Pretty much every single woman I know feels that she could do a better job when it comes to healthy eating and exercise- and she also feels that it would be wonderful if she could actually lose a few pounds. So wouldn't it be great if there was an app for that? One that really works? Well- there is! In the past year, I've tried both the Noom vs. Weight Watchers apps- and for me- Noom was better by far! Let me tell you why…
I've heard of Weight Watchers- but what is Noom?
If you've ever wanted to lose a few pounds, then I am sure that you've either tried or know someone that has tried Weight Watchers. And I know people that have completely changed their eating habits, and their lives by committing to the Weight Watchers program of tracking food points- it really does work for them!
But Noom takes a very different approach. Noom tells you right up front; “The toughest obstacle you’ll face on your weight loss journey will be a battle with your own mind.”
Whoa- they just got me.
I'm a grown woman- I know what's healthy and what's not. I can probably quote you calorie counts, grams of fat, and point values of a hundred different foods. I know how important cardio is for health, as well as weight training for maintaining muscle as I get older. I know all of that!
And it's not like I am overweight. I just have those pesky “last ten pounds” that I want to lose so that I feel that I look my best.
It's only ten lousy pounds. But when I think of the hours that I have spent over the course of my adult life thinking about those stupid ten pounds, how I could lose them, why do I have them, how I might feel without them- ugh- I get annoyed with myself. What a waste of my time!
And I also feel like a failure that I've not been able to make it happen. (Can I get an “Amen, sister” here?)
Yet- I keep getting in my own way. The numbers on the scale creep up. My pants feel too tight. So why do I reach for that sugar cookie anyway? That second glass of wine at the end of the day? The plate of pasta instead of the salad without dressing? Why? Why? Why?
So the reason I was intrigued by Noom and decided to give it a try- was that statement: that my biggest obstacle on my weight loss journey is the battle I have with my own mind.
I hoped that Noom might help me to get into my head and figure all of this stuff out!
So what exactly does the Noom app do?
I like to think of Noom as a behavior management system for health and weight loss.
Noom is all about learning how to manage your behavior.
Noom encourages you to pay attention to how you make choices throughout the day by teaching you about “triggers”. The app then gives you tips and tricks to help you to manage your reaction to those triggers, which gets you to start “thinking about how you think.”
The folks behind Noom accomplish this by putting scientific research front and center surrounding everything you learn. When you read the science behind why you do what you do, and the studies that support how to make lasting changes- it really impacts how you think. And how you make choices.
You'll learn about environmental influences, about fog and storm eating and how to tame your “inner elephant”. Every day the app gives you a few new things to learn, quizzes you to make sure that this new information is sinking in, and of course, it helps you to track your daily food and exercise too.
But now the difference for me is that when I walk into the kitchen and see cookies on the counter or a fridge full of leftovers, or I am out to dinner with a group of friends and we are about to order our meals- I really stop and think about my choices. I am becoming more mindful about everything going on around me, and how that is influencing my decisions.
I am learning how to create new habits because Noom is giving me a bunch of tools that I can use beyond just trying to rely on my personal motivation. And it is really working for me. In 7 weeks, I am down 7 pounds. But more than that- I feel that this new mindset is something I can rely on long after I stop using the app for tracking my food and exercise. I feel as if I am on the path for lasting change.
Why do I think that Weight Watchers didn't work for me?
Based on the amazing success of two family members, I joined Weight Watchers at the beginning of the year- and signed up to use the app for 8 weeks to help me with food and exercise tracking. I had no plans to use any of the coaching online or in person- I just wanted to use the app.
But I found that the Weight Watchers app just didn't work for me. Why? Because it focused too much on the food! I was always thinking about what I was going to eat next, how much I could have, and how many points everything was. Food, food, food was all I thought about!
And when you are obsessed with the very thing that you are trying to deny yourself- it is hard to be successful. I stuck with it for a few weeks- but over the long term- it did nothing to change my relationship with food and exercise.
One more thing I want you to know about Noom (a tip I wish I would have had!)
The lessons you learn every day in the app can really make a difference in your life. But- it's an app. It's easy to take 10 minutes in the morning, go through the lesson, take the quiz, and feel that you have the new information down- and move on with your day.
And while Noom allows you to click and save meaningful articles to your personal library- I found it cumbersome to scroll through a library list of articles to find the one tip or trick that I was looking for.
So my suggestion to you- when you use the app each day- have a small notebook next to you, and write down your key takeaways for the day.
First of all- the very act of taking notes and writing things down helps you to cement the information in your brain, Secondly- at the end of the week, review your notes. You'll be amazed by all that you are learning, that you can rely on again and again when you go through the peaks and valleys of your weight loss journey.
I wish I would have started this note-taking on Day 1, and now I am going back through the program day-by-day to catch up- but it is worth my time. Especially when I consider that a few months from now- I'll be done with the program and on my own without the app. And when I have one of those days of mindless eating- I'll have something concrete to go back to- to get myself back on track!
So how can you get started with Noom?
If you are ready to have an app re-train your thinking rather than just track your food- you should give Noom a try! You can do a free 14-day trial which is more than enough time to see if you would like it too.
You'll start by taking a survey and telling Noom some key facts about yourself- your height, weight, age, gender, and the number you would like the scale to say.
You'll tell them what your current eating and exercise habits are like now, what you typically like to eat for lunch, and how many meals and snacks you usually eat in one day. You'll let them know some answers to some key health questions, and a bit about your lifestyle- and then Noom will take a look at how you responded and make a personal recommendation for you regarding a Noom behavioral modification plan- and target end date to reach your goal.
But keep in mind- the main difference with Noom, is that when you are done with the program- you are going to walk away with the tools you need to keep on making better choices for life. Yeah- it's really that cool.