Before you read this week’s diary of a fat man, let me just check that you had a look at last my last entry about Noom (iOS | Android), because everything I said there about the app’s functionality holds true. Its intuitive interface and evolving list of my personal habits, continue to improve. It has legitimately helped me improve my habits and reawakened my desire to be fit and healthy. My positive impressions left me wanting to dive deeper into Noom’s features, which is exactly what I have done this week – right up to the point of the subscription purchase page.
Moving beyond the base functions of simple data entry and tracking, takes you into Noom’s deeper philosophy – it is not a diet app but a lifestyle coach. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to change your food habits, there is a good chance that it will recommend you eat different foods and less of them, but it won’t prescribe your meals. Instead it takes a holistic approach, with the goal of altering your health far beyond reaching a desired weight.
To aid in this goal the free app asks daily questions and lays out information to reinforce the right kind of thinking about eating and exercise. In many cases I was already aware of the information it passed on, but some of it did certainly remind me of forgotten wisdom and points out more of Noom’s underlying principles.
The most informative of these was learning just how Noom categorized foods. Rather than breaking things down into the traditional groups of the food pyramid, it color coded them Red, Yellow, or Green. As you would expect (at a base level), green is better for you than yellow, and red is pretty poor. But that doesn’t mean a day of green is well balanced or filling, so Noom recommends that you eat a good mix (around 50% green, 35% yellow, and 15% red). This may not reveal all of the nutritional information, but it does provide a guideline that is easy to follow.
That’s the food, but there is also a good range of other tips to help you change your lifestyle. These are sometimes words of motivation, while others set simple challenges like getting off the bus one stop early to walk a little further to work one day.
One of my favorite of these tidbits was not to push yourself too hard with physical activity. Surprisingly good advice for me, as I have perhaps launched myself back into the gym a little too hard in the last weeks, and have started to feel the effects. The reason for this call for moderation again plays back into the idea of Noom not being a diet, but a lifestyle. If your regimen isn’t sustainable (and injury free) and you burnout and give up, which ultimately has worse impact on your overall health.
This was all so good, I thought “why not, let’s subscribe”. I clicked the Go Pro option and was lead through a number of well-targeted questions to start constructing my personal plan (and get me more invested) before delivering me to the payment options. The basic monthly subscription is $11.99 ($59.99 for the year) which feels a tad steep without more evidence of how the upgrade would benefit me (particularly as the base app currently offers me more than enough). The end result: I am sticking with the free option for the moment.
Noom has the capability of offering a positive long term change to your lifestyle. Perhaps, if you need the extra support and more tailored help, then the premium subscription may make sense – but until you reach a plateau in your weight loss, it’s hard to recommend the subscription.
Next week it is back to my usual two week loop of exercise and food tracking apps. That will be starting with Runtastic Road Bike Tracker (Android|iOS) – so I can track my ride home each day. And then the following week… who knows. It’s going to be hard to and find something better than Noom, but I will try.
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