By Jeni Tackett, RD, Rock Valley Physical Therapy
Noom is a popular app for weight loss, but is it for you?
Noom focuses on the psychology behind weight loss along with the nutrition and exercise components. I signed up for a free week trial, and here are the pros and cons that I found:
• Education: You learn with Noom. Education is so important because we are bombarded with information on the internet about weight loss. Sometimes it is hard to know what to believe. Noom lets you choose how much time you will spend on reading and learning. You can choose between 9-13 minutes. I would read the noom education in the morning to be in the right mindset during the day. The information was upbeat, witty, and evidenced based.
• Monitoring: Monitoring your habits is important for weight loss. Noom includes a daily food journal which separates foods into green, yellow, and red categories. Green foods are low in caloric density (less calories, more water) like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Yellow foods have more calories and less water like chicken breast, black beans, and avocado. Red foods are the highest calorie choices such as added sugar, added fats like oil and salad dressing, and nut and nut butters. You record your food intake daily with the goal to stay within your calorie goal and the goals for the green, yellow, and red foods.
You also are encouraged to weigh yourself daily and get over any scale phobia you may have. You can also use the noom step counter or sync any apps you use to monitor your daily steps.
• Scientifically based: Noom has been studied and shown to help people lose weight. The constant accountability at your fingertips helps people stay on track and teaches new habits that can last a lifetime. (https://www.nature.com/articles/srep34563; https://drc.bmj.com/content/4/1/e000264)
• Not personalized calories: Every man receives a 1500 calorie budget and every woman receives a 1200 calorie budget. So if you are a 5’10” women or a 4’11” woman, you have the same calories to work with. In order to change your calorie goal, you have to contact the Noom Company. Eating too few calories can actually impede weight loss, discourage exercise, and result in failure.
• Monthly cost: Some weight loss apps are free like Lose It and My Fitness Pal (unless you choose to sign up for the premium version.) Noom costs approximately $30 per month. You can do a free week trial to see if you want to do the program, and I found that cancelling was very easy to do through the app (no call needed). While the monthly cost may be a barrier for some, a cost can add value in your mind and make you more accountable to get your money’s worth from the program.
• Food category choices: Nuts and nut butters are very high in calories, but they are also very nutritious. I would put nuts and nut butters in the yellow category along with foods like French fries (which I argue are less healthy than nuts). I know that calorie deficit is the goal for weight loss, but I felt guilty whenever I ate almonds and entered them on my food journal to see my red calories go up.
I recommend Noom for any person wanting to lose weight who is comfortable with a smart phone. Instead of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, you can start your mornings being educated to have healthy habits and a positive outlook on life!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Rock Valley Health. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|