We get asked all the time, “Does Noom work?” Well, today marks exactly eight months since we started using the Noom weight loss app. Together, we’ve lost a combined total of 126.3 pounds (yes, we count every ounce) and all while traveling regularly. We lost weight while taking a road trip to North Dakota, trying new restaurants in Rochester, Minnesota, and even while sampling foods from 20 different restaurants on a foodie tour in Kansas City, Kansas, including 1889 Pizza pictured below.
Many of you have asked about how we’ve done it. So, we’re taking a few minutes to answer the questions you’ve asked most about our weight loss journey.
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Update on our weight loss journey
As of Nov. 26, 2019, Steve has lost 62.7 pounds and reached his weight loss goal this month. However, he’s kept going just a little this week to pad his numbers in anticipation of Thanksgiving (and gravy). He had previously lost about 55 pounds on program diet 10 years ago, but quickly gained that weight (and more) back.
Ann has struggled with weight most of her adult life. She’s lost weight three other times but could never lose more than 50 pounds. So far on Noom, she has lost 63.6 pounds and reached the half-way mark this month toward her goal of losing 120 pounds.
Q&A about does Noom work?
What have you like most about Noom?
Steve: I like the freedom that it gives me. I can basically eat whatever I want, as long as it is within my calorie budget. I’ve learned some good skills on how to feel full and still eat the foods I crave.
Ann: I love the convenience of not having to go to a meeting, not having to order special foods, and that I get still get to cook my meals (since I enjoy cooking). I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I also like weighing myself every day. I feared the scale for so many years and even put off going to the doctor at times because I didn’t want to weigh in. Noom has shown me the benefits of weighing every day and I do it diligently. We even take a scale with us when we travel. I’ve come to see with my own eyes that my weight fluctuates regularly and I don’t feel defeated anymore when my weight goes up.
Why does Noom work?
Steve: I feel like I’ve been able to understand weight management better. I’ve learned how to implement portion control on my own instead of just purchasing a pre-portioned meal. I’ve also learned how to incorporate real food like fresh produce, lean meats, and even bread into my diet. I don’t rely on processed bars or snacks anymore to get me through the day.
Ann: For the first time in my life, I’m addressing the mental and emotional part of healthy eating and it’s kind of fun. I’m becoming more mindful of what I eat, why I’m eating it, and how it makes me feel. This is also the first time I haven’t felt deprived while losing weight. I still have ice cream at least three days a week and enjoy an occasional glass of red wine.
What has Noom taught you?
Steve: I can be around sweet, crunchy, high calorie foods (I’m talking about peanut M&Ms and cookies here) and not eat them or feel deprived. Noom showed me the importance of exposure to these foods and I gained discipline from it. For instance, Noom encouraged me to take a stroll down the chip and cookie aisles at the grocery store without putting anything in my cart. Not only does that give me exposure, but I also get a few more steps in on my shopping trip.
Ann: Noom has taught me to get over it. Through the short lessons in the app I’ve learned to be mindful of what they call “red foods” (read ice cream and wine) without cutting them out altogether. I’ve learned that a 0.2 lb. weight gain is not a character flaw. And Noom has taught me to practice progress and not perfection.
What are your tips staying healthy while traveling?
Steve: When reading a restaurant menu, pay attention to the cooking methods of the dish. Avoid dishes with descriptions that include the words deep fried, pan fried, candied, and dehydrated. Instead, choose items that contain the words steamed, broiled, or baked.
Ann: Plan ahead. Look at menus before going to a restaurant so you don’t just order what looks good. Pack your own snacks instead of looking for something on the road. I typically wash a big bunch of grapes before we hop in the car. I take them off the vine, count them out (for logging) and put them in a plastic cup. They make a great snack in the car when I get the munchies. I also take fresh fruit, veggies, and flavored water on most car trips. Also, remember that most towns have grocery stores. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to eat fast food.
Does Noom work at chain restaurants?
Steve: Short answer is yes! And most chain restaurants have nutritional information to make it easy. Here’s where we like to eat out.
HuHot – I load up on fresh vegetables and lean meats like chicken and pork. I avoid fatty meats like sausage. For the sauces, I stick to no- or low-calorie ones like garlic and jalapeño broth and I never use the oils. I love that the calories per serving and serving size for each item are listed right on the buffet. HuHot also has a great app where you can build your own meal and check the nutritional information.
Chipotle – I skip the 300-calorie tortilla and get the burrito bowl instead. I usually get brown rice, steak (which actually has fewer calories than the chicken), fajita veggies, salsa, and lots of lettuce. I leave off the sour cream, guacamole, and cheese (don’t hate me). I do love cheese, but it’s not where I choose to spend my calories. Chipotle also has a great nutrition calculator on its website.
Ann: Olive Garden – I love the soup and salad option for lunch or supper. Olive Garden prints the calories for each dish on its menu and offers four soup choices that range from 110-230 calories a serving. We order the salad with fresh parmesan and Olive Garden Light dressing on the side. Then, we measure out about two tablespoons. If I plan ahead and am craving the warm, buttery breadsticks, I ask the server to bring just one and log the extra 140 calories.
Subway – I’ve always liked Subway sandwiches and regularly eat there now. Most of the time I get a 6″ turkey on white with no cheese. I ask for lots of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, pickles, banana peppers, salt, pepper, and grated parmesan. I skip the ranch, mayo, and olive oil and just use yellow mustard for added flavor. My sandwich made that way is about 280 calories.
What are your best tips for losing weight?
Steve: Measure everything you eat and be honest about the amounts. I use a food scale and weigh my meat before each meal. Eight months into this, I still get out a tablespoon and measure my salad dressing every night. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to feel full. Always save calories for the treats you like most. I love ice cream and try to save at least 200 calories a day so I can have a small sweet treat at night.
Ann: Fill up on what Noom calls “green foods” like grapes, oatmeal, shrimp, bell peppers, and broccoli. Don’t deprive yourself. If you crave bread, have bread. If you want a cookie, work it into your weekly plan. Find someone to walk alongside you on this journey. It has been great to have Steve doing this with me, but now that he’s at his goal weight, I’m also enlisting the support of friends to encourage each other along the way.
Does Noom work if you don’t exercise?
Both: With the exception of an occasional walk, we haven’t been exercising. We learned through Noom research that “exercise doesn’t really help with weight loss” (we’re proof). Noom says that “while exercise does help you keep your metabolically active lean muscle tissue alive and well, it really doesn’t move the needle when it comes to weight loss. There are lots of other benefits to regular exercise, but studies show that people who change their diet and exercise versus people who just change their diet lose about the same amount of weight.”
That said, Noom does encourage regular exercise and our next goal is to incorporate more movement into our daily lives for a lot of reasons, including the health benefits. We were introduced to the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program this fall. We have plans to to return to Rochester, Minnesota, next month for a three-day visit to the Healthy Living Program where we hope to learn more about exercises that we can do while maintaining our travel schedule. Wish us luck!
We hope you’ll understand that we are NOT trying to sell you Noom or convince you it’s the greatest weight loss app in the world. Noom does not employ us and this is not a sponsored post. In fact, we’re paying customers. We’re just sharing what’s worked for us, which you are free to take or leave. If you are interested in trying the Noom app, you can click HERE for a discount code for 20% off. While we are not an affiliate of Noom, like any other user who refers another person, we do receive a credit for each referral who continues past the free trial.