Both Noom and Weight Watchers are two highly popular weight-loss programs. But which one of them is the most effective and the one that will help you achieve your fitness goals?
To help you discover that, I have written this comparative review. But first, I must talk about the content of each of these two programs, the benefits they provide, their prices, pros, cons, and more.
- 1 The Main Differences between Noom and Weight Watchers
- 2 Noom vs Weight Watchers – What Are They
- 3 What Is Noom?
- 4 What Is Weight Watchers?
- 5 Noom vs Weight Watchers – Pricing Options
- 6 Noom vs Weight Watchers – Weight-Loss Efficacy
- 7 Noom vs Weight Watchers – Mobile Apps
- 8 Noom vs Weight Watchers – Food Guides
- 9 Noom vs Weight Watchers – Pros and Cons
- 10 Main Alternatives to Noom and Weight Watchers
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions about Noom and WW
- 12 Bottom Line
The Main Differences between Noom and Weight Watchers
- Noom has a color-coding system as its food tracking method, whereas Weight Watchers uses the well-known SmartPoints system;
- Noom is available in numerous countries but only in 5 different languages (only those countries that have access to either Google Play Store or Apple App Store), whereas Weight Watchers is available in more than 15 countries;
- Noom, in terms of education, sends daily prompts to help users complete the lessons, whereas WW has plenty of educational resources on both their website and mobile app.
Noom vs Weight Watchers – What Are They
Weight Watchers (WW) and Noom were created to help users lose weight by moderating their food consumption while also learning how to make the best dietary choices that keep them full without making them gain weight.
What Is Noom?
Noom is a very popular yet pretty new weight-loss program. It focuses on the users’ psychology that determines their food choices and eating habits. Once you’ve entered the program, you will have to check your weight on a daily basis to find out if and how your weight fluctuates. That occurs because, besides food, there are other factors that can influence someone’s weight.
Due to the Noom app, users can also keep track of their food intake. According to the program’s representatives, no food is totally removed from the user’s diet. Still, this program keeps your focus on healthier eating choices. You will be able to do that by grouping foods into three categories, each with its own color code:
- Green includes veggies, fruits, low-fat dairy, and whole grains;
- Yellow includes beans, avocados, lean meat, eggs, and non-whole grains;
- Red consists of sugary foods, salad dressings, fats, nuts, seeds, red meats, fried foods, and salty snacks.
The program encourages members to consume foods in a balanced manner from all three color categories each day. However, yellow foods must be consumed in moderation, while red foods should be eaten in small amounts. At least, you don’t have to totally avoid certain foods.
Then, each day, you will receive a short yet engaging lesson regarding proper food choices, healthy eating habits, and even psychology. All these will help users understand the reasons behind their current food options.
Finally, there’s a weekly check-up that’s done with the participation of a Noom goal expert. These people are normally health coaches and some of them might even be certified personal trainers or registered dietitians. Based on your needs, these check-ins can be either brief or comprehensive.
What Is Weight Watchers?
Weight Watchers is currently known as WW. It has a long history, being created in the 1960s. The program has gained a lot of popularity and it is considered a successful weight-loss program by many people. It has suffered several changes over the years, but it still focuses on the system of Smart Points.
On the WW program, each food or drink receives a certain point value. Users are then offered a daily budget of points. No food is off-limits. However, the system encourages members to opt for foods that are high in protein and low in calories. So, basically, you’re supposed to choose more nutritious foods.
Recently, the company has come up with a brief assessment in which users are assigned a color that can be blue, purple, or green. These colors will determine your daily SmartPoints budget. Those with lower daily allotments have larger lists of foods with zero points. Let’s discuss this in more detail:
- Blue – a moderate budget with a moderate number of points; foods with zero points include veggies, fruits, yogurt, and lean protein;
- Green – this is the color for higher points budgets; foods with zero points consist of non-starchy veggies and fruits;
- Purple – a lower-point budget with zero-point foods that consist of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, whole-wheat pasta, and yogurt.
According to the company’s experts, it seems that users from all the categories mentioned above can lose approximately the same number of pounds. On the other hand, I couldn’t find very clear details regarding the factors that influence where a certain user will be placed in. Luckily, users can switch their current category and go into another group, anytime they want.
WW Tiered Plans
In addition to the things I’ve described above, Weight Watchers also provides different plans, each with its own degree of support:
- Digital – this is the basic plan; one that offers limited access to the company’s live support;
- Digital and coaching – this plan includes multiple benefits such as unlimited access to a personal coach;
- Digital and workshops – actually, in terms of services, this plan falls in between the other two, offering access to an either in-person or online support group meeting that takes place on a weekly basis.
Regardless of the plan that you opt for, you will be encouraged to weigh yourself once a week.
Noom vs Weight Watchers – Pricing Options
These two weight-loss programs have similar pricing options. One month on the Noom platform costs $59. It is best, though, to opt for a longer membership that comes with lowered prices. For example, 6 months as a Noom member will cost you $159. There’s also an annual plan that’s $199.
By comparison, Weight Watchers provides tiered pricing plans, based on the type of program a user selects. Here are the WW prices:
- $14 per month for the digital plan;
- Around $33 per month for the digital and workshop plan;
- Approximately $55 per month for the digital and coaching plan.
If we were to compare the prices of these two weight-loss programs, I can say that, although they are quite similar, an annual pass that enables you access to Noom is slightly more expensive than WW’s basic digital program. But these prices don’t always stick the same. The companies are known to offer regular promotional discounts.
Noom vs Weight Watchers – Weight-Loss Efficacy
Many users have said that they have lost weight with these two programs. Even scientific evidence seems to support the benefits that WW and Noom can offer to those who want to become fitter and weigh less.
One study has shown that around 78% of the people who have completed the Noom program have lost weight by using the Noom app. Two things contributed to their weight loss the most: weighing themselves on a regular basis and tracking their dinner.
The stricter one follows the program, the more weight he or she loses.
Another study discovered that users of the Weight Watchers program have lost a minimum of 5% of their initial weight. Approximately 6 pounds was the average weight loss per person.
In conclusion, these two weight loss programs seem to be effective and offer good results for most of their users. At least, that’s what happens in the short term.
Noom vs Weight Watchers – Mobile Apps
Noom and WW offer dedicated mobile apps. Both apps are robust and user-friendly. Some of their best features include:
- Tasty yet nutritionally balanced recipes;
- Sleep tracking;
- Access to the program’s online community;
- Food tracking and the possibility of barcode scanning;
- Activity tracking – both apps can be synced with numerous fitness trackers;
- Live support offered by experienced coaches;
- Weight tracking.
Besides all these wonderful features, Noom also provides daily lessons that focus on food habits, how to form healthier habits and psychology. These lessons come in the form of interactive quizzes and articles.
On the other hand, Weight Watchers provides an interesting program known as Wellness Wins. This program represents a powerful incentive that enables users to earn points if they complete certain tasks found in the app. Later on, users can exchange their points for either food donations for people in need or prizes.
Noom app and WW app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices.
Noom vs Weight Watchers – Food Guides
The representatives of these two weight-loss programs say that no food is completely eliminated from a user’s diet. The points system of the Weight Watchers program along with the color-coding method created by Noom will help you opt for the most nutritious and filling foods. These foods will also be low-calorie.
What Foods Can You Eat?
Certain foods recommended by WW as zero-point foods are the same ones as those suggested by Noom as its green food options. The foods I am about to list below can only receive zero points from Noom if the user is subscribed to the Purple plan. On all the other plans, these foods would receive a lower number of points.
According to Noom, the following foods are low-calorie and are high in nutrients. So, they should be included in your daily diet and consumed the most:
- Lean protein – such as tofu and egg whites;
- Fruits – bananas, tomatoes, apples, watermelon, and berries;
- Veggies – zucchini, spinach, broccoli, carrots, onion, salad greens, and bell peppers;
- Carbohydrates – sweet potatoes, whole grains, etc.;
- Dairy – non-fat cheese, non-fat yogurt, plant-based milk;
- Fats – none.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
Those foods that Noom marks as red could be included in the high point category if you’re following the WW program. These foods are very calorie-dense and contain very few nutrients. So, you should eat them in smaller portions and less frequently than other foods:
- Protein – sausages, hamburgers, bacon, seeds, nuts, and fried meats;
- Fruits – fruit juices, jellies, jams, and dried fruits;
- Carbs – cookies, French fries, cakes, potato chips, and pastries;
- Fats – oils and butter;
- Vegetables – fried veggies;
- Dairy – full-fat yogurt, full-fat milk, fatty cheese, and ice cream.
Noom vs Weight Watchers – Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of each of these two weight-loss programs.
- It seems it is a very effective weight-loss program;
- It helps users develop healthier eating habits;
- The program also focuses on the users’ psychology in order for them to learn to love their body;
- With Noom, you will receive support and coaching;
- Once you learn their color-coded system, you will be able to choose the most nutritious foods even if you discontinue the program;
- This diet might lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases;
- Their educational resources are very useful and comprehensive;
- With their app, you can track your meals, daily physical activity, and snacks.
- Foods that are high in fat but not really unhealthy are coded with the color red;
- When it comes to their cancellation policy, I’ve heard several complaints. It seems that many users don’t notice the fact that this is a reoccurring subscription.
- With the WW program, you will learn how to choose healthier foods and change your lifestyle in terms of diet;
- It comes with a community and this social component is an essential part for all those who are struggling with their weight and other body-image issues;
- The app’s trackers are easy to use and let you insert your water and food consumption as well as your daily exercise;
- On the app, you will find thousands of delicious and healthy recipes that you can choose from based on your preferences and dietary needs;
- The app enables you to access many free workouts.
- It can become an expensive program;
- Counting points might become a tedious task;
- For some people, this program could offer too much freedom.
Main Alternatives to Noom and Weight Watchers
There are many other weight-loss programs out there and some of them are very similar to both Noom and WW. Here are those worth considering:
- Nutrisystem – with this program, you will receive personalized coaching that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals. Nutrisystem will also send you many meals and snacks and you will get them directly at your door. This happens every month;
- Mayo Clinic Diet – this diet program created by the Mayo Clinic is world-renowned and backed by science. There are two phases in which you will lose weight but this program focuses mostly on the second phase. Mayo Clinic Diet is very affordable compared to Noom and WW;
- Spark People – with Spark People, you can log all your meals, workouts, and use many interesting tracking tools. The app’s nutrition database is huge. It contains more than two million foods;
- Trim Down Club – this program made by the Trim Down Club is very similar to Noom. With its help, you will soon learn how to stop your cravings and develop better eating and lifestyle habits. This is another affordable alternative to the two programs reviewed today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Noom and WW
Answer: The market is full of many popular weight-loss programs and mobile apps. Some of the well-known ones are Nutrisystem, Mayo Clinic Diet, MyFitnessPal, FatSecret, Piyo, 21 Day Fix, and more.
Answer: There’s a free trial that enables you to access WW’s food trackers, activity tracker, water consumption, and even lets you track your weight fluctuation. There are also guided workouts and meditations. But, once the free trial is over, you will have to pay a monthly or a yearly fee.
Answer: It is worth it as long as the program satisfies and suits your needs and preferences. If you’re willing to commit to this program by consuming the recommended foods, logging your meals in the app, and tracking your exercises, then Noom is definitely useful for you.
So, which is better between these two programs: Noom or WW? The answer isn’t a simple one. It all depends on the things you prefer, your goals, preferences, and needs. So, pay attention to what you are looking for before making a decision.
Regardless of the program you choose, you must follow its guidelines if you want it to be effective. At the same time, though, you should remain open-minded and flexible with yourself. If you prefer a long-term program, then Weight Watchers could be the perfect option for your needs.
In the case in which you want to find out how to make healthier choices when it comes to food and become independent at doing that, then Noom might work better and be more suitable for you.