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Noom shows there’s science and plenty of help to aid in weight loss

April 2nd, 2020 at 7:19 AM

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Over the years, there have been plenty of fad diets that pop up and you’ll hear from a friend or two that you “have to try it.” Sure, some diets work for some people, but there’s a lot more that goes into losing weight than just eating a particular type of food or slashing your food intake in general. Many people struggle with this and there’s no shame in that. There are even more people who don’t want to give up the foods they love altogether. With Noom, they aren’t here to tell you you’re never allowed to eat your favorite sweets. They are focused on the bigger picture.

Noom is a program created for long-term results by teaching you better eating habits and changing your behaviors, not to tell you you can’t have a piece of cake. I’ve been using Noom for seven weeks now and have really been impressed by the experience. From the get-go, the process is very simple as you answer some initial questions about your eating habits, physical abilities, gender, and age. You even get to choose between a slow and fast dieting plan, in case you want to shed some weight quickly for a special occasion. You get to pick how long you want your plan to be and what you want your ultimate goals to be, whether you want to get fit or lose weight.

The day-to-day is very positive and reinforcing, as they use food science and psychology to better map out a weight loss plan for you. Noom’s eating program is focused on caloric density, which boils down to which foods have higher nutrients to fill you up. The plan is broken down into three categories: green, yellow, or red foods. Green foods have the most nutrients and the least amount of calories to fill you up (like vegetables, fruits, whole grains), while yellow has more calories and fewer nutrients (like lean meats, legumes, and low-fat dairy). Red is the highest calorie foods with lower nutrients. The first thing that surprised me was foods that I didn’t expect to be red were red, like cereal, but it makes sense because they aren’t overly filling.

Something that I’ve found myself really doing more of is paying attention to serving size. I know that’s a basic part of any weight loss plan, but it’s never something I did a lot of. Measuring out cups and tablespoons of ingredients helped me keep an eye on my caloric intake. Noom has you weigh yourself every morning and there are some wild swings day to day when it comes to weight, something I also never realized. Any time you eat anything, you’re supposed to track it, which can feel like a chore, but it does help with mapping out your day’s eating. If you have some spare calories, you know you can fit dessert in later.

Each day has about 10 minutes or so of reading that helps explain healthy habits and how to change your overall behavior when it comes to eating. It comes in a checklist fashion, so once you’ve finished one, it moves you onto the next topic. But you can always revisit and even bookmark your favorite lessons. There are plenty of quizzes throughout the week as well, to make sure that you’re doing the reading. While that may sound like homework, they are all informative and useful in your daily life.

There is support available to you throughout your time using Noom, as you are assigned a Goal Specialist right away who can talk through how the program is working for you. Your Goal Specialist will check in with you and answer questions you may have about the program, as well as continue to work with you through your plan. One thing that should be noted is that Goal Specialist aren’t really available to you 24/7, only during business hours, and they aren’t always the quickest at getting back to you. But after a few weeks of the program, you are placed into a support group with other Noom users and you can share what’s been working for you and where you are struggling. There is a Group Coach who oversees the discussions and begins them each day. It can be a great place to see how other people are using the program and picking up helpful tips and tricks. It’s there for positive reinforcement.

I found that tracking your food can be easy as well as difficult at times. You can scan the barcode of your food for it to come up in the food tracker but there have been numerous occasions where I’ve scanned a barcode and Noom didn’t have the food in their library. You can add the food to help Noom, but if you eat that food more than once in a few days, you’ll have to add it multiple times. But any recognized foods that you type in or scan will show up if it’s a green, yellow, or red food. You’ll also be able to log your food in different measurements like tablespoons, cups, or ounces, or even handfuls for things like nuts or popcorn. If you are getting food from a restaurant, Noom does a good job of just having a general estimate of how much something like chicken marsala would register on the tracker, rather than breaking down each ingredient. You can also create custom dishes and save them, if they are going to be something you eat frequently, like a smoothie.

As the program progresses, Noom will also start offering exercises and activities you can do to help you stay fit. You can choose what kind of workout you want (cardio, weight training, etc.) and Noom will cater your workouts to your preference. Every day your steps will be tracked, made easier if you have the Noom app for your smartphone, as it will follow your literal footsteps. Being given different exercises is a nice perk, as many people don’t want to have to pay for both a gym membership and a dieting program. Noom is offering a 14-day trial, which you can cancel at any time. If you want to keep using it after that, it is $59 a month or there are auto-recurring payments that you can opt-in for like an annual fee of $199.

While using Noom, I’ve lost 17 pounds and am on my way to getting to my goals. I’ve found that it has been helpful for me, especially when it comes to planning out my calories each day. It will not work for everyone, especially those who don’t want to commit to keeping track of every meal of their life. But I’ve seen improvements through my overall health and over 50 million users have as well. If you’re looking for a new way to look at weight loss, Noom can be that fresh respective.

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Chris Hachey handles e-commerce and sponsored content for BGR. He has worked as an editor and writer for over a decade for various publications and distribution services. He focuses on consumer products to help you find the best of what's on the market. When he's not searching for the top deals, he's likely watching his favorite sports teams or walking around his hometown with his fiancée and his dog.

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