This evidence based content is written by a registered dietitian nutritionist. Scientific references are from trusted sources
This article is a dietitian’s review of Noom, including information about pricing, how it works, and if it’s a good choice for weight loss.
What is Noom?
Noom is an online weight loss app. The service gives you access to personal support and a weight loss program that is specifically tailored to your needs.
In addition to weight loss, the program may also help with binge eating, emotional eating, boredom eating, and other issues surrounding food or your relationship with food.
Noom prides itself on the fact that it is not a diet, but instead a program that helps to address the lifestyle and mindset changes you need to make to successfully lose weight.
The Noom program does not advocate crash dieting, over-restriction of calories, excessive exercise, cutting out food groups or foods, or any other extreme dietary measures that are designed to cause quick weight loss.
Instead, the program focuses on small tweaks you can make to your lifestyle or food choices that can help you gradually lose weight and keep it off.
The team at Noom understands that quick weight loss does not always equate to successful weight loss maintenance. Instead of a “quick fix,” their program focuses on the best way to lose weight so that you can keep it off successfully.
How Does Noom Work?
Noom is pretty simple to use. According to the website, using the app takes just 10 minutes per day.
To set up your account, you first complete a survey about your weight, health goals, history, and habits. This helps Noom formulate a plan that is customized to suit your needs and help you meet your goals.
From there, Noom encourages you to track your food and record your weight daily on the app.
The app provides insights about your food choices by labeling them as red, yellow, or green based on their calorie and nutrient content.
Your best choices are green foods, which are low in calories for the amount of nutrients they contain.
Some examples of these foods include fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins like fish or legumes. On the other hand, red foods are high in calories with relatively poor nutrient content.
This would include foods like potato chips, snack cakes, ice cream, and other less healthy choices.
This color system can help you make healthier choices, while still allowing you the flexibility to eat any foods you choose.
Additionally, the app provides access to coaches, challenges, and helpful tips that encourage healthy behavior changes.
This App For Weight Loss & Diet
The effectiveness of Noom for weight loss and binge eating has been researched in several studies, including some high-quality trials.
One clinical trial of 104 people using the Noom app to lose weight found that they lost 7.5% of their body weight after 15 weeks, and they were able to maintain most of this weight loss for a year after starting the program (1).
Another study that looked at people with binge eating disorder or bulimia found that those who used the app in addition to cognitive behavioral therapy were more adherent to their meal and snack plan and had fewer episodes of disordered eating (2).
A large observational study of nearly 36,000 users found that 77.9% of them reported weight loss while using the program. Interestingly, completing daily weigh-ins—as Noom recommends—was associated with less “yoyo-ing,” or weight regain (3).
There do appear to be some definite advantages to using the app for weight loss. However, more long-term follow-up studies are needed to see if Noom users are able to successfully maintain this weight loss.
Noom vs Weight Watchers
Noom has some similarities to WW—formerly known as Weight Watchers—but also some key differences.
Both programs take a “no food off limits” approach that allows a large amount of flexibility while still supporting your weight loss goals, but WW uses a points system instead of the color system that Noom uses.
Additionally, WW may be done completely online using their app or website, but they also offer in-person group meetings. However, as of April 2020, all WW meetings are temporarily being conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The programs have similar price points, and both Noom and Weight Watchers have been shown to help people successfully lose weight. Currently, no clinical trials have been done that compare the two head-to-head.
However, if in-person support is important to you, this is something that is offered by WW, but not Noom.
Additionally, both WW and Noom offer free or low-cost trials. If you’re interested in these programs, you could try both and see which one you prefer before making a large financial commitment to either program.
How Much Does Noom Cost Per Month?
Noom is a paid weight loss program that operates on a monthly subscription basis.
A basic one month subscription costs $59.00 per month, charged monthly, but Noom offers discounts if you sign up for more than one month at a time.
For example, a two month subscription is $99.00, a six month subscription is $149.00, and an annual (12 month) subscription is $199.00.
The annual subscription represents the largest cost savings, as it brings the monthly cost down from $59.00 to about $17.00 per month.
Occasionally, Noom may also offer promo codes that will bring the price down even further.
You can find these by searching online for promo codes, or you may also learn about them through advertisements on websites, podcasts, or social media.
If you’re interested in the program and have the money available, your most cost-efficient option is to try a free or reduced-price trial of the program, and then purchase an annual subscription if you like it.
Free Trials & Coupon Codes
The program is offering a 2-week free trial.
The typical new user deal is similar, however, offering the full Noom experience for a 2-week trial period for $1.00.
You should check the Noom website to see if they are offering any free or reduced-cost trials of the program when you’re ready to sign up.
Is Noom Worth It? A Dietitian Reviews & Answers…
Noom offers a sustainable, balanced approach to weight loss that focuses on making healthy lifestyle and behavior changes that you can stick with for life.
It’s not a crash diet, and it doesn’t force you into over-restriction for quick weight loss. Quick weight loss based on extreme dietary approaches typically isn’t successful.
Instead, successful weight loss—and more importantly, weight loss maintenance—is more attainable when you make small, gradual changes that you can maintain for life.
Based on the existing studies, it looks like Noom is pretty effective too and worth it.
Because Noom takes this stepwise approach and focuses on the lifestyle changes and mindset shifts needed to successfully lose weight and keep it off, it’s a great choice for someone who needs a more structured weight loss program.
Noom gets this dietitian’s stamp of approval.