Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Noom Review: So you’re looking to lose weight? Let’s talk about Noom!

Speaking of the holidays and overeating...

With food, when you force yourself to see who you really are, deception goes out of the window and you can focus on actions that help you make progress. Recording your meals forces you to count the good things and the bad things, and you’re faced with your honest reality. If that is the case, why not just take a notepad and write your daily meals, right?

Enter Noom Coach. This weight-loss coaching tool goes one step further to do the work of building a database with nutrition information for you. It already has a list of food items you can select from with their nutritional information, but you can add yours if you don’t find what you’re looking for. It stores it in the database for you so you can access that food item anytime.

There are many tools out there that let you set your weight-loss goals and work towards them, and Noom is no different. It calculates the amount of calories you should target daily. As you add food in each day, it tells you how many calories you have left. You can enter breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between. You can also log your exercise daily (there is also a database to choose various types and lengths), which adds on to your calorie allowance for the day. I really like this feature because it is not an ‘average’ calculation, but pretty much what you did that day.

Now, how is Noom really different, you ask? There are a few functions that stand out:
  • Coach: You can work with a dietitian (your coach) to talk through your goals. My coach, Nancy, first introduced herself to me, and it felt like a dating app. But once we chatted about my goals and she provided advice, I was able to go back to her with questions or concerns. Having a knowledgeable person at your fingertips makes the process simpler, as there are things you cannot answer from an app alone. e.g. nutritional value can be heavily focused on calories, but if you want to find details about macro and micro nutrients and add those to your target, this is where to go. 

  • Recipes: I like the variety of recipes available in the app (including nutritional information). And if you use a recipe, you can simply add it to your log!
  • Daily articles: You frequently receive tips and articles with guidance for your goals. One of my favorite articles was called ‘Lifestyle Modification: Diet’. Apart from detailing out the risk factors for being obese, it helped provide tips on actions you can take to make healthy eating a part of your life. Tips like replacing refined sugars with whole grains and limiting your intake of sodium were included. As someone who carries the placard for a lifestyle change rather than a diet, this article and other ones like it that I received resonated with me. 

  • Weighing in: In order to add the accountability factor, it is good to measure your success against your goals. In losing weight, weighing yourself periodically can help. Noom Coach helps provide a way for you to enter your weight periodically so you can track against your goals. You can also enter in your blood glucose and blood pressure if those are things that you want to track against.
  • Reminders: You can set it up to remind you enter in your details for the day so you’re not back 3 days later trying to figure out what you ate then.
I mean, this app cannot be perfect, right? What are a few things to watch out for?
  • Calories: Really, calories are just calories and the tool does not really highlight eating natural food over processed food in the rating of each meal. While this is in the articles, each meal is rated solely based on calories. My belief is that calories are not all that is needed to lose weight. However, I admit that this is tough to do digitally.
  • Weighing in: Noom Coach also provides a way for you to enter your weight, but not other stats. If you are losing weight and gaining muscle mass, the scale may not shift the way you want it to, and this can be misleading. Again, this is a very specific requirement that I have not seen anyone solve well so maybe in a future version of Noom? :)
Did I like Noom Coach overall? Yes. I think it was easy to use, and there is a lot you can do with it. The coach feature is my favorite (a registered dietitian at your fingertips!), but I understand not everyone is looking for or will use it. If you cook, the recipes are great and it makes you life easy to just pull them into your nutrition for that day. 

Let's make this a little easier for you if you are trying to make a decision. Noom Coach has provided discounts to all you readers so you can try this out for less. Check that out here.

Disclaimer: To be honest, I hadn’t heard about Noom Coach before they approached me to review their app. But I’m glad I did! So yes, this is a paid post. However, everything noted here is my honest opinion.

Cheers Eights & Weights!


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