Noom Reviews - Does It Really Work?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Jun 10, 2019

Designed by a team of health coaches, nutritionists, licensed medical doctors, and clinical exercise specialists, Noom’s customized, clinically proven, 16-week courses promise to help you stop dieting and reach your long-term weight loss and health goals.

Noom, Inc. is based out of New York City and has been in business since 2014. The company knows that sticking to a plan is hard, which is why their proprietary behavior change programs were developed by world-class experts in psychology and motivation to help you maintain your drive and experience meaningful, lasting results.

In fact, after working with more than 45 million individuals over the past 10 years, Noom tells us that:

  • 84 percent of users complete their program
  • 64 percent lose five percent or more of their body weight
  • 60 percent maintain this weight loss for one year or more
  • 83 percent of diabetics control their glucose, with a 73 percent overall reduction in the risk of diabetes

While the program acknowledges that everyone is different, they state that people who stick to the plan tend to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.

To start living a healthier life, you just need to sign up for an account and set your goals, complete targeted activities with your professional health coach and personal goal specialist, and track your progress along the way.

If you sign up for a Noom membership, will you find their system easy to use? Even then, can you really expect it to deliver meaningful—and perhaps more importantly, lasting—weight loss?

Our review will provide answers to those key questions through an analysis of how Noom works, how much it costs, what customers say about it and how it compares to similar diet programs.

How Noom Works

The central premise of Noom’s diet plan is to help you change your relationship with food so that you tackle your emotional triggers and develop healthier habits through psychological motivation for behavioral changes and accountability.

The main idea is that you should pay attention to the nutrient content of your food and stay away from options that are too calorically dense.

As an example, the website states that a quarter-pound cheeseburger and quarter-pound salad will both leave you full, but that the salad has significantly fewer calories. This means that nothing is necessarily banned, but that you need to opt for the lower calorie (but still filling) foods whenever possible for best results.

In order to streamline the decision process, Noom divides foods into three categories: “green” or low calorie density (most vegetables and fruit), “yellow” (lean proteins, most carbohydrates and some alcoholic beverages) and “red” high density foods like nuts, seeds, oil, butter, red meat, dairy.

Does this make sense from a health standpoint? We spoke with an expert to learn more. Dr. Anna Panettiere is an expert in Chinese medicine and has worked with patients who need to lose weight for 20 years.

Many of her patients have experimented with Noom, so she shared her opinion with us. In her view, Noom has the right approach, but the service oversimplifies the goals of healthy eating.

“My big concern with Noom is it would be quite possible for someone to log green, yellow and red foods within their range and wind up not receiving proper nutrition. Chicken breast and spiked seltzer are both ‘yellow’ foods, and no distinction is made between them,” Panettiere said.

Likewise, Noom often puts otherwise healthy foods on the limited red list. This creates problems when these foods have a high fat content that leads to satiety.

“Two tablespoons of chia seeds, two tablespoons of milk, ten almonds and one tablespoon of olive oil put me over my daily allowance for ‘red’ foods,” she added.

Saying that, the service offers multiple steps to help you master this eating perspective, so we’ll walk through the process of how Noom works below.

How to Sign Up for Noom

To sign up for a Noom account, you’ll visit their website and start by entering how much weight you want to lose, your height and current weight, age range, and gender.

Then, you’ll indicate how healthy your current lifestyle is (needs work, have some healthy habits, mostly eat well and stay active), and whether or not you’re at risk for conditions like heart disease or stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, and so forth.

Next, the site will ask you what you think your biggest challenge is when making healthy choices, which situations are most likely to trigger unhealthy habits, and how you see the course helping you.

Based on these answers, Noom will create a unique plan to help you reach your weight loss goals. However, you’ll still need to pay a donation (suggested amount $1-$18.37) and choose a membership term (more on that later), indicate which aspect you want to focus on first (nutrition, physical activity, building good habits, etc.), and any physical limitations, dietary restrictions, or food allergies you might have.

Finally, confirm that you’re able to dedicate at least 10 minutes each day to Noom and reaching your goals, and you’ll receive access to:

  • A full customized plan that can help you learn about bad habits and how to beat them.
  • Unlimited access to a health professional that can provide “psychological strategies that give you the confidence to easily avoid temptations”
  • 24/7 personal and group support for when things get tricky
  • Award-winning app available for iPhone and Android devices

After completing the membership sign-up process on Noom’s website, they’ll send you a text message with an activation link, allowing you to download their app. This will act as your central hub, where you’ll log food/meals/calories, exercise, blood glucose, blood pressure, and weight.

Beyond your diet, Noom emphasizes fitness by allowing you to log workouts and track your daily steps, as we’ll as your blood pressure and blood sugar. The mobile app will also sync with and gather data from hundreds of devices (Fitbit, Garmin Connect, Jawbone UP, Polar, Runkeeper, etc.), even across multiple devices and users.

Using in-app messaging and group discussions, this is where you’ll keep in touch with your coach (one to two times per week, on average) and goal specialist (can provide personalized support based on your needs and goals, the food and exercise you log, the articles you read, etc.) as well.

Together, Noom indicates they’ll help you create a path forward and provide the support and encouragement you need to succeed.

Noom’s Diet Timeline

Once you download the Noom app, you given an overview of the course and how it’s designed to help you meet your health goals. Your layout might look different depending on your timeframe and stated health goals, but here’s what my Noom plan roadmap looked like.

Phase 1: Weeks 1-4

Focus on defining goals and motivation to understand the “why” behind ingrained habits

  • Week 1: Discover Your Ultimate Way
  • Week 2: Your Motivation Road Map
  • Week 3: Develop Keystone Habits
  • Week 4: Beat Inner Food Demons

Phase 2: Weeks 5-8

Uncovers the psychology behind weight loss to debunk myths for how to sustain healthier habits.

  • Week 5: Crush Thought Distortions
  • Week 6: Optimize for Health
  • Week 7: Debunk Weight Loss Myths
  • Week 8: Conquer Your Triggers

Phase 3: Weeks 9-12

Learn the connection between biology and psychology to build more willpower and better manage stress.

  • Week 9: Manage Your Stress
  • Week 10: Win Over Your Inner Critic
  • Week 11: Build Mental Resilience
  • Week 12: Resist Food Pushers

Phase 4: Weeks 13-16

Pull everything together with a focus on mindfulness and exercise to create lasting change:

  • Week 13: Rock Your Workouts
  • Week 14: Become a Mindful Master
  • Week 15: What’s Your New Normal
  • Week 16: Make it Last for Life

From there, you need to complete a number of processes on the Noom app designed to familiarize yourself with the service. These include selecting your coaching team, developing your big picture goals, getting ready to meet your frenemy (the scale), learning how to eat less dense foods, testing your knowledge, and making a plan to meet with your Goal Specialist.

The overall goal of these sections is to walk you through the process of articulating your big goals and why you want to accomplish them. Noom also suggests weighing yourself at the same time each day for consistent measurements and to create personal accountability.

You can set meal reminders in the app to ensure you take time to accurately track the food you eat. It’s also possible to use the app to track or log your daily exercise, log your current weight, find recipes, and track your blood sugar and blood glucose levels.

About Noom Group Accountability

Part of the appeal of Noom for many people is the professional support network. That service connects you with a Goal Specialist who works with you to help you meet set weekly goals, a Group Coach to help you monitor your daily progress, and a Support Group that offers 24/7 support and guidance.

Note that you won’t begin working with a Group Coach or Support Group until two weeks into the program, which is after your two-week trial has expired. This means you can’t test that feature out without committing to a subscription.

How Much Does Noom Cost?

All new Noom members are eligible for a free 14-day trial. Note that you need to pay a “donation” (minimum $1) to access your free trial. You will also need to choose one of the following options during signup:

  • Monthly: $59/mo
  • 2-Month Plan: $49.50/mo
  • 4-Month Plan: $32.25/mo

Once your trial has ended, you’ll immediately roll to your chosen plan and pay the associated fee, which will automatically renew until you cancel.

During checkout, you also can add a customized workout plan ($39), meal plan ($59), both for $59, or a weight loss DNA test ($39). If you choose any of these options, your card will be billed immediately, while you’ll still have 14 days before being charged the full membership price for the program itself.

Noom’s FAQ emphasizes that after the free trial ends, any related charges are non-refundable. If you cancel mid-term, you’ll still have access to the app—including your Goal Specialist, group, and course—until the end of the billing cycle.

Customer service can be reached at (800) 910-7375, programsupport@noom.com, or via their site’s contact form.

What Can We Learn From Noom Customer Reviews?

On Trustpilot, 74% of users ranked the service at least four stars, while 16% ranked it less than two. Of the positive reviews, common compliments referenced ease of use, effective weight loss, useful information, and friendly coaches that helped maintain motivation.

On the other hand, frequent complaints revolved around less-than-stellar customer support experiences (specifically, difficulty canceling memberships), and dissatisfaction with course material. In several of these instances, a company representative responded in an effort to come to a resolution.

Writing for Food and Nutrition Magazine, Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD felt that Noom provided a lot of benefits (the ability to easily log information, set reminders, keep calories in view, and integrate with services like HealthKit and GoogleFit), although because calories are always in view, she felt it might not be ideal for “those seeking a non-diet approach to healthy living.”

In the end, she concluded that, “Noom is a good starter app for logging meals and tracking activity. However, without an active (paid) coaching course, the app offers limited value beyond tracking the numbers.”

Between iTunes and Google Play, more than 250,000 customers provided their feedback about the Noom app, collectively giving it an overall average rating of about four stars.

Most seemed to appreciate its usefulness, tracking, and motivational support from coaches, although complaints typically referenced bugginess, customer support issues, and limited feedback from coaches.

What are Popular Noom Alternatives?

If you’re most interested in Noom for the wellness plan it offers you, then it’s worth looking at a few other diet plans to get a sense of how it compares. We decided to look closer at the Ornish Diet, Nutritarian Diet, and the TLC Diet to spot the most prominent differences from Noom.

As point out in our review, the Ornish Diet is a plant-based eating strategy with an emphasis on heart health. Like Noom, this plan goes beyond what you eat and dictates healthier ways to live through more exercise, lower stress levels, and healthy interpersonal relationships.

This diet is naturally low-fat and restricts the amount of meat, dairy, refined sugars, and saturated fats from your diet. These are all foods that would fall into the red or yellow category for Noom, so the plans have a similar premise. Saying that, the Ornish Diet is known for being restrictive, and some people find it challenging to maintain for the long-term.

The TLC diet, in contrast, is considered more of a permanent lifestyle change than as a way to lose weight. The stated purpose is to help you lower your cholesterol levels for better overall health. Like with both other plans, you’ll eat lots of low-fat, nutrient-rich food while avoiding anything fried, fattening, or filled with refined sugar. Like the Ornish diet, lean meat is permitted. This plan is considered easier to follow than the Ornish diet, but you will still need to carefully track what you eat each day.

Developed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the Nutritarian Diet has many similarities to Noom. The plan puts the focus on “maximizing nutrient density” by eating foods with the highest nutrient to calorie ratios. Most are considered green foods on the Noom plan. Another appeal is that, like with Noom, nothing is technically off limits, so you don’t have to feel like you are depriving yourself.

While all four of these eating strategies are viable diet plans, Noom stands out with their integrated app. While you’ll need to read books or follow along on their websites to better understand the other three plans, Noom strives to make the learning curve easier for you. If you love relying on your phone, this might be an appeal. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the other three diets won’t charge you a monthly subscription fee to follow them.

Our Final Thoughts About Noom

To put all this information in perspective, do we think it makes sense to sign up for Noom? That depends on what you’re looking for. We believe that the app offers a lot of value for those who are intimidated by starting a weight-loss journey alone because it breaks down the process into manageable steps.

It’s the app’s goal to limit your time on it to less than 15 minutes a day, and it offers behavioral training based on psychological principles to help redefine your relationship with food.

The app also stands out from other options because of its group mentality. All Noom users become part of a supportive community of coaches and other users dedicated to helping them meet their goals. If you’re looking for accountability but don’t want to join a traditional weight-loss program like Weight Watchers, Noom offers you a bit of the best of both worlds.

Saying that, you’ll pay for this extra level of service with membership fees between $30-$50 per month. That’s a lot more than other app-based weight loss options that let you track your meals and exercise, but you’re paying for the extra personalization, psychological motivation, and accountability that comes from Noom.

Likewise, the app is designed to “graduate” you after 16 weeks or so, so if you do the program correctly, you won’t be paying more than about $200 for the service.

If the mix of light coaching, quirky messaging and group accountability appeal to you, then we think it’s worth signing up for a Noom trial. If you’re concerned that the plan’s eating guide limits your consumption of healthy foods that fall in the “red” category, we suggest talking with a dietician to get a better sense of what your personal dietary objectives should be.

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Read 1270 Noom Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 737 4 star: 241 3 star: 64 2 star: 57 1 star:  171
Bottom Line: 79% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 1270
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been incentivizing its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Recurring charge scam

    • Virginia,
    • Jul 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I started to use the plan as directed and was miffed when I was charged $29 during the "free trial" and then without notice, I was charged $159 deducted from my PayPal. I didn't know anything about the recurring charge. I requested a refund the same day as the charge but was denied even after I told them that I was dealing with the death of my mother during this time and had to travel out of state, etc., so I wouldn't be able to follow the plan. I got no sympathy from this cold-hearted company.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Noom changed my relationship with food

    • Ohio,
    • Jun 28, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined Noom to avoid gaining weight after having my second baby, but also because I had wanted to lose weight for a long time. While I was pregnant with my son, I actually lost weight and ended up gaining only 8-10 pounds. After he was born, I was 10 pounds lighter than I had been before pregnancy, but I gained all that weight back because I was stress eating. When I got pregnant with my daughter, the same thing happened: I lost weight and only gained about 10 pounds. After she was born, I was at my lowest weight in recent memory, and I wanted to keep that weight off, but I didn't want to diet (mostly because you're not supposed to when you're breastfeeding). I joined Noom because the program isn't labeled as a diet, but it did promise results. I have seen those results. I continued to lose weight and am 20 pounds lighter than before my second pregnancy, and I have a healthier relationship with food. I didn't realize how much I used food as a crutch and as a vice. Everything I did revolved around food, and it's so nice to be freed from that way of thinking. Instead of using food to make sadness/anger/you-name-the-emotion temporarily go away, I use it as fuel. Noom doesn't make you stop eating those foods that you love, or ban you from eating any food at all (not a diet!), which is why I love it. It helps you learn how to budget those foods into your day and make better choices all around. And it's so easy. I can't believe how easy it is.

    There are times when my weight loss has plateaued, and that can be very frustrating, but my coach and my group members have been very supportive. I highly recommend giving Noom a try if you've had bad luck with other weight loss options. Don't give up! Learning about your relationship with food and the psychology behind it is eye-opening.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 14 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • California,
    • Jun 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I looked into Noom and bought into the $10 fee to check it out. After about a week - where I've been too busy to get into it, and without agreeing to anything else they started to automatically withdraw $129 from my PayPal without permission and won't return the money. Total scam, very infuriated. I can't stand all those hidden fee agreements and automatic purchases when you just want to look around someone's program...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 12 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Unauthorized payment to Noom has been made against my credit card

    • Queensland, Australia,
    • Jun 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased a 3-month membership with Noom and have found that a second membership amount has been deducted without my consent. I have tried to arrange to have the payment refunded with my nominated contact person at Noom (Taylor), but she said that she can't do that, and I have no further contact details for where I can resolve this issue.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Not as advertised - Poor customer service.

    • Wisconsin,
    • Jun 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    As many others have said, the "goal coaching" is not specialized at all. During my 14-day trial, the Goal Specialist reached out twice with a generic message. They have a "message" section of the app but if you send anything they’re unresponsive. Only when I wanted to cancel did anyone contact me. They offered a significantly lower price to renew, which was nice but I still wanted to put the subscription on hold for a while. Again, they didn’t respond to my messages and charged me right on schedule. Then they sent another generic message stating no refunds. Seems like a scam...they just want any amount of money they can get from you and don’t care if what they advertise matches what you’re getting. Horrible customer experience. They send surveys so hopefully, they’re taking the feedback to make improvements.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Not worth it and no people

    • Oakland, CA,
    • Jun 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined Noom because I wanted to lose weight, I was finding it hard to log everything I ate and read everything, and then I got pregnant. At that point, I was having a hard time eating anything or even looking at my phone (tired and headaches). I thought my "coach" had canceled me but apparently not, as I was just charged again last month. I knew I would not get out of that first payment since I found out a few weeks after my 2-week trial but I can't believe they would charge me again. I am waiting for their reply to my emails but since it is impossible to speak with an actual person and from reading the reviews above, I am not hopeful.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 11 people found this review helpful

    DOES NOT WORK AT ALL

    • Kansas,
    • Jun 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried this for 2 weeks...1200 calories per day is all that is allowed. I lost zero pounds despite the very limited amount of calories eaten. The problems I faced include:

    1) It is difficult to record the right amount of calories recorded because there are so products out there in addition to the ones in the program.

    2) Other potential reasons for the lack of weight loss including water retention.

    It is NOT worth the cost. If you do the trial thinking that you have an opportunity to decide if you want to go forward with it, you will be unpleasantly surprised. They automatically take your money if you do not cancel. I would like my money back!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    They will auto-renew you after the trial

    • Colorado,
    • Jun 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Hello -

    Noom was OK. It was pretty fun for the trial, and the logging with the red, yellow, or green I found helpful. For anyone who has spoken with a nutritionist or done anything like State of Slim, I would say that the things they are telling you equate to nothing new. I really did not appreciate that they did not notify me that they would be charging me after my trial was up, and gave me no subscription options. If you do not stop the subscription before the trial ends they will automatically charge you $99. For a company that portrays themselves as being fun, and nice, and actually caring about the person using their service their billing policies, and refusal to work with you are anything but.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Run by bots without artificial intelligence

    • Virginia,
    • Jun 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Noom is run by what they think is cleverly designed bits. You can log only water and salt and still get congratulatory messages from the supposedly assigned coach (I am sure what that is about since it never answers anything) that builds a response based on your input. You could type in gibberish and it will just fill in the blanks with that I am sure. I did not try the typing gibberish part but I did try logging water.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 12 people found this review helpful

    This company is a scam, don't do it!

    • New Jersey,
    • Jun 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company is a scam! HORRIBLE! When I first installed this app, it asks you what you’re willing to pay. I paid $3 for something that I thought would be a plan worth $3, nothing elaborate, but something simple. In the process, I was never told about a trial period or a $129 fee. There is no customer service to get ahold of or anyone to talk to. Everything is through email and NO ONE IS GETTING BACK TO ME! This is not how you get a company started, by scamming people out of their money and be deceiving in the initial process when downloading the app. There were was never a period where I was informed about a $129 fee. I’m a single mom and cannot afford $129!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Company will cheat you out of your money!

    • Colton, CA,
    • Jun 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company will charge for 4 months of service at a time and will refuse to refund if you will not be using the service. I recommend not to provide any credit card information to this company as they take advantage of people and refuse to refund. The service is not worth it. Run away from this company or else you will pay (literally) and "per their policy they cannot refund." I know very well you can refund, you just know that you are taking advantage of people and cheating them out of their hard-earned money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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