You’ve probably seen the Noom weight loss program being advertised but wondered how it works. I did too so I was excited when Noom offered me a six-month membership to try out their program. After 2 months straight of going to film screenings and receptions for the Emmys, I overindulged and put on way too much weight.
My goal was to lose 50 lbs. When I went to the Noom website to sign up, I was asked a series of questions about my height, weight, age, and goals. Then a target date was calculated to give me an idea of what is possible if I follow the program.
The next step was to upload the app to my phone and enter my login details so I could get started immediately.
To try out the program for 14 days, you will be charged 50 cents.
Why the Noom weight loss program is different from most weight-loss programs
In many cases, weight-loss programs have specific diets that you need to follow or they offer pre-made food in the correct portion sizes. Noom doesn’t dictate what you should eat. Instead, it makes suggestions to help you stay within your calorie limit in a gentle and light-hearted way. It also addresses emotional eating, which is where most of us get into trouble.
One suggestion, which makes plenty of sense to me, is to eat foods that contain a lot of water or fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and soup. Another suggestion is to add more protein to your meals because it helps fill you up so you aren’t as susceptible to cravings.
The Noom weight loss program assigns you a weight loss coach and you can choose how often you want to connect based on your personality and needs. I chose to speak to my coach once a week. She sent me messages and answered my questions within the Noom app.
Connect to fitness devices you already use
When I first set up Noom on my phone, I connected it to Google Fit (using my Google account login) and Samsung Health. It tracks my steps if I have my phone with me. You can also connect the following third-party apps and wearables to track steps and blood pressure. This is the current list.
- Bewell Connect
- Garmin Connect
- Life Trak
- Misfit Wearables
- Moves App
- Sony Lifelog
My maximum calorie count was automatically set at 1200 calories so that I could lose weight faster. But, if you do any type of exercise that doesn’t get tracked on a device you can record it to allow extra calories to your budget. This gives you an incentive to get off your butt and move. I found that 1200 is sometimes tricky to achieve without feeling hungry, but it makes you think about what you are choosing to eat that can add to your daily count. For instance, I adore avocados and they’re healthy but instead of eating an entire avocado during the day, I’ve had to cut back the amount I consume.
My daily routine
Every morning I stepped on the scale to weigh in. It’s best to do this on an empty stomach and preferably using the same scale each time. If you weigh in using a different scale, you may see fluctuations in weight due to the way the scale is calibrated. I hadn’t stepped on the scale for quite a while since I finished a recent detox and it made a huge difference.
There’s always a shortlist of tasks to accomplish during the day that includes weight loss tips, education, psych insights, and motivation. As I mentioned before, Noom focuses on how emotional eating can cause you to gain weight. You may be bored, stressed, angry, or not paying attention as you stick a French Fry or two or three your mouth.
The image below is an example of my agenda for the week.
Emotional eating is a big issue for me. I don’t have a sweet tooth and, don’t drink soft drinks or junk food but I eat too much. If I mindlessly snack on even healthy, nutritious foods I’ll add massive calories to my day.
Foods are grouped into colors. Green foods contain the most water and fiber so that’s what you want to focus on eating. Yellow foods, like avocado, are healthy but more calorie-dense so be careful about how much you eat. Red foods have the most calories. They aren’t forbidden but you should go easy on them or they’ll significantly add to your calorie count. If you want to eat bacon or an ice cream sundae, go ahead, but you may have to cut back on something else to stay within your target calorie range.
A little humor makes it more fun
The tips and quizzes are injected with playfulness but also give you valuable insights into what you can do to achieve success. They address some of the frustrations you may have as you go through the process. I found it to be a positive and effective experience overall.
To join and get started is affordable in my opinion. It’s sort of like purchasing a nice pair of shoes but won’t hurt your feet. As of 6/29/2019, this is the pricing structure. (It may be subject to change)
- Monthly auto-recurring plan $59 USD
- 2-month auto-recurring plan $150 $99 USD
- 4-month auto-recurring plan $240 $129 USD
- 6-month auto-recurring plan $360 $149 USD
- 8-month auto-recurring plan $480 $159 USD
- Annual auto-recurring plan $750 $199 USD
My weight loss journal
I started my Noom weight-loss program on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, and completed it at the end of December six months later.
Read my journal below:
- 6/29/2019 – At 11 days in, I’ve committed to it and have lost approximately 5 lbs.
- 7/31/2019 – I’m now down 10 lbs. Yippee! I may have reached a sort of plateau because, for the last week, I keep hovering at about the same weight. There are pros and cons of doing a daily weigh-in. The pro is that it keeps you accountable but on the con side, your body will go through fluctuations when you’re in the process of losing weight. That can be frustrating when you’re watching it daily. It may be that you’ve gained some muscle weight, are slightly constipated or holding water. I’m sticking to my daily weigh-in for now, although sometimes I think I may be less frustrated if I only weigh in once a week. You can do whatever you want. Noom won’t make you feel like a loser and you won’t get a demerit if you miss your weigh-in.
- 8/28/2019 – I’m still sticking with my program, logging my weight every morning and my food intake. Except for one party day, I haven’t slipped. I’m down 11 lbs and a little frustrated that it isn’t going faster but I realize that I’m over 50 and it’s harder to lose weight at that age. Still, I’ve developed good habits and my health is most important. I feel peppy and am not automatically sticking food in my mouth, especially in the afternoon. If I get a craving I eat radishes or some grapes rather than devour a half a bag of walnuts. I enjoy the coaching notes each day.
- 10/5/2019 – Still going on Noom. However, I did experience a few stressful situations and had a couple of cheat days. I gained a couple of pounds back but then got back on track. I also fell behind on reading all the coaching information. We all have challenges. However, I’m still tracking my weight and food intake which I believe is essential if you are a foodie like me who’s an emotional eater. My 10 lb weight loss is still holding but I need to seriously get back in gear to drop some more.
- 12/1/2019 – Well, I’ve screwed up and gained some more weight back. It’s my own fault though, and not the fault of the program. If I don’t weigh myself every day, I slip. I also stopped reading the coaching because I got busy with the holidays and was just plain lazy. I was hoping to lose a lot more weight in six months but only lost 11 lbs and then gained back 5. (Thank you Thanksgiving!) Even still, I think the program is valuable as long as you’re determined to follow the program. The key is staying accountable to yourself. My coach has been very diligent about keeping me on track. I may not have reached my goal in my desired time frame but I know what I need to do to succeed.
What I liked best about the program
As a person who loves to eat, I appreciate the fact that the Noom program doesn’t promote a specific or restrictive diet. You can eat what you want as long as you keep track of it. Since I don’t eat junk food or sweets, as a rule, and stick to “real” foods, I never felt deprived.
Sure, I could go all vegetarian or vegan but that’s not what I enjoy and I don’t think it’s necessary to stay healthy. Most centenarians that I’ve met or heard about, eat whatever they want in moderation. I prefer to stick to a version of the Mediterranean-style diet which is considered to be the healthiest according to most doctors.
I also don’t think it’s necessary to cut out carbs or go super low calorie unless you have a specific medical condition. With the Noom program, you never have to order expensive “diet food” or drive to a group weigh-in. It also doesn’t promote taking potentially dangerous appetite suppressants or fat burners, which is dangerous especially for those of us over 50.
For me, accountability is the key to good results because it helps you stay committed. Since I carry my phone with me everywhere I go, a mobile app makes sense.
What I didn’t like about Noom
No program is perfect. There will always be bugs and I want to be honest about what they are. One thing I found frustrating is that my steps didn’t record accurately on the Noom app and didn’t sync correctly with my phone’s native tracking app. My Samsung Health app would show I did 10,000 steps and in Noom it displayed much less or sometimes nothing at all.
Noom’s food database for recording calories is fairly extensive, but it’s not that easy to get an accurate calorie count especially if you go out to a restaurant and have no clue what’s in your food. However, that’s a problem with any type of food diary. You either have to guess or find something similar in the database.
My Fitness Pal, a free diet tracking app, allows you to scan package bar codes to instantly record calories and nutritional information. It also easily connects your step counter and tracks it accurately. What it doesn’t do is provide one on one coaching like Noom and ads pop up unless you purchase the premium version.
So, what’s stopping you?
Noom is sometimes advertised as a weight-loss app for millennials. That’s because young people tend to be permanently attached to their smartphones. Baby Boomers may be reluctant to try it if they think they aren’t tech-savvy. For me, the app was easy to use and I figured it out right away. However, I’m sort of a tech geek so that may not be the case for you.
You could start a food diary on paper and record your weight and measurements or use the free version of My Fitness Pal but you wouldn’t have the ongoing support that Noom offers. That makes a difference.
If you’re ready to give the Noom weight loss program a try, click the green button below to get started.
Have you tried a weight-loss program that works? Please leave a comment below.
I’m an affiliate for the Noom weight loss program and they gave me a 6-month complimentary program to write this review. However, my opinions are my own.