What Is Noom?
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Noom is a weight-loss app designed by behavioral psychologists, nutritionists and personal trainers to help people adopt healthier habits, with the primary goal of losing weight and actually keeping it off. This app focuses on teaching behavioral changes and helping users develop healthier relationships with food instead of focusing on restrictive diets. On Noom's official website, the company states that "quick-fix diets are a thing of the past, and behavior change is the way to the future."
Using the app, which Noom says has helped over 1.5 million people lose weight, users get a personalized calorie breakdown once they answer a lifestyle quiz. They can easily track the foods that they eat and log their exercises, weight and other stats — much like they can do in other weight-loss apps. Those who invest in Noom also have access to in-app health coaching during business hours, meaning they can contact trained professionals who are dedicated to guiding clients to a better place.
Noom gives you a 14-day trial to sample the program. After that, if you decide to stick with it, you’ll pay roughly $60 a month for a membership — but you can purchase multiple months at the same time for less money. This high cost is cited as one of the primary drawbacks of Noom.
How Does Noom Work?
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In order to use Noom, you need to have a smartphone, an email address or social media account and a credit card. You can sign up for the app through Noom's website or by downloading the app to your phone; it's currently available for iOS and Android devices.
When you sign up and create an account, the app has you take a short lifestyle quiz that asks you about your health goals and about any physical or mental health concerns. It then builds a personalized plan based on your answers.
Once you have your account set up on Noom, the app asks you to complete a series of about eight tasks a day. Most of the tasks are short articles to read about nutrition or psychological concepts that can impact your dieting and your overall life. Other tasks include taking quick quizzes on the articles you've read to make sure you retain the information.
When it comes to tracking your food intake, Noom classifies foods into three different color groups. These are based on the caloric density of each food. The green group includes foods that you should regularly include in your diet, such as vegetables, fruits and other foods with high water content. The yellow group includes foods that are fine to eat in smaller amounts, such as nuts and cheese. The red group includes foods that you should eat sparingly, such as junk food and unhealthy snacks.
How Is Noom Different From Other Weight-Loss Apps?
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Noom doesn't offer extreme nutrition plans or meal delivery for users. It doesn't rely on a point system or only allow you to eat certain foods. It also doesn’t encourage you to focus on counting calories or think about foods in terms of those numerical values. Instead, the app is determined to "break your self-sabotaging behaviors and develop balanced relationships with food and yourself that last."
The app offers insight into your ability to tackle triggers, thoughts and obstacles that could potentially derail your weight-loss journey. It primarily does this by providing articles to read that are based on both your health goals and any emotional triggers that make you turn to food for comfort. Health coaches on the app also help to address these issues. By working to eliminate mental and emotional connections to food, Noom attempts to set you up for a better chance for long-term success.
What Are the Benefits of Noom’s Features?
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There are several potential benefits to using this particular weight-loss app. Noom offers flexibility by allowing you to incorporate various foods into your diet while still giving you accountability about the nutrients you’re consuming. The app is easy to use to track progress, log meals and track weight loss. The app also encourages you to form new healthy behaviors while working on breaking the unhealthy ones that stall your progress.
People who have hypertension or diabetes can also log their blood pressure and blood sugar numbers manually or by syncing devices. Noom even has a diabetes prevention program that has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This focuses specifically on blood sugar control. In addition, Noom encourages community by creating groups of like-minded people and goal setters who can chat with and support each other on and offline.
How Users Can Expect Noom to Work for Them
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All weight loss is dependent upon a person's body, health conditions and consistency with nutrition and working out. However, Noom states that users can expect to drop at least one or two pounds a week. The app promotes the idea that slow and steady weight loss with lifestyle changes is better than any extreme diet in which users are likely to end up gaining the weight back. "If you’re looking for a quick fix or something extreme, Noom isn’t the place for you," said Noom's psychology officer Andreas Michaelides in an interview with Rolling Stone. "While the results aren’t overnight [with Noom], they’re much more likely to stick."
A 2016 Nature research study with 35,921 participants found that 78% of users maintained significant weight loss with Noom over nine months. Users should also develop a better grasp of nutrition and learn better habits like "making meals at home instead of eating out, incorporating more physical activity into daily routines and embracing mindfulness techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing and intention setting," according to Michaelides.