Since the beginning of the year I have been on a weightless tear. As of the writing of this post, I am down over 30 pounds and my lab work is phenomenal. Literally every one of my labs was normal or as close to normal from the changes I made so far.
I have no one to blame but myself for my predicament but I decided to do something about it before I was put on blood pressure medicine and cholesterol medicine. One thing I had a hard time with as, I am older and where before I could just work out hard and start losing weight, it just wasn’t working for me. Instead my wife saw a commercial for Noom and I told her I would try it out with her.
Having someone in your household that can participate and support you in your journey is one key to success in any program. And her success has been as good as mine with her down almost 25 pounds to date.
When you see the commercials you will see it is mainly women they are targeting the program to, so the question you might have is, does it work for men, and as a man, what are your thoughts on the program. So lets go over my take on the program, and see if its something you should check out. Even if you are on the fence, they do have a 14 day trial which I recommend trying.
Pros of Noom
I like that is not something like a point based system or where you have to order food. They are ultimately trying to teach you how to eat and how to look at food, hunger and doubt. Spend 10 minutes a day reading what they have to say, make your steps and log your food and you will make progress.
They have someone that checks in on you and answers questions for you. They also have a group participation but to be honest I never used the group once. For those that need external help it might be useful but for us, we didn’t use it. Instead, because we did it together, we were able to bounce ideas and needs off of each other.
I like that you can and actually have to run it through your phone since your smartphone is almost always with you. You track your meals, your weight and even your steps as the system interfaces with your phones step meter.
They emphasize the idea of calorie density to help you lose weight. Take a cup of broccoli versus a cup of pasta. The cup of broccoli has 30 calories versus the cup of pasta alone having over 200. Both fill your stomach the same amount.
They don’t tell you what you can or can not eat. They just want you to be aware of what you are taking in. So if you need that ice cream after dinner, that is fine, but maybe have a quarter cup versus eating right out of the container and going crazy. This is really useful for those that just have a hard time with food restrictions.
They label foods as Green, Yellow and Red. This is a simple way to make you think about food. Red foods might be maple syrup, ice cream and cake. In some ways they encourage you to have some red foods. Again, their thing is not about telling you what you can and can not eat, but making you acutely aware of what you are eating.
Over all the system is designed to teach you to be self sufficient which I think is the best way to go about it. Unlike other systems where they try and draw you in with continuing to pay over and over, the goal from Noom seems to be to train you so you don’t need them anymore. I can’t help but really appreciate this approach.
Cons of Noom
So it is very targeted towards women and you can tell in how they write and the thought process. It deals a lot with emotions and examples are heavily targeted towards women (I don’t have a favorite pair of heels for example).
The food logging system is not as sophisticated or detailed as other food logging system. The color classification system is one I had a lot of issues with. In some cases, the exact same product would be green in one instance, and yellow in the second. And there was a lot of stuff that just wasn’t in the system but I am sure as they grow, it will fill out more and more.
The biggest issue I had from a food perspective was things that many people would consider good (known as green items) that I thought were not. As an example, my wife wanted yogurt sometimes. High sugar low fat yogurts were considered green while higher fat, lower sugar yogurts were considered yellow and even in some cases red. But we were trying to be cautious of added sugar so I had to convince my wife the higher fat, lower sugar yogurt would keep her fuller longer and not cause sugar rushes and spikes. In addition, some of the high processed packaged food was still considered yellow or even green.
All in all I noticed the classifications seemed to push a lower fat, higher sugar diet and could give folks a false impression that they are eating foods that will help them, which could be causing them issues in their weigh loss journey. Again, this is what worked for us and many people have no issues with the food classification system.
What we did
I had a lot of control over our diet and more control over the exercise regiment. While we started out with just 2,500 steps a day, we now walk daily more than 12,000 steps which can be between 3 and 5 miles a day. I also lift weights twice a week with compound lifts and this really spikes my weigh loss, makes me feel better and look better.
And while I appreciated the food classification system, I ultimately opted for what many would consider a quasi-modified paleo type diet. We literally quit eating processed food outside of peanut butter (natural skippy) and crackers at night. We hardly ever have noodles anymore, bread really only when we go out and rice on a few occasions.
Other than that, lots of chicken, lots of shrimp and other seafood. I would make cauliflower rice and flavor it, lots of frozen vegetables and lots of fruit. I had steak from time to time but tried for New York strips instead of rib eyes.
Lunch for me included a ton of home made chicken vegetable soup. No not canned, make it yourself as you can control exactly what is going in your soup. No noodles for us. I have left a link below to my ebook that tells you some of my food items.
Breakfast consisted of eggs and sometimes quaker oats with some real maple sugar. I also didn’t hold back on good fats. This included European butters, olive oil and unrefined coconut oil.
And yes, we even have deserts. Sometimes we split a scoop of ice cream or splurge when we go to a nicer restaurant, but either way, we are not denying ourselves pleasures.
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Results from Noom
The results speak for themselves including lower weight (34 pounds as of writing this), great clinical numbers (doctor literally said, “see you in a year, keep doing what ever you are doing”) and I had some really interesting positive experiences as well. We are eating, infinitely better, yet spending less money. the food we are eating tastes sooo good. And when we fall off the wagon and go to a cheap processed food place, we end up being unfulfilled. Some of the places we used to go to, we haven’t been back in months because they just don’t fulfill us.
Obviously clothes fit better, I can see muscular definition but there have been other things as well. I spend more time with my wife talking as we walk. We are discovering new restaurants and parks we would normally just drive by and not see. Oh and driving less means I am putting gas in the car about once every 6 weeks now. I sleep better, don’t snore and my wife asthma has cleared up. Even the dog has lost weight.
Not everything has been on the up and up. We both developed sciatica, joint and back issues which required my wife to go to physical therapy. So stretching is key. Also favorite clothes no longer fit.
Should you use Noom or something else
From Noom’s perspective, we should be considered a rousing success. They say people lose on average 18 pounds, but with my 33 and going and my wife’s 25 and going, we are skewing that average weigh loss even higher. If you have struggled getting weight off, worried about going on medicines, then I say give it a try. The cost is relatively low considering what the co-pay on medicines alone would be. And if you are not sure, they even have a 14 day trial. It is how I started. Just click one of the banners to go over.
My only advice is to take from the app, what works for you. Not all the diet suggestions worked for me so I changed it up. You can do the same. The key thing is to be mindful of what you are eating. That is the key thing.
Now if you are broke and just can’t afford Noom right now, then give something like LoseIt on the app store a try. We are playing around with it in anticipation of our 6 month journey being done.
Below this post you will see a link to get my resource to help you alone. It includes a few go to recipes we used as well as a shopping list of items to help you out.. You will just need to enter your email and the ebook will be emailed to you.
So what do you think? Have you tried Noom? Curious about it? Let me know your thoughts.