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 1284 Noom Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 740 4 star: 241 3 star: 66 2 star: 58 1 star:  179
Bottom Line: 79% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 1284
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking 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
  • 86 out 89 people found this review helpful

    Scam company!

    • Tennessee,
    • Dec 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    As soon as I signed up for my free trial, I tried to cancel online. They said I had to install the app to cancel. I did not want to install the app. There is no phone number to reach them. I tried and was given a rejection. They do not return emails. They charged my card $159, which I am trying to get back.

    What a horrible company. I never got an order number because I never downloaded the app.

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

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  • 86 out 87 people found this review helpful

    Probably good psychologically, but really a financial trap

    • Napa, CA,
    • Dec 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My big complaint is the auto pay. When you first sign up for the free trial, they charge $1, which basically opens your credit card to their charges. It is almost impossible to find how to cancel the subscription with Noom. I finally did with PayPal, but only after I discovered $99 had been charged, I filed a complaint with PayPal as well as with Noom. Noom says too bad, no refunds. I will not use a program with these kinds of tactics.

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

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  • 85 out 89 people found this review helpful

    Scam company

    • Jonesboro, IN,
    • Dec 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm convinced this "business" is a scam created by legitimate-looking websites and social media sponsored ads. It is an internet bait-and-switch scheme to collect hundreds of dollars from people. I signed up for a two-week free trial in July 2018 and one week in, after not even downloading the app, I replied to the programsupport@noom.com to cancel my subscription. It ended up being returned to me as non-deliverable to a "do not reply" address. I had to search Google to find a phone number -that no one answered, EVER, AND did not allow messages to be left. Eventually, I had to download the app and interface with their bot, "Concierge Eva" who STILL NEVER allowed me to cancel. That was the month of July 2018. I just got charged another $129 in November 2018 from this scam of a company and FINALLY canceled my card. The day before Christmas Eve 2018 and I am filing a dispute with my bank to get the funds returned officially to our account - NOT the way I wanted to spend the holiday! DO NOT GET Noom! It is a scam and absolutely terrible. Kiwico.com (the kids STEAM subscription boxes advertised on social media around the holidays) sounds very similar to Noom.com.

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

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  • 66 out 67 people found this review helpful

    Don't do it!

    While I started out enthusiastic, thinking cool, I can text someone if I am having a hard day or if I need motivation. My experience was quite the opposite! My Noom coach said, "I will be in touch Tuesday..." Crickets. It was not until Friday, when I asked her a question that I had any contact with her. Even after that text her reply was "oh, my bad, that was my fault." Then when I told her I needed more accountability and she asked if I would like to be set up with an exercise program? I said that would be great...crickets again! Save your money and download a free calorie counter app and just start walking on your own!

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

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  • 58 out 59 people found this review helpful

    Not worth the money

    • Tarpon Springs, FL,
    • Dec 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm on day 10 of Noom and I'm following it 100%. I'm incredibly active. I walk more steps than it is asking me to and I work out almost every day. Granted, I was working out almost every day previous to joining the free trial, but I have kicked it up a notch for sure.

    Noom is great on the surface. You get a coach, a pedometer and group support. You can even log your workouts to get some more calories (they put me at 1200 daily which is low, so I log at least half of my aerobics to get extra calories). They even have recipes that look really good.

    Now, I said on the surface...My coach barely responded to me. I would ask questions and get half-assed answers, and sometimes only half of my questions were answered. In the first week, my coach maybe wrote me twice.

    I decided to cancel, and now I'm on the free version of the app, which looks the same minus the coach, recipes and the "start work out" feature. I'm still sticking it through for a bit, but I haven't even lost a pound.

    If the coach actually responded I could justify spending the money, but as it is, the most I'd spend is $10-20/month.

    I made a YouTube review if you want more info: https://youtu.be/ugGTLVcNQ70.

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

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  • 57 out 59 people found this review helpful

    Horrible, predatory, disappointing

    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jun 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    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

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  • 50 out 55 people found this review helpful

    This is how they do business.

    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

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  • 47 out 47 people found this review helpful

    Terrible experience.

    • Sycamore, IL,
    • May 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    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

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  • 43 out 43 people found this review helpful

    Zero stars - be very wary of illegal bank account debiting

    • Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia,
    • Aug 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up for a free trial but never proceeded with the service. I didn’t download the app, didn’t receive any email about being joined to the service, no contact from the organization. Notification via their website support was difficult to find, but I found it and let them know I was not proceeding with the service after the free trial. To my astonishment, I was charged $159!

    I again contacted them and got absolutely no response. I had to lodge a complaint through my bank, who thankfully refunded the amount and are chasing them regarding the illegal debit. Imagine my astonishment when I was charged $159 AGAIN four months later! I have again contacted Noom with no response. I have of course contacted my bank again, who are taking the illegal debits very seriously and an investigation is underway.

    I STRONGLY advise everyone to avoid this company who are undertaking illegal charging practices. Unfortunately, I have had to cancel my debit card (and go through all the associated pain of resetting all my direct debits) as a result of this organization. I hope this information helps others to avoid the same financial and time loss that I have experienced.

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

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  • 43 out 45 people found this review helpful

    Not ready for prime time!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Dec 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This application lacks legitimate nutrition advice. They use behavioral psychology basics, programmed to respond to your caloric intake and exercise output. This would be great, but they don't measure calories correctly - they count good vegetable calories, which no one does, and their exercise input they want measured with their PC app. They are also the most expensive - $240 for 4 months. They have no human contact - you can get a live coach on WeightWatchers cheaper.

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

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  • 41 out 43 people found this review helpful

    Noom

    • Florida,
    • Dec 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This app is a total scam. I recommend not using. Total ripoff. Kept charging me $99 even after I canceled. Then would only refund half. I never heard anything from a supposed coach. Do not use or pay for this app!

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

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