who can help you stay engaged with the platform. Each day, you receive a personalized list of steps to check off designed to reach your established goals. The feedback draws on psychology, nutrition, and exercise physiology. An assigned coach, can offer advice during between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.
You can also log blood pressure and blood sugar manually or by syncing app-friendly devices, which is key for anyone looking to track their progress or share their data with a physician or family member.
To sign up for a Noom account, you’ll visit their website and start by entering how much weight you want to lose, your height and current weight, age range, and gender.
Then, you’ll indicate how healthy your current lifestyle is (needs work, have some healthy habits, mostly eat well and stay active), and whether or not you’re at risk for conditions like heart disease or stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, and so forth.
Next, the site will ask you what you think your biggest challenge is when making healthy choices, which situations are most likely to trigger unhealthy habits, and how you see the course helping you.
Based on these answers, Noom will create a unique plan to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Confirm that you’re able to dedicate at least 10 minutes each day to Noom and reaching your goals, and you’ll receive access to:
- A full customized plan that can help you learn about bad habits and how to beat them.
- Unlimited access to a health professional that can provide “psychological strategies that give you the confidence to easily avoid temptations”
- 24/7 personal and group support for when things get tricky
- Award-winning app available for iPhone and Android devices
After completing the membership sign-up process on Noom’s website, they’ll send you a text message with an activation link, allowing you to download their app. This will act as your central hub, where you’ll log food/meals/calories, exercise, blood glucose, blood pressure, and weight.
Once you download the Noom app, you given an overview of the course and how it’s designed to help you meet your health goals. Your layout might look different depending on your timeframe and stated health goals, but here’s what my Noom plan roadmap looked like.
Phase 1: Weeks 1-4
Focus on defining goals and motivation to understand the “why” behind ingrained habits
- Week 1: Discover Your Ultimate Way
- Week 2: Your Motivation Road Map
- Week 3: Develop Keystone Habits
- Week 4: Beat Inner Food Demons
Phase 2: Weeks 5-8
Uncovers the psychology behind weight loss to debunk myths for how to sustain healthier habits.
- Week 5: Crush Thought Distortions
- Week 6: Optimize for Health
- Week 7: Debunk Weight Loss Myths
- Week 8: Conquer Your Triggers
Phase 3: Weeks 9-12
Learn the connection between biology and psychology to build more willpower and better manage stress.
- Week 9: Manage Your Stress
- Week 10: Win Over Your Inner Critic
- Week 11: Build Mental Resilience
- Week 12: Resist Food Pushers
Phase 4: Weeks 13-16
Pull everything together with a focus on mindfulness and exercise to create lasting change:
- Week 13: Rock Your Workouts
- Week 14: Become a Mindful Master
- Week 15: What’s Your New Normal
- Week 16: Make it Last for Life
From there, you need to complete a number of processes on the Noom app designed to familiarize yourself with the service. These include selecting your coaching team, developing your big picture goals, getting ready to meet your frenemy (the scale), learning how to eat less dense foods, testing your knowledge, and making a plan to meet with your Goal Specialist.
The overall goal of these sections is to walk you through the process of articulating your big goals and why you want to accomplish them. Noom also suggests weighing yourself at the same time each day for consistent measurements and to create personal accountability.
Most diets fail long-term because they have the narrow goal of weight loss, without teaching behavioral change. That means your initial optimism over dropping weight is likely going to turn into frustration when you gain the weight back.
Noom takes a more holistic approach, guiding you through one small goal at a time, while teaching you good health habits that last a lifetime. With Noom, weight loss is simply the welcome side-effect of a healthier lifestyle. Maybe that’s why both experts and users usually conclude that Noom works