December 1, 2020

Ep 135 - The problem with Noom

Welcome to how to love your body! Today’s episode is all about Noom, how it’s different, how it’s not and the trouble with pretty much everything they’re doing!

Note: You may notice our new podcast art! Don’t be alarmed it’s just us with a fun new cover by DrawnbyMary on Instagram!

This episode is brought to you by our 5 Day Mindset Boost Series that you can get at bit.ly/undietboost . This will help you work on releasing the dieting mindset which is a hugely important part of the UnDieting process.

Alright let’s Noom it up.

For those who don’t know what is Noom?

From my understanding it is a diet app created by psychologists - and it’s most defining feature is that it is psychology based.

It’s branding is very strong and people really see it as something totally different from other diets. I was at a networking event once and someone asked me what I do, I told them I was an intuitive eating counsellor and I help people stop dieting and have a healthier relationship with food. Their response was - oh like Noom??//??? Forehead slap.

As I did a bit more research for this episode Noom was actually created by 2 engineers, not psychologists. Yes perhaps they consult with psychologists but that’s not who created it. 

This app has 50 million users and to quote “The company aims to help reinforce positive decision-making to improve the lives and health of its users.”

Where does the psychology come in?

Let us take you through the journey on their website it says - find out what's possible with Noom’s psychology based evaluation and your 2 choices are Get fit for good and lose weight for good. (Yeah okay sure)

You then have to enter your weight and height (AKA BMI) - seeing the psychology yet? Yeah me neither.

It then asks ME what my ideal weight is (aka pick an arbitrary number ) - I deliberately picked a weight that is underweight for me to see what they’d say, the response was congratulations you set your first goal!

Then as I click through it says Noom creates long term results through habit and behavior change, not restrictive dieting… yeah okay, you know what behavior they want you to change? Eating food.

Then it says - 

Women in their 30s who want to reach an ideal weight between xxlb. and xx lb. (numbers that are too low for most grown women) especially tall women. Need a different strategy depending on their current lifestyle and then they ask me if i'm active have healthy habits (what the hell does that mean) 

Then As a Woman in your 30s, the specific combination of foods you eat can have a huge impact on your ability to burn fat. Which of the following best describes your typical lunch?

As I go through the quiz they say Sticking to a plan can be hard, but Noom makes it easy - how? Nobody knows - this is no different than any diet ever.

They claim I can lose 50 lbs in 6 months (and keep it off HAHA)

Then I answered a few more questions and they moved my 50 lb weight loss up by a month - what the hell

Oh wow answered a few more questions now I’m going to lose 50 lbs another 2 weeks sooner! 

Now we get to the first mention of psychology and it says they'll send me articles? And that there are no good or bad foods, just green and red foods - oh ef off!

Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes, we’ll help you get back on track

They claim to use cognitive behavioral therapy and they are asking a bunch of questions in order to help me “control my triggers” to eating.

And they use the TRUE findings that yo-yo dieting results in weight gain over time. 

This is so manipulative, if they mention it then THEY must be different but what’s different here?

From people we’ve talked to they almost always recommend 1100-1200 calories for everyone no matter what you answer to all these questions and it’s supposedly personalized.

The onboarding process seems so promising, it really does look and feel different than another diet but we need to see the wolf in sheep’s clothing here.

Then I have to pay before I can see any details (which I am not willing to do because there are a lot of stories out there about people trying to cancel with Noom and not being able to).

So what are the issues here:

  1. The worst part of Noom is their claim of being “psychology based” . THIS is the main issue we have with Noom. There are a million diets and diet apps out there like Noom that give you a set amount of calories, where you can track your food intake and workouts, that is nothing new, it’s the fact that they are tricking people into thinking this is something different that is the problem. Many people have asked us but what about Noom and unfortunately a TON of people have actually joined and got caught up in it just to realize its the same as any other diet. It preys on people trying to get out of the diet cycle but just lures them right back in.
  2. YOU choose the weight you want to be - there’s no mention of being underweight or suggestion that you don’t need to lose weight. This doesn’t have your best interests at heart, it’s just another million dollar company looking to make a dollar off your desire to lose weight to fit into what our culture says is the right way to have a body
  3.  THE ONLY part that is so called psychology is when they send some articles to read so it’s really just a diet with homework.

This will not give you any results that any other diet couldn’t give you. It’s restrictive, it’s unhealthy and it’s 100% focused on losing weight (even if you pick the get fit option and not the weight loss option they still make you enter a weight loss goal).

Steer clear of Noom and warn anyone who thinks that it’s different because of their psychology claims!

If you really do want to escape the diet cycle our 5 day UnDiet mindset boost series is available at bit.ly/undietboost

PS - Look out for The Body Love Society Intuitive Eating and Body Image Support App coming 2021 if you actually want to stop dieting and find food and body freedom (AND it’s more affordable than Noom too :) )

See you next week!

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