The wellness and diet industry is growing exponentially as is the need and desire to have the perfect body. With daily life being all about to do lists, sometimes fitness is not a number one priority.
Although, some people may wish it could be if it were easier to access. Being able to workout, have a coach, diet plans and encouragement all in one place once seemed like a dream.
Dream no more.
With the latest weight loss app, Noom, all of your workouts, food diaries, eating plans, coaching and more is now available in one place, your phone.
Currently, there’s not much else like it on the market. It’s very on trend, with only a few competitors and a lot of potential amongst millennials as it is available whenever and wherever you go with your phone. The fitness app market was estimated at $1.77 billion in 2016 with a projection of $4.1 billion by 2021.
The app was created by a team of behavioural psychologists, personal trainers and nutritionists to encourage a sustainable healthy lifestyle. As opposed to other diets on the market, Noom doesn’t want its users to have an extreme diet.
Instead, it guides and encourages its users through custom diet plans, 1:1 coaching, weight logs, food tracking and ultimately, helps you shift your lifestyle into one you desire.
The key successful selling point of Noom is that it offers social support, just like a nutritionist or personal trainer would. With the new age of technology driven businesses and the need for instant access to information, online support may encourage long term success and users.
Since its launch in 2008, it now has more than 45 million users and is the top most Googled diet in 2019, it’s time to find out how it works, if it works and if it’s right for you.
There are many diet plans on the market and each one is different. Here is is Noom is different:
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What is Noom diet plan?
Noom diet plan is a smartphone app that helps you reach your desires fitness and weight goals. Everything you need for a diet journey is available through the app. This includes 1:1 coaching, food plans, food logging, recipes, a database of foods to eat and to avoid, quizzes, social support and more.
The app essentially is a personalised weight loss assistant that will encourage you to achieve your goals, if you persist and are consistent. The reason it is different to other fitness apps is down to its focus on behavioural activity.
A users behavioural changes are important for long term weight loss and dieting. Noom will encourage the user to not only maintain a healthy diet whilst reaching their goals, but to sustain the lifestyle changes for future.
Noom was created by professionals in the health and wellness industry who are considered to be the perfect team to set up a plan for your mind and body. The app has the ability to offer support to help sustain and manage goals for every user, all 45 million of them.
It is important to know how a diet plan works before committing to trying it, especially paying for it. So here is how it works:
How does Noom work?
Noom allows its users to log meals, receive 1:1 coaching, set goals, find new recipes, receive support from coaches and other users, access workout guides and track progress. The app also offers guidance with emotional eating by quizzing you on your emotional levels and helps thereafter with eating decisions.
When you first download and enter the app, Noom will ask the user their weight goal, how quickly they would like to lose weight and general personal information such as age, height and weight. After creating an account, the app will automatically log your exercise and will then ask you to log all food and drink consumed daily.
There is a database of over 150,000 food and drink items to choose from. The calories consumed will then be deducted from your daily calorie goal, which the app will create for you when you enter your desired goal.
From there, the user can track weekly weight loss, access the 1:1 coaching, food plans, workout guides, recipes, online support and quizzes. The user will then continue with the diet plan until they reach their desired goal. It can be used after reaching your desired results of course, to help sustain and manage what the user has achieved and to still access the coaching, food plans, recipes and more.
Before spending time and money on a new diet and routine, a user may find it usual to know what to consider before purchasing the plan. Here is a roundup of the key things to consider:
Things to consider before buying Noom diet plan
The ideal customer for the Noom app is anyone with a smartphone looking for a diet solution and buddy. With this app being available 24/7 and having online support systems makes the app encouraging and inviting. As the user has around the clock access to diet plans, recipes and more, it really stands out from the rest of the market.
It isn’t just a diet plan, but a guide and encouragement to keep on track. It’s like having a friend to workout or eat healthy balanced meals with, but all the time.
The negative to the app being only available on a smartphone means those without access to smart apps means they cannot be a user. Noom is not available online via computers running desktop, only on smartphones.
Another problem the app has faced is the monthly membership price. The membership starts from $59, which can be a high price for many people. Noom’s creators released a statement to say that the app’s target audience is millennials, but we think that the price doesn’t exactly reflect that. There are cheaper alternatives on the market and a lot of free material online.
Noom does offer an annual membership deal of $199, which would save the user a lot of money and is something to consider if you see yourself wanting to use the app long term. The annual membership is a great benefit for those who wish to be long term users of the diet plan.
An upside to the membership scheme is that it can be trialled for $1 before signing up to a monthly subscription. The trial lasts 7 days and you can cancel at any time. The trial allows users to understand the app and consider if it is worth the monthly membership price.
Therefore, key things to consider are if you have the correct technology to access the app and if the monthly membership price works for you.
A breakdown of an apps features is helpful for the user as it helps them understand the benefits of each feature:
Features and Benefits
As there are many features of the Noom diet plan and smartphone application, it is necessary to break each one down to see what their benefits are and if they are essential for your individual desires. Some people seeking weight loss and guidance with food may like to have food plans and logging but not want to have a personal 1:1 coach. Some users may seek the exercise guide and benefit from the coaching but not want food plans. It all depends on the individuals needs and desires.
Each individual feature has different benefits, which are broken down here for each individual to assess and understand how it works.
The 1:1 coaching sessions are personalised and tailored to the user. Depending on the users weight loss goals and exercise desires, the coach will create a weight loss workout plan for you and provide you with specialist advice. The creators of the Noom app include personal trainers.
The advice and training you receive is from a professional, which you can choose to try or skip. A key benefit from having a personal coach is the professional plan and friendly encouragement you receive. The influence a coach can provide helps many users stay on track and push through.
Food logging is an evidence based method that shows how users who log what they eat tend to eat better as they can be in touch with what they consume day to day.
When shopping for food, you can use Noom to scan the barcodes and see the feedback on whether it is a green, yellow or red food. Noom categorises foods into colour categories to show which foods are healthy and wholesome in comparison to fatty and sugary foods. Noom doesn’t ban any foods but the colour zones may help its users make better food choices.
A study by Duke University concluded that overweight or obese users of daily food logging via apps manage to lose a significant amount of weight. The regular updates and check-ins with the food a user consumes seems to have beneficial effects on their food choices.
To go into more detail on the colour coding of foods, Noom decided to help its users choose the right foods instead of banning them. The creators understand that extreme diets and cutting certain foods is not easy to maintain long term. Instead, putting foods into different categories educated them on healthier food options as well as helping them make a decision.
Green foods are the least calorie dense and contain a high level of nutrients. This includes vegetables, fruits, grains and non fat yoghurts, cheeses and milks, dairy or non dairy.
Yellow foods are higher in calories and less nutritious and are advised to add into meals moderately. These foods include lean meats, legumes, beans and healthy fats.
The red foods are necessarily ones to avoid, but food to consume less frequently and in small portions. This includes red meats, fatty oils, nuts and seeds.
There are two types of social support on the app. One is an assigned coach who can answer questions, send extra information and help you with your needs. These are available only during business hours, 9am until 5pm. The availability of the coaches is one of the down sides. With time zones and people sometimes needing help outside of those hours, it isn’t helpful for all users.
The second social support system is an online forum where users can chat to other users. This forum is open and available 24/7. Users can discuss their journey, encourage each other and share tips.
Having a group of likeminded users all in one space could be considered similar to in person weight watching groups, but easier to access and available at all times. The availability of this support group is ideal for today’s users demanding online ease and access around the clock.
Free diet materials
On the app there are many diet materials from recipes and articles to workout guides. There are over 1,000 recipes for the users to choose from.
Again, the ease of access and instant availability make this a great benefit of the app. Today’s users, especially millennials, demand instant information as and when they need it. Plus, it’s all in one space being on an app so the user can click through and find what they need within seconds.
Weight loss tracking
The app has a biometric tracking system where it calculates the personal data you input as well as the automatic exercise tracker installed on your smartphone. It takes every small detail into account to monitor your progress.
The system also tracks and monitors blood sugar levels and blood pressure, which is a great benefit for those concerned or even interested in making sure their levels are healthy and maintained. Being able to see the small results is a great encouragement for users.
In a 2016 study, 35,921 users of Noom who regularly track their weight loss were studied to see if tracking and monitoring their journey made a difference in the results. Of those who were studied, 77.9% reported a reduction in weight whilst using the app to track their weight and dietary habits. It seems that those who regularly check in with tracking their changes see significant results.
Noom gives its users quizzes from the very first time they open the app. They aren’t tests but simply a way for the app to understand the user a bit better. For example, when the user first installs and creates an account, Noom will ask a variety of questions to know what the goal is, who the person is and what they want out of the app.
Example of questions :
To get the best out of a diet plan, the goals need to be understood and a quiz is Noom’s way of doing that.
The instant access and ease of the app make this app successful and beneficial for its users. In today’s world, instant media and access to information is key. The availability of online materials, support systems and diet tracking are key selling points for making this app unique and well marketed.
We analysed scientific studies and market research to give you an overview of the apps effectiveness with conclusive and genuine research results:
Effectiveness of Noom: Scientific Studies
All diet plans and solutions need to be scientifically researched in order to be successful among the diet industry’s worldwide audience. Diet solutions are considered to have a further reach if the method is backed up by research and results.
Nature and British Medical Journal (BMJ), a journal recognised worldwide studied the Noom app to see if the users actually saw weight loss results. Many studies on the app focuses on its features and benefits, in order to discover if the food tracking function and social support has any significance to a user’s diet journey.
However, this journal concluded that 64% of Noom users lost 5% or more of body weight. Not only does this display positive results, it demonstrates how the diet plan has longer term health benefits, such as reducing people’s risk of diabetes and other health conditions.
Although many Noom users report being happy with the app, there have been mixed user reviews on its food database, with users comparing it with other diet plan apps. A 2019 study found that Noom has the most accurate database on the market. Not only does Noom have a key eye for attention to detail here, but having a successful food database will ensure its user to achieve real results due to real data.
Any new diet plan on the market would appreciate positive scientific results and so far, Noom has achieved exactly that. However, that doesn’t mean to say it’s the best on the market, that decision is all down to the customer.
How much does Noom cost?
Whether a diet solution is free or paid, a user will want to know if it is worth it. Here is a breakdown of the costs:
Noom offers FCER readers a 7 day trial for $1. From there, if the user wishes to continue the monthly plan starts at $59 per month and an annual membership is $199. There is also a two month plan for $99.
The trial period can end whenever the user wishes to cancel and no extra charge will occur. A benefit to the trial is that the user can get a feel for the app, how and if it will work for them before committing to a monthly or annual membership plan.
Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the app to weigh up benefits and consequences the user may face:
Pros and Cons
|It encourages real eating of whole foods and a nutrient dense diet||Could be considered expensive|
|Social support from the creators and users||Only available through smartphone|
|Logs what you eat to encourage results||Coaches only available during business hours|
|Offers rewards when you hit goals|
|Provides individual coaching|
|It allows all foods on the diet plan|
We have studied user reviews and gathered the information to showcase how users of the app feel about the diet plan and if it works for them:
User reviews are mainly positive. Seeing as the app has over 45 million and the majority of its users leave and report positively, that is quite impressive. Many leave feedback to say they have lost a considerable amount of weight and the diet plan is right for them. Most reviews report back on the apps many features, especially the food logging system, to say it is a great encouragement and they can see long term lifestyle changes.
Reviews are left as online reviews, full blog posts or articles and in application store systems.
No smartphone application is 100% perfect, nor is any diet plan. They all have their flaws, it just takes user reviews and science to find that out.
For Noom, most of the unsatisfied reviews state that the app doesn’t have an extensive list like FitnessPal. Whilst some say there are better food lists for US foods, not British. The issue here being the app does have competitors which some individuals may prefer.
The one star reviews say they were overcharged or the apps routine of logging foods simply didn’t work for them. Like any app or diet plan, it doesn’t work for everyone.
Reviews from users
These reviews below have been taken from the App Store, for those for use the application on the iPhone, which is most of its users.
With all products, there are alternatives. If the product is not for you or you wish to try alternatives, here are a few to consider:
Noom’s review in video
Here is a quick video review of the app to give you an idea of how the app looks like :
Noom alternatives (free and paid)
- MyFitnessPal : it’s Noom’s number one competitor in the diet app market. In user reviews there are a number of customers who compare it closely to MyFitnessPal and some say it’s a better option.
- Weight Watchers : they do not have an app, otherwise this would be the top competitor. There is an app known to be similar to Weight Watcher’s plan called iTrackBites, which works in a similar way. Otherwise, MyFitnessPal is number one.
- LoseIt! [free] : The Free option alternative. A user can use its free functions and choose to purchase premium features. Or, there is a yearly subscription price of $39.99 to unlock all features. Again, it’s a highly rated app in close comparison to Noom.
With so many competitors on the market, not all of them have great reviews or results. These four smartphone diet plan apps are considered to be the closest comparisons and best alternatives.
For any more questions you may have, we’ve rounded up a few facts you may still want to know the answer to:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What do you eat on Noom?
Noom is one of the few diet plans where no food is banned. The user is given recipes and food plans which the user can abide by if they wish to see the best results. Noom divides foods into colour categories which determine if the food is good to consume a lot of, a little or not very often.
The green foods are to be eaten as often as a user wishes to as they are low calorie and high in nutrients. The yellow foods a user would eat less frequently and in smaller amounts and the red foods are advised to be consumed not very often.
How is Noom different than Weight Watchers?
Noom and Weight Watchers are the two most comparible diet plans on the market. However, they do have their differences.
Noom is solely app based. It is seen as the Weight Watchers for millennials. It’s main difference is that a user cannot be assisted face to face. Instead, they are assisted through guides and 1:1 coaching. The approach may be considered more psychological than Weight Watchers due to its many tasks and prompts to stay on track.
But, like Weight Watchers, there is a group talk involved where users can encourage and guide each other. Both diet plans have regular check ins and help track and moderate your weight.
Weight Watchers have been around for 60 years, instead of 10, and is seen as more of a traditional weight loss solution for many seeking a diet plan. Therefore, those customers that are without smartphones would more than likely turn to this face to face solution instead of using a smartphone application.
The way the diet plans work are similar as both do not ban any foods, instead they use a system to advise its customers what foods are good to eat regularly and what foods to consume in moderation. Weight Watchers uses a points system whereas Noom categories foods by colour coding.
Is there a free version of Noom?
There is not a free version of the Noom diet plan. The 7 day trial is the cheapest way to try the app. This costs $1 and you can cancel at any time.
Does Noom send food?
Noom is not a food delivery service. The app can not send you food or even tell you what to eat. Instead, the app can advise you what foods to eat and help you in losing weight. The foods a user can choose from in order to create a healthier diet, there are diet plans and recipes for the user to recreate.
What are the green light foods on Noom?
The green foods on the Noom app are considered to be the foods to frequently consume due to their low calorie content and are highly nutritious. The food categories for the green light foods are vegetables, fruits, healthy grains and non fat yoghurts, cheeses and milks. This includes, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, apples, bananas, tofu, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, non fat yoghurt, cheese and milks.
What are the yellow foods on Noom?
Foods in the yellow group are those to eat less frequently and in small portions. The food categories here are lean meats, healthy fats, bean and legumes. This includes grilled chicken, turkey breast, salmon, lean beef, low fat cheese, Greek yoghurt, chickpeas, bean beans and avocado.
Although these are healthy foods, they contain more calories and less nutrients than the green foods, so they should be eaten in smaller portions with each meal.
What are the red foods on Noom?
The red foods on Noom are the most calorie dense and should be eaten less frequently than the other two food colour groups. The typical categories for red foods are red meats and sugary foods like desserts. This includes red meats, oils, nuts, nut butters and fatty seeds such chia and sunflower seeds.
Are Noom coaches bots?
Noom denied any involvement with bots. They claimed that they are tasked with making weight management solutions for US consumers. In a tweet, they said, “We’re sorry that you feel we use bots! Our Goal Specialists are indeed real people and you can read about their qualifications.”
Can you drink alcohol on Noom?
No foods or drinks are off-limit with Noom diet. This includes alcohol, wine, beer, cocktails, candy and cookies etc.
How accurate is noom calorie tracking?
Noom’s food database is one of the most accurate calorie tracker. As per studies, it is more accurate as compared to other tracking apps like lose it, FatSecret and MyFitnessPal.
Now, let’s find out our honest opinion and a summary of what we think to the Noom diet plan:
Although the app has seen positive results from over 70% of its users, this cannot be seen as a guarantee that it will work for everyone. Undoubtedly, Noom’s diet plan features have many benefits for its users. The app has shown success and results amongst the majority of its customers, but that doesn’t make it perfect or ideal for everyone.
Like all diet plans, the user must stick to it to achieve and maintain results. No diet solution is magic and being consistent is key for seeing results. It is important to understand that checking in regularly, eating the right foods and sticking to its instructions will help you attain the best results.
The Noom diet plan app is definitely on trend with its target audience of millennials and their need for instant technology and around the clock access to its many features. A downside to it’s availability only on smartphones is that it isn’t accessible for everyone. If it were to be accessible via computers and desktops, it’s audience could be larger.
We advise to consider the diet plans features, user benefits and pros and cons before committing to a monthly membership to ensure the way it works is right for you.
It’s a good idea to try the 7 day trial before going ahead with the paid plan, just so you can get a feel for how it works and if it is for you. To trial the app you can do so through our website here.
If you do try it and are unsatisfied with the product, you can find other options on our Noom alternatives list.
If you do try the product and have more to say about it, leave your feedback below. It is great getting a users opinion.