What Is Noom?

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Published on: Dec 8, 2017

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.

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

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? These are only a couple of core questions we’ll help you answer here.

The Basics of Weight Loss

While it’s reported that the old calories in, calories out adage is an overly simplistic way of looking at weight loss and gain, it still plays a primary role in the process. How?

In a nutshell, if you consume more calories than you expend through daily living and recurring exercise, this excess will be stored by your body in the form of fat, inside specialized cells called adipocytes. If this surplus continues for long enough, it can lead to weight gain.

On the flip side, if you consume fewer calories than your body expends on a regular basis, you'll lose weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control, consuming 500 fewer calories than your body uses each day we result in about one to two pounds lost per week.

With these basics in mind, how does Noom help you create a calorie deficit, as well as stick with it over the long term?

Taking a Closer Look at How Noom Works

1. The Initial Sign-Up

If you’re interested in signing 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, what do you think is your biggest challenge when making healthy choices (time, temptations, support, don’t know where to begin, etc.)? Which situations are most likely to trigger unhealthy habits (stress, social events, unwanted emotions, eating out, etc.)?

What’s the best way the course can help (balance all your responsibilities and make healthy choices, find a long-term solution, learn how to navigate your environment, etc.)?

Based on these answers, Noom will create a unique plan to help you reach your weight loss goals. However, you’ll still need to choose a membership term (more soon), 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

We’ll talk more about this app in just a moment, but let’s first discuss the programs you’ll have access to after completing the membership sign-up process.

2. Noom’s Programs

Noom currently offers two 16-week programs: Healthy Weight and Diabetes Prevention. Both use lifestyle intervention techniques to empower participants to reach their goals by maintaining “healthy eating patterns and physical activity habits, and foster[ing] the skills they need to navigate their social environment and overcome barriers.”

The Healthy Weight program also addresses other aspects of wellbeing, such as sleep and stress management, while the Diabetes Prevention program specifically focuses on helping users lose seven percent of their body weight.

Each Noom course is broken down into three stages:

  1. Foundations – Here, you’ll take a look at what your course has in store, learn some healthy living basics, and cover topics like nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and stress, and how each of these lifestyle factors influences your health and wellbeing.

  2. Practice Your Skills – Next, you’ll take this information and apply it to your lifestyle using tools and practical skills that can help you overcome your barriers, handle triggers, change the way you think, and build new habits. These include practicing eating in social situations, shopping for healthy foods, increasing your activity levels, managing your stress, and maintaining mindfulness.

  3. Master Your Habits – Finally, you’ll further expand your knowledge by learning strategies to stay motivated and overcome plateaus, master the skills you’ve practiced, and create plans for long-term success.

Both programs also include structured curriculum delivered via daily content, such as 1-3 articles about weight loss, nutrition, physical activity, and so forth; 0-2 interactive challenges to develop healthy habits, along with “dynamic weekend content relevant to a users' demographics, interests, and behaviors.” They also both involve:

  • Weekly weight logging
  • Daily food logging (including feedback about food choices) and exercise logging
  • Calorie budget and tracking
  • Tracking steps with a pedometer
  • Virtual groups
  • Messaging with a coaching team

Let’s find out exactly how you’ll go about this.

3. Bringing It All Together: The Noom Coach App

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.

Noom App Exercise Log & Weight GraphNoom’s app allows users to track different types of exercise (left) and time spent exercising (middle), as well as a reference weight graph.

Noom App Meal Log & RecipesNoom members can also track meals and snacks, browse healthy recipes, and view nutrition information in advance.

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.

Noom App Coach MessagingNoom’s multi-functional mobile app is where members will message and interact with their Health Coach and Goal Specialist for customized support. Credit: Noom, Inc.

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

The company tells us that all data submitted through the website and app (e.g., logged meals, weigh-ins, exercises, etc.) is securely protected using TLS encryption.

How Much Does Noom Cost?

All new Noom members are eligible for a free 14-day trial. However, you’ll 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, we also had the ability to add a customized workout plan ($49), meal plan ($79), or both for $79. If you choose any of these options, your card will be billed immediately, while you’ll still have 14 days before being charged 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, 24 customers had given Noom an average rating of two stars. 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, nearly 170,000 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.

From a company perspective, Noom, Inc. is based out of NY, NY and has been in business since 2014. They held a B- rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on more than 50 closed complaints, as of 12/7/17. No details were available.

Noom was co-founded by President Artem Petakov and CEO Saeju Jeong. Previously, Artem worked as co-founder and CTO of WorkSmart Labs and a software engineer/tech lead for Google, while Saeju worked as a steering committee member for the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of South Korea, as well as a networking administrator for L.C. Tek, Inc.

Are There Other Lifestyle-Intervention Weight Loss Courses & Apps Like Noom?

Before answering this question, it will serve us well to quickly take a look at Noom’s underlying approach.

Lifestyle Intervention & Weight Loss

In the Medscape article we linked to in the ‘Programs’ section earlier, Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, was quoted as saying:

“A very short list of lifestyle practices has a more massive influence on our medical destinies than anything else in all of medicine. There's almost nothing in all of medicine that has the vast, consistent, and diverse evidence base.”

As such, despite its fancy-sounding name, the central goal of lifestyle interventions is to help individuals learn and implement healthy practices that can reduce instances of chronic disease—and all of this in a way that no pill could ever hope.

The article goes on to cite several clinical studies indicating a correlation between lifestyle interventions and effective weight loss. But like most other weight loss programs, they emphasize that there are still high dropout rates, which is why there are so many different methods of shedding pounds.

Noom vs. MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, Omada, Rise, 8fit, & LifeSum

If you’re looking for an iOS or Android app that combines all the same features as Noom (personalized lifestyle- and- habit-based plans, dedicated coaching/goal support, food/calorie/exercise tracking, group messaging, etc.), there aren’t a whole lot of options. Here were some of the most popular at the time of our research:

Company Membership Price Unique Features
Noom $32.25-$59/mo, depending on length Lifestyle intervention-based, personalized plans, dedicated coaches/support, group messaging, connect to fitness trackers
MyFitnessPal Free (calorie counter only) Automatically calculates calories based on food and weight—calorie counter only
Lose It! Basic: $0; Premium: $3.33/mo Personalized weight plan, daily calorie budget, food (including the ability to scan barcodes and take pictures) and exercise tracking, connects to fitness trackers, guidance and support from community
Omada $120/mo Behavior change program focused on weight and chronic disease reduction, includes a smart scale for tracking, food tracking via pictures or quick descriptions, track steps w/phone, health coaching and feedback, personal challenges and support
Rise Subscription plans as low as $20/week or $60/month; In-app private coaching purchases listed between $14.99 and $89.99 Personalized plans and coaching (including challenges), meal tracking via photos, accountability-based, integrate steps and exercise
8fit $25 every 3 months/ $60 annually Customized programs and meal plans, exercise focused on high-intensity workouts (5-15 min sessions), in-app shopping lists, coaching
LifeSum As low as $2.62/mo Nutrition advice, personalized diets, healthy recipes, habit tracking, different diet plans (low carb, keto, high protein, etc.) available, feedback and support

Of these, Omada and Rise seemed to be the closest to Noom, although Omada was priced meaningfully higher, while (at about $60/mo) Rise was on the upper end of Noom’s spectrum.

How can you decide whether or not these (or other) programs are your best option, and whether or not their price will deliver a solid level of value? We’ll address this point as we wrap things up.

Our Final Thoughts About Noom

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, choosing a safe and successful weight loss program starts with talking to a healthcare professional. If necessary, be sure to write down important questions in advance, and be open and honest about your struggles and goals. A few they recommend:

  • What is a healthy weight or BMI for me?
  • Will losing weight improve my general health, as well as specific health problems I have?
  • Could any of my medical conditions or medications be causing weight gain or making it harder for me to lose weight?
  • Are there any types or amounts of physical activity I should not do because of my health?
  • What dietary approaches do you recommend I try or avoid?

If your doctor gives you the green light, the article notes that effective weight loss programs should combine behavioral treatment, ongoing feedback and support, slow and steady (i.e., realistic) weight loss goals, and a plan for keeping it off over the long-term—all of which seem to be present with Noom.

When it comes down to it, though, every weight loss journey is intensely personal. But if Noom doesn’t meet your needs or preferences (motivational or otherwise), the company provides new customers with the ability to try their service for free for 14 days, so you might not have much more to lose than a bit of your time.

See Also: 7 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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1076 Consumer Reviews for Noom

Average Consumer Rating: 4.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 646 4 star: 210 3 star: 51 2 star: 41 1 star:  128
Bottom Line: 82% would recommend it to a friend
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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
  • 85 out 88 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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  • 85 out 86 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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  • 65 out 66 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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  • 57 out 58 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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  • 50 out 52 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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  • 44 out 49 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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  • 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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  • 42 out 42 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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  • 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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  • 40 out 42 people found this review helpful

    Starts well then crashes and burns

    • Michigan,
    • Apr 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up for four months. First two weeks were free. Lots of encouragement and participation. You can drop it, but once you're in for 14 days, your card is charged. After the first two weeks, I was in, and I saw the coaches start to not commit to their end of the deal. After two months, the program sort of ends and you get random stuff like "how did you sleep?" Instead of programs designed to help you change your patterns. I seldom even log in anymore. My "personal" weekly coach hasn't contacted me in almost a month. And 1200 calories a day can be pretty restrictive long term. It does focus on calorie density, which is great. But it's definitely not worth the money.

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

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