In This Article
In This Article
Noom is no ordinary weight loss app. It doesn’t just count calories — besides, there are food-tracking apps. Instead, it helps you lose weight with a balanced diet.
There are no good or bad foods. Noom is about creating healthy habits so you make better food choices.
Whether you're trying to lose or maintain a normal body weight, they can help you reach your goals through a healthy lifestyle.
Elise Harlow is a registered dietitian with a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences. She is the founder of an online nutrition consulting and coaching business.
Elise helps people use the power of food to lead healthier lives. She works with various clients, including those who want to achieve a healthier weight, improve their gut health, lower cholesterol, manage their blood sugar, or balance their hormones.
The Noom diet plan has three food groups:
Noom's weight loss program encourages you to eat more foods that are lower in calories and/or contain a high amount of nutrients.
Foods with low caloric density have the least calories per serving. Meanwhile, nutrient-dense foods tend to have higher concentrations of nutrients per weight of food.
The Noom diet is like a traffic light. Most of your diet can consist of green foods. You can also eat yellow foods in moderate portions and red foods in smaller amounts.
Noom uses colors to group foods based on their calories and nutrients. They can help you choose healthier foods over less healthy ones.
Green foods are the lowest calorie and/or most nutrient-dense foods. Many of these foods contain a high amount of fiber, which can help to keep you full for longer.
To lose weight, Noom recommends a diet that mainly consists of green foods.1
Tofu, tuna, non-fat dairy products, and milk alternatives are the only protein sources under the green category.1
Yellow foods contain more calories and/or fewer nutrients per serving. This means they are more calorie-dense and less nutrient-dense than Noom’s green foods.
Compared to red foods, they don’t add as many calories to your diet. Many foods from this list are also rich in protein, which can help you feel satiated for extended periods.
Noom recommends eating them in moderate amounts.1
The yellow category also has other random food items like popcorn, low-sodium canned soups, and instant potatoes. Avocados are the only fruits listed under it.1
Red foods have the highest calorie density and/or the least healthy nutrients. However, many foods on the red list (like seeds and nuts) are highly nutritious.
"It's important to note that while the foods on the red list are calorie dense, many are also nutrient dense," says Elise Harlow, M.S., R.D.N.
Noom says you should eat them less frequently and in small quantities.1 According to Harlow, this will help you watch your calorie intake.
"The key takeaway is that the entire red list should not be mistaken for 'bad' foods that you should avoid."Elise Harlow, M.S., R.D.N.
Nut butters such as peanut butter and almond butter are also red foods.1
Noom is aware that drinking enough water is essential to our health. Hydrating helps your body in lots of ways, such as:
Women should consume at least 2 liters of water per day. Men should have 2.6 liters of water daily.2
Drinking lots of water may help you lose weight because it has zero calories. It can also keep you full for longer periods.
Since Noom is all about moderation and mindfulness, you can still consume other beverages besides water.
Sugary and high-calorie drinks are typically in yellow and red groups. So you should consume them sparingly or in moderate amounts.
Some examples are:
If you feel the urge to drink soda, try fruit-infused water instead. Slice your favorite fruit and put it in a pitcher of water. Now you have a healthy and low-calorie thirst-quencher.
As for coffee and tea, it’s better to brew them at home. You can control how much sugar you add and limit your calorie intake.
Noom has a list of drinks that you can swap with less healthy alternatives.
Many people who follow diet programs struggle with their shopping lists. Noom can suggest foods to stock your pantry with and tell you which color groups they belong to.
You can search Noom’s database for more foods and recipes based on their calorie content, portions, and nutritional information.
When you first sign up for the Noom weight loss program, you will quickly learn about their diet. The Noom app says you can portion green, yellow, and red foods as follows:
These are not strict guidelines. Noom’s food color system only serves as a portioning guide.1 You can freely adjust these portions based on your diet.
Studies show that nearly 77% of users experienced weight loss after 9 to 16 weeks on the Noom Healthy Weight Program. By 33 to 52 weeks, this rose to about 82%.3
Here is how the Noom diet works:
Green foods make up most of Noom’s diet. Typically, these are foods with low calorie density and/or high nutrient density.
Foods belonging to the green list are rich in fiber and water. In a balanced diet, these macronutrients play a role in weight loss:4,5
Green foods (especially fruits and vegetables) satiate you without the extra calories. A primarily green diet can help you stay within your daily calorie budget.
Note: The Noom app calculates your daily caloric limit as part of your weight loss plan.
Some people may think eating only green foods will help them achieve quicker weight loss. However, you should consider both the calories and nutrients in food.
"For optimal health and satiety, it would be harmful if you only eat foods from the green category," says Harlow, M.S., R.D.N.
Noom lets you incorporate yellows and reds into your diet. These food groups are rich in proteins and fats, which help with the following:4,5
While they contain more calories, they can prevent you from overeating. Together with fibers which take time to digest, they reduce the amount of food you eat and how often you eat in a day.
Foods rich in proteins and healthy fats can help you when you're trying to consume fewer calories and create a calorie deficit.
Noom’s weight loss app has a built-in food diary and calorie tracker. Besides counting calories you consume daily, it also tracks your calorie intake per food group.
You can be more mindful of what you eat. And if you consistently stay within your daily calorie limit, the Noom diet can help with sustained weight loss.
Read our full review of the Noom app here.
Most weight loss programs only count calories without considering the nutritional value of food. Noom considers both calories and nutrients when suggesting foods.
Noom promotes a diet of nutrient and low calorie-dense foods. This keeps you healthy during your weight loss journey.
Note: Weight Watchers recently shifted their weight loss system so that their points are based less on calories and more on the nutrient density of foods.
Read our comparison review of Noom vs. Weight Watchers here.
Noom is a psychology-based approach to weight loss. It doesn’t just tell you which foods to eat. It teaches you why you should eat more of certain foods.
The app provides weight loss tips and access to certified health coaches. These include a goal specialist and a Noom coach who will ensure you’re on track.
Losing weight is not the only benefit of Noom. It can also help you maintain a normal body weight, unlike other weight loss diets which focus on shedding pounds.
This is useful for Noom users who have already lost weight with the program. People with a normal body mass index (BMI) can also use Noom to stay in shape.
However, if you have a history of an eating disorder, Noom would not be a good fit for you.