The Noom diet is a personalized weight loss plan available through the phone app of the same name. The company behind the app claims that it helps people reach their personal weight goals.
The Noom app provides its users with a personalized diet plan and access to a health coach.
People can also use the app to record their diet and exercise habits and to discuss their weight loss journey on Noom’s social platform.
In this article, we explore the Noom diet and outline the research into its effectiveness.
“Green” foods, such as spinach and broccoli, are the least calorie dense, whereas “red” foods, which include nuts and seeds, contain more calories. The idea is that people use green foods to make up the bulk of their diet and eat red foods only in small portions.
Using these data, the company develops personalized weight loss plans that it claims can help deliver long lasting weight loss results.
To get a personalized weight loss plan, a person will need to purchase a subscription and answer some questions on the Noom website or app. The algorithm will then design a weight loss plan to fit the person’s needs.
Shortly after a person logs in for the first time, the app will pair them with an appropriate health coach. The coach will provide relevant dietary information and advice to help the person achieve their weight goals.
To begin using Noom, people will have to answer several questions, which focus on:
- Demographics: The required demographic information includes a person’s health and fitness goals, whether they have diabetes, and their sex, gender, age, height, and weight.
- Habits and behaviors: These questions will ask whether a person has experienced any life events that may make reaching their goal weight more difficult and whether they have tried any other weight loss methods.
- Activity and nutrition: The requested information will include whether a person wishes to focus on nutrition or activity and whether they have tried cognitive behavioral therapy before.
Noom uses the answers to create a personalized weight loss plan. The company states that the plan it creates promotes steady, sustained weight loss.
Noom reports that people use the app for an average of 10 minutes a day.
Noom’s Healthy Weight Program aims to help people develop and maintain eating and exercise habits that promote good health.
This program includes:
- 16-week program with a structured curriculum
- one to three daily articles on nutrition, exercise, and health and wellness
- one or two interactive challenges a day
- personalized weekend content
- daily calorie tracking, food logging, and exercise logging
- weekly weight logging
People also have access to in-app messaging with their coaching team and can discuss the program and their health and fitness goals with virtual groups.
The Noom diet website recommends focusing on “natural weight-loss foods” that provide energy and leave a person feeling satisfied without making their calorie intake too high. Examples include foods with a high water content, as they are satiating.
A person should ensure that their diet is providing them with:
- a variety of macronutrients, such as protein and carbohydrates
- a range of micronutrients, which comprise vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- a limited amount of unsaturated, or “good,” fat
Suitable foods include:
- Fruits: Good options include grapefruit, cherries, berries, Pink Lady apples, nectarines, bananas, and watermelon.
- Vegetables: People can include plenty of green leafy vegetables, peppers, onions, and mushrooms in their diet, among other vegetables.
- Protein-rich foods: Examples include lentils, beans, eggs, fish, tofu, and chicken.
The Noom website also advises people to eat so-called superfoods, which are nutritionally dense. Superfoods include:
- chia seeds
- pine nuts
- sweet potatoes
People on the Noom diet may also find the following helpful for weight loss:
- tracking all food intake using the app
- drinking green tea and plenty of water
- avoiding processed foods and added sugars
- eating breakfast every day
- exercising regularly
Noom’s subscriptions all automatically renew. The table below shows how much a Noom subscription costs. All costs are correct at the time of publishing.
Canceling a subscription
People can cancel a subscription at any time. Noom states that people will still have access to all of their subscription features until the end of their billing cycle.
If a person signed up to Noom through the company’s website, they can cancel the subscription through the Noom app or their account portal.
Those who signed up directly through the app can manage their subscription through the App Store or Google Play.
Apps such as Noom encourage people to self-monitor their weight loss on a regular basis. A
However, self-monitoring weight loss is a practice that tends to
These features include access to both a health coach and a social platform where people can discuss their weight loss challenges and successes with other users.
Research into the Noom app
In 2016, some researchers conducted
Of 35,921 Noom users, 77.9% reported a reduction in body weight while using the app. The researchers found that users who monitored their weight and dietary habits more frequently experienced more consistent weight loss.
In a separate study, also from 2016, researchers used Noom to deliver a diabetes prevention program (DPP) to 43 participants with prediabetes. At the start of the study, each participant was overweight or had obesity. The purpose of the study was to investigate the efficacy of the DPP in promoting weight loss among the participants.
The participants had experienced significant weight loss by week 16 and week 24 of using the DPP. Of the 36 participants who completed the study, 64% lost more than 5% of their body weight.
However, the study did not compare the Noom diet with any other app or diet. It is, therefore, difficult to know whether the Noom diet is any more effective than other weight loss strategies.
A limitation of the Noom app is that it does not allow the user to record information on nutrients other than calories. However, a nutritious, well-balanced diet should contain a good amount of micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
As a result of this limitation, people using the Noom app will have incomplete information on the nutritional content and possible health benefits of their food choices. It also means that doctors and dietitians may be reluctant to recommend the app.
Additionally, some Noom coaches do not have certification from the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching. This certification requires a coach to meet the minimum standard of knowledge and skills necessary for health and wellness coaching.
Coaches without this certification could potentially offer inappropriate advice.
It is important to note that people who have a complicated medical history should take extra care when using Noom or similar weight loss apps. These individuals should seek additional weight loss advice from a doctor, dietitian, or other healthcare professional.
Several apps are available that aim to help people reach their fitness and health goals. Examples include WW (previously known as Weight Watchers) and Trim Down Club.
WW is a company that takes a holistic approach to weight management. The company provides advice on food, activity, sleep, and mindset, with coaches offering expert support.
Trim Down Club is a company that aims to replace current eating habits with healthier ones. It provides customized meal plans and allows people to access nutritional advice from nutritionists in the community.
The table below compares Noom with WW and Trim Down Club.
|Noom||WW||Trim Down Club|
|App or web||app and web||app and web||web only|
|Areas of focus||weight loss|
|Food system||traffic lights||points||meal plans|
|Additional features||progress tracking|
|Price||starts at $66.35 per month||starts at $3.38 per week||$9.90 per month|
Noom is a weight loss app that provides access to a health coach and a personalized weight loss plan. The company claims that these tools, plus the accurate food calorie counter, can help people reach their weight goals.
So far, research suggests that the Noom app can be an effective aid to weight loss. However, researchers have not yet compared Noom with other weight loss apps or methods.
People with underlying health conditions should take extra care when using Noom or similar weight loss apps. They may require the advice of a doctor or dietitian to ensure safe weight loss.