This app turns your phone into your weight-loss cheerleader.

By Kendall Wenaas

As frustrating as it is, if you want to lose weight, there’s no quick fix. Which is why Noom, the latest trendy weight loss program, focuses on lifestyle changes rather than giving up entire food groups overnight.

To get started, you simply fill out a survey with your ideal weight, followed by your current height, weight, age, and other factors like whether you live in a city or the suburbs and what kind of meals you usually eat. You then download the Noom app, where you can track your food and exercise, log your blood pressure and blood sugar, and read up on Noom’s database of articles on nutrition and psychology.

Besides education, a big part of the program has to do with goal setting, says Andreas Michaelides, PhD, Noom’s Chief Psychology Officer. “Say you want to lose 25 lbs.,” he says. “Why do you want to lose 25 lbs.? We want you to connect with that reason and really understand your why.” Once you’ve set this super goal, you then break it into smaller, more attainable goals. “If your big goal is the only thing you’re thinking and caring about, eventually you’re going to plateau and get discouraged,” he says. That’s where the coaches come in. Each user is assigned a coach who’s been trained by Noom to help you set S.M.A.R.T. goals, and then check in with you regularly.

Your coach may or may not be a registered dietitian, but he or she isn’t there to give you nutrition advice. “Your coach is there to help you in that area of ‘I know what I have to do, but I can’t do it on my own,’” Michaelides says. They can help you realize what your triggers are (for example, your Friday night nacho craving might have been triggered by your coworker serving margaritas every Friday afternoon) or what’s motivating you (maybe going up for seconds at weekend brunch is your coping mechanism for your weekday stress).

You’re also added to a group of other users, so that you get support from other people on similar weight loss journeys by chatting in real-time.

Noom costs $129 for four months—and, if you’re adhering to the program, you should see hopefully see some results by then, Michaelides says.

Advertisement