A recent tv advert for a weight loss app called Noom caught our attention - not just for the skin-crawling muzak version of 'Where is my mind' by The Pixies used as the soundtrack for the ad, but for the claims made in the advert. We're used to claims by the likes of Phentaslim, Nutricode or Instant Knockout.
Noom says it isn't a diet app and instead focuses on 'life-long results', which to us sounded interesting and like a positive way to look at weight loss. It also sounds like it works, as the app has more than 45 million downloads in 100 countries, including the UK. We were intrigued, so we downloaded the app and tried it for ourselves to give it a proper review. Let's look at Noom in closer detail:
How does the app work?
The app starts by asking you what your goals are - this starts with a series of simple questions relating to how much weight you want to lose. Noom will then assign you a calorie limit for each day in order to hit this weight target, along with some additional information about how to change the way you eat and work out to help you achieve your goals.
All seems like quite standard weight loss app stuff so far, but where Noom differs slightly from many of the other apps on the market is when it comes to the daily motivation and daily information Noom provides you with. It's the education aspect of the app which gives power to the user and helps them to understand why they crave certain types of foods. The app also provides you with 'rewards' for hitting your goals which is great motivation.
The other interesting thing about Noom is that they provide you with a coach - not just a random person either, but a coach that has been approved by the National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches. They'll share tips with you to keep you motivated and to ensure your weight goals can be maintained.
In terms of what you need to do, the app requires you to fill in what you're eating every day and how much exercise you're doing each day. The app has a step counter as well, and if you want even better data you can log things like your blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and even your water intake.
The real interesting takeaway here (sorry for mentioning takeaways) is that Noom doesn't actually provide you with a food plan or anything like that, which we actually find refreshing. Instead, Noom tries to get to the heart of why you make the food choices you do, and motivates you to make healthier choices. To us, it feels like a much deeper, more substantial way to approach weight loss, tackling your motivation and mental health instead of just telling you what to do.
What does the free version provide you with?
Noom is often chopping and changing prices so it's hard to give a consistent number here, but typically you'll have to pay around £20 a month (or £149 per year). It's worth signing up to their newsletter as Noom is often running flash sales and discounts. By comparison, apps like MyFitnessPal are completely free, so it's asking quite a bit of someone to pay more than £100 per year, but it's up to you whether you think the app is worth it (we'd say if you're serious about weight loss, it probably is).
What are the third-party reviews like for Noom?
Final thoughts for our Noom review
We love the approach that the Noom app takes when it comes to weight loss - rather than telling you what to eat and expecting you to stick to a regimented plan, the app tries to get to the source of your eating and exercise habits, and gives you the power to take control of your habits. This seems much healthier to us (and much more sustainable) than an app which just tells you what to do. Overall, we'd recommend giving Noom a try if you're serious about weight loss.