You’ve probably seen the Noom weight loss program being advertised but wondered how it works. I did too so I was excited when Noom offered me a six-month membership to try out their program. I had overindulged in recent years and put on way too much weight.
My goal was to lose 50 lbs. When I went to the Noom website to sign up, I was asked a series of questions about my height, weight, age, and goals. Then a target date was calculated to give me an idea of what is possible if I diligently follow the program.
The next step was to upload the app to my phone and enter my login details so I could get started immediately.
To try out the program for 14 days, check out their pricing here.
Why the Noom weight loss program is different from most weight-loss programs
In many cases, weight-loss programs have specific diets to follow or they offer pre-made food in the correct portion sizes. Noom doesn’t dictate what you should eat. Instead, it makes suggestions to help you stay within your calorie limit in a gentle and light-hearted way. It also addresses emotional eating, which is where most of us get into trouble.
One suggestion, which makes plenty of sense to me, is to eat foods that contain a lot of water or fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and soup. Another suggestion is to add more protein to your meals because it helps fill you up so you aren’t as susceptible to cravings.
The Noom weight loss program assigns you a weight loss coach and you can choose how often you want to connect based on your personality and needs. I chose to speak to my coach once a week. She sent me messages and answered my questions within the Noom app.
You can connect the fitness devices you already use
When I first set up Noom on my phone, I connected it to Google Fit (using my Google account login) and Samsung Health. Both track my steps if I have my phone with me. You can also connect the following third-party apps and wearables to track steps and blood pressure. This is the current list.
- Bewell Connect
- Garmin Connect
- Life Trak
- Misfit Wearables
- Moves App
- Sony Lifelog
My maximum calorie count was automatically set at 1200 calories so that I could lose weight faster. However, if you do exercises that don’t get tracked on a device you can record them to allow extra calories to your budget. This gives you an incentive to get off your butt and move.
I found that 1200 is sometimes tricky to achieve without feeling hungry, but it makes you think about what you are eating and how it can add to your calorie count. For instance, I adore avocados which are healthy but instead of eating an entire avocado during the day, I realized I would do better with a 1/2 avocado.
My daily routine
Every morning I stepped on the scale to weigh in. It’s best to do this on an empty stomach after going to the bathroom and using the same scale each time. If you use different scales, you’ll see weight fluctuations and may become frustrated. Even though your weight goes up and down daily, I found that weighing myself every day keeps me in check.
The app gives you a shortlist of tasks to accomplish each day that includes reading weight loss tips, education, psych insights, and motivation. As I mentioned before, Noom focuses on emotional eating and how it can cause you to gain weight. You may be bored, stressed, angry, or not paying attention and then you unconsciously stick French Fries in your mouth.
The image below is an example of my agenda for the week.
Emotional eating is a big issue for me. I don’t have a sweet tooth and, don’t drink soft drinks or junk food but I eat too much healthy food. If I mindlessly snack I’ll go over budget on my calories.
Foods are grouped into colors. Green foods contain the most water and fiber so that’s what you want to focus on eating. Yellow foods, like avocado, are healthy but are more calorie-dense so you have to go easy on them. Red foods have the most calories. They aren’t forbidden but they’ll significantly add to your calorie count. If you want to eat bacon or an ice cream sundae, go ahead, but you’ll have to cut back on something else to stay within your target calorie range.
A little humor makes it more fun
The tips and quizzes are injected with playfulness but also give you valuable insights into what you can do to achieve success. They address some of the frustrations you will experience during the process. I found it to be a positive and effective experience overall.
To join and get started is affordable in my opinion. It’s sort of like purchasing a nice pair of shoes but won’t hurt your feet. Because prices change from time to time, it’s best to click here for current pricing.
Using Noom when you’re over 50
No matter what method you use for weight loss it’s going to be harder to lose weight once you’re over 50. Don’t get frustrated. Just realize it will take longer than someone who is 20-years-old and active. It’s not safe to lose too much weight in a short period of time. Set a reasonable goal for yourself. You won’t lose 50 pounds in 6 months unless you’re deathly ill but you can easily lose 10 or 15 lbs.
Also, men tend to lose weight easier than women. They tend to have more muscle than fat than women as a rule. And, they don’t have boobs.
What I liked best about the program
As a person who loves to eat, I appreciate the fact that the Noom program doesn’t promote a specific or restrictive diet. You can eat what you want as long as you keep track of it. Since I don’t eat junk food or sweets, as a rule, and stick to “real” foods, I never felt deprived.
Sure, I could go all vegetarian or vegan but that’s not what I enjoy and I don’t think it’s necessary to stay healthy. Most centenarians that I’ve met or heard about, eat whatever they want in moderation. I prefer to stick to a version of the Mediterranean-style diet which is considered to be the healthiest according to most doctors.
I also don’t think it’s necessary to cut out carbs or go super low calorie unless you have a specific medical condition. With the Noom program, you never have to order expensive “diet food” or drive to a group weigh-in. It also doesn’t promote taking potentially dangerous appetite suppressants or fat burners, which is dangerous especially for those of us over 50.
For me, accountability is the key to good results because it helps you stay committed. Since I carry my phone with me everywhere I go, a mobile app makes sense.
What I didn’t like about Noom
No program is perfect. There will always be bugs and I want to be honest about what they are. One thing I found frustrating is that my steps didn’t always record accurately on the Noom app or sync with my phone’s native tracking app. It may be operator error on my part.
Noom’s food database for recording calories is fairly extensive, but it’s not that easy to get an accurate calorie count especially if you go out to a restaurant. However, that’s a problem with any type of food diary. You either have to guess or find something similar in the database.
My Fitness Pal, which is a free fitness tracking app, allows you to scan package bar codes on packages to instantly record calories and nutritional information. It also easily connects your step counter and tracks it accurately. What it doesn’t do is provide one on one coaching like Noom and ads pop up unless you purchase the premium version.
Did I meet my weight-loss goals?
Honestly, I did great for the first few months and then slacked off. Life got in the way. Weight loss is only going to happen if you make it happen. The basic premise of Noom works and their emotional eating coaching is very valuable. That and the fact that no special diet is involved makes it unique. It’s well worth it if you plan to stick to the program. Overall, it’s a safe way to lose weight and works well if you are over 50.
As with any diet or exercise program, check with your doctor first before starting.
The secret to weight loss is portion control. You do not lose weight with exercise necessarily, although it is crucial to maintain good health.
Noom has also added an additional program to help people dealing with stress called Noom Mood. Stress is a huge cause of weight gain. Its purpose is to help you find peace of mind, which we all need these days. It works similar to the weight loss program in that it is an app you use on your phone.
So, what’s stopping you?
Noom is sometimes advertised as a weight-loss app for millennials. That’s because young people tend to be permanently attached to their smartphones. People over 50 may be reluctant to try it if they think they aren’t tech-savvy. For me, the app was easy to use and I figured it out right away. However, I’m kind of a geek. You may not be.
Anyone can lose weight practicing portion control but many of us need the support Noom gives to stay motivated.
If you’re ready to give the Noom weight loss program a try, click the green button below to get started.
Have you tried a weight-loss program that works? Please leave a comment below.