Inside: You'll find out the differences between Noom Coach and Weight Watchers to see if this weight loss program is a good Weight Watchers Alternative.
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With the sheer number of weight loss programs available today, it's hard to find one that stands out. When you finally find one with the key component missing from every other program out there…. Well. You have to take notice.
Where I live the weather is just turning to that crisp fall feeling. As we plow, full steam ahead into the holiday season, I found myself faced once again with a classic internal dilemma.
How- HOW- am I going to get through this endless season of candy, turkey, pies, candy canes and cheese plates without gaining weight!?
In fact at this point I am past that. I need to find a way to somehow navigate the candy bowls and social functions of the season and actually LOSE weight this year.
The reason for this is that if I gain one more pound, I would be the heaviest I'd ever been. Yikes. Even with all the walking and exercise I get, my eating is all out of whack.
I have a few friends who have had amazing success with Weight Watchers and I know it can be a really helpful system.
I was on the fence myself and actually went as far as looking up the closest meeting.
But I thought I'd take a look at the weight loss program playing field to see if there were any newcomers that I may have missed.
I'd heard about plans that focus solely on certain foods, like Whole30 and Paleo Diet. I was curious about the 21 Day Fix because portion control would be helpful for me.
But there was something that all these other plans neglected to address that I really. really. REALLY need help with.
I seriously shed tears of relief reading about this program. It is SO what I was looking for. I feel so grateful to have found it.
Not only does it address the food and exercise aspect of being healthy but… they KNOW. They know allllll the things I'm going through.
The constant battles in my head:
“I'll just eat a light lunch today.” #winning. Later: “I ate a light lunch today so now I can swan dive into a bag of shredded cheese while I make dinner for the kids! Calories are calories!” #losing
Or when we come in from a long afternoon of shuttling the kids around and all of a sudden, Mom-Hulk rages through the pantry and smashes all the food into her mouth.
Or at the rare girls night out when every ELSE is letting loose so I unleash my inner Cookie Monster and eat ALL the calories.
Or when I tell my kids, “Okay, two pieces of Halloween candy today, and that is all.” And then when they run off, I squirrel through their bags to store some chocolate in my cheeks for the winter.
You guys. Whatever YOUR thing is, they totally know. And it's awesome. Because they use psychology to help you learn to deal with your thing. For good.
The saying goes, “Change nothing and nothing will change.”
Are you ready to tackle your thoughts, and learn how to treat yourself better? Are you ready to make a change?
Are you ready to have control again?
Noom Coach Versus Weight Watchers
The first time I actually clicked through and read about Noom Coach was because of a post on Facebook.
It said something like, “You're not on MySpace anymore, so why would you use Weight Watchers?” Which made me chuckle but also piqued my interest.
I reached out to the folks at Noom Coach to ask what the differences were between their program and Weight Watchers, and to learn more about the people behind it. Here's our little back and forth, in case you are interested:
I heard about you on a Facebook ad that compared Weight Watchers to myspace, and Noom as Facebook. Can you tell me the differences between Noom and WW?
There's a few different aspects of the Noom program that we think really sets it apart from the more traditional weight loss products out there:
1. Psychological, behavior-based focus. Weight watchers puts food and activity front and center. Those are important elements, to be sure, but our experience has been that long-lasting behavior change comes from going much deeper, into the psychological factors driving your food and activity choices. The content that we've crafted in our program – written completely in-house – covers a huge range of psych topics – triggers, barriers, goal setting, storm eating, social and emotional settings, etc.
An example of our commitment to putting behavior and psychology front and center: a key member of our team is our Chief of Psychology, Dr. Andreas Michaelides, a PhD and published clinical psychologist with over 10 years of behavior change experience. He leads our coaching team and is deeply involved in setting the direction for our programs.
2. Change your behavior, move on. That leads to the second big difference – participants in our program learn how to outsmart their own impulses, which means they're learning skills that will stick with them after they stop using Noom. That's reflected in our product and pricing – our most popular plans are set courses that last a certain number of months, with the idea that you'll incorporate these improvements into your life in a sustainable way and won't need Noom for life.
Compare this to the WW approach – their weight loss philosophy is grounded in their point system, so many users lose the weight and then either gain it back, or have to be on WW for the rest of their lives. (We know, because this is what many of our users who used to do WW told us!).
3. Coaching approach. WW has recently added coaching to their offering, but their coaches are ex-WW users who have had success. That can definitely be helpful, but often the challenges you face in your weight loss journey are your own. Just hearing how someone else tackled their problems may not help you understand your own. That's why we make sure our coaches can meet users where they are, by understanding their long-term dreams, their particular situation, and what goals work best for them. Our coaching team includes but are not limited to RDs, Exercise Physiologists, Social Workers, Certified Personal Trainers.
4. Calorie Density. Finally, we have a different food philosophy than many other companies. Ours is based on the science of calorie density – the idea that certain foods, while the same number of calories, can actually fill you up more effectively due to their makeup, fiber content, water density, and so on. This takes both the quantity (calories) and quality of food into account. That's the cornerstone of our color system, too – even “red” foods are expected to make up a significant (25%) of your daily caloric intake. Based on this philosophy, we tell participants that no food is ever truly off limits, which makes it possible for them to make incremental changes that lasts for life.
When I first joined I was paired with a Coach Concierge. What does that mean?
A Coach Concierge is there to welcome you to the program, answer any very basic questions you might have and get you assigned to the right group, group coach, and goal specialist (see the next question).
Since our coaches are actual real people, they can't be around 24/7 – but at the same time, people sign up for our program around the clock. We often see a lot of signups on Sunday evenings, for instance, as people get excited to try something new as the week starts. To make sure we can welcome them immediately, we have Coach Concierges available at all times.
What are the other kinds of coaches that help in Noom Weight Loss Coach?
The two other main types of coaches are:
1. Group Coach – as part of the program, you get introduced to some likeminded group-mates that are also starting the program. The group serves as a place to bounce around ideas and provide emotional support. The groups are managed by a Group Coach, who guides the conversation, answer questions, and provide feedback on the decisions and discussions that come up.
2. Goal Specialist – a big part of the Noom program is setting specific, actionable, personal goals and achieving them, week after week. The goal specialist is the coach you work with to set these goals, review how they're going, and check in on progress.
Together all these elements – Group Coach, Goal Specialist, group mates, and concierge coach – form a sort of “Noom Team” that each participant gets at the start of the course.
What kinds of requirements or backgrounds do your coaches have? I saw in the customized course quiz that your team of experts are trained professionals, but what does that mean?
The coaching philosophy at Noom is focused on long-term behavior change related to a variety of modifiable lifestyle habits. Therefore our coaching team is comprised of a variety of degreed professionals positioned to guide individuals along their journey to improved and sustainable well-being. These professionals include but are not limited to RDs, Exercise Physiologists, Social Workers, Certified Personal Trainers.
All Noom coaches complete an ICHWC-approved internal training program to ensure their alignment with our coaching philosophy. In addition, coaches participate in a series of ongoing trainings to enhance their application of knowledge and keep them up-to-date on current standards.
Finally, what would you say to the person who has tried everything out there to lose weight. Why is Noom Coach different?
Psychology! Our behavior-based focus is really the single biggest differentiating factor. We know that a lot of people feel like they've tried everything before and it hasn't worked. We actually built the theme of the first week of the program around “Why this time is different”, and highlighted some of the psychological drivers of food decision making and thinking.
Here's one example: on day 3, we talk about “thought distortions” – ways that our minds make it harder to think rationally about food – and ways to combat them. And there are many, many more topics like that throughout the course.
Thank you to the team at Noom Weight Loss Coach for taking the time to answer my questions!
For me, I didn't have time to second guess myself. I considered the 14 day free trial but if I didn't go all in, pay for it and get started, I knew I'd flake out on the trial and go back to my bad habits. And. Gulp. I'd gain that one pound.
I jumped in. I didn't look back. I knew I needed this to work- and so I made it work.
I've been using Noom Weight Loss Coach for a almost 2 weeks and have lost 2 pounds. UPDATE: I've finished my first 16 weeks session of Noom and successfully lost one pound per week, and some of my groupmates have lost 2-3 pounds per week. I known my results are not as impressive as Ariel but 16 pounds was my goal, so I'm thrilled to have reached it.
AND. You guys I even reached my goal DURING the holidays.
The annual bonanza of my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all came and went. I didn't starve myself. I celebrated. But…rather than celebrating with food EVERY day from September to January, I learned to control myself day to day, and plan to have holiday foods on those special days. Having my favorite dessert on Christmas wasn't failure, as it felt every year before. It was planned for, expected, enjoyed- and totally fine.
Now it's the new year and I'm continuing with these habits in order to keep losing weight.
I also realized that I'm regaining something that I'd lost for a while. Something that is imminently important, and which will help me in my hardest times: self confidence.
Reading though the short bits of info about why certain pitfalls happen, or hearing similar experiences from my group members reminds me that I'm not alone, and is giving me the tools to change my bad habits.
Because I realized something in talking to others about weight loss. Everyone knows “technically” what you need to do to lose weight. Eat less and exercise more.
But if it was as simple as just knowing the technical side of things, we'd all be thin.
Those of us that have tried other diets and eating programs or want to make a total lifestyle change…we need the mental tools to deal with the emotional side of eating.
That is what I'm getting with Noom Coach.
I you are serious about losing weight, committing to yourself and creating a healthy lifestyle, I highly recommend checking it out.
Ready to check it out? Take their quick quiz, it's the first step.