A Noom food list to help those who are already on the program and a review for those who are considering it.
After Noom ads kept popping up all over I decided to sign up and give the program a try. Before I started the Noom diet I had so many unanswered questions and I wasn’t really sure what Noom is all about. Therefore, I wrote this Noom review to help others who are considering signing up. So, what is Noom all about?
What is Noom?
Noom is an app that focuses on making behavioral changes in order to lose weight and keep it off. It offers educational resources to help you make better food choices and become more active.
When you start the program, Noom asks you a number of questions such as your weight, height, how much you want to lose, and how fast.
It helps you increase physical activity, deal with cravings, make better food choices, and drink more water.
What is the Noom diet?
Noom rates food as green, yellow, or red. There is no food that you cannot eat, but “red” food is limited.
Green foods (such as fruit and vegetables and whole grains) are the least calorie-dense.
Yellow foods (such as fish, chicken, meat, and milk) are more calorie-dense than green foods.
Red foods (such as sweet or fried food or snacks) are allowed but limited.
No foods are off-limits but red foods should only be eaten occasionally and in moderation.
Users are encouraged to log everything they eat during the day.
There are short videos on the rationale behind the food choices that they encourage you to make. For example, they encourage you to choose foods that have water in them (such as soup and watermelon). These foods are less calorie-dense than dry foods. I found myself choosing these foods even when I wasn’t sticking to their rules. I made smaller changes that did make a difference even though I didn’t apply all the rules all the time. That is pretty much the goal of Noom, to give you a sense of awareness that will help you make better choices.
Noom doesn’t just tell you what to eat but it helps you understand the factors that determine what, when, and how much you eat – from the biological and social to the psychological and practical. They discuss the different types of eaters and help you understand what type you are and what type you want to be. If you order a custom meal plan then they do advise what to eat each day but this is an additional cost. However, when you log your food each day, Noom analyses your food choices and lets you know how much yellow and red foods you have left for that day (green foods are unlimited).
One of the things that cause people to binge is knowing that foods are off-limits. If I can’t have a donut then I’ll have the whole box. To avoid this, Noom doesn’t label food as “good” or “bad” but rather encourages you to eat more healthy food (green food). There is a lot of educational material to help people who tend to have an all-or-nothing way of thinking.
Noom makes you aware of everything you eat and discourages mindless eating (which they call “fog eating”).
Noom Food List Printable
I could not find the Noom food list anywhere on the app. I asked my coach and she said that I should have received it by email but I didn’t. When you log your food the app tells you if a food is green, yellow, or red. It also tracks your yellow and red food since those are limited. If you are on Noom and also cannot find the food list then this Noom food list printable might be helpful. It shows all the Noom food colors and which foods are in each color.
Noom green foods list
Green foods are high in water and fiber and therefore help you feel full on fewer calories. Green foods should make up the bulk of your diet.
Fresh / Frozen Fruit and Vegetables
Whole Grain Bread
Whole Grain Cereal
Whole Grain Pasta
Whole Grain Tortilla
Non-dairy milk (almond or cashew)
Noom yellow foods list
Deli meats (turkey, roast beef, sliced ham, etc)
Lean Meat (beef, pork, lamb)
Beans (baked, black)
Unsweetened fruit juice
Noom red foods list
Full-fat / whole milk
Meat, red (beef, pork, lamb)
Red meat (beef, pork, lamb)
Dried Fruit (including dates, prunes, and raisins)
Oils and Fats
Mayonnaise (low fat and full fat)
Salad Dressing (creamy)
To print the Noom color chart in PDF format click on the PDF button.
How does Noom work?
During registration, Noom asks you how many minutes you want to devote to Noom per day. They don’t show you all the material for that day until you complete the previous section. Once you complete a section a new one will appear. Once you complete the time you committed to, the next sections will appear as extra credit. I love this system. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person. If I think that I haven’t done something I was supposed to do then I decide I might as well eat a bag of potato chips. This system makes me feel like I haven’t totally failed since it was only extra credit anyway.
Breaking up the material this way also makes it less overwhelming. You do what you can and if you have time then new material keeps popping up so it doesn’t stop you from doing more but it doesn’t make you feel like you are getting very little done.
Life gets in the way and most days I didn’t find the time to listen to the videos so I found that feature very helpful.
When you complete the time limit you requested you get a motivating message that makes you feel like you have accomplished something. This is one example of positive reinforcement that users receive.
Noom encourages you to log your food and it sends constant reminders to log each meal. You can scan food as well but I found that their database wasn’t nearly as comprehensive as that of MyFitnessPal.
Every meal the Noom app sends me a reminder to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. If I needed to be reminded to eat a meal then I probably wouldn’t need Noom 😊. I personally think that the reminders could be more helpful if they sent a motivating quote or a reminder to make good food choices.
If you connect one of the health apps in their list then the Noom app will automatically log your exercise. Since Noom tracks your steps each day it holds you accountable.
Weight loss log
The Noom app also tracks your actual weight loss. You are asked to enter your weight once a week and you can see your weight loss and how much progress you have made.
Educational Materials, Videos, and quizzes
The educational materials are divided into mini-courses and every mini-course culminates in a final quiz. Noom encourages you to work through all the educational material in order to work your way to becoming a Noom master.
There are a lot of tools provided during the process. They are given to you in bite sizes that are easy to understand and fit into your busy life. After they “teach” you about a section (such as how cravings work) you are given a quiz to ensure that you understand the main points. You can also mark a specific lesson and refer to it in the future. I love that feature since you can mark the sections that you found motivating and read or listen to them over and over.
I love that Noom focuses a lot on emotional eating. They talk about triggers and cravings, stress relief, how to help cravings pass.
Noom offers you an option to let them know when you are starting to fall off the wagon. This is determined pretty much at the beginning of the process. They ask you what the signs would be (it is not an open question but you are given a few options: such as not logging in for x days, not logging your meals for x days, etc). They also ask you how you would like them to contact you in this case. I selected the email option. When I don’t log in I receive an SOS email with a reminder to log in. I assume that the reminders are sent automatically but when I asked a specific question I did get a response from a person (i.e. not an automated message). There are different versions of this SOS email which makes it feel more personal and therefore you feel more obliged to log into the app as your “coach” has requested. I personally logged in about half the time after receiving the SOS email which I think is great. When you log in, you start listening to their videos even though you weren’t feeling motivated (else you probably wouldn’t have received the SOS). It does sort of bring you back into the program and help you get back on track. Even if you answer some of the SOS emails you will be in a better situation than you were before so I found them quite effective.
Nook claims that tracking your steps will automatically make you walk more. They give you an initial step goal of 2000 and then increase it by 300 steps per day each day that you reach your goal. This is great if you don’t do exercise since it starts you off slowly and lets you gradually add more steps until you reach 10,000 steps.
Noom encourages you to weigh yourself every day. In addition, they offer an option to track exercise, blood pressure, blood glucose, water, and steps.
I would like to get a reminder to drink water instead of one to eat a meal. I have never forgotten to eat a meal but I forget to drink water every day. I didn’t see an option to get a reminder to drink water but I might have missed it.
Accountability coaching is provided by a Noom coach. The coaches are approved by the National Consortium for Credentialing Health and Wellness Coaches.
You can get social support from other Noom participants. Since there are 45 million participants you are sure to find some you enjoy talking to. A social support system is very helpful when you try to lose weight and this is a great asset.
Cost of Noom
How much does Noom cost per month?
I assume that the Noom price changes so please check that these prices are relevant but as on July 2021 a monthly auto recurring plan is $59 and the monthly price is reduced when you sign up for longer plans. An annual auto-recurring plan is $199 (which is $16.6 per month).
Once you pay for the subscription they start offering you extra products.
Noom offers a number of add-on items in addition to the basic membership plan.
- Custom meal and workout plan – $49
- Custom meal workout plan – $29
- Custom meal plan – $49
These services do not come with a trial period as does the app.
I purchased the “Custom meal and workout plan”. It wasn’t at all clear how I get the plan that I paid for. In fact, they continued to offer me an option to add this even though I already purchased it. I think it could have been clearer what I paid for and how I access it. In the beginning, you pay for the app and then they offer you an up sale which I don’t like but I get that it happens. Had I seen the full price I might have thought twice but when you pay for the app only and then see an additional cost of $50 it doesn’t look as expensive as an initial cost of $100. It is a tactic that I don’t particularly like and I fell for it.
Once you pay for the custom plan you are given an “online consultation” which is basically a long form you fill out online. They ask you about your cooking and eating habits and if you have any dietary restrictions. They ask a lot of questions about how much time you want to spend cooking which I like since I prefer to spend as little time as possible cooking. I like that they took my preferences into account. If I had to cook every day then I wouldn’t bother.
For the workout plan, they asked me how much time I had to work out and what my current fitness level is. They also checked if I prefer an equipment-based or equipment-free workout plan.
When you finish the “online consultation” you are informed that your guide will be delivered within the next 36 hours.
How do I cancel Noom?
Please note that the subscription is recurring and it will therefore auto-renew. I did not notice this when I signed up. When you cancel your plan you will still be able to keep using the Noom app until your current plan ends.
Does Noom work?
More importantly, will Noom work for you? Noom provides the tools you will need to lose weight but you have to use them to actually lose. They will nag when you don’t use them but they can’t do the work for you.
When I joined Noom, I was totally unmotivated. I joined hoping it would magically make me want to stick to a diet all the time. It didn’t. However, it did motivate me to make small changes. I didn’t even realize that I was losing weight but when I compared my weight to my starting weight, I realized that I had actually lost weight. I didn’t lose as much as I wanted to but I didn’t even realize “I was on diet”. I made small sustainable changes which is really my goal so I am very happy with my progress. Had I been more motivated and had I dedicated more time to Noom I think that I would have reached my goals. The tools are there but you have to use them.
Noom vs Weight Watchers
Not only am I too embarrassed to say how many times I have joined WW, but I could never even count how many times it has been. I have lost hundreds of pounds on WW but for every pound I lost I gained another one back. I would say that I lost on average about 10 pounds each time I joined and I wouldn’t be surprised if I joined about 40 times since I was 16.
Each time I joined weight watchers there were small changes made to the diet but in general, they work on a point system. You are allowed to eat x number of points each day. I believe that this is a great system for someone who slightly overeats or is not an “emotional eater”. You count your points and therefore limit your calorie intake each day. Over time you will lose weight.
However, after joining WW way too many times, I realized that this diet isn’t for me. As soon as I need to limit my food intake my first response is to binge. Nobody is going to tell me what to eat even if it is for my own good.
I love that Noom focuses on what you should eat instead of what you shouldn’t eat. They encourage “fuel eating” to give your body what it needs to function well. When I focus on the fact that I want to eat green foods to fuel my body I don’t get an automatic craving to binge. I am a black-and-white all-or-nothing person so if you were blessed and you are not like me then weight watchers might be perfect for you. If you are also an emotional eater then I think that Noom is the better choice.
I love the educational materials focused on emotional eating offered on Noom and I felt that Noom is more suitable for emotional eating than weight watchers which focuses more on nutrition than on the emotional aspects of eating.
Noom vs MyFitnesPal
I have been using MyFitnessPal for about 10 years now (before it was acquired by Under Armour). I love their food log. You can scan most foods and the chances are you will find them in their food list. If you don’t you can easily add food to their food list. MyFitnessPal doesn’t tell you what to eat but it does track your food, calories, and macros. It can be used in addition to any other diet or app. I love the option to add a journal and to communicate with friends that you make on the app. I have met many people on the app and we have been helping each other for years. Although I love MyFitnessPal, I use it together with Noom and not instead of it.