A fad diet is a diet that becomes wildly popular only for a short period of time. These diets let people lose weight at an unreasonably fast pace. The results are ever-changing but it’s no secret that fad diets do backfire. Noom is one of them! This was the most googled diet plan in 2018, with 45 million searches across the globe. The Noom diet is about personalized coaching and making long term changes to achieve weight loss goals, but you won’t get it for free.
Here’s everything that you should know about the Noom diet before trying it out yourself.
What Is The Noom Diet?
The Noom diet is a personalized diet plan designed by behavioral psychologists. (1). It’s available in a mobile application that goes by the name of Noom. The diet helps its users achieve their weight loss goals by creating personalized diet plans with the help of a health coach. During regular business hours, the user can contact their health coach for a 1-on-1 session. The coaches and users use this time to discuss any questions and work on any issues that the user may face (2).
Noom users can use the app to record their exercise and diet regimen and discuss it with others on the app. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels are recorded as well. This is important to know since the Noom diet plan has been originally designed for those struggling with diabetes type 1 and type 2. It was also meant to help overweight and obese individuals reduce their risks of pre-diabetis (3). With that being said, the Noom diet has even been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But original plans aside, the Noom diet has become quite a popular app. And so, nowadays, we see the Noom diet being used by individuals looking for ways to lose extra body pounds. The Noom diet is also popular among those who want to maintain their current body weight. After all, weight maintenance is only possible by staying within the recommended calorie ranges. Noom can also help you develop a healthier lifestyle by improving your eating habits (4).
The app also comes with weekly challenges to keep things interesting. There are also many educational articles for you to browse. From stress management, nutrition, exercise, to how to form healthy habits – you will find it all in the Noom app. And to keep your motivation sky-high, Noom will provide a support group who you can talk to whenever you need a little motivation.
The Noom diet, however, is not free. You have to pay a monthly subscription fee in order to access the app.
Which Foods To Eat And Avoid When On The Noom Diet
In the Noom diet, you don’t have to follow certain recipes for your meals. Instead, you’re free to eat whatever you want as long as you remain within your daily calorie limit. This means you don’t have to go out of your way to buy fancy ingredients. However, you should be tracking your calorie intake religiously.
Still, this is one of the things that makes the Noom diet different from most other diet plans. This is also one of the main reasons why so many people find this doable or easy to follow. So, if you would like to have a cookie while on the Noom diet plan, go for it. But expect that cookie to be marked in red later as you input it in the app. What does this mean exactly?
There is no such thing as a Noom foods list. In the Noom diet, every food is allowed and no foods are off-limits. The diet uses a unique and helpful system of traffic lights (red, yellow, green) to categorize food. The Noom weight loss method uses this system to rank foods according to their calorie measures (5). For example, green foods contain the least number of calories and red foods contain a lot! Let’s have a look at some popular foods from each of the three groups, shall we?
- Green foods
- Yummy veggies – sweet potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, leafy greens, etc.
- Tasty fruits – cherries, berries, bananas, nectarines, watermelon, etc.
- Whole grains – oatmeal, brown rice, etc.
- Non- and low-fat dairy products – Greek yogurt, cheese, etc.
- Yellow foods
- Protein-rich sources – chicken, turkey, eggs, tuna, salmon, etc.
- Important fats – avocado, olives, etc.
- Grains and legumes – lentils, beans, quinoa, chickpeas, whole grain tortillas, etc.
- Dairy products – non-fat milk, eggs, etc.
- Red foods
- Oils and sauces – olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ranch, store-bought salad dressings, etc.
- Sugar – refined sugar and fruit juices;
- Processed foods – fast food, chocolate, pizza, etc.
- Processed meat – ham, bacon, etc.
In this system, you’re supposed to have foods from every color each day in accordance with the recommended calorie count. The idea is to focus on eating as many green foods as possible. This would require you to plan your meals around eating fresh fruits and veggies as well as other green foods. You would combine these foods with yellow foods to create a healthy and satisfying meal. You may go over your limit at the start since it is difficult to adjust. But gradually, you’ll get used to it.
Drinking enough water and green tea is important as well. Think of this as an effortless weight loss technique. Science has shown that by drinking two glasses of water before a meal, you can efficiently reduce your calorie intake and reduce your hunger. Green tea, on the other hand, is a great metabolism-booster. It will work hard to make your digestive system burn more calories, thus resulting in better weight loss results.
By focusing more on green foods, you get to eat big portions without going into a caloric surplus. Still, you will not feel hungry or lethargic during the day. Give it a little time and you will start noticing some patterns that would get you the results that you need. This is in fact how those sustainable diet plans work. Instead of starving yourself and binding at the end of the day, you eat a little bit of everything and you will feel good along the way.
How Does Noom work?
After downloading the application, make an account, and log in. Noom will then pair you up with a health coach. You will also be required to take a quiz that will educate about the proper use of the application. You will be asked about your activity or fitness level, weight, goals, and medical conditions.
Noom then uses an algorithm to break down a user’s energy needs and calculates how many calories they should eat daily and what proportion should be from carbs, fats, and proteins (6, 7). To help users follow these guidelines, Noom asks its users to record what they eat on a daily basis (8, 9).
The app also provides instant feedback by sharing comments on any foods as you log them in your app. Expect to see messages such as “Smart choice!” and “Good job!” whenever you log one of those tasty, fresh fruits. Your coach will check with you frequently to see your progress. That is the time to ask any questions and share any worries with them.
How Effective Is Noom?
Apps like Noom encourage people to keep a track of their eating and exercising habits. A study in 2017 found that people who regularly record their eating habits experience long-lasting weight loss (10).
A study in 2016 reported that 35,921 users of the app experienced a 77% reduction in body weight within six months. It is worth mentioning that all of the users were either obese or overweight. Those who diligently tracked their weight and calorie intake had the best results. Others, who did not, also achieved good results. The key was the consistency of the process (11).
In 2016, another study investigated the efficiency of the Noom app. The app was part of a diabetes prevention program (DPP) whose goal was to prevent diabetes among obese and overweight prediabetics. All participants achieved significant weight loss results using the DPP. As much as 64% of them managed to lose up to 5% of their body weight (12).
A newer study was done in 2019 showed similar results. For the purposes of the study, the researchers gathered a total of 105 participants. All of the participants were either overweight or obese. To help them achieve noticeable weight loss results, they were instructed to track their daily calorie intake without following any particular diet plan. The participants were then divided into three groups. The study showed that those participants who tracked their weight and calorie intake every day, without an exception, achieved the best weight loss results as compared to the other two groups (13, 14).
- Encourages users to make sustainable life changes instead of focusing primarily on food intake.
- Motivates users to eat nutritiously dense meals.
- The Noom diet tricks your body, allowing it to develop healthy eating habits quickly.
- The app lets users search from a database of 150,000 foods or scan barcodes on packaged foods while they’re shopping to get feedback on the calorie content.
- Individualized coaching connects users to teams that encourage them to follow guidelines and reach their goals.
- Blood pressure and blood sugar levels can be recorded manually, which is a great feature for those who share their data with their physicians.
- This app is great for busy people. You don’t need to spend 2 to 3 hours every day on sifting through the app or preparing meals. 10 minutes a day to log your entries is enough.
- Noom offers a 14-day trial period. It will only cost you $1 to find out if Noom is the app for you. Test all of its features and make the best decision for you.
- Users cannot record information on nutrients, only the number of calories.
- Some coaches on the Noom app don’t have a certification from the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching.
- Free alternatives to Noom are available for both Android and iOS users.
How Much Does Noom Cost?
Subscription to the Noom app costs $45 per month. This is pretty pricey especially when there are free alternatives available. However, most free alternatives do not have a high success rate that Noom does. And none of them come with a real-life coach that is by your side whenever you need them. You do not need to make any appointments or phone calls, simply send them a message and expect their answer quickly (15).
The app also comes with a 14-day free trial. And it will only cost you $1. During this period, you get to test all of the features and see how Noom can help transform your life. Do not worry, because you can always cancel your prescription before the trial ends without paying even a cent. This, in a combination with the high success rate and positive comments, is what motivates more and more people to invest in their health by paying as little as $45 per month.
Precautions To Take
People with a complicated medical history should not only rely on diet plans and advice from Noom health coaches. Instead, they should seek help from a doctor or dietitian. This is a rather general rule that we have for anyone diagnosed with any health issue whatsoever. Before pursuing this or any other diet app or plan, make sure that you consult your doctor first. Follow this advice in case you use any prescription medications as well (16).
Noom offers a trial run of 14 days, which is good if you want to try this popular diet. You can test the app and its features and if you don’t find it to be a good fit for you, you can cancel the subscription before getting any charges!
Accountability apps work great for many people, but results cannot be guaranteed across the board. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight because you can’t make the needed lifestyle changes to reach your weight loss goals, then Noom is the app for you. By helping initiate small-scale changes, the Noom diet can walk you through achieving the perfect healthy lifestyle for weight loss and maintenance.