By Faye M Smith
Want to try the Noom diet plan, but not sure it's right for you? Don't worry - you're not alone. Thanks to social media, it's had a huge surge in popularity recently – but many people are still not sure about what it is.
Here's everything you need to know about the Noom diet plan...
What is the Noom diet plan?
"Noom is a psychology-based weight-loss programme," says psychologist and broadcaster Honey Langcaster-James. "With traditional diets, you’re told what to eat and what not to eat, but you never really learn the whys behind your eating choices or get taught how to eat."
But the Noom diet plan changes all that. "Noom is a holistic programme, hosted on an app, that helps users re-learn the way they think about food, why they eat certain things, and reconsider what they eat to reach a big-picture goal," says Honey. "Whether that's weight loss, fitting into a dream outfit, or just feeling healthier."
The good news? You don't have to spend hours learning lots of rules. "Noom doesn’t have lots of rules, because rules aren’t sustainable and don’t suit everybody," says Honey. "To lose weight and keep it off for good, you need to recognise and understand the ingrained food habits you have, the triggers for these habits, and recognise how to manage them."
How does the Noom diet plan work?
Noom is all about understanding your body. "Getting healthy and losing weight are both much easier to do if you know how and why you make the decisions you do about food," says Honey. "It’s also easier to change your habits if you understand what prompts your cravings and triggers."
So, how does it work? "The Noom programme enables users to improve their food habits using a curriculum that includes psychological techniques based on evidence-based therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Noom’s approach is therefore grounded in science, designed by behavioural psychologists, nutritionists and personal trainers, and it provides health and lifestyle improvements for the long-term because it changes the thought processes behind your unhealthy habits," explains Honey.
"Noom helps you understand the difference between physical and emotional hunger and become more aware of how you eat, why you eat the foods you do, and when you’ve actually eaten enough to be satisfied."
What can you eat each day on the Noom diet plan?
Hate cutting out certain food groups? You're in luck. "Noom isn’t about restrictive dieting," says Honey. "The programme teaches you that a little of what you like is OK, with less emphasis on the amount of food eaten. Instead, it addresses more than just food, it looks at your psychological processes, so that way you can start to change your underlying behaviours and habits which are related to your diet."
As it's based on an app, it's really easy to follow. "The programme asks users to track all of their meals. You stick to a daily calorie intake that is determined by background information and goals which are developed when signing up to the programme," says Honey. "No food is “good”, “bad” or “off-limits.” Instead, users keep track of their food within green, yellow and red categories."
And this is what sets it apart from some other diet plans. "Noom teaches moderation and can accommodate any dietary preferences and restrictions," says Honey. "However, it also gives users the knowledge and freedom to decide when they want to still eat things like cookies and pizza and when they want to make food choices which support their health-related goals."
Why could the Noom diet plan work for you?
This diet really delves deeper into why you eat the way you do. "Unlike other weight-loss plans, Noom tackles the thoughts, triggers and obstacles that can sabotage your progress," says Honey. "Its approach helps address the individual mental and emotional barriers between where you are and where you want to be."
And that's not all. "One of the first things users are asked to do is to set a “Big Picture Goal”. This is a personal goal that gives Noom users something to work towards which has nothing to do with a number on a scale," says Honey. "Noom never tells you what to do. You’re always in charge of your journey, so there’s no “slipping up” or mistakes, like with a diet. If you eat too much dessert, fine! Noom helps you understand why and how you respond to your cravings or particular social situations, so you can stay healthy in all situations."
Is the Noom diet plan bad?
"As with all weight loss journeys, a lot of it is down to the individual person and their preferences," says Honey.
"What’s key is figuring out what actually works best for you. Some people may prefer attending weekly weight-loss meetings or slimming groups, some prefer ordering set meal packs, but many find that their weight-loss journey is personal and their relationship with food is deeper than they thought, for them, they may find going solo more effective and a programme like Noom can really help."
How much weight could you lose on the Noom diet plan?
"Again, this is down to how much you want to lose and what your target weight is," says Honey. "However, we do know that in a study published in the BMJ, 60% of Noom users lost more than 5% of their body weight! In a follow-up study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Noom showed a 6% average weight loss among users at 65 weeks – showcasing sustainable weight-loss. As a psychologist, I know that evidence based behavioural change methods are absolutely key."
Is the Noom diet plan worth a try?
Yes, this plan is definitely worth a try. "Your personal health is your journey. What works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, which is why Noom guides you and teaches you, but doesn’t give you hard and fast rules," says Honey.
"When you’re in control, you’re more likely to stay motivated, so I would say that it is definitely worth a try, especially if you’ve ever tried a traditional diet and just put the weight back on. There may well be something deeper that’s been holding you back."
How much does the Noom diet plan cost and how do you sign up?
Want to sign up? It's easy, just head to the website. "Noom offers a 14-day trial to new users for as little as £1," says Honey. "This gives you immediate access to a personalised plan and weight-loss programme."
Want to sign up for longer? "You can subscribe to a plan, which gives you ongoing access to thousands of recipes, articles, quizzes, plans and more, as well as the support of online coaching and real-life experts," says Honey. "Your plan length will be determined by the amount of weight you want to lose and ensuring this is done in a healthy and sustainable way. You can expect to lose one to two pounds per week, and most customers are on the four-month plan which gives you time to create lasting change!"
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