Our review of Noom for 2020-2021: The Noom Coach app has revolutionized the weight loss industry in the U.S., Canada, and U.K., and big names like WW and are trying to catch up.
In fact, Noom has been called, “Weight Watchers for Millennials,” but it goes well beyond that. Their app-based personalized wellness program was developed by psychologists and, “combines the power of technology with the empathy of real human coaches to deliver successful behavioral change.”
First, Here’s How Noom Works (In 75 Seconds!)
How does Noom actually work? Noom is an app-based wellness program developed by behavioral psychologists that includes supportive personal and group coaching from real humans. Noom believes that sustainable weight loss must come from a combination of both nutrition + behavioral change; not just a change in diet.
In fact, Noom never mentions the word “diet” on their website or app. Instead, they believe that long-term weight loss comes from, “learning to push past plateaus and tame temptations without starving or stressing out.”
Here’s how Noom describes their program:
“Noom uses cutting-edge technology to accurately monitor your progress and provide expert advice and analysis to keep you on track. By making the experience relevant to who you are, your goals, and your interactions, we provide a personalized plan that makes a balanced, healthy life attainable and fun.” – Noom.com
That all sounds great, but what do Noom customers say about the program? Here’s what we learned from Noom reviews and ratings:
10 Tips You Should Know About Noom in 2021!
I joined Noom! After following Noom for a month, I put together this helpful list of things you should know about the program before joining.
1. Noom Starts w/ a Free Evaluation
The first thing that Noom will focus on is understanding you as an individual, so they ask you to take their free 90-second evaluation comprised of about 12 questions.
Many of the questions are to be expected, others might surprise you. For example, Noom will ask predictable questions like your age, weight, and gender. However, they’ll also ask surprising questions like what your motivation is, whether you played organized sports growing up, and your environment (suburbs, city, or country?)
By learning more about YOU, Noom can better understand your lifestyle and goals before creating your personalized weight loss program.
2. The Psychology of Weight Loss
Noom was developed by behavioral psychologists. That’s why they emphasize the important, but often overlooked psychological component of weight loss for both women and men.
“A scale might tell you that you’re overweight by 25 pounds, but do you really understand why?”
Most weight loss programs don’t, nor do they address the thoughts, triggers, and obstacles that can sabotage your progress. Noom’s approach is different and helps you tackle the mental and emotional barriers between where you are and where you want to be.
3. The Power of Believing
If there’s one word that best summarizes Noom it’s, “believe!“ That’s why they tell members, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
They believe that the most important factor in losing weight is the belief in your ability to succeed, and data seems to confirm that idea. In other words, If you believe you’ll reach your goals, you will.
4. Your Big Picture Goals
On the first day of Noom, the most important task is to define your goals.
- The Super Goal is what you want to accomplish by the end of the course. Examples include: losing 20 pounds, running a 5k, and feeling good in a bathing suit.
- The “Ultimate Why” is all about motivation; the driving force that pushes and inspires you towards your Super Goals every day. Like a curious 5-year old you need to keep asking yourself “why” you want to attain your goals.
Tip: Even though Noom sets small, short-term goals, the Big Picture is what you’ll always be working towards. Another important part of the Noom diet plan is the simple “lessons” that they incorporate into your course.
5. Health Education
Like Nelson Mandela, Noom believes that “education is power” when it comes to your health. The Noom program includes 16 weekly “lessons” on topics that help you gain new skills to live a healthier lifestyle.
“Now at the center of your Noom journey is a series of 10 mini-courses that you can complete at your own pace. Each mini-course covers a specific theme that will provide you with the knowledge, tools, and skills you need to change your habits, lose weight, and make progress far beyond the scale.”
Noom shows you the connection between your biology and psychology so that you can build up your willpower and manage stress effectively with the help of mindfulness.
6. Noom Coaching is the Key!
The crucial role of coaching and support distinguishes Noom from other weight loss apps and plans. Noom describes weight loss as a “team sport,” so it’s fitting that you should have coaches and a support group.
Based on the results of the free evaluation, Noom will match you with both a Goal Specialist and Group Coach.
- Your personal Goal Specialist is ICHWC-certified, and will help you to dig deep to set and stick to personal short-term goals each week. They will provide you with powerful, on-the-go psychological strategies that give you the confidence to easily avoid temptations. Plan on touching base with your Goal Specialist once a week.
- You’ll meet your Group Coach after the first 2 weeks. The Group Coach will lead you through the day-to-day and help put what you’re learning into practice through discussions on recent topics and challenges for well-rounded daily support.
7. Noom Has a Color System for Food
When you eat foods with low-calorie density, you feel full quicker with fewer calories (and vice-versa).
Did you know that a pound of raisins has 5x the calories of a pound of grapes? It’s true, and it takes the same weight of both will make you feel full!
Noom relies on a color system for all foods based on calorie density:
- Green (thumbs-up!) foods have the lowest caloric density and the most healthy nutrients. Think: veggies, fruits, skim milk, and whole grains
- Yellow (meh?) foods have a mid-level caloric density and amount of healthy nutrients, like lean meats, eggs, Greek Yogurt, beans, and starches
- Red (thumbs-down) foods have the highest caloric density and the least healthy nutrients. Examples are red meat, oils, peanut butter, and desserts
The idea here is to use the color system to encourage and reinforce good choices and behaviors. For your convenience we made a printable list of foods here!
8. You’ll Log All Your Food
As you log your food on the app, Noom keeps track. While no foods are forbidden with Noom, they use the color system to nudge you towards healthy choices.
When you log all of your meals you put order to your diet. The math says you should lose weight sustainably and Noom will chart your progress:
9. Noom Asks You for 10 Minutes a Day
They say that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In this spirit, Noom only asks you for about 10 minutes each day to guide you through small, attainable goals on your weight loss journey through the app.
10. Join Noom Using the 14-Day Trial Offer
If you just start from the Noom.com homepage you won’t get the best offer. In order to get the 7-14 day trial start through this promotional link:
Noom User Reviews: (2021)
• Noom Reviews BBB: (Better Business Bureau)
Noom has a respectable BBB rating of “B” but a relatively low 2.93/5 rating from BBB customer reviews.
Why? Because a lot of people have filed complaints with BBB due to Noom’s billing practices. Specifically, customers complain that they are billed for the first 3+ months as soon as the free trial ends and can’t get a refund.
To Noom’s credit, it looks like they do address each BBB complaint and bad review.
• App Store Noom Reviews:
• Google Play Noom Reviews:
Noom doesn’t get a great rating on BBB, but the app gets an impressive 4.5/5 score from over 500k+ combined customer ratings on Google and the (Apple) App Store. There are also a lot of inspiring before and after pics online that show results. However, no single diet is best for everyone. Let’s also see what users complain about most.
Does Noom Really Work?
We always answer questions like this by saying that, “no single diet will work for everyone.” However, to measure whether Noom is effective and usually works, let’s consult both expert studies and Noom user reviews:
• Expert Studies:
In 2016, Scientific Reports investigated Noom’s effectiveness by analyzing the weight loss results of over 35k overweight and obese participants. So, did the study infer that Noom usually works?
The study concluded that 78% of Noom users reported weight loss while using the app. They also found that logging meals (especially dinner) is the most important factor for successful weight loss. In other words, Noom works for an overwhelming majority of users who follow the program.
The encouraging results of this study may have been a factor in the subsequent surge in Noom’s popularity, making it one of the most searched diets in 2020.
Several other trusted sources have also weighed in, agreeing that Noom usually works:
- The British Medical Journal found 64% of Noom users lost more than 5% of their weight
- University of Sydney’s Medical Center ranked Noom #1 out of 800 weight loss programs again in 2020
- Woman’s Day ranked Noom as a top weight loss app
In the world of diets and weight loss, no credible study will conclude that “yes, this diet always works,” but the results of Noom studies are incredibly positive.
OK, speaking of calories, that was a lot to digest. So, here’s how I would summarize Noom. Most diets fail long-term because they have the narrow goal of “fast weight loss” without a long-term plan. That means your initial optimism over dropping pounds is probably going to turn into frustration when you gain the weight back.
Noom takes a more holistic approach focused on both your mind and for sustainable results.
While guiding you through one small, attainable goal at a time, they teach you good eating habits. This creates positive behavioral change that results in sustainable long-term weight loss.
With Noom, weight loss is simply the welcome side-effect of a healthier lifestyle. Maybe that’s why both experts and users conclude that Noom usually works! If you’d like to try Noom, you can get started here for free!
Thanks for reading our 2020 review of Noom, updated in 2021! We’re happy to recommend the program, but please talk to your doctor before starting any new diet or weight loss plan.