Salina West here! I am mostly behind the scenes helping to coordinate reviews and research, so you don't see me pop up too much on site, but I'm around! I signed up to do the Noom review because frankly, I fell off my very own health wagon during the pandemic. I feel like I've heard about Noom through so many ways - an ad on podcasts, an ad on Instagram, friends mentioned it. It's been lurking around me, so I thought I'd try it. I also thought it was an interesting idea for a group of people with different interests, goals, and backgrounds to write a Noom review. Here's my take!
What I Hope To Achieve With Noom
As a kid growing up, I was never the skinny one. In fact, I grew up with a cousin the same age, and she was always referred to as the "smaller one". Cue the body image issues. Then again, isn't that just part of being a woman, thanks to advertising? But I digress. From 2005 through 2013, I was consistently a size eight or a size ten, weighing anywhere from 145 to 160 pounds, depending on what was happening in life. During the summer of 2013, I fell in love with Ashtanga yoga, and started with a mostly plant-based diet. I also leaned into fitness the most I ever had in my life, and I found myself as a size six and weighing 135 pounds. I felt great in my body. Yes, I was thinner, but more than anything, I felt stronger and had a ton of energy. I share all this to say I'm someone who works pretty hard to be a size six. That means I eat mostly vegetables, fruits, and legumes. This also means I work out at least four times a week. This has been my routine since 2013, and then... the pandemic hit. Food became a huge source of comfort for me. I also found it really hard to motivate myself to workout. Group yoga classes and group fitness classes were my jam. The solo fitness routine in front of a tv after a whole day on Zoom was uninspiring. Plus... yum nachos!
Here we are, 18 months since we officially entered into a pandemic, and I am 154 pounds and a size eight. I can get past the numbers, but I don't fit into some of my favorite clothes. My goal is to be back into those outfits that I cherish so much, and feeling confident in my body again. Even getting back to vegetables and a fitness routine is a big deal at this point.
In the past, I've used MyFitnessPal. I didn't love the app itself. There were a ton of ads that were distracting. I didn't feel confident in the data. I did love the interaction with friends, but the most I used it was a month. I have also done Weight Watchers, but I didn't love that either. Frankly, the marketing made me feel old. Here I was in my mid to late 20s, but all the marketing felt like it was talking to women in their 40s and 50s. I haven't found anything super relatable. After all, aren't we all special snowflakes?
My First Impression
Initially the signup process felt long, but the little stops along the way were fantastic and kept me going. I wish I just knew how long it was at the beginning, but I found it to be valuable and somewhat novel compared to other programs.
I linked my Noom app with my Apple watch. I can't say I'm a fair judge of this. It linked just fine, but I am not great at wearing my Apple watch. Yeah, see, different problem.
The courses are nerdy. Here's a secret: I'm a nerd, and I love cheesy jokes, so I'm super into it. If I could personify what the app experience is like, I would draw an analogy to an episode of Friends. Remember when Monica signs up to be Chandler's fitness coach to help him lose a few pounds? She is over the top excited and into it, and he is for a while and then not. Noom feels like Monica to me.
Monica, I mean Noom, has taught me a lot. It's actually changed how I grocery shop. It's also changed how I eat... and it's been less than four weeks. They did this course on caloric density and explaining the value of water in the foods that you consume. I'll pause here. I've read Marion Nestle's What to Eat and Food Politics. I am also obsessed with Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dillema and In the Defense of Food. I will read pretty much any article about health and wellness, and this concept of caloric density was new and novel to me. It resonated with me. It changed my behavior overnight.
My Experience After 30 Days
So far, I find the habit around weighing myself daily to be a game changer. I feel like I am way less judgmental about it. I don't need the annual surprise at the doctor's office. It feels more like a daily check-in with myself, and my inner nerd is obsessed with the line graph on progress. I also love the visual the Noom app provides as you track food. I found the red, yellow, and green bars to be really motivating and helps create a sense of awareness around what has more or less caloric density.
If I could improve one part of the experience so far, it would be a closer tie to how I'm working out with what I'm eating. What is the best thing to eat to refuel me for the type of workout that I'm doing? This might be a stretch considering it's more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but if we are dreaming, that's my dream.
So far I have seen my weight drop as low as 148 pounds. Just like the Noom app says, it does waffle. This morning it was 150. Regardless there is work to be done, and I feel well supported and motivated with the Noom app so far.
My Experience After 60 Days
How have I been doing this for 60 days already? It’s only fair to give a disclaimer first. Of the last 60 days, I have been physically in my own home for 18 of those days. There’s been a flurry of work and personal life travel for me, which has definitely impacted my routine. I have not been grocery shopping or in a regular fitness schedule while traveling. Here’s what I will say: I am craving my Noom routine, and I can’t wait to be home for the next 30 days. I still feel fully committed. I did get into the routine of weighing myself in the morning, logging my meals, being way more consistent with water intake, and getting into a fitness routine.
I am still hovering between 148-152 pounds, which I think is a success because I have been eating out so much. The fact that the app kept me conscious of what I was eating is a win. For example, I was most recently at a conference for a week. The day I arrived into town, I stopped by a Trader Joe's that was a 20-minute drive away from the hotel. I picked up oatmeal packets, bananas, apples, and cucumbers to make sure I was getting some Green foods in me. I feel like the app had me trying more than I would normally, but I repeat it is not the same experience on the road because I do tend to indulge more when I travel, especially when there are things like a cake testing to attend with a bride-to-be. The app feels like a buddy checking in on me throughout the day when I’m not traveling.
Logging foods is generally easy to do. Is it as easy as checking out on the Amazon app? No, but I talked about this earlier... there is some work involved to achieve this goal regardless of the app or program you use. In my case, traveling was an extra nightmare. I wish there was a concierge service that would look at the food I was having in real time and help me assess how to enter it; I would have been way more engaged. Dream big, I say! Noom, can you hear me? Also while we are here dreaming, I wish there was a way to alert the app that I’m traveling. Maybe they could give me tips or travel food hacks?
Other features on the app haven’t gotten much use. I haven’t been using the coach; ironically the coach said she would stop reaching out to me and I could reach out to her for support. I think the travel feature would really help this interaction too, kind of like the snooze feature on the Bumble dating app.
I think I just need to own it. Folks, I’m an all or nothing gal. The next 30 days will be different. I know it because I want to shake this weight off and start feeling leaner and stronger. I feel like it’s unfair of me to say whether I would recommend this app or not yet because I’ve had such a busy month.
Here’s to structure and more Noom time in the next 30 days! I have high hopes!
My Experience After 90 Days
I really, really, really want to say that I'm in an amazing place and have lost my pandemic pounds. Sadly, that is not the case. I am at a stable 148, which is the lower end of the range from my 60 day point; I just haven't hit my goal yet. I can't blame this on Noom though.
It is a tough time to be dieting - soaking in the final rays of sunshine and sips of cooled rosés in September, Halloween candy in October, and now Thanksgiving?! Who are we kidding? It's eating season! I think what I'm learning here is there really is a time for this, and the end of the year is really not the time. I totally get why why weight loss is always in the list of New Year's resolutions. I also think trying break the habits I built up in ~450 days during a pandemic is a hard thing to do in 90 days. My mentality really shifted, and I did lean into food for comfort in some way almost every day like I never had before. I can't believe how much willpower it's taking to lose weight, and I think a lot of that has to do with my habits during the pandemic - who doesn't want multiple chocolates after dinner while watching The Crown?
Anyway, my outcome is that I still think Noom is helping me build up that willpower, and why I think I will eventually get there. Here are some of the ways I think Noom is setting me up for success: I actually like weighing myself every day; it's a nice daily check in. I think about what I'm eating during the day because of that, which I like. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Last night, I reached for the second churro, and I did recall weighing myself in the morning, so it didn't work. However, earlier this week I chose not to have wine at dinner because I just didn't want my body to absorb those calories or enter those foods into Noom. I think all of this is helping me build up that willpower again. Isn't that what every diet is about though? Building up willpower through supportive mechanisms? Noom is my Monica from Friends cheering me on in an annoying but loving way. Even though this 90 day period is over, I'm still sticking with this. There's a red jumpsuit that just needs to see the light of day again this spring.
Check out the other reviewers' perspectives here:
- Nancy's 90 Day Noom Review
- Kelly's 90 Day Noom Review
- Geraldine's 90 Day Noom Review
- Jessica's 90 Day Noom Review
Or follow along and see the complete review.