Hello, there! Nice to meet you. I’m Geraldine, a 29-year-old that is totally ready to lose the weight I gained (like many others) over the course of the pandemic. I first heard of Noom years back on the radio and through the countless social media apps talking about a mental health approach to losing weight.
Overall, I consider myself a healthy person; I’m a solid flexitarian with decent workout habits and mental health stability that ebbs and flows. Of course, 2020’s events made it far too easy to lose track of my somehow balanced diet and exercise routine.
I’ve been really fighting to find something that helps me feel as if I’m in control of my weight and, at last, recover my pre-pandemic weight. I really loved the idea of getting different perspectives to write a Noom review, so here’s my take on how it’s been going.
What I Hope to Achieve With Noom
From the start, I wasn’t setting myself to failure or expecting a body transformation. For transparency, I’m currently at 133 pounds. While I know that’s within my healthy weight threshold, I know I felt better about my body (and myself) when I was 125 pounds, so that’s my goal.
I’m not a fan of dieting or following strict calorie counting methods to lose weight. So, I was hoping Noom would provide alternatives to start losing weight without obsessing over everything I ate. Plus, being a flexitarian, sometimes I struggle to find flexitarian-friendly recipes that aren’t loaded with carbs. Hopefully Noom has some tips on how to address that.
Like I said, my expectations with Noom aren't grandiose – maybe that’s not ideal, but it’s my reality. I’ve seen their ads and stories of people who have lost dozens of pounds, but I also know that losing ten pounds at my weight can be a tad more challenging.
So, here’s to hoping Noom can help me healthily lose those ten pounds by focusing on building healthier habits and not following a strict diet.
My First Impression
The initial profile setting process is lengthy and tricky. Once you realize your answers will impact your end-goal and timeline, you stop to think about each answer even longer. I enjoyed the signup process and how it felt more customized to my needs and my current state compared to other apps out there.
After creating my profile, I downloaded the Noom app, since I knew there was no way to keep track of this on my laptop. The app is very user-friendly, and it feels like a small hub of information at your fingertips.
Full disclosure: I haven’t tried other weight loss apps for as long as I’ve attempted to Noom. But, I’ve looked into ones like MyFitnessPal. From a first impression comparison, Noom seemed to be more personalized to my needs.
The first assignment is to start reading their articles or “Noom lessons” to give a better idea of the weight-loss journey. They have a very cheeky voice that I somehow read in my head with the voice of Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and The City for whatever reason. But, I have learned some valuable tricks and insights into the way our mind looks at dieting, eating, and weight loss in general.
I’m currently in the Mastering Motivation section, and this is by far the most exciting lesson. I still have seven more classes to become a “Noom Master,” and I will unlock the knowledge to maintain my weight loss journey. I’ll keep you posted on that!
My Experience After 30 Days
So far, there’s one element of the app that I’ve clearly enjoyed: the personal coach. When you start the journey, you’re assigned a personal coach. In my case, Olivia is there to guide me like a weight-loss fairy. She was there to answer any questions, concerns, and information I needed to know from the app, the journey, or really anything at all.
The other exciting part of their app is the way they section calories. Now, I know that Noom says they’re not on a diet. However, I don’t share this belief. Because Noom encourages you to track calories and log meals, it feels like a diet to me. Nonetheless, the app breaks calories in green, yellow, and red foods, which really has helped me find the right food choices for most of my meals and lets me know when I have space to indulge even further.
That said, since I don’t have clear guidelines of the types of foods or how to meal plan my week, I’m not doing the best job at keeping up with my calories. It’s really an acquired habit to track your calories and log your meals, making the process that tricky. Needless to say, I didn't even peek into my Noom app over the weekend.
It’s been a little over 30 days, and my weight has remained precisely the same. My motivation is still the same. And even though I’m staying below my “allowed” calories per day, my weight isn’t going anywhere.
If I could improve one part of the experience so far, it would be better management of my meals and workouts. As someone who doesn’t really diet, it’s challenging for me to tie what I should eat and the exercises I should be doing to reach my goal. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aspect of Noom might help with my relationship with weight in general. So far, I’m still trying to find how that will transform into lower numbers on my scale.
Of course, I know there’s work to be done, and I must continue working through my lessons to get where I want to be. So far, I feel Noom is at least giving me some level of structure and helping me learn more about motivation.
My Experience After 60 Days
60 days is a long time to stay committed to a program – which is why I’m not surprised I didn’t. Noom promises to help you build better habits based on psychology tactics that help you crush your goals. In my case, my goal was to lose about 10 pounds and go back to my pre-pandemic habits of working out while eating healthy.
Through one of the lessons, Noom talks about surges and slips and how that’s just the way weight loss or building habit flows. I’m 100% behind this statement. But, after pushing myself to be in Noom for the past 60 days, I’m positive I’m in a slip.
Let me elaborate on what I mean by a slip.
When you create your Noom account, they ask you how many minutes you want to spend on the app each day. As a copywriter – believe it or not – I push myself to spend the least amount of time on my phone to give myself a break. So, I only chose to spend 10-15 minutes on the app per day. Most of the days between my 30 to 60 day period, I spent less than 1 minute on the app.
It’s safe to say that I lost interest. I felt more pressured to keep track of my weight and calories than ever before. And not seeing any progress made me feel anything but motivated.
Since my 30-day marker, my weight has remained precisely the same – not even an ounce less. It’s very discouraging, and I often feel logging my meals and workouts is pointless at this point.
One of my biggest frustrations with how Noom categorizes food is its calorie-based approach. For example, as a vegetarian, on any given day, my meals include chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds to help me meet my protein and fiber daily values. Well, according to Noom, these are “red” foods or foods you’re supposed to eat “in moderation.” In reality, I know chia seeds and hemp seeds can be incredibly healthy and great additions to any diet!
The meal logging process, the discrepancies with nutritional facts, and the fact that I can’t customize my exercise calories burned are some of the biggest issues with the app now.
At first, I thought the coach was a benefit. But since then, I've really lost interest in the app. In fact, I stopped using it for about a week, I’ve noticed I use the coach feature less and less. To me, the messages I receive from the coach seem very robotic. Who knows, maybe it’s my background in marketing that raises my chatbot alarms?
The same goes for the group chat. That’s perhaps the one feature I see no value at all. Every other day, I receive some group messages that are not related to me or make no sense. I simply ignore them.
One thing is for sure: Noom has made me overthink my weight more than any other weight loss program I’ve been part of – and not in a good way. I have to check in every day and log in my weight, foods, and water intake; it feels a bit too invasive. I think I’m constantly judging myself and beating myself down for not seeing progress. It’s been really eye-opening. Before Noom, while I was aware of my pandemic weight, it wasn’t really a negative feeling; it was just something I knew I had to attend.
So far, this isn’t an app I think I’ll recommend to a friend. While I’m giving Noom a second chance, I’m actually even playing with a different app that’s more exercise-based, and noticing more positive changes (behavioral-wise) than I have with Noom.
Who knows? Maybe in the following lessons, I’ll unlock all of Noom’s secrets and see how it works for some people.
My Experience After 90 Days
To be honest, as I'm writing the last review of my Noom experience, I can only think of one word – relieved. For the past 90 days, trying to keep up with this challenge and find ways to love this app and process. While I'd like to say that many of my early opinions have changed, the truth is that they haven't. For me, in particular, Noom didn't hit the nail that I was looking for. I still believe it's a tricky approach to weight loss that could potentially trigger anxiety in many users.
I confess I took the longest break between the 60-90 days mark. It became too much for me between the daily meal log, the daily weighing, and the articles. So much, in fact, that my weight needs new batteries! Instead, I focused on reading some of the articles and practicing the tips they shared throughout the course. This really helped ease some of the anxiety and stress of keeping up with the app. Instead, I focused on working out and eating healthy, but without depriving myself of treats.
The Noom course has 3 sections. To be frank, I feel many of the lessons are a bit too repetitive. After a while, I noticed the app would bring back previously discussed topics and just talk about them in a different setting, like a quiz or testimonial. Still, I made it to the 2 sections, partly due to my 1-2 week break. I might try to power through the last few lessons to see if they cover new topics.
Initially, I thought Noom was highly personalized, or at least that's what I expected after the long introductory quiz. But, as I kept using it, I realized it was n0t personalized. The app didn't pick up that I wasn't interested in the chat, but I still received notifications. After missing weight logs or reading articles, I wish it would allow me to change my initial settings. All in all, the app, the coach, and everything else felt very robotic to me. I used all of the features to see if there was an easier way to use the app. But I couldn't, even logging my exercises felt short.
The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.
The part of Noom I dreaded the most was definitely the logging. I dreaded logging my weight every day, my water intake, my meals. It felt like this person was judging me every day. If my weight went up, I could see it. If I treated myself to a burger, suddenly I was above my "allowed" foods for the days. It was just a lot of negative feedback from the app. I'm not surprised that my weight only fluctuated a few pounds up and down. So, no, I didn't reach my weight loss goals.
But, not everything was terrible. I did like some aspects of Noom that I'll continue to use in my life. For example, the color-coded system to think about what I'm eating helps me balance my meals accordingly. While I wouldn't be as detailed and specific as they want you to be, at least I know how to spot "red foods" that are better to keep under control.
Eager for What's Next
Based on my previous reviews, you can probably tell I won't continue to use Noom as a weight management solution. First of all, I've never been more anxious or stressed about my weight, diet, and overall wellness than I have while using Noom. I started using a separate app for my workouts. They have a meal logging and waterlogging feature that feels less restrictive than Noom's. All in all, I probably wouldn't recommend Noom to friends or family.
Of course, I know Noom has worked and will probably work for many individuals. There's a lot of potential for this app, and I'm sure some people will respond to this type of structure. As for me, I'm eager to leave Noom behind me and try a different approach to my weight loss journey.
Check out the other reviewers' perspectives here:
- Kelly's 90 Day Noom Review
- Jessica's 90 Day Noom Review
- Nancy's 90 Day Noom Review
- Salina's 90 Day Noom Review
Or follow along and see the complete review.