Disclaimer: This is a review I am doing of my own volition. Noom has no idea I am doing it. I am going to include my referral link and will receive 20% off and a $20 Amazon gift card for anyone who continues past the trial.

If you are just here for the tips, they are at the bottom. Feel free to scroll on down.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fitness guru. If you see me running, you better start running too because something is chasing me. I was not at my normal weight pre-pregnancy and gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy. At 7 months postpartum, I still have 23.2 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I would like to lose another 20 pounds or so to get back to my normal weight, but I accept this may not happen until after children. I enjoy walking and having a lifestyle that requires me to be active, but I do not enjoy working out. I am also a foodie. This is a bad combination. (Also, I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.)

Enter Noom

Why now?

Well, we are thinking about baby number 2 and I really don’t want to add another 45 pounds to my current weight. That is my motivation (which is important on Noom, as you will see). Beyond vanity, I want my body to be healthy and ready to carry another child while nursing my son until he is at least a year old. I am shooting to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight between pregnancies and then try to get back to my normal weight after babies. Some “well-meaning” people in my life have encouraged me to use wanting a second baby as motivation to lose all the weight. I’m sure that is a good plan if you are in your early 20s, do not have any fertility concerns, and only want a couple of children. That, however, is not my situation. My husband and I have discussed that having four children (Lord willing) is more important than my weight alone, but health is important. We also are under a bit of a time crunch. I am 28 and due to my endometriosis, my fertile years are most likely shorter than the average woman’s. Not to mention the fact that being pregnant or breastfeeding continuously is the best thing I can do for my endometriosis. So, we are shooting for 18 months apart. It took us a year to get pregnant with our son so we will see how the Lord works.

Why Noom?

You clicked on this post, right? You know the answer already because it is the same as yours. An abundance of advertising and the claim that it is different. I wanted to test it for myself. Accountability and goal setting are critical for me to get things done and Noom offers plenty of both.

Now for the Review

Alright, alright. I’ll give you what you want. My honest review of Noom.

Initial Impressions
First, you have to sign up on the website, not the app, which is dumb (or I am dumb and couldn’t figure it out). Download the app, then you fill out all the information you would expect; sex, age, starting weight, goal weight, the speed at which you want to lose weight, and height. Then it creates a plan for you based on the information. Note: This does not include a meal plan. The meal plan was extra. What am I paying for then? Keep reading. I also got an email offer for a special price. You do have to give them your payment information to do the trial.

The app is pretty easy to navigate and is set up intentionally, but can be slightly annoying at times. It is set up as a daily to-do list which is great if you are like me and cannot leave things unchecked. They say it takes 10 minutes a day to do the tasks. For me, it takes about 5 minutes to read the information each day and 5 minutes to do the active work (i.e. logging meals). Of course, this does not include any exercise you do. I took the baby and dogs for a walk a few days a week.

Method
Noom is very clear that they approach weight loss through psychology and science. This is reinforced every day. They teach you strategies to help you manage your impulses and decisions about food. It is all written in a fun, catchy way that makes it a quick and easy read, albeit hokey at times. They assign you a “Goal Specialist” that is supposed to help you set goals and provide accountability. They do let you choose the type of Coach you would like, think drill Sargent vs gentle encourager, using a quiz. Speaking of quizzes, almost every day you are quizzed on what they are teaching you or challenge your assumptions. They are simple and just make sure you are learning. They do not count for anything and just serve as a psychological tool. You also get assigned a Group Coach and Support Group, but I am not that far into the program yet (halfway through week 3). The app also uses the thing in your phone (you know) to track your steps or you can connect the device or your choice (i.e. FitBit). I have just been using my phone, but this makes my step count off because I do not keep my phone on me at all times when at home. Your daily step goal starts at 2,000 steps and increases once you hit that goal for several days in a row. Of course, you also log your food. Their database is pretty good and it allows you to create and save dishes to make logging dishes you make or eat regularly much faster. They also guess what you are going to log based on the meal you are logging for and do a pretty good job with the recommendations. This saves a lot of time logging food. Noom classifies food into three categories based on caloric density and divides your calorie budget between the three. It is almost a universal recommendation to only weigh yourself once a week while trying to lose weight, not with Noom. The first thing you do every single morning is to log your weight.

Losing Weight While Breastfeeding

Losing weight while breastfeeding can be tricky and that was my reason (ok, excuse) for putting off losing weight until my son was 7 months old. Now that nursing is thoroughly established, he is eating solids, and his weight is acceptable, I was ok with experimenting to see how my supply would be affected. Initially, I set the weight loss speed all the way to the fastest setting and that made my calorie budget 1250. I tried that for a couple of days and felt awful. I did some research on KellyMom and then adjusted my speed to a couple of notches above the slowest speed to force the program to account for breastfeeding. This increased my calorie budget to 1550. This has been sustainable for me and I have not seen a dip in my milk supply. I think this is because Noom adds calories to your budget for a high step count or for logging exercise. You get half of the calories you burn added to your calorie budget. I am not sure 1550 calories would be enough on active days if not for this adjustment. What works for me may not work for you. Listen to your body and adjust as needed to find the right balance. 

My Experience

I lost 7.2 lbs in the first two weeks. At the end of my two-week trial, I decided not to pay the lump sum ($110) to continue the program for 6 months. Not because it was not working, because it was obviously working, but because I hope to be pregnant within the next 6 months. Counting calories seemed to be the key for me and there are numerous free apps to count calories. I figured I could try to continue with the program using a free app. So, I proceeded to cancel. Note: To cancel, you have to message your Goal Specialist. Doing this triggers an automatic response with a link to cancel. The link takes you to a page that asks you why your canceling, etc. After I answered the questions, I was offered a month by month plan at a reduced rate ($19/mo). This obviously took away my excuse not to do it and was less than a dollar more per month. No brainer really. I figured the accountability of paying for it would help me stay committed to the program. What has been most motivating for me (not most effective like logging food) has been weighing every day. Seeing how a bad day of eating affects my weight graph usually makes me realize it was not worth it and encourages better decisions in the future. I do not expect to continue losing weight at this rate, but it has been a nice motivational jump start. I have not told my husband that I am working this hard on my weight while he is gone this month. I’m hoping to surprise him by losing 10 pounds. Let’s hope he notices! Ha.

Conclusion
If you need to lose weight and need motivation, accountability, and guidance to get there, Noom may be a good option for you. Since the goal of Noom is to create a lifestyle, not just drop weight quickly, this may work for you if your attempts in the past have not been lasting. Like anything else, it only works if you do the work, but Noom does make it easier to do the work. If you are a fitness junkie who survives on kale and water and exercises 5 times a day, you probably do not need this. It’s great for moms, and others, who need a little help to stay focused on their goals while taking care of others all day. With the two-week free trial, you really do not have much to lose to give it a shot. I hope it works for you, too. Sign up here.

Tips for Using Noom While Breastfeeding

1. Listen to your body. You should be able to tell if you are not eating enough. Do not ignore this feeling. Adjust your weight loss speed setting to give yourself more calories to account for the extra calories you burn breastfeeding. Read this article on KellyMom for guidelines to safely lose weight breastfeeding.

2. Tell your coach you are breastfeeding. My coach sent me a link about using Noom while breastfeeding and was understanding.

3. Weigh yourself at the same “time” each day. If you weigh yourself before and after your first feed in the morning, you get very different results. So, be consistent. I weigh after my first feed in the morning (except the one time I weighed before and realized that was a bad idea).

4. Protein is your best friend. Hard boiled eggs. Canned tuna (in water). Turkey slices. As a mama, having time to prepare food is a challenge. These 3 easy sources of protein will help you get started while you figure out what works best for you.

5. Try comfort food hacks. I figured out that if you add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon heavy cream in a frying pan with a prepared package of either zucchini noodles or riced cauliflower and then add some spices it tastes rich and cheesy and wonderful all for less than 200 calories.

If you decide to give Noom a try, I would love to hear how it works for you!

Want to read more? Check out my posts on breastfeeding and postpartum recovery

 

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