The Noom diet is a personalized weight loss plan available through the phone app of the same name. The app’s creators claim 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 contain more calories and should make up less of a portion.
Using these data, the app’s creators develop personalized weight loss plans that they claim 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.
The Noom diet website recommends focusing on “natural weight-loss foods” that provide energy and leave a person feeling satisfied without providing too many calories. 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 healthful or unsaturated fat
Suitable foods include:
- Fruits, such as grapefruit, cherries, berries, Pink Lady apples, nectarines, banana, and watermelon.
- Vegetables, including green leafy vegetables, peppers, onions, cucumber, and mushrooms.
- Protein-rich foods, such as lentils, beans, eggs, fish, 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
Apps such as Noom encourage people to self-monitor their weight loss on a regular basis. A 2017 study found that people who frequently and consistently record their dietary habits experience more consistent and long-term weight loss.
However, self-monitoring weight loss is a practice that tends to decrease quickly over time. To prevent this, the Noom app provides features to motivate people to continue self-monitoring.
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 a study of the effectiveness of the Noom app. The study analyzed dietary data from Noom users who recorded what they ate at least twice a month for 6 months.
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 had either overweight or 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 healthful 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 healthfulness 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.
Also, 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.
Noom is a weight loss app that provides access to a health coach and a personalized weight loss plan. Its creators claim 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.