Noom is a weight loss app that emphasizes building a healthy and sustainable relationship with food more than it does on counting calories and restricting your eating. It runs primarily on the Noom app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices. Noom offers daily lessons that cover the psychology of eating and how it affects your habits, primarily when it comes to dieting and weight loss. Noom also takes more of an all-inclusive approach than many other dieting apps. Rather than categorizing foods as “good” or “bad,” Noom places an emphasis on categorizing foods by their calorie density, as well as considering your habits, preferences, and level of activity.
Noom combines psychology and behavioral science with traditional weight loss features like meal and activity tracking, personal coaches, and online communities to help customers adopt a healthier lifestyle.
From there, Noom divides foods into high-, moderate-, and low-calorie categories, and allows you to mix and match those foods to hit the calorie allowance that Noom lays out for you. You can track your food and daily activity in the app, and personal coaches and an online community provide accountability. Noom aims to help people understand why they eat by adding a psychological approach to meal and activity tracking, making this a solid choice for people who want the mental tools to create long-term lifestyle changes. Let’s dig into a full review.
About Our Tester
Billy Brown is a Reviews Editor at BarBend.com. He has reviewed countless fitness apps for various publications, and he’s used them personally to help cut weight for competition and bulk up during the off-season. He used a combination of user reviews, product research, and personal experience to write this review.
- Noom uses a combination of activity and nutrition tracking, health coaches, and a psychology-based approach to dieting and losing weight.
- Instead of requiring you to eliminate certain foods, the app uses a color-coded food classification system with red, green, and yellow categories.
- Noom offers different payment options, including a $70-per-month monthly plan, a $209-per-year annual plan, and custom plans based on your specific goals and time frames.
Noom Fitness App Highlights
- Price: There are multiple payment options available, including a $70/month monthly plan, a $209 per year annual plan, and plans with specific time frames to match your goal.
- Meal/Activity Tracking: The app allows users to log daily food intake and activity to see how close they are to their calorie goals.
- Accountability: Users are connected with health coaches as well as an online community of Noom members for support during their membership.
- Time Frame: Programs are designed to run for 16 weeks but may vary from person to person.
Unlike other weight loss programs that give you a set meal or macro-counting plan, Noom aims to change your relationship with food using psychology and behavioral science. It offers daily lessons that educate users on how psychology can affect your habits, especially when they relate to eating, dieting, and weight loss. This is an intriguing approach, as it seems geared more toward a permanent change in how you eat versus dieting for a few months until you reach your goals.
Put into practice, Noom works by setting a daily calorie goal designed to create a caloric deficit. Instead of a specific diet or meal plan, Noom uses a color-coded system to classify food based on their caloric density. Green foods have a lower calorie count in large portions, yellow foods have moderate amounts of calories in moderate portions, and red foods have high amounts of calories in small portions. This gives users more freedom to choose what foods they eat as long as they stay within their prescribed calorie count. However, this may not work for people who prefer a more structured diet with strict calorie and macro counts. And, at $70 per month for a monthly membership, this may be out of some people’s price range.
- Noom doesn’t eliminate any foods like starches or grains. Instead, it splits foods into different categories, so you can pick and choose how you eat.
- The psychology-based approach is designed to change your relationship with food for long-term success.
- The Noom app’s user interface is incredibly easy to navigate, and you can access your account and information on Noom’s website.
- Noom provides a health coach and online community for support throughout your membership.
- Noom requires you to track and log each meal, which can be tedious.
- If you would rather have someone tell you exactly what to eat and how much, Noom isn’t for you.
- While the cost is comparable to other weight loss programs, it may be too big of a financial commitment for some.
- Noom syncs with fitness trackers but only shares steps and weight, so you’ll still have to add your caloric intake and non-walking activities manually.
Using the Noom Fitness App
Noom starts out by asking how much weight you want to lose, which is common among weight loss apps. But since Noom uses a psychological approach, the survey users take before signing up goes beyond the usual questions like “How often do you work out?” and “Do you sit a lot at work?” In addition to the usual questions about daily activity and fitness level, Noom asks about whether or not you eat when you’re bored, how often you feel stressed, and how you feel about your body.
As you answer questions, Noom will adjust the time that it estimates it will take you to achieve your weight loss goal. During our test of the program, we saw the time frame drop from four months down to ten weeks as we answered questions about our current health and activity levels. Once you finish the survey and sign up, Noom gives you your daily calorie goals, and the process begins.
Noom uses a team of behavioral health experts to design programs to educate their users on why they eat the way they do. Users are asked to complete ten five- to 16-minute lessons on behavioral change over the course of 16 weeks. These are designed to help users examine their eating habits, manage the emotions affecting their eating, and make lifestyle changes that may result in sustained weight loss.
One of the most impressive things about this approach is that it’s based on helping people lose weight and keep it off. Many programs offer restrictive diets that can help people lose weight and hit their goals, but don’t offer resources to help them keep it off. Noom’s goal is to create permanent changes in people’s approaches to eating so that they not only lose weight but have the tools to keep it off indefinitely.
One thing that we appreciate about Noom is that nothing is off the table (so to speak). There are no restricted foods like you’d find in weight loss programs like with a low-carb or low-fat diet. Instead, users get a daily calorie limit that they need to stay at, using foods that the company differentiates using colors. Green foods are the least calorie-dense, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat dairy. Yellow foods are moderately calorie-dense, like dried fruits, most meats, and starchier vegetables like corn. Red foods are very calorie-dense, like fried foods, alcohol, high-fat dairy, and processed grains.
The best part about this is that it doesn’t necessarily require a huge change in how you eat. It helps Noom users to be more cognizant of what they eat and eat more deliberately. Plus, since nothing is forbidden, having zero food restrictions can minimize those bread or Skittle cravings that can derail an eating plan.
The time to reach your goal weight will vary based on how much weight you want to lose and your activity levels. Our tester works out four to six times a week and is generally active, so his time went down to about ten weeks. The plan is designed to run for 16 weeks, but Noom suggests up to 12 months for maintenance. Noom offers three- to 11-month plans as well as annual subscriptions.
Users are required to log their meals on the app, similar to how you would on MyFitnessPal. Logging every meal manually can be tedious and time-consuming, but Noom also has a database of foods you can use instead. This method is more convenient since you can look up something like clam chowder and click on it to enter, but individual recipes vary, so it may not be as accurate.
Noom also requires you to log your activities and steps (the app has a built-in step counter). The app has a growing database of activities to choose from, so you can choose your activity and duration, and the app will adjust your calorie requirements for the day.
Noom does sync with fitness trackers, including the Apple Watch, but it only syncs weight and steps, so you’ll still have to manually add your food intake and any non-walking activities.
A few days into the program, Noom will set you up with a health coach who will reach out twice a week to answer questions, offer advice, and do weekly check-ins. In addition, Noom has a mini social network called Circles, in which you can find other “Noomers” with similar interests. These groups can provide a sense of community and accountability between members.
What to Consider Before Subscribing to the Noom Fitness App
Signing up for Noom is a big commitment in terms of both time and money, and its approach to weight loss may not be for everyone. If you’re thinking about signing up for Noom, consider whether the price fits your budget, if you need a structured meal plan, and whether or not you’re willing to track everything you eat for months at a time.
Noom starts at $70 monthly for a month-to-month plan, with prices dropping for longer plans. If you go with the $209 annual plan, the price is about $17.42 per month. While this is comparable to other weight loss plans, it’s still a financial commitment. So be sure that you can afford the program before you buy.
Some people want a rigid plan. This ain’t it. One of the perks of this plan is that there are zero food restrictions, but for some people, that’s a road to temptation. If you want something more strict that eliminates certain foods (like the Keto diet) or counts your nutrition down to the macro, you may want to try something else. However, this would be a great option if you want a plan that offers a bit more freedom.
Tracking your food in the app is a necessary part of using Noom, but it can be extremely tedious to log everything you eat. If you’re not willing to faithfully log your food for months on end, you probably won’t see the results that you want with this app.
Noom recommends daily weigh-ins to help track your progress. This may not be ideal for people who have issues with hopping on the scale. In addition to tracking your progress, the daily weigh-ins are designed to help scale-averse people normalize using a scale on a regular basis, but some people may find it difficult.
We should note that other factors like water retention and hormones can cause weight fluctuations, making this a tough way to gauge daily progress.
Noom Fitness App Vs. The Competition
Before committing to a weight loss program, it’s a good idea to compare it to others on the market to make sure it’s the right fit for you. We put Noom up against some of the more popular weight loss programs on the market to see how it stacks up.
|$70 per month for a monthly subscription
|Starts at $3.38 per week
|Starts at $508 for one month
|Free, with an optional subscription
|Available in higher price tiers
|Available at an extra cost
As you can see, the prices and perks of weight loss programs can vary widely. MyFitnessPal is the most wallet-friendly since the app has a free option that allows you to track your food and activity. However, it doesn’t offer any direction in what or how much you should eat.
Nutrisystem is the most expensive, but it actually provides the food for you, so it’s ideal for people who prefer not to cook all their meals. Weight Watchers is more cost-effective, with food available at an extra cost and coaches available at higher price tiers. Both of these offer more structured and strict programs, so if you need that direction, these may be good options.
Noom is by no means the most expensive option, but it can still be pricey if you go with the month-to-month option. However, Noom does stand out for its psychological and behavioral approach, which is ideal for people who want to achieve a healthy relationship with food and maintain long-term weight loss.
Each program takes a slightly different approach to weight loss. Do your research and consider which approach would be the best for you, and you’ll find the right one.
Places to Buy
You can download the Noom app in the iOS and Android app stores.
Noom actually offers a weight loss guarantee. If you complete the program and don’t lose weight, Noom will give you your money back, no questions asked.
Noom is a subscription-based weight loss app that tracks a person’s food intake and activity levels. The company takes a psychological and behavioral approach to help people lose weight.
Noom can be an excellent weight loss program for people who have unhealthy eating habits, and those who want to understand why they eat the way they do. Its color-coded eating system defines calorically light, moderate, and dense foods, which can help users stick to the daily calorie goals that Noom provides. Also, the weekly check-ins with coaches and the ability to communicate with other Noom members via Circles offer accountability for people who may be struggling.
What makes Noom stand out is that while its primary aim is to get people down to their goal weight, it also places a focus on educating members about how and why they eat. In addition to helping users lose weight during their membership, this information may help them keep it off long after they’ve stopped using the app.
How much does Noom cost?
Noom starts at $70 per month with a month-to-month subscription. The price gets lower with larger time commitments (two months, three months, etc…), down to $209 for a 12-month commitment, which averages about $17.42 per month.
Can you drink alcohol on Noom?
You can drink alcohol with Noom. However, it is in the red group, which means small amounts of it have large amounts of calories, so you’ll want to keep it to a minimum.
Can I use Noom if I have dietary restrictions?
Since Noom’s eating plan is based on calories instead of specific foods, Noom will work with any dietary restrictions.