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 an online 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.
Noom is an app that aims to help people lose weight, get fit, and stay healthy.
The app uses a unique traffic light system to rank foods according to their calorie content. So-called “green” foods, such as spinach and broccoli, are the least calorie-dense, whereas “red” foods, such as 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.
We consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of Noom.
- Effectiveness: Noom does work for the majority of people.
- Personalization: Noom provides a personal weight loss plan.
- Professional advice: Noom enables regular check-ins with real coaches.
Noom creates a personalized weight loss plan for each of its users. To receive this service, a user must first purchase a Noom subscription and answer some questions on the company website or app. The algorithm will then design a weight loss plan to fit the person’s needs.
Shortly after a person logs in to Noom 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.
Noom claims that their individualized weight loss plans help deliver long lasting weight loss results.
Noom is for people who wish to achieve and maintain a moderate weight. The company’s approach focuses on long-term weight loss via healthy eating and exercise habits rather than short-term weight loss through “crash dieting.”
To begin using Noom, people must answer a questionnaire that features questions on the following:
- Demographics: Noom requires users to provide demographic information, such as their:
- height and weight
- diabetes status
- health and fitness goals
- Habits and behaviors: These questions identify 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 in the past.
- Activity and nutrition: These questions identify whether a person wishes to focus on nutrition or activity levels, and whether they have tried cognitive behavioral therapy in the past.
Noom states that they use the questionnaire answers to create a personalized weight loss plan that promotes steady, sustained weight loss.
Noom’s Healthy Weight Program aims to help people develop and maintain healthy eating and exercise habits.
This is a 16-week program with a structured curriculum that includes the following:
- one to three daily articles on nutrition, exercise, and health and wellness
- one or two interactive challenges per day
- personalized weekend content
- daily calorie tracking, food logging, and exercise logging
- weekly weight logging
Users also have access to in-app messaging with their coaching team. They can also discuss the program and their health and fitness goals with other users.
Noom reports that people use the app for an average of 10 minutes a day.
The Noom diet website recommends focusing on “natural weight-loss foods” that provide energy and leave a person feeling satisfied without exceeding their recommended calorie intake.
A person should ensure that their diet is providing them with the following:
- a variety of macronutrients, such as protein and carbohydrates
- a range of micronutrients, which includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- a limited amount of unsaturated or “good” fat
Suitable foods include:
- Fruits, such as:
- Vegetables, such as:
- Protein-rich foods, such as:
The Noom website also advises people to eat so-called superfoods, which are nutritionally dense foods. Examples include:
Noom does not specify the features included in any given plan. To do so may not even be possible as the app individualizes plans according to a person’s demographic data and questionnaire responses. The app also updates individual plans over time to provide a better fit.
In general, plans will involve the following:
- options to log food intake, activity levels, and body weight
- access to relevant articles and recipes
- access to a coach who will monitor progress and offer advice
- the ability to connect with other subscribers via an online platform
All of Noom’s subscription plans automatically renew after a set time period.
The table below shows the cost of each plan. All costs are correct as of April 2022.
Noom subscription costs are personalized to individual plans, so they may vary somewhat from the figures listed here.
Canceling a subscription
People can cancel their Noom subscription at any time. Noom states that users who cancel their subscription 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 via their account portal.
People 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
Research into the Noom app
Of the 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.
A separate 2016 study used the Noom app to deliver a diabetes prevention program (DPP) to participants with prediabetes who were also overweight or obese. The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of the DPP in promoting weight loss among the study participants.
The participants 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, neither of the above studies compared the Noom app with any other app or diet. As such, it is difficult to know whether the Noom app 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, people using the app will have incomplete information on the nutritional content and possible health benefits of their food choices. For this reason, 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 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.
People on the Noom diet may also find the following helpful for weight loss:
- tracking all food intake using the app
- drinking plenty of water
- avoiding processed foods and added sugars
- eating breakfast every day
- exercising regularly
Several apps are available to help people reach their fitness and health goals. Examples include 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 professional nutritionists.
The table below provides a side-by-side comparison of Noom, 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 $60 per month||starts at $9.92 per week |
$10 per month for 3 months
|$9.90 per month|
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Noom an A+ rating and accreditation, while the average BBB customer review for Noom is 1.32 out of 5 stars. Customers giving the lowest reviews typically mention the unexpected autorenewal of plans. Those giving the highest reviews mainly mention their personal success with the app and praise Noom’s customer service.
Below are some answers to common questions about Noom:
Is the Noom diet effective?
The results of one
It is possible that Noom has since become more effective, having acquired more data from an increasing number of users.
How much weight can you lose in a week on Noom?
The Noom website states that people following the Noom plan typically lose between 1–2 pounds per week. They add that the focus is on helping users achieve their weight loss goal at a “pace that’s comfortable.”
The company does not state the maximum weight loss a person could achieve in a single week. This figure likely varies from one individual to the next.
How long does it take to lose weight on Noom?
Noom creates initial custom plans in line with individual user demographics and answers to the initial questionnaire. Noom then uses this information to calculate an expected timeframe for a user’s individual weight loss goal.
Noom is a weight loss app that provides access to a health coach, a food calorie counter, and a personalized weight loss plan. The company claims that these tools can help people to achieve and maintain their ideal weight.
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 should first talk with a doctor or dietitian to ensure the safety of their proposed weight loss goals and methods.