Probably the best-known new eating plan to come up in the last few years. They have ads pretty much everywhere. But is Noom any good?
If you read my other posts on literally any topic, I always say you can’t label anything to do with health, fitness, or nutrition definitively good or bad.
Different things have different pros and cons and work for different people. In different ways.
So if you’re wondering is Noom any good, I probably can’t answer that for you.
What I can do though is give you enough information and my own thoughts on it to help you come to a decision for yourself on if it’s something you want to try.
What Is Noom?
One of the hardest things with Noom is just explaining what it is in the first place.
It’s an app, an eating plan, and a nutrition coach in your pocket.
It was designed by a team of psychologists, nutritionists, and fitness experts to help its users make a sustainable lifestyle shift, instead of focusing on dramatic or extreme dieting.
That’s the claim anyway.
It positions itself as a structured mindful eating plan.
Make no mistake though, there is a strong focus on weight loss specifically.
Therefore when Noom claims they’re “not a diet”, take it with a pinch of salt.
Just because they don’t call themselves a diet, doesn’t mean they’re not a diet.
I couldn’t find a recent stat at the time of writing in terms of how many people they claim to have helped lose weight but I recall reading an article a while ago stating it was over 1.5 million.
I’ve got no way of verifying that though.
How Does Noom Work?
You sign up on the app or on the website.
You answer a series of questions designed to come up with your personalised plan.
This includes gender, age, current and target weights, some questions around how healthy you think your lifestyle is, your motivation, and what you’d like help with.
You then go through specific lifestyle questions on your recent health, fitness, and weight change history. We’re talking roughly the last 12-18 months here.
Noom doesn’t have a free trial at the moment. I think they used to do 2 weeks free but they have switched that out for a “name your price” model for the trial.
Once you have been through the quiz, you will get this message.
You select the amount and then get taken to the checkout where you pay your chosen price for the 14 day trial and then billed at £59 (or £6.77/week) for a 2 month plan.
It doesn’t make it 100% clear in that part but when you scroll down further, it does clarify that it is a recurring payment of £59 every second month.
So in terms of Noom pricing:
- No free trial
- You can do a trial for as little as £1, but they recommend £14.41 to cover their staff costs
- If you don’t cancel during the trial, you will be auto-billed the £59 payment for the 2 month plan
- The ongoing subscription is £59 every 2 months
They may have special offers and promotions from time to time but this is the trial and plan pricing I was offered.
What’s Good About Noom?
For full disclosure, I am not writing any of this from direct experience of following a Noom plan.
It has taken me such a long time to find stability with my nutrition after a history of disordered eating habits, I just didn’t feel ready to break away from something that is actually working for me.
So my direct experience will come in the form of another post when I feel more ready to try it out.
But I have done my homework to gather the information that I think will help you make a better decision.
First of all, I am actually a fan of not offering a free trial. It makes more sense from a business point of view because you get people to actually commit to the trials, even if they’re only paying £1.
And likewise, when you pay for something, you are more likely to make an effort to get value out of it than if you got it for free.
So I actually think the lack of a free trial is a good thing.
The other thing I am a big fan of is the emphasis on sustainable lifestyle changes and focusing on getting the nutrients into your daily food intake.
When you get your plan you get foods colour-coded so green is more nutritious, and red is less nutritious.
You also get health tips and quizzes throughout the day to help you learn and make informed decisions.
So there is a strong focus on coaching the brain, not just giving you a load of rules to follow.
You will also get individualised coaching and support, as well as being part of the active, wider Noom digital community. So there is plenty of help available.
What Are The Cons Of Noom?
I recall in a lot of the marketing, Noom emphasised that it isn’t a diet.
In one sense, I agree. Most commercially branded diets – maybe all of them – lay down rules for you to follow. They usually involve demonising food groups (hello, keto!) and usually aren’t sustainable.
Noom doesn’t demonise foods but does try to educate you to make more nutritious choices. It also focus more on your mindset and mental health, rather than just on shifting the scales.
But at the end of the day, it is still a programme focussed on changing your eating habits with weight loss as its goal. So I still feel like claiming it’s not a diet is just a marketing tactic. It uses a different method but it is still a diet in that same traditional sense.
That is of course my own opinion and whether you would consider it a diet is 100% down to how you perceive the word.
It’s also not cheap.
At £59 every 2 months, it works out just slightly cheaper per month than my current gym membership + my Peloton subscription + if I wanted to join Slimming World on top of that.
It’s not expensive as such because that is down to your individual circumstances.
And value for money depends on whether you’ll use it and find value in it. Again, that’s down to you.
But there are other options out there which may help your overall long-term health just as well, if not better.
Lastly, I think to some extent it isn’t prescriptive enough. If you need more structure and meal plans, at least to get you started, it might not be a fit for you.
Longer term, you should feel empowered to not need someone or something else telling you what you should or shouldn’t eat. But many of the people turning to Noom are at a point where they need help with laying the foundation.
Noom is great with the longer term focus, but not so much with that more immediate need.
So Is Noom Any Good?
If you want to try something that is different to most other diets and takes a different approach to sustainable weight loss, I think Noom is worth a shot.
It boasts helping at least 1.5 million people lose weight so in that sense it is doing something right for people trying to lose weight.
If you are looking for more structure to help you on your health journey, or are on a tight budget, it might not be right for you.
And that is absolutely fine. It has been downloaded over 40 million times and claims to have helped 1.5 million people so it of course isn’t right for everyone.
I’ve also seen a few mentions in some fitness groups I am in on Facebook of being hungry all the time. I haven’t mentioned that in the context of this post because I don’t know the specifics of their plans, but it is something else to look out for.
But if you’re finding difficulties with your eating habits, and want to at least try something new, it might just be worth trying it out. After all, the trial can be as little as £1.
Just remember to cancel if it isn’t right for you.