Noom vs. FODMAP Diet – if there is one diet out there, there are 1000. How is anyone supposed to sort through all the facts and myths to find the best diet for their needs? Today we’re taking on the FODMAP Diet to see if you can lose weight by eliminating foods, or if Noom’s idea of leaving all foods on the table is the better option.
What is Noom?
The Noom program is a 16-week collection of lessons that takes the user through the process of learning new lifestyle habits for successful weight loss, reduced stress, and overall improvements to health that come with weight loss. Each plan is individualized – no two plans are alike. The unique app uses a detailed interview to find out where you are currently, where you want to be, and the best way of getting there in 16 weeks. Noom is a progressive plan that builds one lesson on top of the last, so longer-lasting habits are adopted and kept for life.
What is the FODMAP Diet?
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, and mono-saccharides and polyols. The focus is on fermentable carbs. The diet was developed to help fight the symptoms of specific digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The idea behind the diet is to restrict foods that cause gas, bloating, and stomach pain, often associated with the digestive process. Common high-FODMAP foods include:
- Garlic and Onions
- Some Fruits
- Low-Calorie Sweeteners
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet – History
Brief History of Noom
The history of Noom reaches back to 2008 when Artem Petakov and Saeju Jeong founded the company. The duo wanted to correct a common problem in the weight-loss industry – monotony. With just about every weight-loss program regurgitating the same information and suggestions, the company employed the help of psychologists, doctors, and nutrition professionals to create a novel concept – a total body and mind approach to lifestyle change.
By 2018, Noom was earning some of the highest search volumes of any diet that year. Then, in 2019, the company partnered with the healthcare company Novo Nordisk to extend their fight against obesity on a global level.
The CDC recognizes Noom as a lifestyle change program.
We’d love for everyone who wants to lose weight to give Noom a try – so Dietsupplement readers can access a special free trial offer today!
Brief History of the FODMAP Diet
In the 1990s, a dietitian named Sue Shepherd noted some good results from her IBS patients who started following what was called the fructose malabsorption diet. The diet mainly focused on fruit sugars and grains. With no significant research into the effects of fermented sugars on digestive function, much of the diet was based on anecdotal evidence.
About 10 years later, research into fermented sugars hit the journals, with Shepherd being the author of some research articles. Advances in testing equipment and techniques allowed for a better understanding of how fermented sugars affected the gut.
By around 2005, enough research was available to establish a clear set of rules for the FODMAP Diet for IBS. At this point, Shepherd published a FODMAP cookbook, which helped spark interest in the diet.
Today the FODMAP Diet is a well-respected plan that many healthcare professionals suggest for patients showing symptoms of IBS. The food lists for the FODMAP Diet are more extensive than ever before because not all foods within a given category are shown to cause digestive issues. For instance, some fruits and vegetables can cause irritable bowel symptoms, and others may not. Food lists often suggest a moderate intake of higher-FODMAP foods depending on personal experience.
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet – Who’s Behind the Plans?
Who Created Noom?
The partners behind Noom are Artem Petakov and Saeju Jeong. Petakov was interested in coding from the early age of nine. He moved around among dot com companies during high school and eventually headed to college for computer science. He developed an interest in the psychology of decision making.
Jeong lived and worked in Korea for six years. After founding BuyHard Productions, he moved to the United States, where he developed the idea behind Noom. At first, Petakov was hesitant to jump on board and leave behind his job at Google. Jeong was patient, and the duo eventually partnered to form the company.
Who Created the FODMAP Diet?
Dr. Sue Shepherd is often credited with starting the FODMAP Diet in the 1990s. The doctor, who has celiac disease, has a particular interest in the effects of food groups on gut health. She is the co-author and author of books on the FODMAP Diet and lectures at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. She works as an honorary dietitian for the Medical Advisory Committee to Coeliac Australia.
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet – The Rules
Rules of Noom
At the cornerstone of Noom is the philosophy of psychology. Progressive lessons guide the user on how to make informed lifestyle decisions to lose weight and improve health, but more than that, users are allowed to learn how these changes affect the body and mind. The foundational education is the starting point, and as the weeks progress, lessons help to collectively offer a new outlook on weight loss.
There are three main pillars of the Noom program – food logging, exercise tracking, and lessons with quizzes.
Food Logging: Foods are logged on Noom using a traffic-light system of green, yellow, and red. Green foods are the go-to, yellow are to be consumed in moderation, and red foods are for occasional consumption, at most. That’s not to say that red foods are prohibited, just that intake should be limited.
- Green Foods: Noom green foods should make up about 30% of your total dietary intake each day. These foods are packed with fantastic nutrition and fewer calories per serving than yellow or red foods. Some of the foods that fall into the green category include fruits, vegetables, various grains, and some non-fat dairy products.
- Yellow Foods: As you’d expect, yellow foods fall between green and red foods. These foods make up about 45% of the total calories you eat each day – so the majority of the foods you eat will fall into this category. Yellow foods include higher-calorie (sugar) fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood, seeds, legumes, and low-fat dairy.
- Red Foods: Limiting intake of red foods to a maximum of 25% of total calories is important for not only weight loss, but overall health. Red foods tend to be high-calorie, high-fat and include fried foods, sugary drinks and desserts, and high-fat grains.
Exercise Tracking: Exercise tracking is one of those features found in many weight-loss programs because exercise is essential to overall health and weight loss. What makes Noom’s activity tracking unique is that 50% of total calories burned are added back into your daily calorie goal, so you get to eat more.
Why not 100% of the total calories? Research shows that most people overestimate the intensity level of exercise, among other factors, that could cause an inflated number of calories burned. To combat this, Noom adds back 50%.
Take a look at how Noom works to help you earn more calories each day. Download the app for a free trial offer available to Dietsupplement readers.
Lessons: Here’s where Noom shines. The psychology side of the lifestyle program is what truly sets Noom apart. Losing weight is about more than just following a list of instructions. To keep weight off, you need to address a total lifestyle approach, but you also need to understand why you are making the changes you are. This is where the Noom lessons come into play and, to help you retain what you’ve learned, you complete daily quizzes.
Rules of the FODMAP Diet
There are three stages to the FODMAP Diet: Restriction, Reintroduction, and Personalization.
Stage 1: Restriction
For the first three to eight weeks, you will eliminate all high FODMAP foods from your diet. This is a strict stage that doesn’t allow for indulging here and there in moderation. In some cases, the changes will result in improvements within the first week; in other cases, the digestive system needs all eight weeks to get back on track.
Stage 2: Reintroduction
The reintroduction stage of the FODMAP diet is all about trial and error. You will spend a substantial amount of time in stage 2. The purpose of this stage is to identify the high FODMAP foods that your body can tolerate and the ones that it can’t. To do so, introduce a single food and test for three days. If your body doesn’t react negatively to the food, take note then stop eating that food. Next, you’ll do the same thing with another food.
Stage 2 is also the time for finding out how much of a food you can tolerate, so experiment with serving sizes. Eventually, you’ll have an excellent idea of what foods you can eat and how much of each food works for your body. On the other hand, you’ll also know which foods you need to avoid.
Throughout stage 2, you will continue to restrict high FODMAP foods. The purpose is to identify your food triggers and ultimately remove those foods from your diet.
Stage 3: Personalization
By stage 3, you know what foods you can and cannot eat, based on your results from stage 2. This stage is often referred to as the modified FODMAP Diet.
For the diet to work, you must follow all three stages. Many people tend to drop off the diet in stage 2 because sorting through a long list of foods hoping not to experience side effects can be a daunting task, especially if it takes weeks and weeks to progress to stage 3.
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet – Eating Plans
The Noom Eating Plan
Each Noom eating plan is personalized based on answers provided in an initial questionnaire. Your plan will include a total calorie goal with the option of using exercise to increase that number. Also, you are partnered with a real-life personal coach and a dedicated virtual community of people just like you.
The plan also aims to teach how to eat the right amount without having to measure foods or count calories. Following the traffic-light system over the 16-week program allows you to learn how foods fall into each category, and thus, how much of each food works within your calorie budget. You’re continually learning how and why to make changes for lasting results.
“With Noom, you’ll learn about social eating, cognition and food, stress management, managing emotions in relation to food, how exercise affects you, why we eat and act the way we do as humans, along with so much more. Noom aims for these changes to be sustainable, increasing the chance that they will become permanent thus helping you keep the weight off for the rest of your life.”
The FODMAP Diet Eating Plan
There are two sections of food on the FODMAP Diet – eat less and eat more.
Eat fewer foods with lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), fructans, GOS, and polyols. Some of the foods that fall into this category are:
- Cow-based dairy: milk, ice cream, ricotta cheese, and cottage cheese.
- Fruits: pears, cherries, watermelon, apples, and any products with high-fructose corn syrup.
- Fructans: wheat, rye, artichokes, broccoli, onions, garlic, and added fiber.
- GOS: lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and soy products.
- Polyols: cauliflower, snow peas, mushrooms, artificial sweeteners, and some fruits.
Eat more dairy, fruit, vegetables, protein, nuts/seeds, and grains – but only certain foods.
- Dairy: lactose-free varieties and hard cheeses.
- Fruit: lemon, lime, bananas, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries.
- Vegetables: cucumbers, lettuce, ginger, eggplant, olives, potatoes, and turnips.
- Protein: generally all lean meats, fish, and poultry.
- Nuts/Seeds: various (limit to one serving of up to 15 nuts).
- Grains: gluten-free varieties, oat, rice bran, and oat bran.
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet – Plan Duration
How Long Does Noom Last?
Noom’s Healthy Weight Program lasts 16 weeks. You have the option of maintaining a subscription after the initial 16 weeks for added support and weight maintenance. You can choose to follow the plan on a month-to-month billing basis or purchase up to 12 months in advance to save on the monthly fee.
How Long Does the FODMAP Diet Last?
There is no time-frame for the FODMAP diet. IBS, and other digestive conditions, may last indefinitely, so adopting and maintaining a diet low in fermented carbs is ongoing. It is suggested that followers avoid all FODMAP foods for the first three to eight weeks. After such time, introduce small amounts of the foods back into the diet. Many foods considered high FODMAP are important for gut health.
Significant Differences Between Noom and the FODMAP Diet
The FODMAP Diet is designed to help people relieve symptoms of IBS, while Noom is all about making changes to adopt a new, healthy lifestyle.
Can You Follow the FODMAP Diet on Noom?
Yes, you can follow the FODMAP Diet on Noom. Though Noom focuses on well-rounded meal plans with whole foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables, the list of “approved” foods on the FODMAP Diet allows for enough variety. The initial stages of the FODMAP Diet are used to identify foods that don’t agree with your body. Not all high-FODMAP foods will cause problems for every person. By stage 3, you’ll have an understanding of what you can and cannot eat to reduce the likelihood of IBS symptoms.
Possible Side Effects of Noom vs. FODMAP Diet
There are no side effects associated with Noom or the FODMAP Diet. Ideally, following the FODMAP Diet would eliminate the side effects caused by the digestion of certain foods.
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet – The Research
Clinical Research on Noom
Noom is one of the few weight-loss apps that’s been clinically studied in large populations. A study involving more than 35,000 participants resulted in reports of weight loss in more than 77% of participants, according to an article published in Scientific Reports.
Evidence also shows that Noom helps people keep weight off after losing weight, based on research on overweight and obese Koreans, as published in Metabolic Syndromes and Related Disorders.
Clinical Research on the FODMAP Diet
Over the past couple of decades, a large amount of research into the FODMAP Diet has been completed. The diet is considered to be one of the first treatments for IBS, due to the results of the years of research.
Much of the research comes to the same general conclusions. For instance, according to a 2017 publication in the journal Nutrients, “Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 7–15% of the general population.” Based on a meta-analysis of current studies, available as of 2017, researchers found that “there is evidence that a low-FODMAP diet could have a favourable impact on IBS symptoms, especially abdominal pain and bloating.”
In January 2019, two studies were published – one called attention to the idea that the FODMAP Diet may not be safe long-term, and the other reiterated what the majority of research has shown – FODMAP works if you have IBS.
The first study, published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, suggests that further research is needed into the long-term effects of following a FODMAP Diet. The authors suggested that the diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies and disordered eating. In conclusion, the research found that “many gaps in implementation of the low FODMAP diet in clinical practice, as well as long-term safety and efficacy, remain for further investigation.” What’s interesting is the article initially claims that the diet is effective. It appears the researchers admit it works, but that clinicians, or healthcare providers, may not know how to properly advise patients on the process.
The second study fell right back in line with much of the research on the FODMAP Diet. Based upon a prospective observational study, “Low-FODMAP diet was associated with improved long-term QoL [quality of life] and GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms, reduced fatigue and anxiety/depression, and increased happiness and vitality,” as per Nutrition in Clinical Practice.
As for the effect of the FODMAP Diet on weight – no research shows you will lose more weight following the plan. As the focus is on eliminating foods that may be harder to digest, and since some fruits, vegetables, and whole grains fall into that category, the FODMAP Diet is not ideal for losing weight.
The Facts About Noom vs. FODMAP Diet
Quick Facts on Noom
- The weight-loss program lasts 16 weeks.
- Maintenance support is available after the 16 weeks.
- Longer subscriptions are available to reduce the cost.
- Noom is clinically proven to support weight loss.
- No foods are restricted.
- Doctors and psychologists played a critical role in developing the app.
- 50% of the calories burned during exercise are added back into your calorie goal.
Quick Facts on the FODMAP Diet
- The diet aims to reduce symptoms of IBS.
- Doctors have been suggesting the diet since the 1990s.
- Research shows high FODMAP foods cause IBS symptoms.
- The diet involves three stages and lifelong adherence.
- It is suggested to work through the program with the help of a dietitian.
- Not all high-FODMAP foods will cause IBS symptoms.
- Dieters will likely be able to consume some high-FODMAP foods.
The Final Take on Noom vs. the FODMAP Diet
The FODMAP Diet is more about gut health and reducing symptoms of IBS than it is weight loss. Noom is a dedicated weight-loss and lifestyle program with science proving it works. There’s really no good comparison between the two.
You can give Noom’s 16-week program a try with a special free trial offer just because you’re a Dietsupplement reader. Take it for a spin.
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet Questions and Answers
What is the Noom diet all about?
The Noom diet is all about learning how to make informed choices that result in weight loss in a way that does more than throw out a few facts. With lessons and quizzes, information is learned and retained, so you’re better equipped to stay on track.
What do you eat on Noom?
All foods are allowed on Noom. The three food categories are green, yellow, and red. Green foods have the lowest calories, yellow foods make up the most calories in your diet, and red foods are only for occasional eating.
Does Noom work for weight loss?
Yes, based on clinical research, Noom has been proven to promote weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight and obese individuals.
Does Noom send you food?
No, Noom is not a food or meal delivery service.
Is there a free version of Noom?
Yes, there is a trial with Noom. The trial allows the user to get a taste of the program. After signing up for a paid subscription, the user is partnered with a coach and community.
How much is Noom after the trial?
You can choose to pay for Noom by the month or as one of the five available subscription packages. Monthly, Noom costs about $60/month. The estimated costs associated with Noom subscriptions are:
- 2-Month Plan: $50/month
- 4-Month Plan: $33/month
- 6-Month Plan: $25/month
- 8-Month Plan: $20/month
- 12-Month Plan: $17/month
Is Noom easy to cancel?
Yes, it is easy to cancel your Noom subscription. Simply log in to your account and contact your personal coach to inform them of your wish to cancel. When your subscription cancellation is complete, you will receive an email to that effect.
Is Noom just calorie counting?
No, Noom is not just calorie counting. The calorie goal is provided to give Noom users an idea of what to aim for, but what’s really being taught is how to eat within a healthy calorie intake and feel comfortable doing so. With education into food categories and nutrition, eventually, you learn how to choose the best foods and correct serving sizes without counting calories.
Is Noom really worth the money?
Yes, based on the fact that a study of more than 35,000 men and women showed 77.9% of people lost weight using Noom, it is worth the money.
What is it called Noom?
The moon is the guiding light at night. Flip that around, and you have Noom – the guiding light to a healthy weight.
Noom vs. FODMAP Diet Questions & Answers
The Noom diet has gained popularity in recent years, but there are a few potential negatives to consider. The diet requires users to track their progress and eating habits meticulously, which can be time consuming and challenging. Additionally, some critics argue that the diet does not focus on boosting long term nutritional knowledge or providing sustainable lifestyle changes. Lastly, due to its popularity, the cost of the Noom program has increased significantly over time.