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Noom's Experts Explain How Behavior Change Helps You Get Healthy

It's Not Just About the Numbers on the Scale


It's important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.

After more than a year of being cooped up indoors, you and your friends might be ready to take advantage of everything that summer has to offer.

The American Psychological Association's February 2021 Stress in America poll stated that "many adults report undesired changes to their weight, increased drinking, and other negative behavior changes that may be related to an inability to cope with prolonged stress" since the pandemic started.

The poll found that 42 percent of American adults experienced undesired weight gain, with the average weight gain at 29 pounds, while 10 percent of adults reported a weight gain of 50 pounds. If you picked up some unhealthy coping mechanisms during the pandemic, you're not alone. And if you want to break these habits, you don't have to do it by yourself. Noom could help. Noom is a digital health platform on a mission to help people live healthier lives through behavior change.

Noom: A Different Approach to Wellness


Noom isn't a fad diet or new workout craze—it's a totally different approach to health. "Noom uses a multi-system approach that allows Noomers to go at their own pace and choose the level of support they need," Stefanie Masterson, a Noom coach and manager, wrote in an email interview with Newsweek. "This approach includes one-on-one support, an engaging curriculum packed with information about mindfulness and goal setting and a peer support group."

Noom's curriculum is based on psychological principles, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to help users develop healthier habits and make beneficial behavioral changes to improve the quality of their lifestyles for the long term. According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive behavioral therapy involves individuals learning skills to "change their own thinking, problematic emotions and behavior."

That could be the key difference between Noom and other health platforms out there. Noom isn't just about weight loss in the moment; it's focused on helping you adopt sustainable healthy habits over the long term and utilizes behavior change and psychological principles to achieve this.

"Starting and sticking to new habits is difficult for all of us, often because of negative thoughts, such as, 'I will never be able to do this' or 'What if I fail?' can be playing on a loop in the background of our minds," noted Dr. Andreas Michaelides, chief of psychology at Noom, in an email interview with Newsweek. "At Noom, we focus on addressing the part of a behavior chain that may be unhelpful and contributing to you being stuck."

But don't worry, this isn't school. Noom breaks down these concepts into bite-size pieces through engaging activities. Danielle Cywka, a Noom coach, explained in an email interview with Newsweek that the curriculum is "user-friendly, humorous and also universal." She elaborated, "Noom slowly introduces the steps to behavior change through self-reflective activities, such as designing your wellness vision or reflecting on your eating patterns."

You'll also be matched with a peer group and coach to help keep you motivated and on track to reach your goals. "With a peer support group, you can share your struggles, wins, exchange new ideas and have a community with you every step of the way," Masterson noted.

Michaelides added that coaches provide invaluable support to help keep you on track. "Each week, the coach works with the individual to create a personalized action plan based on their big picture goal, current progress and individual life circumstances," he wrote. "During these weekly check-ins, the coach and the Noomer take a look at how the previous week's plan went, where they can improve, what they want to start working on or continue to work on, and their confidence levels in being able to complete these short-term action plans."

Noom gets to know you through an onboarding questionnaire that looks at your basic demographics and specifics regarding your relationships with food and exercise. It utilizes this information, along with the user's big picture goal, to predict how long it could take you to reach your wellness goals. Then Noom helps you build a personalized plan based on your responses to the questionnaire and successful strategies from other users with similar lifestyles and habits.

At this point, you might be thinking that Noom sounds too good to be true. But Noom isn't out here promoting its product without just cause; it's also consistently evaluating its effectiveness through rigorous scientific studies. What have researchers found on the efficacy of behavior change therapy and Noom as a holistic health platform?


Noom conducted a study published in 2021 regarding the effectiveness of following Noom's food categorization program based on calorie density and self-reported nutritional factors. Noom categorized foods according to calorie density (high, medium or low). Meanwhile, the mobile app encouraged self-reporting nutritional factors such as fruit and vegetable intake, dietary quality, nutrition knowledge, and food choice. Individuals were evaluated at two checkpoints: the fourth month and the 18th month of the study. At the first checkpoint during the fourth month, 3,261 participants were evaluated.

At the 18-month mark, 148 of them were still part of the Noom program and were invited to take a one-time survey. Compared to individuals who reported a smaller amount of weight loss at both checkpoints, participants who reported higher weight loss said they seemed to be eating lower proportions of high-calorie food and higher proportions of low-calorie foods. The study also suggests that those participants with higher weight loss at 18 months seemed to have a better grasp of nutritional choices, resulting in a higher intake of fruits and vegetables and improved diet choices.

If you want to hear how this can be concretely applied to a Noomer's personal experience, just ask 36-year-old blogger Martha Cameron from Rolla, Missouri. Before starting Noom, she said her relationships with food and exercise were "very black and white." Foods were starkly labeled as either healthy or unhealthy, and she thought of working out strictly in terms of burning off calories on days she overindulged.

"Noom guided me away from a diet mentality, where foods are 'good' or 'bad' and steered me towards a more relaxed attitude of losing weight on my own terms while eating the foods I love," Martha said in an email interview with Newsweek. After a year and a half of using Noom, she said, "There's zero fear about weight regain because my life, emotions and thoughts about foods have completely changed."

If you—like Martha and so many others—want to ditch diet culture and gain a healthier relationship with food and exercise, Noom could help with that.

Are you interested in getting healthy with Noom? Click here to start the onboarding questionnaire now.

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