If you're looking to change your eating habits and lose weight, you might already be interested in two of the most well-known programs out there: WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, and Noom, Noom, a newer approach to weight loss. While WW has been a surefire choice for more than 50 years, using an easy points system and a fun community to motivate members, Noom uses psychology and behavioral analysis to change your relationship with food. Both plans work efficiently, and neither require you to eliminate whole categories of food from your diet, so deciding between the two is all about the fine print. Ahead, find everything you need to know about these programs.
What Is WW's Approach to Weight Loss?
WW assigns point values to foods based on their nutritional content, which you'll likely find to be a simpler way of tracking your intake. You get started by signing up on the website or WW app and taking a personal assessment about your eating habits, lifestyle, food preferences, goals, and level of physical activity. Once that's done, you'll be assigned a program color: blue, green, or purple, which vary in terms of the number of daily points and zero-point foods allowed on the plan.
Once signup is done, you'll be given a personalized amount of daily SmartPoints to fit your needs, making it simple to track what you eat and meet your goals. Each type of food gets a set point value, allowing you to total up your meals and snacks at the end of each day. The variety of zero-point foods, as well as the extra weekly points WW factors in, makes this a program that is understanding, flexible, and less restrictive than most. The WW app is great, too. It allows you to log your meals and physical activity, and the app includes a points-integrated barcode scanner for effortless grocery shopping, tons of recipes, free workouts, and live coaching. Plus, you can take to social media to get motivated by WW's huge community.
Depending on the plan you choose, you can guide yourself using the WW app, or have a specialized coach that calls you once a week and keeps you on track.
What Is Noom's Approach to Weight Loss?
The Noom system is based on the psychology behind eating habits, with the goal of changing each member's relationship with food. So, unlike other weight-loss programs and apps, Noom prizes being less restrictive and getting to the root of food patterns, which can then lead to weight loss. To get started, you'll head to Noom's app or website and complete a personal assessment similar to WW's, focusing on your habits and attitudes in relation to food and exercise. Once you're finished with that, you'll be assigned a coach and a recommended daily calorie budget.
Unlike WW, Noom does not have a points system, but it rates foods on a scale from green to yellow to red, with red being the most calorie dense. The app guides members towards the best foods to eat, checks in on their emotional state, and even keeps motivation up through daily weigh-ins, interaction with other users, and tons of educational classes about nutrition and health. Focusing on consistency and education, your assigned coach will check in on you every few days to assess your progress and how you're feeling. On the app, you'll be given an easy daily checklist with what to read for the day, and even quizzes about nutrition. The app also includes recipes, a barcode scanner similar to WW's, a one-on-one coaching experience, and the ability to log your daily food intake. However, it's important to note that it does not include workouts.
Noom will alert you to the best times to eat in order to maximize weight loss, keeping fullness and your individual metabolism in mind. With Noom, it's all about balance: the program will give you a certain amount of daily calories depending on your vitals, goals, and how fast or slow you want to lose weight. That calorie budget is split between green, yellow, and red foods, making it simple to make better food choices.
What Are the Price Points For WW and Noom?
WW allows members to choose the right program for their individual needs, offering four different plans:
- Digital: For $3.30 a week, you get access to WW's app, which includes food tracking, a barcode scanner, workouts, recipes, live coaching, members-only community support, challenges, and a 24/7 coach chat.
- Digital 360: For $4.23 a week, WW offers app access plus next-level support from a team of coaches and the WW community. These extras include live and on-demand experiences, podcasts, and more interaction with the WW community to keep you motivated.
- Unlimited Workshops + Digital: For $5.96 a week, you'll get everything the Digital 360 plan offers, plus motivational virtual or in-person workshops with your WW coach and a local WW group.
- 1-on-1 Coaching + Digital: For $9.23 a week, you will have access to the app, community support, and a personalized coach who's tailored to your needs. Your coach will help you build your plan, and get to know you over time with weekly check-in calls.
Noom takes a different approach, offering members just one kind of membership plan. The app is free, and you can do a 14-day trial for $0.50 to decide whether you want to commit to the program. After the trial, Noom costs $59 a month, but you can save by signing up for more months at a time:
- Monthly auto-recurring plan: $59
- Two-month auto-recurring plan: $99
- Three-month auto-recurring plan: $129
- Four-month auto-recurring plan: $139
- Five-month auto-recurring plan: $149
- Six-month auto-recurring plan: $159
- Seven-month auto-recurring plan: $169
- Eight-month auto-recurring plan: $179
- Annual auto-recurring plan: $199
What Are the Main Differences Between WW and Noom?
As mentioned above, WW uses a SmartPoints system that assigns foods point values that you can add up at the end of the day, while Noom allots members a set number calories and color codes foods to steer you towards the best choices for weight loss. Both programs are individualized to your needs, and compared to other diets, they aren't terribly restrictive. WW keeps things flexible through zero-point foods and extra weekly points, while Noom prefers to simply guide members to the healthiest foods, and stresses that members don't have to be perfect with their food choices.
WW gives members more flexibility when it comes to choosing their plan, allowing them to pay more for a coach-guided program, while Noom offers just one, more expensive plan that automatically includes coaching. Both programs have functional, interactive apps with tons of features like barcode scanners for easy grocery shopping, recipes, and group support. That being said, Noom does not include workouts like WW does, and Noom takes a more educational, lesson-based approach.
All in all, both WW and Noom are easy-to-use programs that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals. If you're interested in lessons related to the psychology behind your food habits, and learning more about nutrition, Noom might just be your best bet. However, if you get more excited about community motivation, would like to try out a unique points system (instead of thinking about calories), and would like a cheaper option than Noom, try WW. Both of these programs have proven to be effective in helping members achieve weight loss, and do so with a similar no-judgment, flexible philosophy.