Disclaimer: This is my experience with the Noom program/app. Your mileage may vary. No one sue me, please.
I have a love/hate relationship with my body, specifically my weight.
Several years ago, I decided to lose weight. I started using Myfitnesspal and tried counting calories. It was fine, but I didn’t seem to be losing weight very quickly. I switched to Weight Watchers (WW for the newbies), which some friends were doing, with success. Ultimately, I lost about 30 lbs—the lowest weight I’ve been in a long time.
Several years and a few mental health issues later, I’m close to the heaviest I’ve ever been. My doctor didn’t say it to my face, but she used the word obese in my notes. More specifically, obese: when you are overweight. Very helpful. I also had a previous doctor point out that I’d gained quite a bit of weight back in the past year. Then she flipped over my chart, drew a circle, and drew smaller circles inside.
“This is your plate. This section should be vegetables…”
I tuned her out at this point. I should have told her to f off, honestly, but hindsight, 20/20, etc. I ended up switching doctors.
Two months ago when I went in for a routine medication check, my blood pressure was high. Really high. Pre-hypertension level high. I guess that spooked me, because I decided to try to lose weight again.
I’d been seeing ads for Noom on Instagram and on tv, so I decided to sign up for a free trial. The program is based on cognitive behavior therapy, which seems to be a good fit for me, at least when it comes to talk therapy. I tried it for five weeks and focused on exercise as well as eating healthier. I lost five pounds. Good start. Except I’ve realized something: tracking every single food that goes in my mouth makes my anxiety even worse.
Noom uses an odd system of classifying foods: green foods (fruits, vegetables, things that are generally good for you); yellow foods (not great but not awful, have these in moderation); and you guessed it, red foods (basically anything that I’d actually want to eat in reality). Then they contradict themselves by saying that there’s no such thing as a good food or a bad food. After telling me that foods are red, yellow, and green. As in stop, yield, and go? Color me confused.
Noom uses a lot of therapy-based articles, which I loved at first. Until the articles became super technical and started throwing around scientific terms that I in no way understood. The articles are written in a very cutesy way that overuses hashtags far too often, but in the beginning I found the information helpful. Now, it’s just too much to keep up with.
Then there’s the group. I’ve never been a joiner—there’s a reason I used to do the online Weight Watchers program—but I gave it a try. The group annoyed me to no end. The leader was appropriately motivational, but the others in the group didn’t seem to understand the concept of keeping topics threaded. So many random comments and no way to keep track of which conversation we were meant to be having. I kind of gave up on the group when the leader merged two groups into one in an effort to keep everyone motivated. Coincidentally, this merge occurred after I noticed a lot of comments from people expressing their frustration with slow or no weight loss.
Everyone is assigned a goal specialist, who is different from the group leader. This person works with you one-on-one. I liked my goal specialist just fine, but didn’t really feel compelled to continue the program just because of her (encouraging enough as she was).
Long story short, I’m cancelling Noom. Well, it will be cancelled after my first four-month billing period is over, which I’m now realizing is a pretty sneaky way to do your billing. So now I’m stuck with this app and program that I’m no longer using because food tracking makes me a frantic person and does nothing to help my already bad anxiety.
So what next? I don’t really know, but programs like Weight Watchers and Noom just aren’t for me.