Noom vs. Atkins

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Noom vs. Atkins – There are some pretty incredible advances in weight-loss methods and technology, and then there are those old favorites that people turn to when they want to lose weight. The trouble with traditional dieting and weight loss is that it’s challenging to maintain the loss over time. But, the newer technologies can work to help keep you on track, so you lose weight, and you don’t have to worry about keeping it off.

Let’s look at a new weight-loss idea based on AI and an oldy, but goody that is one of the most familiar weight-loss plans of all time.

What is Noom?

Noom is a technology-driven weight-loss app that works with people to educate them on better food choices to promote overall health and weight loss. Noom offers a Healthy Weight Program and a Diabetes Prevention Program.

What is the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins Diet is a plan that started in the 1970s. Dr. Robert Atkins designed the diet based on previous scientific events and experiments. The basis is to eat more fat and many fewer carbs to force the body to use stored fat for energy. A stricter form of Atkins called keto is also used by medical professionals in the treatment of epilepsy and other medical conditions.


Noom vs. Atkins – Company History

Brief History of Noom

Artem Petakov and Saeju Jeong founded Noom in 2008. By March 2020, the company had secured multiple rounds of funding with investments from well-known companies like Sequoia Capital and Samsung. There are Noom offices in New York City, Seoul, and Tokyo.

If you look to the press around Noom, you may find the app referred to as a millennial app. Millennials tend to be hands-on technology users, thus the connection with the Noom app.

Brief History of the Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet is the creation of Dr. Robert Atkins. Dr. Atkins was a cardiologist who, after failing to lose weight he’d gained with traditional methods, chose to dig further into the research of previous doctors into the effect of cutting carbs on weight. The process was already used for people with epilepsy as a treatment, but there were weight-loss results, which interested Atkins.

There is also a time in history that the doctor was concerned about prescribing certain medications for weight loss, like amphetamines. After years of research, Atkins published the Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972. Books on health and weight loss later published by Atkins include:

  • Dr. Atkins’ Super Energy Diet – 1977
  • Dr. Atkins’ Health Revolution – 1988
  • Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution – 1992
  • Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution (update) – 2002
  • Atkins for Life – 2003
  • The Atkins Essentials – 2004
  • The All-New Atkins Advantage – 2007
  • The New Atkins for a New You – 2010
  • The New Atkins Made Easy – 2013

Noom vs. Atkins – Who’s Behind the Plans?

Who Created Noom?

Artem Petakov and Saeju Jeong created Noom in 2008. The duo worked with doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, and personal trainers to develop a program that addressed the mental and physical side of weight loss from a new perspective – a mobile app that teaches small changes for lasting weight loss.

Jeong started in Seoul, Korea, with the company BuyHard Productions, which he founded. He worked in Korea for six years before partnering with Petakov on Noom.

Petakov first hit the technology scene as an intern with Sun Microsystems. From there, he moved to Google. After Google, Petakov co-founded WorkSmart Labs. WorkSmart later developed Noom.

Take a closer look at how Noom works with a free trial offer available to Dietsupplement readers.

Who Created the Atkins Diet?

Dr. Robert Atkins left high school with the dream of becoming a comedian. He worked as a server for a while before deciding to go into medicine in 1955. After graduating from Cornell University Medical College, he took an internship at Strong Hospital in New York. His first job as a doctor was a personal practice, which didn’t have such a great start. The doctor became depressed and started to gain weight. When he couldn’t lose the weight, he began researching unique methods of weight loss and stumbled on the research of Alfred Pennington, who studied low-carb diets during World War II.

Atkins created his version of a low-carb diet from Pennington’s research called the Atkins Diet. The diet was wildly successful for many years. Still, after the doctor passed in 2003, the company started floundering, eventually filing for bankruptcy and being sold to North Castle Partners, who sold it to Roark Capital Group in 2010.


Noom vs. Atkins – The Rules

Rules of Noom

Noom isn’t really about rules so much as it is about lessons. The program talks about three key elements in weight loss – tracking food, tracking exercise, and tracking weight. Clinical research has shown that tracking, especially meals, can help people lose more weight than those who don’t track food, particularly evening meals. You can also monitor blood sugar and blood pressure.

Food Logging: Noom does offer a suggested calorie intake for weight loss, but the program breaks foods into three categories to make it easier to choose the best foods. The three categories are green, yellow, and red. The plan suggests eating most calories from green, yellow in moderation, and red occasionally.

Green foods include things like peaches, asparagus, lettuce, onion, green beans, spinach, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, oranges, blueberries, cherries, watermelon, strawberries, apples, bananas, almond milk, non-fat yogurt, and more.

Yellow foods are foods like lean meats, fresh fish, low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, avocados, olives, eggs, hummus, corn tortillas, English muffins, diet sodas, and orange juice.

Red foods include fried foods, bacon, sausage, pizza, fries, most chocolate, peanut butter, sugar, white flour, mayonnaise, potato chips, and most processed foods.

Exercise Tracking: Though the total calorie suggestion from Noom may seem a little low at first, for some, tracking exercise solves that. As you exercise, you earn back 50% of the total calories burned as calories in your diet. So, if you burn 300 calories, you can eat an extra 150 calories if you desire. In that case, someone with a suggested intake of 1500 calories could consume up to 1650 calories.

Education and Quizzes: One of the unique parts of Noom is the education and quizzes. At the heart of the program is the 10 minutes a day you’ll spend learning about how your body works, what foods offer what nutrition, and a range of other topics that help you move along the path to weight loss by way of learning. To ensure you’re picking up the lessons, there are fun quizzes to complete each day.

Rules of the Atkins Diet

The rules of the Atkins diet have changed over the years, but as it stands, the plan aims for the follower to reduce carb intake to one of three levels – 20g, 40g, or 100g.

Atkins 20 – the follower consumes no more than 20g of carbs a day to start. This plan tends to be for people who have more than 10 pounds to lose. Atkins 20 is the standard low-carb diet that many people follow for weight loss. In the first stage of the program, you are encouraged to eat between 12g and 15g of carbs from foundation vegetables. Foundation vegetables include:

  • Green olives
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens
  • Collard greens
  • Celery
  • Button mushroom
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Cabbage
  • Bell pepper
  • Snow peas

If you choose to stay on phase one (20g carbs) for longer than the initial two weeks, you can switch out 3g of carbs from vegetables for 3g carbs from nuts and seeds.

Atkins 40 – the follower consumes no more than 40g of carbs a day to start. This plan is for people who want to start with more selection of foods or vegetarians who want to follow the Atkins Diet approach.

Atkins 100 – this plan is for people who want the benefits of a low-carb diet without the deep restriction that comes with the Atkins 20 and Atkins 40 plans.

The Atkins Diet does come with quite a few food restrictions, unlike Noom. Some of the foods restricted, or extensively minimized, on the plan include:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Most fruits
  • Beer
  • Most wine
  • Margarine or hydrogenated oils
Eating Plans

Noom vs. Atkins – Eating Plans

The Noom Eating Plan

At the heart of the Noom eating plan is complete nutrition based on whole foods. The lifestyle changes users learn each day compound over time to change how people look at health, wellness, eating, and exercise. Changes are small and attainable, so the user doesn’t feel overwhelmed with a long list of restrictions.

No foods are restricted with Noom. Instead, the plan focuses on giving the best advice and guidance to help people make the right choices for themselves. That’s one reason Noom is different from other plans. Noom empowers people to create lasting change.

It’s important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized Noom as a lifestyle change program.

To check out more about this lifestyle change program, give Noom a try with a free trial offer.

The Atkins Eating Plan

The Atkins Eating Plan is broken down into three main phases, followed by maintenance of weight loss.

Phase 1 is Induction – this is when you eat the fewest carbs, so your body uses up these energy stores and, eventually, is forced to use fat for fuel because there are not enough carbs to provide sufficient energy. Phase 1 lasts for two weeks, but people who have more than 10 pounds to lose can follow this phase for longer than two weeks if desired.

Phase 2 is all about balancing your diet. During this phase, you’ll slowly add more carbohydrates to your diet until you find the level at which you stop losing weight. Then, you cut back on carbs a bit until you start seeing weight loss again. You stay in phase 2 until you have about 10 pounds left to lose.

Phase 3 is for learning to maintain weight – so you will add about 10 carbs a week to your overall intake until you stop losing weight. This is your upper carb threshold and, to maintain your weight loss, you should likely stay around that number of carbs per day. If you find you’re gaining weight, you can cut back carbs until you start losing again and run through the phases. Some people even jump back to phase 1.

Phase 4 is about continuing your new lifestyle. By this time, you’ve learned how your body reacts to this carb versus that carb. You know how many carbs you can eat to lose weight and maintain weight. Atkins claims phase 4 is for transitioning to a permanent lifestyle.

Plan Duration

Noom vs. Atkins – Plan Duration

How Long Does Noom Last?

Noom is designed to be followed for 16 weeks or four months. The plan is gradual, and with each lesson, you take one step toward making a small change with lasting results. During these 16 weeks, people learn how to eat, how to make healthier choices, and how to live in a new way that’s all about naturally keeping weight off – so Noom sticks with you for life.

How Long Does the Atkins Diet Last?

There is no time limit for the Atkins Diet, and, just like Noom, it is portrayed as a lifestyle program. The first phase of Atkins lasts a minimum of two weeks called Induction. After those two weeks, depending on how much weight the follower needs to lose, Induction can last many months. The transition to lifestyle program isn’t made until you’re within 10 pounds of your goal weight.

Significant Differences Between Noom and the Atkins Diet

Finding the significant differences between Noom and Atkins is simple. The differences include:

Food: Food restriction is not part of the Noom plan, but it is at the heart of the Atkins Diet. Caloric restriction and overeating can affect reinforcement pathways in the brain, according to Experimental Gerontology.

Length of Program: Noom is an established plan that progresses over 16 weeks. The Atkins Diet is designed for life. While you will add carbs to your diet over time, following the Atkins Diet for life means forgoing some food groups nearly all of the time.

Rebound Weight Gain: Low-carb, high-fat eating plans, like the Atkins Diet, are associated with rebound weight gain. People can lose weight, but they can’t manage to keep it off long-term, according to Molecular Metabolism.

Rebound weight gain is followed by weight loss and weight gain again – over and over – which is called weight cycling. Weight cycling has been associated with causing stress on the heart, as per the Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome.

Can You Follow the Atkins Diet on Noom?

Noom does not suggest food restriction like the Atkins Diet. You are taught, over time, to make healthier choices from foods packed with excellent nutritional value. We found no indication that the Atkins Diet is any part of the Noom philosophy of weight loss. Many nutrition-packed foods encouraged with Noom are discouraged on Atkins.

Possible Side Effects of Noom vs. Atkins Diet

Because Noom is a lifestyle plan that works with whole, naturally-nutrient-rich foods, there are no side effects. The Atkins Diet, however, is associated with some issues that could cause discomfort, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Cramps
  • Weakness
  • Headache

Noom vs. Atkins – The Research

Clinical Research on Noom

There’s some pretty amazing research out there supporting Noom. For instance, Scientific Reports published the results of a study involving more than 35,000 Noom users and found that people following the app’s program lost more weight than those who didn’t use the app. The research also found that tracking evening meals was a habit of the most successful participants.

Though the Noom app is designed for weight loss, researchers have also found that using the program for weight maintenance, after initial weight loss, is effective, says the journal Metabolic Syndromes and Related Disorders.

According to the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, using Noom for three weeks resulted in a drop of about 2 BMI (body mass index) points. BMI is a measure of body fat. For each 10% increase in adherence, BMI dropped another 2.6 points.

There’s also research in the Journal of Health Communication that shows mobile applications, like Noom, when they are tailored to the user, help by supporting self-efficacy, community interaction, and food logging. The more users participated in these activities, the more successful the weight-loss.

Clinical Research on the Atkins Diet

When you lose weight, there’s the assumption you’ll learn how to keep the weight off long-term, but that may not be the case for the Atkins Diet and other low-carb plans. While research does show that weight-loss does occur in the first six months on a low-carb plan, when compared with other programs, the weight loss at 12 months is no different, based on the Lancet.

Another bit of research in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders shared that low-carb diets, like Atkins, promote weight loss, but it may not be because of the body burning fat for fuel. The research suggested that following the plan actually decreased the total number of calories consumed, thus promoting weight loss.

Quick Facts

The Facts About Noom vs. the Atkins Diet

Quick Facts on Noom

  • The latest technology and artificial intelligence are used.
  • Teaches users how to eat healthier.
  • Noom doesn’t forbid any foods.
  • The plan is structured around making small changes for life-long results.
  • Noom is personalized to each user.
  • Users are partnered with a personal coach for support and guidance.
  • Clinical research shows Noom works without food restriction.

Quick Facts on the Atkins Diet

  • Food restriction is required to lose weight.
  • The plan has no set timeline.
  • The guidelines are generic and aren’t tailored to the individual.
  • Severe food restriction doesn’t allow for whole-food nutrition.
  • Research into the safety of long-term intake of high-fat foods is on-going.
  • Many types of meat allowed on the Atkins Diet contain saturated fats.

There’s not much of a comparison between Noom and the Atkins Diet. Noom is all about choosing whole foods with all the nutrients the body needs for overall health, wellness, and weight loss. The Atkins Diet uses food restriction that science says may lead to weight cycling and impairments to cardiovascular health.

We believe lasting changes start small and grow over time. Check out Noom as part of a free trial offer for a limited time – just because you’re a Dietsupplement reader.  

Noom vs. Atkins Ingredients


Noom vs. Atkins Diet Questions and Answers

What does Noom actually do?

Noom teaches lifestyle changes that build upon each other, creating a new look at how to eat, how to move, and how to live healthier. The program requires only 10 minutes a day with lessons and quizzes to make learning easy.

How does the Noom diet work?

The user answers a series of questions to get started on the program. After the initial two weeks, users are partnered with a personal coach and online community of like-minded people with similar goals. From there, the lessons progress over 16 weeks. Small changes add up to more significant changes and new, healthier habits.

Is Noom worth the money?

If you compare the money some people have spent on yo-yo dieting over the years, especially with specialty diets like the Atkins Diet, the cost of Noom is worthwhile.

What are the red foods on Noom? 

Red foods on Noom are foods that should only be eaten occasionally. These foods tend to have little nutritional value and often contain added sugars and preservatives.

What are yellow foods on Noom?

Yellow foods are all about moderation. No foods are prohibited on Noom. Yellow foods are allowed daily, but watching intake is essential.

What are green foods on Noom?

Green foods are encouraged on Noom because they have few calories for the serving size. For instance, you can eat a more substantial portion of green, leafy vegetables than pasta for the same calories, and you get better nutrients as well.

Does Noom work?

Yes, based on clinical research spanning more than 35,000 people, Noom works. The CDC recognizes Noom as a healthy lifestyle program.

How do I quit Noom?

After the 16-week program has concluded, you can choose to stay with the program and continue with daily education, quizzes, coaching, and community-based activities. However, the idea is to teach the user how to eat for their best health, so they no longer need Noom.

Why is it called Noom?

Noom is the word Moon backward. The moon is a guiding light, according to the company.

Noom vs. Atkins

Can I do Atkins with Noom?


Noom is a weight-loss program that uses a science-backed approach to help individuals reach their health and fitness goals. While the program does not promote any specific diet, including Atkins, it does offer support and education around creating balanced nutrition plans. The program also features other tools such as personal coaching, goal setting, and access to an online community of like minded individuals. Therefore, while it is not possible to do Atkins with Noom itself, you can use the resources it offers to create a plan similar to the principles of Atkins.

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