If you’re looking for a paid program to help you lose weight, you’ve probably already heard about two of the biggest players:
Noom and Weight Watchers (now WW).
Both are industry leaders with proven track records. And both have helped millions of people lose weight.
But how can you know one is right for you?
WW has been around for decades.
Noom is a relatively new contender focused on developing sustainable, lifelong habits that will help you lose weight and make lasting changes.
Read on to get some details on Noom and WW, so you can make the right decision for your weight loss journey.
Noom and Weight Watchers: a quick comparison
At Noom, we understand that losing weight can feel like an endless struggle.
A struggle that leaves you feeling helpless and like you have no control over your own health.
That’s why we designed Noom to be different from the ground up.
Our psychology-based approach is designed to help you change the way you think and feel about eating.
Our ultimate goal isn’t just to help you reach your desired weight.
We want to give you the knowledge and mindset you need to make changes that last.
Noom’s approach to weight loss
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, then you know it’s a process that involves so much more than food.
You have to grapple with urges and triggers. Stress and emotions beyond your control drive your choices. Your habits and feelings around food—that you’ve been carrying for a lifetime—are a heavy weight to carry.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
When you deal with these issues head on, they’ll no longer overpower whatever progress you make (and leave you feeling worse off than before).
That’s why with Noom, you start every day with 5-15 minutes worth of quick, digestible, psychology-focused lessons. They’re the keys to understanding why you eat the way you do (and to developing new habits).
Our 3 color system helps you choose food that will keep you full and satisfied on fewer calories, because feeling hungry can be one of the biggest blocks to weight loss.
You’ll log everything you eat (yes everything!) on a food tracker that will show you how much delicious and nutritious food you can really eat when you choose the right things. But nothing is off limits: if you want a treat, just build it into your day.
You have access to a personal 1:1 coach who will help you set goals and stick to them.
With Noom, you’re never alone. In addition to your coach, you’ll have access to a group with fellow Noomers who will motivate and support you throughout your weight loss journey.
There are no weekly meetings with Noom. So you can take the program at your own pace and fit it in whenever it works for you.
Let’s dive in deeper to each part of the program:
The Daily Lessons
Noom’s Daily Lessons are key to helping you to understand why you eat the way you do and a core part of Noom’s program.
They’re designed to give you sustainable eating habits that not only help you lose weight, but keep it off in a way that feels simple and easy.
Our lessons use techniques based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of therapy used by psychologists to help people reframe their thoughts and change their habits.
The lessons help you:
- Think differently about food
- Incorporate changes to your lifestyle, not just your diet
- Identify your triggers and comfort foods
- Stop stress eating and eating to soothe your feelings (and what to do instead)
- Feel fuller on fewer calories—without depriving yourself of your favorite foods
- Incorporate mindfulness around eating
- Feel more joy around food and eating
- Deal with childhood issues around food
- Strengthen your mind-body connection
- Learn what a healthy-sized portion looks like
- See your weight loss journey as a natural process that includes up, downs, and everything in between
It’s all about making small, gradual changes that lead to big results over time.
Food tracking, the 3-color system, and your calorie budget
Along with the lessons, our food logging tools and 3 color system help to keep you accountable and in control of your decisions.
With Noom, no food is off limits.
We want you to realize that you don’t have to be hungry if you eat food that fills you up and nourishes your body.
While no food is bad, chocolate (for instance) will give you a quick boost rather than sustain your energy levels and fill your belly for hours. So, in our traffic light system, most vegetables are green, while chocolate is red and chicken is yellow.
You’ll get your own calorie budget based on your goals and lifestyle .
That budget is more of a range than a strict daily limit. Nobody is perfect, so if you go over on one day, it’s okay.
When you fill up on green foods and log them in your tracker, you’ll see how much you can eat (and how satisfied you can feel) when you make healthier choices.
Yellow and red foods will use up your calorie budget quicker.
In a nutshell, you choose a balanced variety of foods that will keep you full and satisfied while staying within your daily calorie range..
- Logging every meal gives you a lightbulb moment each time: you’ll see how much you can really eat when you eat well.
- You’ll have a calorie budget, but you don’t need to do the math: our food tracker plus our red, yellow and green traffic light system does that for you
- Our color system helps you make healthy choices at a glance, and feel fuller simply by choosing more nutritious foods
- Because you record and see everything you’re eating, you’re accountable and instantly aware of the impact of your choices, giving you full control over your food intake
- Because you can build any ‘treats’ into your day, you don’t feel deprived. No food is off limits
With Noom, you’ll weigh yourself daily, not weekly.
If that makes you feel anxious, that’s ok! We’ll help you through it.
Our experts believe that weighing yourself daily makes you more self-aware and leads you towards healthier choices, resulting in more sustainable, long-term weight loss.
With daily weigh-ins, your weight chart will show how your weight fluctuates, which is completely normal, natural, and part of the process.
Our daily weigh-ins are just for you, they’re simply part of your routine, along with your Daily Lessons.
Weight loss is never a straight line. In fact, it’s more of a rollercoaster ride (without the sweaty hands).
Fluctuations and plateaus (when weight loss stalls temporarily) are an inevitable part of your experience—not the end
When you see that you’ve hit a plateau, we encourage you to stick to the process and ride it out. Ask your coach for suggestions, and within 1-2 weeks your graph should keep moving down.
1:1 coaching and goal setting
Early in your program you can meet your coach, who’ll be by your side throughout your entire Noom journey and help keep you on track.
Losing weight brings up all kinds of emotions. Slipped up and ate a whole bag of chips? Your coach will tell you that it’s ok. You’re human. Just keep going.
Hit a plateau? Your coach can take a look at your food log and help you make adjustments to help keep the weight coming off.
All of our coaches are trained in key CBT concepts to help you understand what triggers you to reach for that comfort food.
Because when you know why you reach for a candy bar at 4pm every day, you might start reaching for your walking shoes instead.
The Noom community
With Noom, you’re part of a global community.
Thousands of Noomers around the world are there for you, 24/7. Want to eat Chinese food but not sure what might work? Ask your group and get the answers you’re after.
And, there are also thriving Noom Facebook and Reddit communities, where Noomers share their successes, milestones, and stories every day.
We take things one step at a time.
For the health of your whole body and mind, exercise is important. But when it comes to weight loss, we start with food.
Changing what you eat will give you the results you need to motivate yourself to continue. Confidence and positivity are key to your success on your weight loss journey.
When you’re up and running with the food part, you can start to build exercise into your routine.
We want you to make lasting changes to your life that you enjoy and sustain long term. That means being gentle with yourself, not signing up for the New York Marathon in the first week.
Start with 200 steps a day (the Noom app includes a pedometer) and build up to more as your confidence builds.
And you can sync Noom with your Apple Watch, Fitbit or Garmin. It’s also compatible with iHealth, Misfit, Omron, Polar, Qardio, Runkeeper, Withings, and Yoo.
What else can you track?
Through the Noom app you can also track your blood pressure, your blood glucose and your water intake.
Recipes and weekly meal planning
Noom won’t force you into a breakfast, lunch, and dinner straitjacket.
If you want to eat three square meals a day, that’s great.
But if you’re a grazer, or you work night shifts, or you’re into intermittent fasting, we get it.
Our recipe database has thousands of recipes that you can choose based on how ‘green’ they are (how full you’ll feel on the least calories) against how many calories you want to ‘spend’.
If you’re one of life’s planners, try creating customized meal plans so you know what you’ll be eating (and drinking) ahead of any given day.
What happens once you hit your goal weight?
We want you to lose weight in the most sustainable way possible.
And while we understand that everybody’s weight naturally goes up and down over the years, yo-yo dieting is something we want you to avoid.
That’s why Noom’s focus goes beyond just helping you reach your weight goal.
Our focus is to help you take the lessons you’ve learned and figure out for yourself how to stay on track.
Start with a free trial to see what we’re about.
We’ll recommend a length of time for your program based on how much weight you want to lose.
It’s up to you though. You can accept what we recommend or decide for yourself.
Our current plans are:
- Monthly: $60
- 2 months: $99 (which comes out to about $50 per month)
- 3 months: $129 (which comes out to about $43 per month)
- 4 months: $139 (which comes out to about $34.75 per month)
- 5 months: $149 (which comes out to about $30 per month)
- 6 months: $159 (which comes out to about $26.50 per month)
- 7 months: $169 (which comes out to about $24 per month)
- 8 months: $179 (which comes out to about $22.50 per month)
- Annual: $199 (which comes out to about $16.50 per month)
WW (formerly Weight Watchers)
WW uses a points-based system that’s personalized for you based on your age, weight, height, and gender.
Once a week, you’ll record your weight on the WW platform.
WW has a global community of members and coaches. You’ll meet with your group in person at a local meeting, or online.
Their points system has been around for decades, and many people have successfully lost weight on their program.
WW lessons are blog-style articles.
WW’s lessons are in a kind of online library, rather than a structured, step-by-step course. The WW app has audio content.
Food logging and the points system
You’ll log your WW points weekly, instead of daily. A ‘back-up budget’ gives you room for weekends and special occasions.
You can view how you use your budget across the weeks with color coding, so you can identify patterns in your eating habits.
Your points budget is personalized, with a ‘ZeroPoint’ food list that tells you your ‘free’ foods.
There are no limits on how much you can eat from your ZeroPoint list.
Coaching and goal setting
WW provides 1:1 personal coaching only with their higher cost plans.
If you opt for the regular membership instead, you might end up with the same coach every time you see one.
The WW community
WW has a thriving online community who are really passionate about the program.
You’ll meet with your group online once a week.
With WW, the more exercise you do, the better.
With on-demand workouts via partners like FitOn, there are customizable weekly activity goals and a progress bar to motivate you.
What else can you track?
WW’s app allows you to track exercise and sleep, as well as your SmartPoints.
Recipes and weekly meal planning
There’s over 6000 recipes on the WW app, and a weekly planning template that allows users to search the database for items, recipes, or whole recommended plans and apply them to an upcoming weekday.
If you’re extra busy, meal reminders can tell you what to buy and when.
What’s in Your Fridge is a recent feature where you can search the WW database for recipes that include the foods you have at home right now.
There are several different plans available. Sometimes there are sign-up incentives, such as signing up for two months and getting a third month free.
Here are WW’s current prices:
- Basic plan: $19.95 per month
- Studio memberships with workshops: $44.95 per month
- One-on-one personal coaching: $54.95 per month