Before you even started looking for a Noom review, you probably went to their site to see what they were all about. I did, when I first heard about them. I didn’t find much in the way of an explanation at a glance.
Noom Review (and What Is Noom, Anyway?)
Overall, it’s an “un” dieting app that helps you lose weight without serious restriction and the feeling of being “on a diet.” It gets into your mind and helps you want to make the right decisions and give your body the nutrition and movement it needs.
From there, the weight just comes off. That’s what they seem to be saying, at least.
Noom is referred to as the “Weight Watchers for Millennials.” I’m sure it beats going to weekly weigh-ins where your success or failure could be announced in front of a group of near-strangers. (Do they still do it that way?)
Noom Supports You
Just about anything’s better than that, at least for this introvert. You still get a personal coach and peers with similar goals, so you’re not totally going it alone, fueled only by your own willpower and pursuing your weight loss goals in solitude.
It doesn’t just track. It trains. Your list of things to accomplish in a day includes reading (and sometimes taking a pop quiz on) information about nutrition, sleep, and exercise. To me, this is much better than just logging some numbers and crossing my fingers.
Once you know the “why” behind something, it’s easier to adhere to. When you first visit the site, there’s a quiz. It goes over your current weight, goal weight, age, height, and a few habits. Once you enter your email address, it’ll estimate when you’ll reach your goal. If you select “Claim my plan” it (thankfully) doesn’t take you straight to a page to enter payment information. Instead, it aims to get to know you better.
It wants background info, emotional and psychological factors that could be playing into your weight gain and inability to lose. It asks about food sensitivities, family health history, and what you want to tackle first in your plan (exercise, habits, nutrition, etc.). I have never experienced a more thorough weight loss app than Noom.
After the quiz, I was offered a two-week trial for a dollar and then two months for $99.00 once the trial period was up. I would much rather see a free trial (no credit card information required), then decide if it’s worth opening my wallet from there. If you immerse yourself in the app, make the lifestyle changes, and learn everything it wants to teach you, I have no doubt it’ll help you lose weight (barring any kind of underlying health condition that prevents it).
What You Get from a Noom Subscription
Noom isn’t free, so it needs to be pretty impressive to get people to buy in. So what do you get from a Noom app subscription?
- Thousands of healthy recipes
- Support and the opportunity to support others
- Food and calorie tracker (plus feedback on your meal choices)
- Help building healthy habits and replacing your old ones
- A list of activities to complete each day that will help you progress toward your goals
- Food ratings that show you which ones are best to eat (they’re marked red, yellow, or green)
- A 14-day trial
Pros and Cons of Noom App
So, Noom has some pros and cons. Let’s get into what those are. My review of Noom is mostly positive, but there are some downsides.
- It’s easy for you to see how “good” for you a food is in the system (based on nutrition density and water content), based on a familiar red-yellow-green system. So you’re learning as you go. You won’t necessarily have to rely on the app forever.
- You’re not blindly following a calorie count or macros. You’ll know why you’re doing what you’re doing so you can continue making smart choices.
- It encourages balance. You can have foods from the red zone, but you have to balance them with green and stay within your caloric goals. Some apps don’t do as good of a job at calling you out on bad habits. Sure, MyFitnessPal may say something like, “Hey, that had a lot of sugar and your goal is to…” but I feel like the mentality around it is different.
- You’re forced to really take a look at your habits and behaviors, which is the first thing you need to do when attempting to make a lifestyle change.
- They aren’t trying to sell you on any supplements or shakes to go with the app.
- It’s easy to use.
- You get searchable recipes to use even though Noom won’t tell you what to eat and when.
- It’s customized for you—to motivate you in the ways that will be most effective–based on how you answer the questions.
- No matter which food tracking app you use, you can’t escape what a pain it is to enter everything you eat, ingredient by ingredient. Unless you’re eating scannable, processed foods (not ideal). That’s always my hang-up with apps like this.
- There’s still a ton of work involved—maybe even more, if you count all the reading, quizzes, and questionnaires you complete as part of the app.
- It’s kind of expensive compared to other options.
- If you’re unaware that you have an underlying health condition that makes it difficult to lose weight, the app still won’t help. You’ll need to work with a health professional before and/or during the use of the app to get the results you want.
- If you enjoy following rigid meal plans that tell you exactly what to eat, how much, and when, it’s not this one.
Pros of Noom
Cons of Noom
You get a lot of personalized support and educational resources
Longer trial than most apps
May be difficult to cancel
Activities (quizzes, quick articles, etc) keep you on track all day
Some may consider the ongoing quizzes, check-ins, and lists of tasks to be high-maintenance
Looks at psychology and behaviors that contribute to trouble reaching your weight loss goals
Doesn’t tell you what to eat and when (this may be a plus for some people)
You get to work with a coach and contact them whenever you need to, plus you get a community of other users to chat with
You still have to put in the work—it’s not going to do it all for you (obviously, this one applies to any weight loss app). In some ways, it does less for you in the short-term than other apps because there’s no meal plan.
How Much Does Noom Cost?
You can give it a try for two weeks for just a dollar. If you like it and want to keep using the Noom app even longer, you can commit for as long as you’d like, from one month to a full year.
There are a few different pricing options here, depending on how long you want to commit. At the time of this writing, a month is $59.00. You can get two months for $99.00 or four months for $129.00. If you know you like it enough to commit to Noom for an even longer period of time, you can get six, eight, or 12 months for $149.00, $150.00, or $199.00, respectively.
Before you sign up, I do want to point out that some users have had trouble with Noom. Some users have reported having trouble canceling Noom. They were charged again after canceling.
It’s also important to note that Noom has a no-refund policy. However, if you’re charged after you’ve canceled the service, they state that they will give you a full refund.
Do you have to go with Noom to successfully lose weight with an app? Nope. Here are some alternatives:
MyFitnessPal seems to be one of the most popular. There’s a free and paid version, but there’s very little need to upgrade.
You can track nutrients beyond macros and calories. It lets you personalize it with your favorite recipes, orders from your favorite restaurants, and more. You can import recipes, scan food labels, and choose your foods from an enormous database.
You don’t get a nutrition coach, but you do get help changing habits and setting and achieving goals. If you need other people to help you stay motivated, you can add friends and join the MyFitnessPal community with forums where you can ask questions, get advice, and more.
Most features are free, but you can upgrade to Premium for $9.99/month or $49.99/year to unlock extra features.
LifeSum offers different diet plans (like keto, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, fasting, high protein, low carb, clean eating) and complete meal plans to follow, lets you track your calories and macros, offers recipes, gives you nutrition tips, and keeps you on track to reach your goals.
Choose between following the LifeSum meal plan, just getting a few tips, or not following their meal plan at all. If you’re following a plan, you’ll get recipes, a shopping list, and simple cooking instructions. A plan will override your ability to track habits (like veggies and fruits consumed).
LifeSum is beautiful and goes more in-depth to help you reach your goals according to your dietary preferences than most other apps. The basic LifeSum food and exercise diary is free, but most of the features you’ll want to use, as access to those meal plans, recipes, nutrition insight, and body composition tracking, are subscription-only.
The app’s FAQ section says that by upgrading, you’re 4.1x more likely to hit your weight loss goals. You could still be successful with the free version of this app, but if you’re looking for a totally free weight loss app that lets you track everything, this isn’t it. Still, it’s cheaper than Noom. For 12 months, it’s $44.99. For six months, it’s $29.99. A quarter at a time is $21.99.
MyPlate calculates your macros and lets you track them in the app for free. You can scan bar codes, search the database, sign up for a workout challenge or meal plan (there are several to choose from), do quick workouts located right inside the app, and participate in the community. You can track water, weight, and exercise, too.
Not everything is free, but it’s shocking how much you get for nothing. If you decide to “Go Gold”, you’ll get a seven-day trial and then pay $44.99 for a year. You won’t get a free trial with the short-term options, but you can sign up for six months ($5.00 per month) or one month ($9.99/month).
The paid option provides a clean eating guide, advanced workouts, and is ad-free. You also get a private section of the community to chat with other members, priority customer service support, and a badge on your account. That’s in addition to a daily average of your macros, rankings of the most nutritious foods, calories burned, and the macro and micro-breakdown of meals.
So Is Noom Worth It?
If simply counting calories (or macros) and working out isn’t for you, Noom is worth it. It takes your human mind into account instead of expecting you to behave robotically. Are there other, less expensive methods that could help you lose weight? Of course.
Noom is worth it if traditional tracking apps have disappointed you. Or if you desire a holistic approach to weight loss with support from coaches and friends plus activity adjustments based on how you feel and your psychology.
If you have no problem going it alone (or you have a group of friends with similar goals to support you) as long as you’ve got some data and maybe even recipes to guide you along your way, one of the other options that track your calories and macros will work fine.
Crystal Schwanke has been on a fitness and health and wellness journey for more than a decade. She used to do wellness-related ghostwriting work and content writing for several well-known websites.
During this time, she tried all the protein powders, meal replacement shakes and mixes, and workout programs. Crystal’s favorite way of eating is Paleo(ish) and even when she isn’t writing about health and wellness and fitness, she often spends her time researching for the sake of learning. Her goal is to better equip herself so she can build a framework that will allow her to handle anything life throws at her.