Inside: I used Noom for LONGER than just two weeks. Here's what really happens when you do the whole program. In this Noom Coach Review, get a look at the new Noom Weight Loss App, along with a full review and my personal results. See the pros and cons of this weight watchers alternative. I have also added a 2020 update in the Results section. Direct affiliate links are used in this post.
Hi I'm Laura, stay at home mom to two school aged kids. You can't tell but in the picture on the left, my jeans are unbuttoned and being held up by my belt, tightly fastened on the last hole.
The past several years I saw a trend in my life, starting about a week before Halloween. The first crinkle of a fun size Snickers would ring in my ears like a starting pistol.
The days and weeks that followed would see me gobbling up everything in sight, like I was Ms. Pacman and ALL THE FOOD was my power pellets. “It's the holidays, it only happens once a year” became a daily mantra. It was ridiculous.
Can you relate to my Halloween candy weakness? You'd think by now, we'd know better.
Well last year, back around my birthday in September I realized I was one pound away from the heaviest I'd ever been.
I decided to try this new weight loss program that I found. It's a paid app and, while it wasn't perfect, it was different from any other weight loss program or product out there.
I know it sounds crazy to start a weight loss program heading into the holidays, but given my past actions and results, I decided I'd be crazy NOT to!
EDITED TO ADD: I originally shared this Noom review in January 2018. I have since added my Noom before and after photos and I am also adding my thoughts over one year later on whether or not Noom helped me keep my weight off. I also added an update with the craziness of 2020!
You might be wondering if I work for Noom, but I do not. I paid for the program myself, finished the whole program, had a great experience, lost my weight and then cancelled my membership. I DO however, proudly share my Noom Affiliate Referral Link, and you'll get a refer-a-friend link of your own if you join Noom and want to refer friends and family. If my review helps you make your decision I would love it if you joined through my referral link. (I even offer my Noom Food List Cheat Sheets as a Thank You!)
Let's take a look at the features, how it works, my review of the app, and I'll reveal my results.
Noom Coach Review: Short Version, Is It Worth It?
Below I go through each and every aspect of the Noom weight loss coach Healthy Weight Program.
If you want the short version, I'll tell you my basic impressions here.
I spent 5-10 minutes total each day using this weight loss app. Five to ten minutes, people!
Are YOU busy? I'm busy. As a mom and writer I didn't have time or opportunity for meetings or appointments. I needed something that I can squeeze into daily life. And in those 5-10 minutes I needed something different.
And given that Noom has had over 45 Million users, I don't think I'm alone in needing something different to help me with my weight loss goals.
This is truly the biggest takeaway from my entire review. If you skim over everything else, please hear this:
There is no pill, shake, supplement, food delivery service, diet or medical treatment that can help you tackle your emotional triggers and relationship with food.
You can follow any list of foods. You can drink shakes or take pills to lose weight.
But unless you face the issues that caused you to gain weight in the first place, you can gain back your weight as soon as you stop.
Negative thinking, stress eating, boredom eating, social pressure, etc. Those don't go away. They will be there, diet or not.
So if you have lost weight on another program, only to gain all the weight back when you stopped, ask yourself if you actually created lifelong healthy habits on that diet plan, or just followed a few guidelines for a time, and then went back to old habits.
If you said the latter, again, you are NOT alone. It is so common, and that is why people are flocking to Noom.
This is where Noom stands alone.
So many of us are conditioned to follow a new diet and think we can stick to some new list of foods, stare and the scale and wait for it to “fix” us. While Noom does have food lists, the focus here is on breaking your bad habits and developing new ones, so there is no “old ways” to go back to.
I read this awesome book about habits, and one lesson that the author shared an idea that totally applies to weight gain and weight loss. He said something like, “If you were flying from L.A. to New York, the pilot would only have to turn the nose of the plane mere inches at takeoff and you would land in Miami instead.”
I think we all turned the nose a few inches, years ago, to end up at our current weight. Noom helps you point the nose in the other direction. The lesson: Small changes, made daily, really add up.
That is why I would say that, for the behavior modification material alone, and the fact that it takes soooo little time, the cost of Noom Weight Loss Coach Healthy Weight Program is worth the cost, hands down.
I'm not usually one to spend money on myself, but I was tired of being uncomfortable in my skin. I needed guidance. I needed help. I needed to CHANGE. And I am WORTH paying for guidance and help.
If this speaks to you I really hope you will invest in your emotional well being and physical health at the same time, and join Noom right here.
Whatever you decide to do in the end- this plan or something else- I hope you start today. You are worth it.
If you want to learn more about the app, feel free to read below, or you can skip to my results which are at the bottom under my weight chart.
For information about Noom's Diabetes Prevention Program instead, click here. I have not gone through that specific program, but I believe the basics of using the app are the same or similar.
I personally loved Noom because I like to choose the foods I eat each day, with some guidance to make better choices, and I don't like following meal plans that tell you what meals to cook.
If you're more interested in an app that gives you daily meal plans and exercise plans, that tells you the exact food you should eat each day, this weight loss app would be a great alternative.
It was also perfect for me because although I can be outgoing at times, I consider myself an introvert. I felt like Noom was a private, convenient way to work towards a healthy lifestyle, while still getting support from a trained professional. If you are more outgoing, you love posting your wins on social media and would benefit more from a lively, supportive online community, that's another reason to try this app instead.
Bottom Line: Noom isn't just another list of foods to follow. You can binge eat low carb foods. You can stress eat “zero point” foods. You can severely limit your calories on ANY diet. But unless you face the issues that caused you to gain weight in the first place, you can gain back your weight if you stop the diet. Instead of making you dependent on the app for life, or dependent on specific foods, Noom teaches you to make better decisions where ever you are. The grocery store, a restaurant, a holiday party or a lazy weekend with your family.
Ready to check it out? Take their quick quiz, it's the first step.
First of all, What is Noom? Noom Weight Loss Coach App is a weight loss app available for Android and iOs. (I have the iOs version on an iPhone, in case you see a slightly different screen on your device.)
If you are already using a tracker or health app of some sort, chances are it syncs with Noom. As of today the list is Fitbit (but of course!), Bewell Connect, Misfit Wearables, Biomedtrics, Movable, Moves App, Fitbug, Polar, Garmin Connect, Qardio, iHealth, Runkeeper, Jawbone UP, Sony Lifelog, Life Trak, Striiv, Lumo, Withings, Microsoft, and YOO.
When I first heard of Noom, it was on a Facebook ad that said, “You're not on MySpace Still, So Why Would You Use Weight Watchers?'” I was curious so I actually ended up having a back and forth email with them to find out How Noom is different from Weight Watchers.
What Does Noom Mean?
A lot of people write to me asking “What does Noom stand for?” Noom is not an acronym for anything. According to the founder, Noom is moon spelled backwards. because the moon is always there for your as a quiet guide when you are lost.
They offered a short trial and after that the quiz results showed me the monthly cost. I jumped right in, knowing I was happily going to pay for it.
Like I said, if I had gained one more pound, I would have been the heaviest I ever was. I couldn't afford to give myself an easy out.
I just needed to start today and not look back. There was no time for second guessing myself. My quiz results recommended the 4 month plan and that was perfect for me. Thinking ahead 4 months, I was SO glad I started when I did.
When I think of all the money I have spent on unused gym memberships, shakes, larger sized clothes, workout DVDs, even sessions with nutritionists…not to mention Starbucks….this plan was the best money I have ever spent on myself.
After I joined (right here on the Noom Website) I received an email, which I opened on my phone and it had me download the app.
I also got a message from a concierge coach introducing me to the program. It took a few days but she paired me with a goal coach who matched my goals and struggles, and assigned me to a group with other people who recently joined.
What's Included in the Noom Weight Loss App?
The Noom Weight Loss App includes several standard features that you can find in many free apps, plus the coaching by experts, a group chat and most importantly the behavior & lifestyle change program, which is doled out in small snippets throughout the program.
I added a Video Walk Through of the app on my How Does Noom Work post.
I'll talk about each feature below, but here is what you get (I bolded my favorite features which made the most difference to me):
- Food Logging
- Exercise Logging
- Weight Logging
- Expert One-On-One Check-Ins for Goal Setting
- Group Chat with a Group Moderator
- Searchable Recipes
- A new way to categorize food (more about this below)
- A behavior change education program
- Saved Articles Folder
Features I didn't really use:
I didn't need the help section. It also does have features to record your blood glucose and log your blood pressure, which I did not use. I am sure they are helpful for people with diabetes.
How easy is Noom Coach?
It'll probably take you longer to read this long-winded review than it will to use Noom each day. (Feel free to skip to this quiz if you're ready to get started!)
Food Logging on Noom:
As for the food logging, I have used other apps to log my food before (fitbit, spark people and my Fitness Pal) and it functions mostly the same. You can search for foods, you can search by barcode, or you can look in the list of your most frequent foods for that meal, which pops up every time you log. You can create a new dish as well, or add something if it's not in the database. You can add as little or as much info as you have available.
There are two features I'd love to see added in the food logging section:
One is the ability to swipe a whole meal from the previous day over into today in one move. For example, I eat the same oatmeal, blueberries, almond butter and espresso almost every day for breakfast. All four or these items show up at the top of my favorite meals when I go to log my breakfast but I have to add each one. Not a huge issue but it would be a simple time saver and was one feature I miss from My Fitness Pal.
The other food logging feature I'd love is the ability to add a recipe by using a URL. We cook a lot and rather than add all the ingredients one by one, or create a dish, some apps I've used allow you to copy and paste the URL of a recipe and it pulls the info and allows you match ingredients for an accurate calorie count and then lets you select how many servings you had. Again, not a deal breaker just another way to log.
Weight logging and exercise logging:
These were both also super simple. There are reminders for each one in your menu/to-do list on the days you are supposed to do them. My steps were recorded by syncing my fitbit.
Reading the Behavior Modification Short Articles:
I found that the education/behavior modification was one of the two features that made this program totally different from anything else.
If you're wondering how they accomplish the task of helping you break bad habits, Noom accomplishes this behavior modification feat with super quick and fun short daily articles in your daily menu/to-do list. I'd read them while I was waiting for the kids to get shoes on, in line at the grocery store, waiting for an elevator, that kind of thing.
I liked the light, fun, very slightly self deprecating tone they used (referring to themselves as nerds, that kind of thing). I will say I noticed a change in the tone of writing part way through. It became less light and chummy and more matter of fact. I don't know if it was because we don't really need it at that point, or if the objectives change. Either way I didn't mind, it was just kinda noticeable.
Food color system on Noom
The Noom Diet uses a green, yellow, red system, like a traffic light, to help you easily categorize food. This was the other feature that I found truly unique and helpful. All foods are allowed under Noom's system, and no foods at all are off limits. Even that glass of wine at the end of the day, if it fits in your budget.
Part of the customization is to give you a daily recommended goal for each food group.
I ended up making a Noom Food Lists printable pack for myself. You can get a copy too, by joining my newsletter, in case any other Noom users would like a copy. It's not a replacement for the app itself- it won't be of much use unless you plan to join.
You're supposed to have foods of each color, every day. Noom is different from weight watchers in the way it categorizes food. Also, unlike weight watchers you can figure out the classification for any food if you can see (or look up) the calories for it based on simple math. Although the app does it for you while you are doing the program, it just means that you don't need to be a lifelong member in order to figure out how many points something is.
I went over my suggested calorie count. Every day. But that was okay. It was the first week. It was so eye opening to see the foods that were getting me my current “results”. Over time it became very habitual to eat with a better balance based on their food system.
I think the food guidance for me was good because it gave me permission again to eat fruits and vegetables. It's weird to say it but I always saved them for my kids. And I never liked taking the time to make food for myself. I'd feed everyone else and kinda just shove a couple slices of cheese in my mouth.
Having the color coded food system is validation to treat my body right again. “I'm worthy of healthy foods.” And that took a while to realize. When you battle with your weight, you can even use fruits and veggies to beat yourself up. Deep, right?
Goal Specialist Check Ins
The personal coaching aspect was unexpectedly helpful. There are several terms you could use to describe this person. Whether you call him or her a Goal Coach, Goal specialist, health coach, weight loss coach or one-on-one coach, I was curious who these people really were, so I asked. Noom Goal Specialists include but are not limited to registered dietitians, Exercise Physiologists, Social Workers, Certified Personal Trainers.
My Goal Specialist checked in with me once a week to talk about the previous week, to see if I met my previous goal(s) and to help me set a specific goal or goals for the coming week. If you've ever had an accountability buddy, imagine having one who is trained in helping people meet their goals. That is what this is like.
This was easy, and done over a private chat from within the app, usually just 2-4 quick text replies (although she was always available for more, I found this more than sufficient). The weekly goal was never dictated to me, it was always a goal I suggested.
My Noom one-on-one goal specialist helped me if I was stuck, and walked me along the process of making it specific, measurable, realistic. We also talked about ways I would accomplish my goal, as well as troubleshoot any upcoming challenges or recent short falls. Like once I went to take my daughter out for lunch with some of her friends and their moms, and found myself relenting to the table's desire to order pizza. Then I ate like waaay too much pizza. It was my own decision and no one else is to blame, but I wanted to have some ideas for the next time. So we talked about how I could handle that next time something like that came up.
There was never any sense of judgement or right or wrong. The goal coaches (and group coaches…and group mates for that matter) are all supportive, empathetic and kind. I say coaches, because they are real people and twice during my program my main goal coach had the day off and another goal coach would cover for her. I was never without support.
I actually kind of loved the fact that I basically had a certified, knowledgable accountability partner that wasn't someone in my everyday life, you know?f
That said, you get what you put into it. I engaged heavily with my goal specialist and was rewarded with helpful personal coaching. If you don't engage and actually talk with your goal specialist, you will not get all those benefits.
Again, nothing hard here, you do as much or as little as you like in this section. There is a group coach who moderates the group. She posts regular prompts to get us talking but people also post their successes, struggles, healthy meals, workouts achieved, milestones reached, and ask questions when they need help. Some days I go through and reply to several posts at once, some weeks I just read and don't think to comment. I really liked the times when someone shared a struggle and we, as a group, brainstormed ways the person could handle the issue. I felt it was a really respectful and supportive way to get ideas or see how others handled that problem.
Pro Tip: I also found some unofficial support groups on facebook that are also full of supportive Noomers. I don't run any of them but I found them helpful. Just use the search bar on facebook for Noom Support.
Searchable Noom Recipes
Oddly enough I didn't use the recipes all that much, even though we have been cooking a lot. They look good and the app is easy to use, but I just happened to get recipes from other places.
Saved Articles Folder
I loved this feature and in hindsight I wish I used it more. I'd love the ability to search previously read articles. They are still in each day's menu after you read them but in order to go back to one to review it, you either have to have clicked save or you have to remember what day it was. I wish I could search for key words from the days I really liked. There were a couple days where I'd have an off day and I thought, Oh I need to review that one article but I didn't save it.
I didn't need it. The main questions seem to be pretty basic app questions as well as how to cancel your trial, which as I said above, I had no need for. I knew this was the program for me, and truth be told, if I'd have done the trial and cancelled and gone back to my normal habits, then I know I would have gained that “one more pound” so I didn't give myself the option.
Canceling Noom Account
Noom doesn't want you to be a lifelong member. You can use it for life, but they're not trying to get you to use it for life. They want you to break your bad habits, develop new healthy habits and move on.
Each Noom program lasts for a set number of weeks depending on your goal and the program chosen. You pay for that session of the program all at once. You go through the program, and if you are done, you can cancel with your goal specialist as you near your last day, otherwise it will bill you for another session. So if you want to be done at the end of your first program, just let you coach know. It's like most any other subscription…they will keep billing you until you cancel.
I messaged my goal specialist about a month before my program ended and I asked her to set the cancellation date at the last day that I have paid for. I did it so far in advance because I didn't want to space out and forget. But I still had full access until that last day of the session. When my coach submitted it, the system sent me record of the scheduled cancellation right in the app chat window. They also have a Noom Customer Support Page for any additional questions or issues, but I never needed it.
And that is the point. Like I said, they actually help you develop long term habits that do not rely on the app. You don't need to become a lifetime member of noom.
After You Cancel Noom
A lot of people ask me once you cancel your Noom subscription, do you lose access to the app? I'm writing this in 2020 and I still have the free app on my phone. I can tell you that you still have the ability to log food with colors, log your weight and exercise, and see your previously entered food & weight data. What you lose access to when you cancel is the daily lessons, the goal specialist and the group chat. You also can no longer sync your fitbit, in my experience. Also you do not have access to the saved articles, since the articles are part of the paid portion.
Personally I miss the lessons, and I really appreciated how they made me think so mindfully each day about some aspect of my healthy habits. Otherwise I am pretty much on autopilot when it comes to the habits I developed…which is exactly the point of noom! Win!!
My Noom App Results
I started Noom in September 2017 with an awesome group of “noomers” so it has actually been pretty cool now that 16 weeks has gone by, to see everyone celebrating all the weight they lost- even though we all did it during the holidays!!!
Here is my Noom Weight Loss Chart, to which I have added some fun icons to show where the holidays fell. According to Noom, 64% of users lose 5% or more of their body weight, and 60% maintain the loss for one year or more. I am one of those users for sure!
So there is my chart, starting in September around my birthday, going to Jan 4th. It has ups and downs, as you can see. On previous diets I would have viewed these ups as failures but because this is not a diet, and because of the coaching and behavior education I can instead see them as just another day in my weight loss experience.
It may not be as impressive as Brandy or Cobie, but while on Noom I lost 17 pounds. That was 1 pound more than my pre-set goal weight, and many of my groupmates have lost quote a bit more in the same time. 13 pounds over 16 weeks is typical, but a lot of people have added comments below with their results as well.
You can see above that I did go back up over Christmas but considering my previous routine of plowing right through the holidays towards a bigger size in jeans, and considering how equipped I am to stay on track, I am pretty much fine with that- AND ready to keep going.
I have made so many improvements, I feel better, happier, my back pain is gone. I have better self esteem and I know how to handle my triggers.
I have control again. And that is my result.
December 2019 Update: It's been over a year since I started and I am happy to report that I am BELOW my Noom goal weight. I could not be more ecstatic with these changes. I still use my Noom Food List Cheat Sheets as reminders of my go-to favorite foods of each color. I still log my foods, but when you stop paying for noom, you only have access to the logging portions (no Goal Experts, Group or Daily Lessons).
October 2020 Update: Holy cheese and crackers, did this year throw you for a loop? Because it sure was crazy for us. Here is my 2020 Noom update. As a Noom user I cancelled my membership after the first program ended. After I wrote about it, I was getting a lot of questions so now I'm paying for my Noom account each month, just to be able to answer questions for readers. I do log my food but during the unexpected changes of 2020 I actually went through the program again and I'll tell you why.
Everything about my previously established routine went out the door this year. Did that happen for you too?? I actually had an awesome daily routine, and had tackled so many bad habits. But suddenly having my fast-food-loving hubby home for every meal, and having my hundred-snacks-a-day kids here every day….well….I decided there were new triggers to tackle. I reached out to my Goal specialist and asked to restart my lessons and I went one by one through the new facets of my “new normal.”
I'm not one of those people who came out of this with a rock hard body because I had all this newfound free time to workout (however I am proud of anyone who has!). But I am also still wearing the same size jeans as when I started and I have to count that as a win. I'm so grateful for the Noom process to give me some sort of positive focus during all this.
So after all that has gone on this year, let me ask you:
If you started today and lost 1-2 pounds per week, where would you be by Thanksgiving, by Christmas, by New Years, by your birthday, by that next vacation?
Ready to check it out? Take their quick quiz, it's the first step.
Thank you for reading my 2018 Noom Coach Review and Results, I hope it helps you on your journey!
Share Your Noom Success Story in the comments below.
Note: I do not work for Noom so I can't answer questions about your account. You'll have better luck if you head to Noom Customer Support Page.
I tried to add my Noom review video at the top, but in case it didn't show up, here is the video review as well: