Noom Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Jun 24, 2020

Medically Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S

HighYa is supported by our readers. When you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Noom is a wellness app meant to help you reach your weight loss goals and improve your health. The program aims to utilize behavioral psychology to permanently change your relationship to food and fitness for lasting results.

Noom claims that people who stick to the program lose an average of one to two pounds per week.

A study on the effectiveness of Noom found that, out of 35,921 users, 77.9% reported a decrease in body weight while they were using the program.

Our analysis of Noom explores its effectiveness and other important factors to help you understand if it is right for you.

Pros
  • Proven effective as a weightloss program for thousands of users
  • Makes it possible to track your daily food and fitness choices
  • Provides community support in a virtual setting
Cons
  • Included eating guide doesn’t suit all diet strategies
  • Online coaches and goal specialists can vary in quality
  • More expensive than many app-based weight loss plans

Special Offer

Looking for a Way to Get in Shape, Lose Weight, and Improve Your Health?

We recommend Noom based on our extensive research and high customer rating. Noom is offering our readers a 14-day trial for a limited time. Click here for this special offer.

How It Works: The Evidence for Noom’s Effectiveness

Noom’s primary benefit is that it will teach you how to change your relationship with food. Its goal is to help you tackle your emotional triggers and develop healthier habits through both behavioral changes and accountability.

You’ll start by sharing your fitness goals, current health and lifestyle habits, your most significant challenges to healthy living, and the situations that most often trigger unhealthy habits.

After you select a membership term, you will receive an activation link to download the app and access a fully customized wellness plan. You will also get access to a Goal Specialist, Group Coach, and community support from other active participants.

16-Week Weightloss Program

While the specifics of your plan may vary based on your goals, it will last 16 weeks and consist of four phases.

  • Phase 1 (Weeks 1–4): Focus on defining your goals and motivation to understand the “why” behind your ingrained habits.

  • Phase 2 (Weeks 5–8): Uncover the psychology behind weight loss to debunk myths to sustain healthier habits.

  • Phase 3 (Weeks 9–12): Learn the connection between biology and psychology to build more willpower and better manage stress.

  • Phase 4 (Weeks 13–16): Pull everything together with an added focus on mindfulness and exercise to create lasting change.

You’ll have the option to continue Noom after you complete the program by joining Part 2, which the company states is designed to enhance your new healthy habits and help you make them part of your regular routine.

Continuing your subscription also means you will continue to interact with your Goal Specialist and support group, and receive daily reminders to log your food.

Noom offers 52 weeks of content that reinforces what you learned during the first four months.

Noom’s Food Guide

Noom divides foods into three categories:

  • Green: low-calorie foods, most vegetables, and fruit
  • Yellow: lean proteins, most carbohydrates, and some alcoholic beverages
  • Red: high-density foods like nuts, seeds, oil, butter, red meat, dairy

The program will teach you how to pay attention to the nutrient content of your food so that you can stay away from options that are too calorically dense.

No food type is banned when you follow Noom. Instead, the app suggests you choose foods that are lower-calorie (but still filling) whenever possible.

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 far fewer calories.

Dr. Michael Bishop, a psychologist and founder of Camp Pocono Trails, a program for young people that focuses on weight loss and fitness, told us that breaking down food into calorie-based categories is a solid approach to weight loss but not a comprehensive one.

“It absolutely makes sense to break down foods into three simple categories,” he told us. “The easier we can make the categorization of food, the simpler our tracking will become.”

A potential limitation of Noom’s platform is that it relies only on the input of calories (while ignoring the breakdown of carbs, fats, and protein) in comparison to recommended daily allowances.

How accurately you can count calories can make all the difference in whether you successfully lose weight, and Noom has an accurate caloric food database.

However, Dr. Bishop explained that there’s more to weight loss than monitoring what you eat. Watching your calorie intake will work for a while, but that change alone isn’t enough for sustained behavioral change.

In addition to calorie restriction, other lifestyle changes, like physical activity, are vital for successful weight loss and long-term maintenance.

Though Noom’s primary emphasis revolves around diet, the app also lets you log your daily exercise and calculate the calories you burn in the process.

Group Accountability

For lasting progress, you need a clear idea of what you want to achieve. “We’ve found it best to align daily behaviors with larger ‘big picture’ goals… and managing their calorie intake so that long term goals can be possible,” Dr. Bishop said.

“When daily tracking of calories consumed is linked to big-picture items, the motivation to stay on track helps create long-term success.”

Noom connects you with a Goal Specialist who works with you to help you meet set weekly goals. You are also placed in a support group of other Noom users and a Group Coach to help you monitor your daily progress and offer support and guidance.

To help pair you with the right specialist, Noom will ask questions that are designed to find the right support group and Goal Specialist for you.

These coaches come from a variety of backgrounds, including psychology, nutrition, health coaching, and more. Many, but not all, are certified by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).

Noom claims this combination of technology, goal setting, and human empathy helps participants permanently modify their behavior for lasting weight loss.

Dr. James Armstrong, who has spent 23 years studying and lecturing on nutrient biochemistry and weight loss, told us that “group accountability is very effective in increasing the likelihood people will meet their weight loss goals.”

He provided a meta-analysis of 138 previous studies concluded that weight loss participants are about 50% more likely to achieve their goal when their progress is monitored in a public context or shared with at least one other person.

Furthermore, an 18-month study showed that women better maintained their weight loss when they had accountability both from peers and through group educational sessions.

“Accountability to others, social support, planning ahead, awareness and mindfulness of food choices, basic nutrition education, portion control, exercise, and self‐motivation were perceived as key facilitators for weight loss and weight loss management by women,” the study noted.

Though Noom’s coaching system has the scientific backing to be a powerful tool, Reddit forum commenters share that the quality of this coaching relationship can vary.

Some people found their coaches to be engaging and supportive, while others described them as “robotic” and aloof.

Kristin DeVries, a staff nurse at Michigan-based Holland Hospital, agrees that Noom coaching can be hit or miss.

She successfully used Noom to lose 25 pounds and has maintained the loss since completing the program. But in her view, she resonated more with Noom’s daily articles than the coaching.

“I don’t like online relationships if I haven’t met the other person before,” she told us. “Working with my Goal Specialist felt robotic because I couldn’t relate to her.”

However, she appreciated how the app’s psychology was built around the idea of forgiving yourself for any slip-ups and continuing to progress.

“Noom helps you accept where you are without feeling pressure to change too fast,” she told us. “One bad day doesn’t ruin all your progress.”

It’s possible to request new coaches and goal specialists, though we encountered some complaints from people who struggled with the transfer process and never received a new support team.

Special Offer

Looking for a Way to Get in Shape, Lose Weight, and Improve Your Health?

Noom is offering our readers a 14-day trial for a limited time. Click here for this special offer.


Pricing

New members are eligible for a free 14-day trial, though you’ll 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/month
  • 2-Month Plan: $49.50/month
  • 4-Month Plan: $32.25/month

You also can add a customized workout plan ($39), meal plan ($59), and a weight loss DNA test ($39).

Once your trial has ended, you’ll immediately start your chosen plan and pay the associated fee, which will automatically renew until you cancel. Note that you will continue paying for Noom until you cancel, even after the completion of your 16-week program.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

Over 1,300 Noom users have left reviews on our website, for an average rating of 4.0-stars. 77% of users indicated that they would recommend this diet program to their friends. Here are the main takeaways from these reviews.

Common Compliments:

  • The program can lead to successful weight loss
  • The program’s slow and steady approach works for many people
  • Many users lost weight who had failed at other previous attempts
  • Focus on cognitive behavior helped change habits

Common Complaints:

  • Personal coaching isn’t always effective, can seem scripted and impersonal
  • An overly simplistic food classification system
  • Food plan doesn’t pair well with specialized diets like Whole30 or the Ketogenic Diet
  • Billing complaints are common, some customers paid more than expected after signing up

Overall, these reviews show that Noom led to long term health improvements for a lot of participants, primarily those who were willing to pay for the service beyond the trial period and who were willing to engage beyond the bare minimum with their Goal Specialist and within their support group.

Popular Alternatives to Noom

Noom Weight Watchers My Fitness Pal
Cost Per Month $32.25 to $59.99 $15 to $45 Free or $9.99 ($49.99 for an annual membership)
Group Accountability In-app coaching and support groups In-person meetings with a coach and others in your community N/A, but can connect with other app users
Food Tracking Interface Track your daily calories, all food is classified as “green,” “yellow,” or “red.” All food is given a set number of points, and each participant has a number of allotted points each day. Track your exercise, food intake, and weight loss progress.

Weight Watchers is similar to Noom in that it combines group accountability with diet and lifestyle changes.

One significant difference is that most of Weight Watcher’s coaching takes place in-person through group meetings. If you prefer, you also have the option to join online communities through the WW app.

From a food perspective, Weight Watchers assigns you a number of points that represent your daily allotted food. The amount of points per food item varies depending on its nutritional content and total calories.

Similar to Noom’s “green, yellow, red” system, no food is entirely off-limits for Weight Watchers.

The amount you pay to join Weight Watchers depends on the level of support you want. Digital membership starts at $15 per month, joining workshops is $30 per month, and coaching begins at $45 per month.

MyFitnessPal is different. This app offers less in the way of coaching and is more of a one-stop platform for tracking your meals, fitness activities, and weight loss progress.

You can connect with other members through the app, and it also includes a built-in scanner for logging barcodes of what you’re eating.

This app is free for a basic package. Premium membership gives you access to more nuanced calorie counting settings, the ability to track your macronutrient levels, and more.

While MyFitnessPal excels at food tracking, it doesn’t offer the built-in support system you’ll get from either Noom or Weight Watchers.

If you prefer a streamlined way to track your progress, this service is a low-cost way to stay on track. If, however, you need both guidance and accountability, you’ll likely be happier with one of the other two options.

The Bottom Line

Noom 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.

Noom is set up so you spend less than 15 minutes on it a day, and it offers behavioral training based on psychological principles to help redefine your relationship with food. The program stands out from other options because of its built-in coaching and accountability.

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 both, but the quality of coaching might not be the same as with in-person groups.

Keep in mind that you’ll pay for this extra level of service with membership fees between $30 to $50 per month.

Likewise, the app is designed to “graduate” you after 16 weeks or so, so if you follow that timeline and cancel your subscription afterward, you won’t be paying more than about $200 for the service.

“What I found refreshing about Noom,” DeVries shared with us, “is that the app tried to ween me off itself after my 16 weeks. The last few weeks of Noom focused on helping me establish habits for the long term.”

Special Offer

Looking for a Way to Get in Shape, Lose Weight, and Improve Your Health?

Noom is offering our readers a 14-day trial for a limited time. Click here for this special offer.



Customer Reviews

Start your review of Noom:
  • 1313 Customer Reviews
  • 77% Recommend This Company
4.0 out of 5
5 star: 56% 4 star: 18% 3 star: 5% 2 star: 4% 1 star: 15%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

Sort reviews by:

  • This company is actively collecting reviews from its customers. All reviews submitted are subject to moderation and approval to ensure they meet our Review Guidelines.
  • This is how they do business.

    Overall Experience:

    I emailed the company on May 07, 2018:

    Leslie suggested I reach out. I was charged yesterday for the renewal of $129 and so I missed the cut off by hours. I was also charged $69 for a personalized "work out" plan and "eating plan." They didn't seem personalized at all. But I suppose they are probably system generated based on inputting items from the phone interview. I just don't feel like Noom will work for my lifestyle and was willing to pay the $69 but to be charged an additional $129 for a service I canceled several hours too late is extremely frustrating. For myself that I didn't cancel it yesterday and for others who have made the mistake of canceling too late. I would request to be refunded the $129 and I will immediately delete the application and close my account.

    Thank you.

    Powered by UserVoice.

    On Tue, May 8, 2018 at 8:44 PM Rebecca Collins wrote:

    Hi there!

    Thank you for contacting Noom Support. We are sorry to see you go! Unfortunately, our refund policy does not allow us to provide refunds for cancellation requests made after the 14-day free trial. I checked your account and was unable to locate a cancellation request before your trial officially ended (please see our cancellation FAQ for more information).

    You will continue to be able to access your Program features until the end of your subscription time but I have made sure your subscription expires after this billing period.

    Please see our refund policy in this FAQ and in our terms and conditions for more information.

    We apologize for the inconvenience and wish you a wonderful rest of your day.

    Very best,

    Rebecca Collins

    Noom, Inc. (www.noom.com)

    Noom | WELLNESS INTELLIGENCE

    We want to hear how Noomin’ has been for you! Email us your story anytime: inspire@noom.com

    How did I do?

    But it wasn’t a 14-day trial. I paid $69, So I paid almost $200 for a useless 14-day service. I think it’s more than fair to cancel my membership and offer me at least a partial refund given the circumstances of the message to Leslie literally hours after I was charged the $129. Regardless of policy, it’s just the right thing to do. This unwillingness to compromise with people, not just customers but people, is a testament to the type of company Noom CHOOSES to be and further justifies my original decision to part ways.

    They claim to be the “new Weight Watchers,” but the reason they have been so successful is because they have the human factor. The moral compass to go beyond the terms and conditions asses real-life situations and do right by people. Noom should be disappointed.

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


  • Nope

    • By Shari Bruce,
    • Kansas,
    • May 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The coach would only answer questions half the time. They have red light, green light, and yellow light foods, but they don't give you a list unless you ask or search. They have shrimp listed as both a green food and a red food. The quizzes are dumb. If you have done any research into weight loss, you already know all those things about food triggers and social eating. I had been doing a Whole30 cleanse when it popped up on my newsfeed, so I gave the free trial a shot. They were not compatible (so also not compatible with a Paleo diet). I gained 4 lbs once starting, and canceled after 10 days. It's crap. The free version of MyFitnessPal and planning ahead work as well or better. Save your money.

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


  • Terrible experience.

    • By Beata B.,
    • Sycamore, IL,
    • May 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Bad experience. It is supposed to be one on one working with a coach and it felt like a computer was writing. No connection and no results. Also, telling me everything I know, like that fruits and veggies are good. Totally not worth a penny. Save your money.

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


  • Horrible, predatory, disappointing

    • By Elizabeth M.,
    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jun 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I had high hopes for Noon. I signed up for the service including the additional fitness and food coach. I went through the all the questions and set a date and time for my coach to call me. I ended up in the hospital and unable to keep my appointment, but when I got home a week later I tried contacting my coach to reschedule the session that I paid EXTRA money to get!

    Within the app, I asked Jenny my Lifestyle coach for help in getting restarted, and her response was to send me to my confirmation email to reschedule. When I did that it told me I couldn't reschedule and gave no information. I sent a blind email to customer service and never heard back. I really don't believe any of these "people" are real humans but instead automated bots designed to answer questions from a database. There is no number to reach these people that actually works. I've tracked down the board members and their company affiliations/numbers, and I'm about to raise a stink.

    I paid over $200 and have had NO SUPPORT AT ALL. It's a scam, but I'm not a helpless victim. I will also be reporting them to my state attorney general, and I urge others to do the same. I really wanted this to work! Disappointed doesn't even begin to express how I feel.

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


  • Unable to restart

    • By Jodi B.,
    • Texas,
    • Jun 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    While I really liked the program, they claim that you are unable to restart once you begin. After approximately two weeks on the program, I went through a very stressful time. I got behind on my article reading and felt overwhelmed. I contacted Noom through both my coach and their technical department. They basically told me, "too bad." Even though I'm paying the same amount, they said that they are unable to restart the program. What a shame. This is why I am giving them a bad review. It's a program that needs to be followed and kept up with. Once you get behind, it's possible to go back. If you do get behind, it is very difficult to get caught up. I'll go back to weight watchers where you can get the support that you need.

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


  • Lame and a scam

    • By Lu R.,
    • Tyler, T,
    • Jun 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I actually made the mistake of canceling one day past the free trial so I am out $100 plus. I like MyFitnessPal and was looking for more, but this is not it. My coach was lame and not supportive at all. Everyone out there, MyFitnessPal is the best; don’t go here.

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


  • They take your money and even PayPal does not save you

    • By Nana E.,
    • United Kingdom,
    • Jun 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Please do not even think of joining them. They will just take the money, and you will not be even protected with PayPal! PayPal is becoming terrible with that, allows us to be scammed with so many companies like Noom. No one cares about buyers anymore. And Noom makes fake money, for no service provided. I wish you all the bad. Idiots.

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


  • Be sure to cancel your trial on time

    • By Renee G.,
    • Florida,
    • Jul 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    While I thought the content was well laid out and engaging, it didn't appeal to me as it was nothing new. Consequently, I did not use it. I had marked on my calendar for the 14th day to cancel (in case I forgot), and on the THIRTEENTH day, my account was drafted. I double checked with my bank account, and I had the days correct. There is NO way to call customer service, only email. And they make it clear in the automated response that they will not refund, only cancel the subscription moving forward.

    So I was out $140 for something I did not use, and on a day I desperately needed the money. No compassion, this is a racket. Most companies would refund. This is not good company policy. I would not recommend.

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


  • Not for busy people (Noom)

    • By Cynthia S.,
    • Illinois,
    • Jul 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    On the 15th day early in the morning, my card was charged 135.00. WOW! I was furious. I was going to cancel on the 14th day. I just do not have time to enter everything I eat and read all these articles and pep talks. This was not worth my $135.00. I could get what they are talking about from health magazine. RIP OFF. Now am stuck with six months of something I do not want.

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


  • Scam!

    • By Sam M.,
    • Canada,
    • Jul 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    What a SCAM. Don't sign up! After less than 14 days they debited my account over $200. There's no number to call for a refund, and the app is a joke. If they were worth it, they wouldn't need to charge a stupid amount of money out of the gates. Greedy and pathetic.

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


  • Total scam

    • By Angela S.,
    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Jul 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I signed up for a one time charge of $99.00 in March and in July my card was charged another $99. I had to work with my bank to file a fraud claim. There is no way to get in contact with Noom. The app was a total joke and MyFitnessPal the free version has much better technology. The calorie counter was wrong for almost every product already in their system. I discontinued using in the first month. I tried to contact Nom via the customer service email and via the app with no response. I never subscribed to an ongoing subscription, but the company charged me for it.

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


Showing 1-11 of 1313

Write a Review for Noom!

Share your experience to help others discover great products!

Write a Review
Noom Diet: Does It Work for Weight Loss?