Author: Amanda Cofer, MPH
Weight loss? There’s an app for that. Today, there might as well be an app for (almost) everything. The rise of the iPhone and Android opened many doors for the health and wellness industry, making it possible to help more people achieve their weight loss goals. So, what do the best of these apps all have in common?
1. Individualized coaching
The top weight loss apps know that everyone’s journey to their weight loss goals looks differently. The Noom app pairs each and every user up with their very own health coach so that they can set goals and action plans that fit their individual needs. This set up allows for a deeper level of support throughout the weight loss process and targeted lifestyle change strategies that will meet you where you are in terms of these changes. The approach also allows for a ton of flexibility (and we mean a ton), because there isn’t a specific “diet” that everyone has to follow (we know one-sized fits all things usually don’t don’t actually fit). You can do what works best for you with the guidance of your coach!
Individualization also holds another component, holistic health coaching. Your weight loss efforts don’t exist in a vacuum! As cool as outer space is, the most effective weight loss apps out there are down to Earth and work with multiple facets of your wellbeing. Noom coaches are trained to help you decipher how things like stress, emotions, time management, and self-care, all relate to the traditional nutrition and exercise factors. This takes your personal circumstances into account through shared decision-making strategies to increase your confidence and self-efficacy in health behaviors that you want to work on most.
2. Community support
If you’ve ever worked to lose weight in the past, you probably know how hard things can get sometimes and you probably know the value of strong support system. The best weight loss apps use group support to foster a sense of community between its users to offer this type of network. The Noom app places every user into a group that is facilitated by another coach supporting them in their weight loss journey. This offers true 24/7 connection and encouragement as well as more opportunity for accountability and interaction.
One study found that group interaction can be an indicator of program engagement leading to more weight loss success and weight control in the long term. Those who posted in their group regularly, were supporting others, and feeling supported themselves were more likely to stay motivated towards logging meals, talking with their individual health coach, and read the curriculum materials. The Noom program, knows that you can go at it alone if you really want to, but those who are in it with others develop camaraderie and have an even greater chance of meeting their weight loss goals and maintaining their new weight long term.
3. An evidence-based approach
The best weight loss apps and their programs are based on scientific evidence and research to deliver methods that have shown to be truly effective in helping users achieve their weight loss dreams. The term “evidence-based” or “backed by research” gets thrown out there a lot these days, especially when it comes to weight loss programs, so how do you know the information is reliable? A definition given by Dr. David Sackett, an evidence-based practice pioneer, states that evidence-based means “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual…” Simply put, using the best information you can to make the best possible decision, and doing that on purpose. In Noom’s case, the care is the program and the individuals are app users!
Noom’s program is revolves around the evidence-based psychology of health behavior change and what that means for weight loss. The curriculum is educational, insightful, and gets you to look inward while working to take outward action. We think it’s pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves (not to toot our horns, but toot-toot). Couple that with a personal health coach helping to guide you to goal using proven coaching techniques and a group of others in the same boat to lean on, vent to, and bounce ideas off of makes for a multi-level approach to help you see weight loss success.
The best weight loss apps: the bottom line
With so many weight loss apps out in the virtual universe it can be tough to know what makes one better over another. You now know 3 key components that the best apps have in common and how Noom uses them in a unique way to guide you towards healthy behaviors and weight loss success. The individualized coaching, group support, and evidence-based set up make the Noom app a true winner amongst others out there. The goal is to work with users in a holistic and personalized way to help you change your lifestyle, not just practice a “diet,” to create habits that really stick so that you can maintain your weight loss results for a lifetime. Ready to take steps towards this goal for yourself? Let Noom walk along with you and lose weight for good!