I set out today to write an update on my experience with Noom, the health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help you lose weight for the long run. Then as I was looking back at my posts, I realized I have never written about my decision to try Noom.
Between 2013 and 2016, I have lost weight by counting calories. This method does work. I am proof of that. But it never failed that I would gain the weight back as soon as I resumed eating normally and not watching my calorie intake.
This is where Noom comes into play. Yes, Noom has you reducing and counting calories, but they focus on making tangible, sustainable lifestyle shifts. On this diet, there is no food that you cannot eat. You are not cutting carbs or fats or anything.
Instead, you learn about portion control, calorie dense foods, and your eating triggers (boredom, stress eating, clock-based meals). The hope is that you learn to CHANGE your behavior so that when you reach your goal weight, you maintain the new behaviors and keep the weight off.
In January of this year, I weighed myself and was not happy with the number. I had slowly been noticing my mid-section getting pudgy. Really, that wasn’t surprising. I am in my forties, and my metabolism is slowing down. (Not to mention I have had 2 kids.)
So through April, I did nothing. I wanted to start exercising but didn’t. I dreaded counting calories as I enjoyed eating the way I was. I mean doesn’t everyone want to lose weight with no work and no food restrictions?
Finally, in May, I decided to do something. I had seen ads for Noom and was intrigued with the promise to change your behaviors so that you didn’t gain the weight back.
On the site, you enter in your information (weight, age, activity level) and your goal weight. A custom plan is developed. You can try out the plan for $1 for the first two weeks. After that they will charge you a fee on a regular basis. For my plan, after I entered a coupon code (always look for a coupon code before purchasing anything online), it was $62 for a two-month membership. And two months is all they said it would take to meet my goal of losing 18 lbs. Before the trial date, you can cancel. And if you don’t want to continue after the first two months, you just cancel before the renewal date by sending a message to your coach.
I did the daily weigh-ins and counted my calories. But it goes beyond cutting calories. They care where the calories come from. You are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables while restricting processed foods, red meats, high-calorie condiments and snacks. The app even counts your steps as they encourage you to aim for 10,000 steps a day. Of course, it only works if I carry my phone everywhere with me.
In the first 2 weeks, I lost 2 1/2 lbs. I found the app easy to use, and the daily articles were interesting. I am not too thrilled with my personal coach or with the support group I was assigned. But I decided to stick with it. And now after 12 weeks, I finally received my goal weight.
I will continue using the app for the rest of my paid subscription, and then I’ll cancel it. Now will this time be different? Will I maintain my weight and not gain it all back as I’ve done in the past? Well, only time will tell, but I feel pretty good about it.