If you have been wondering about the Noom Diet, or if you recently joined, this article discusses Noom Red Foods and how they work with your daily meals. Ever since completing the full Noom Program and sharing my Honest Noom Review I have received tons of questions about Noom. I love to help people understand this weight loss app and answer questions when I can. I also share my Noom Affiliate Referral Link, so if you are still thinking about joining please join through my link if you find my information helpful.
RELATED: If you would like a handy printable Noom Foods List that shows common red, yellow and green foods, you can GRAB YOUR FREE NOOM FOODS LIST HERE.
What Is Noom, and What is it Not?
Noom is an app-based weight loss program. It consists of a food log, daily lessons (the MAIN focus) as well as a support group and a weekly check-in “coach” or goal specialist.
A lot of people hear the word “coach” and sign up, expecting to be given exact guidance on what to eat, and texting all day with a coach. This is NOT what Noom is about. It is about breaking your bad eating habits and building up new, healthy ones.
Your current weight is a result of your food choices, which are chosen largely by habit. Things like stress eating, boredom eating, social pressure eating… these habits lead to making less healthy choices.
On Noom there is a color-coded system to help you move towards a more balanced daily diet. However, the thing that sets it apart from every other weight loss program is the habit change program.
I know I was once conditioned to think that if I follow a set list of foods on a diet, and stare at the scale, that it would fix me.
But everyone who has every tried a diet knows that as soon as you STOP the diet… you gain the weight back. This is because you never addressed stress eating, boredom eating, etc. You just followed a list of food to lose weight for a set time period. Then, back to normal.
So while there are food lists to follow on Noom, and we will talk all about them, please know that the daily lessons are what really make the difference to long term maintenance.
Okay, so what is the story with the Noom food colors?
Noom Color Coded Foods System
While you are reading your daily lessons on Noom, you are also logging your daily foods in the app.
The app classifies food with their color system automatically for you- no calculating needing. Just enter the food and portion size.
The colors of the Noom color code system are Green, Yellow and Red, like a traffic light.
Here is the technical jargon that explains the color code system, but we will get back to non-technical language just below the chart.
According to Noom's website there is a basic formula used to determine the food color on the Noom Diet:
“The calorie density (or energy density) of a food is a measurement of the average calories per either weight (in grams) or volume (in mL) of that food.”
(Clicking the chart will take you to the full Noom calorie density article and a text version of this chart.)
In other words, low calorie density foods are green, high calorie density foods are red. Medium calorie dense foods are in the middle at yellow.
There are some additional rules, like Whole grain foods are usually adjusted to green in the system, while most breads and pastas are yellow. For more details on the way the colors are adjusted, here is Noom's explanation of the food formula.
The end result is that red foods are exactly what you think- high calorie foods like fatty foods, fried foods, snacks, desserts, treats, full fat cheeses, many condiments.
As I mention in my Review of the Complete Noom Program, the first week I was on Noom I logged all the normal foods I eat. And when I looked back on that first week EVERY food I logged was red.
It was extremely eye-opening to see that even food I labeled as healthy food in my mind were sabotaging my waist line.
It was time to examine not only what foods I was eating but also to work on portion control.
What I Learned From Noom Red Foods
When you join Noom, you are given a total calorie limit, but you also are supposed to eat foods in a ratio where most of your calories come from Green and Yellow foods, with red foods eaten sparingly.
It is not meant to be an overnight transformation like on a keto diet. You will learn during the course of the program to balance your foods.
It is important to see that red foods are NOT off limits. They are part of your daily life.
What I learned during my Noom program was to decide which red foods are really worth it for me.
If everything I usually eat is red….what I am willing to carve away, and what red foods do I want to keep? I discovered that a lot of the foods I was eating mindlessly were not even worthwhile to me.
My biggest weaknesses on a daily basis were cheese, peanut butter and wine. Before Noom, I'd eat several slices of cheese while making my kids' school lunches, and maybe I'd decide that a few more slices were the equivalent of a healthy lunch later that day. Then, having not nourished myself well all day, I would be super stressed when the kids came home and I would ravage the pantry going from one snack to the next. I'd eat the exact same portion of dinner as my husband despite being 7 inches shorter than him, and then we'd split a bottle of wine.
Then there were special occasions. When I went to a party I usually stationed myself at the appetizer table, chatting up anyone who came by, shoveling food into my mouth mindlessly. I never said no to cake and often took the corner piece… and finished my son's piece when he decided he had too much.
During Noom I started to see that I was worth taking the time to think for a minute about what I was going to eat. To make sure I was fed well. To make sure I wasn't going to ravage the pantry or the party table.
I broke all of those bad habits, guys! ALL OF THEM!! You can see my results, and the updates in my Full Noom Review and Results.
Is Alcohol a Red Food On Noom?
One of the top questions I am asked about Noom is, “Can I drink alcohol on Noom? Because I can't give up my wine/beer/drink of choice!” In fact I wrote a whole article categorizing and discussing the various types of alcohol as they relate to Noom, I even made a Noom Alcohol Infographic.
But the answer really is that it is up to you. Alcohol is not off limit on Noom, but you will have to decide if THAT is the red food you want to use your calories on that day.
For some people eating more fruits and vegetables during the rest of the day is worth it if they can still have a drink at night AND lose weight.
Other people might say drinking isn't worth it but my favorite cookie is worth it. Or a hand full of chips.
Whatever your favorite treat is, you do not have to give it up. But if you want to keep it, and lose weight you do have evaluate the rest of the foods you eat every day.
Add in lean meats instead of fatty ones, choose more foods for breakfast and lunch from the Green List.
In the end, I decided to save drinking only for the weekends and to log any drink I had.
I'd love to hear from you, What Noom Red Foods are worth it for you?