Noom is a popular weight loss program that focuses on making long-term lifestyle changes to support sustainable weight loss. Noom coaches users to adopt healthier eating habits through a customized food logging system and one-on-one coaching.
With Noom, no foods are strictly off limits. However, the program encourages users to make smart choices by categorizing foods based on calorie density. Understanding if you can eat anything on Noom requires looking at how the program approaches healthy eating.
How Noom Categorizes Food
Rather than forbid certain foods, Noom uses a traffic light system to categorize foods based on calorie density. Calories measure the energy content in foods. Calorie density looks at calories relative to serving size or weight.
– Green foods have the lowest calorie density. Examples are non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins.
– Yellow foods have moderate calorie density. Examples are starches, proteins, dairy, dried fruit, nut butters.
– Red foods have the highest calorie density. Examples are fried foods, sweets, oils, butter, cheese.
Noom recommends filling your plate primarily with green foods. Yellow foods are okay in moderation. Red foods should be limited.
This approach aims to help users identify lower calorie options for satiating meals. You can eat anything, but are coached to select more greens, some yellows, and very little red.
Why Noom Uses This System
Noom categorizes foods this way for several reasons:
– Encourages eating more low calorie density foods shown to aid weight loss. Greens like fruits and vegetables provide fewer calories per bite. Eating more greens can help decrease overall calorie intake.
– Discourages overeating high calorie density foods. Reds like sweets, oils, and fried dishes pack a lot of calories per gram. Limiting reds makes it easier to reduce excess calories.
– Allows for flexibility and moderation. With no strict “off-limit” foods, the system allows room for personal preferences and real-world eating.
– Promotes mindfulness. Categorizing foods prompts conscious decision-making around food choices. This mindfulness can lead to healthier habits.
– Focuses on long-term change. By avoiding “forbidden” foods, Noom sets users up for more sustainable, maintainable eating patterns for the long haul.
How Strict You Need to Be
Noom coaches users to emphasize greens, be mindful of yellows, and limit reds. But how strict do you need to be within this framework?
The short answer is: it depends on your goals. Here are some guidelines based on what you aim to achieve with Noom:
– For faster weight loss: Be stricter with reds. Limit to a few servings per week at most.
– For gradual weight loss: Eat reds sparingly, a few servings 2-3 times per week.
– For weight maintenance: Enjoy reds in moderation. Aim for balance of greens, yellows, and a few reds daily.
– For lifestyle change: Don’t stress if you eat reds. Focus on crowding your plate with nourishing greens and protein-rich yellows.
– For nutritional needs: Listen to your body’s cravings and hunger cues. Make room for red foods if your body asks for them.
Noom is designed to be adaptable. How closely you adhere to the color categories depends on your health context and goals. Focus on lasting behavioral changes over perfectionism.
Making Smart Substitutions
When a red food temptation strikes, Noom recommends making a smart substitution to satisfy the craving with fewer calories. Here are some examples:
|Baked veggie chips, popcorn, rice cakes
|Baked sweet potato fries, roasted artichoke hearts
|Spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, bean-based pasta
|Frozen banana “ice cream”, frozen Greek yogurt pops
|Baked chicken nuggets or tenders
|Cauliflower pizza crust, flatbread pizza
These swaps provide healthier alternatives that mimic satisfaction of red favorites. Over time, taste preferences adjust to enjoy new options.
While Noom focuses on eating behaviors, adding exercise accelerates weight loss and boosts health.
Aim for a mix of cardio and strength training most days of the week. Even light activities like walking benefit health. Any movement counts.
Try these tips to incorporate fitness:
– Take a walk around the block after meals
– Do online workout videos at home
– Lift weights while you watch TV
– Join a recreational sports league
– Take the stairs whenever you can
– Try activity-based video games
– Join a gym close to home or work
– Schedule exercise time like any other appointment
– Set reminders to move throughout the day
As fitness increases, so does calorie burn. This means you can be more flexible with red foods in moderation. Noom recognizes exercise is key for sustainable weight management.
Sample Noom Meal Plans
What does eating on Noom actually look like? Here are two sample daily meal plans at 1500 calories:
Sample Day 1
- 1 cup oatmeal made with fat-free milk and topped with 1⁄2 cup blueberries
- 1 hardboiled egg
- Tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato
- 1 medium apple
- 3 ounces baked salmon
- 1 cup roasted broccoli
- 1⁄2 cup brown rice
- 1 part-skim mozzarella cheese stick
- 3⁄4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
Sample Day 2
- 2 scrambled eggs
- 1 slice toast with 1⁄2 avocado
- 1 cup mixed berries
- Roast beef lettuce wraps (3 ounces roast beef in lettuce leaves)
- 1 plum tomato, sliced
- 3 ounces grilled chicken breast
- Baked sweet potato
- 1 cup steamed green beans
- 1 cup edamame in the pods
- 1 ounce pecans
These samples emphasize lean proteins, fruits and veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats. There is room for moderation with proteins like cheese, bread, rice, and nuts. The red foods — avocado and pecans — are limited portions.
What about times when you want a meal centered around red foods? Can you still eat anything?
The answer is yes, keeping these tips in mind:
– Indulge occasionally. Don’t make it an everyday habit.
– Balance with lots of greens. Fill your plate with low calorie veggies to offset the reds.
– Watch portions. Stick to sensible serving sizes instead of overdoing it.
– Savor slowly. Make it more satisfying by eating reds mindfully.
– Get back on track. Resume healthy eating with the next meal or day.
– Consider why you crave this food. Boredom? Stress? Emotions? Lack of planning? Address the root cause.
– Accept it and move on. Don’t judge yourself or feel guilty. Be more mindful next time.
Noom doesn’t expect perfection. An occasional indulgence won’t sabotage progress. By checking in with yourself before and after, red foods become learning experiences versus failures.
The Noom Philosophy
Noom takes an intuitive eating approach called the Three Ms:
Monitor food intake through logging
Modify portions and frequency
Maximize enjoyment of favorites in moderation
This process increases awareness around eating. There are no bad foods, just opportunities to cultivate mindfulness and balance.
Noom provides personalized calories and nutrient targets based on:
– Activity level
– Weight loss speed
Your exact numbers are tailored to you. As long as you meet daily targets through a balance of greens, yellows, and limited reds, you can eat anything on Noom.
Tips for Success on Noom
Here are some tips to get the most out of Noom while still being able to eat a wide variety of foods:
– Focus on progress over perfection. Small steps forward are wins.
– Challenge yourself to try new green foods. Discover healthy preparations you enjoy.
– Look for red/yellow swaps. Mustard instead of mayo on a sandwich. Fruit instead of sugary dessert.
– Bulk meals with low cal veggies. Cauliflower rice instead of white rice. Zucchini noodles instead of pasta.
– Go for nutrient density. Emphasize whole foods that offer nutritional benefits.
– Watch portions of calorie dense foods. Measure servings of nuts, oils, cheese, to stay mindful.
– Minimize empty calorie foods. Limit processed snacks, sugary drinks, refined carbs.
– Keep treats special. Reserve them for celebrations or carefully planned splurges.
– Stay hydrated. Drink water as your primary beverage to manage hunger.
– Plan ahead. Prep healthy snacks and meals so you’re less tempted by convenience reds.
– Forgive lapses. Don’t let imperfect days turn into surrender. Get back on track.
Noom gives you the flexibility to eat anything while guiding you to choose foods aligned with your health goals most of the time. By categorizing foods based on calorie density, the program promotes lasting habits through moderation and balance. While occasional red food indulgences are allowed, the goal is to emphasize filling, nutritious greens as your new normal. Noom provides personalization, education and support to help you determine how to healthfully incorporate all foods. With smart guidelines and mindful eating, you can eat anything on Noom while achieving sustainable weight loss and wellness.