We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Noom and Jenny Craig are commercial weight loss programs. People using the Jenny Craig program choose from set meals, while Noom users download an app that guides their choices.
This article aims to help people understand the differences between the approaches of these two programs and their possible benefits.
Providing what the company call nutritious and delicious prepared meals is part of the Jenny Craig approach to portion control.
Weekly one-on-one coaching comes with one of the company’s three basic plans.
Prepared meals that teams of nutritionists and chefs have designed form the core of the Jenny Craig program. People can choose between:
- meal plans offering only breakfast and lunch
- plans offering three meals a day
- the Rapid Results Max Weight Loss Plan, which features a more complex array of meals, snacks, and the company’s Recharge bars
It is difficult to access information from the Noom website without signing up for a free trial. However, the program has three key characteristics:
- the goal of changing people’s relationship with food, rather than simply promoting weight loss
- the use of psychology to promote behavior management
- the need for a smartphone or another form of mobile technology
The program starts with a questionnaire, which collects information about an individual’s goals, demographic characteristics, eating habits, activities, and more.
Through the app, individuals receive a daily calorie budget. They enter what they eat, their weight, and their exercise each day.
Noom provide individualized daily targets and tips, which they call a curriculum, to encourage positive changes. They also connect users with trained cognitive behavior coaches and support groups.
There are no meal plans or forbidden foods with Noom. Instead, the program has a simple color-coded system, which uses red, yellow, and green — like a traffic light — to signal nutrient content and the need for portion control.
Researchers say that the Jenny Craig program includes all the elements of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention, which the guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology, and The Obesity Society list as:
- activity level
- plans for changing behavior
Long-term weight loss success is most likely when people lose 1–2 pounds per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is the rate that Jenny Craig have designed their program to achieve.
People with type 2 diabetes could benefit from Jenny Craig, according to the website. The company say that following the program’s type 2 menu can help these individuals lose weight, lower their blood sugar levels, and reduce their insulin use. However, there is no research supporting this claim.
On their website, Noom claim that research has shown that their users lose weight, keep it off, and rank their program as highly effective. One study found that Noom had the highest total quality score of the smartphone apps they evaluated.
Another study found that people who used Noom lost 7.5% of their body weight after 15 weeks and remained at a 5.2% loss after a year. The participants also lowered their body fat and reduced their glucose levels.
People at risk of or already living with diabetes or metabolic syndrome could benefit from Noom, according to one study. People who followed the program for 15 weeks lowered their levels of blood sugar and body fat. The program also makes it easy for people to log their blood pressure and glucose levels.
There is no research proving one weight loss program to be superior to another. The potential for success may depend on how an individual responds to the program, alongside other factors.
Below, we look at how the Jenny Craig and Noom programs differ in terms of their menus, support provision, and costs.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.
Comparing Noom and Jenny Craig is difficult because Jenny Craig deliver prepackaged meals, while Noom do not have specific meals.
Examples of the prepackaged foods that Jenny Craig deliver include:
- Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites with veggies, a small cup of fruit, and 8 ounces of skim milk.
- Lunch: Turkey club panini, a fruit cup, and salad.
- Dinner: Chicken fajitas with peppers and onions.
Noom assign foods to the following categories, counseling participants on how to eat from each of them to reach their goals:
- Green foods: These foods, which include spinach and blueberries, are high in water and low in calories, and participants can eat large amounts of them.
- Yellow foods: Somewhat like the yellow in a traffic light, these foods require caution, as people should avoid eating too much of them. They include salmon, lean ground beef, and whole eggs.
- Red foods: These are the most calorie dense foods, so people should moderate their intake of them. They include nuts, oils, and dried fruit.
Support in each program
The Jenny Craig and Noom programs have different approaches to helping their users.
Jenny Craig only offer support to those who sign up to the Rapid Results Max Complete Weight Loss Plan. This support includes:
- personal feedback
- meal planning assistance
- guidance for weight loss
Noom offer all program participants:
- a curriculum of tips and articles for behavior management
- online coaching
- online support group
Individuals can choose from three different Jenny Craig food plans. The prices go up as the plans include more meals and personal counseling.
The Noom program costs much less per month than Jenny Craig, but it does not provide any food.
Noom charge a monthly fee to use their program. Individuals pay in full for the first 6 months of the program after completing the free 2-week trial period.
Jenny Craig and Noom are commercial weight loss programs. Which is the better option will depend on a person’s unique needs and preferences.
The Jenny Craig program provides people with prepackaged, nutritious, and portion-controlled meals.
The Noom program uses a mobile app to help users make healthful choices, track their diet and exercise, and monitor their progress.