Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet – a tech-based weight-loss app versus a restrictive diet. What do these programs have to offer, and do they work well together? Let’s take a look at how Noom compares to the gluten-free diet.
What is Noom?
Noom is a 16-week weight-loss plan in an app. The program uses technology and a lesson-based platform to teach individuals how to lose weight and live healthier, in a way that provides natural support. You lose weight because you learn how to make the right choices, not because you follow a meaningless list of rules.
The program works with a calorie system, food logging, exercise tracking, and lessons with quizzes. There is no one angle with Noom, the aim is to treat the condition from all sides – the physical, mental, and educational, so you know how to live lighter.
What is the Gluten-Free Diet?
The gluten-free diet is an eating plan developed for people with celiac disease and unexplained gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Gluten is found predominantly in wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, and most baked goods. In patients with celiac, the body actually attacks gluten and damages the villi in the gut that helps with nutrient absorption.
The gluten-free diet was designed to eliminate sources of gluten to prevent side effects like diarrhea, bloating, gas, fatigue, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or constipation.
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet – History
Brief History of Noom
It was 2008 when Noom was founded with the help of doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, dietitians, and personal trainers. The program was designed to offer something no other weight-loss app had tried to date – the power of the mind in weight loss. Over the next few years, the creators of the app worked to incorporate the latest technology and research to create something that really sets the standard for the weight-loss market.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed Noom on the agency’s list of lifestyle programs, which makes for some pretty amazing support.
Due to the research behind Noom, in 2018, the app appeared as one of the leading diet searches for the entire year. In 2019, Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company, partnered with Noom to help fight the obesity epidemic.
Brief History of the Gluten-Free Diet
Aretaus, a Greek physician, described a patient’s symptoms inline with symptoms of gluten intolerance in the 1st century AD. The physician noted the patient was suffering from indigestion.
Similar descriptions appear in literature in the 17th century (celiac is specifically mentioned) and again in the early 1900s. But, it wasn’t until World War II that the symptoms originally called indigestion were connected to the condition. Dr. Willem Karel Dicke made the connection. By 1952, Dicke and his team had discovered that it was gluten protein that caused celiac.
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet – Who’s Behind the Plans?
Who Created Noom?
Noom was created by Saeju Jeong and Artem Petakov. Saeju lived in Korea for six years, where he started the company BuyHard Productions. He came up with the idea for Noom and pitched it to Artem, but Artem wasn’t ready to jump in at first.
At the time, Artem was working at Google Maps, and he wasn’t ready to jump into a new venture like Noom. But, Artem held a keen interest in the psychology of decision making, which lent itself to the Noom app’s philosophy. Eventually, he jumped on board, and Noom was founded.
Experience what Noom offers with a special free trial offer – the psychology of weight loss and the power of education.
Who Created the Gluten-Free Diet?
If the gluten-free diet were to be given a creator, it would have to be Dr. Willem Karel Dicke. The doctor discovered the connection between gluten and celiac that sparked the diet’s development.
Today’s gluten-free diet looks much different from that of the 1950s, so the diet has evolved over time and continues to evolve long after Dicke’s passing in 1962.
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet – The Rules
Rules of Noom
What are the rules of Noom? The main focus is on three essential pillars of learning how to lose weight and keep it off – food logging, exercise tracking, and lessons with quizzes. The lessons and quizzes take about 10 minutes to complete, and you complete a set a day.
First, let’s talk about food logging.
Food Logging: Noom uses a traffic-light system to teach individuals how to choose the best foods for health and, it just so happens that many of those same foods are great for weight loss. Let’s check out the three food categories and what foods fall into each. It’s important to note that Noom doesn’t restrict ANY foods on the plan. You are free to eat any food you like.
Green Foods: These foods are low-calorie and high-nutrition. About 30% of your daily calories will come from foods in this group. We love that green foods come with larger portions for fewer calories. Some of the foods you will find on the green list include:
- Fruits: nearly all fruits, except for some high-sugar varieties
- Vegetables: nearly all vegetables, including sweet potatoes, with the exclusion of some high-sugar varieties (check yellow foods)
- Grains: wild rice, brown rice, whole grain pasta, rolled oats, quinoa, whole wheat bread, and grits
- Meat: lean proteins, including skinless chicken, and turkey
- Seafood: crab meat, mahi-mahi, shrimp, and lobster
- Dairy: non-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese
Yellow Foods: When it comes to yellow foods, you’ll be getting about 45% of total calories from this group. Here is where you’ll find the bulk of your meals like proteins. Yellow foods offer good nutrition, and the calorie load is lighter than that of red foods, but green foods still provide better quality. Some yellow foods include:
- Fruits: prunes, plantains, avocado, canned pineapple, and olives
- Vegetables: garlic
- Grains: rye bread, rice noodles, couscous, jasmine rice, yellow rice, and basmati rice
- Meat: chicken breast, lean beef, ham, lean pork, whole eggs, and Canadian bacon
- Seafood: tuna and sushi
- Legumes and Seeds: chickpeas, edamame, refried beans, baked beans, and lentils
- Dairy: low-fat cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cream cheese
- Snacks: hummus, fruit cocktail, and plain pancake
Red Foods: The remaining 25% of your total calories will come from foods on the red list. These have the least nutrition and the most calories, but you can still consume them on occasion. Red foods include:
- Fruits: dates, dried cranberries, and raisins
- Grains: bagels, biscuits, pita bread, granola, dinner rolls, white bread, and waffles
- Meat: bacon, meatballs, fried meats, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and chicken wings
- Desserts: cake, ice cream, donuts, brownies, and cinnamon rolls
These foods are just examples of foods in the three categories. This is not an all-inclusive list.
Exercise Tracking: The second important part of the Noom rules is exercise tracking. Exercise is something the body needs for optimal health, including bone health and mental health. It’s about more than weight loss. With Noom, you will earn back 50% of the calories you burned exercising. These calories are automatically added to your calorie goal for the day. For instance, for people who have a calorie goal of 1500 calories and burn 400 calories during exercise, the calorie total increases to 1700.
Lessons and Quizzes (10 Minutes a Day): The most unique part of Noom is where the psychology meets weight loss in lessons and quizzes. Over 16 weeks, lessons build on one another to provide a solid foundation in healthy eating and lifestyle choices that, over time, turns into lifestyle habits that naturally lead to weight loss. You learn how to eat and why dietary changes are important. What’s more important is that the individual is provided with the answer to WHY. You learn why you are making the changes, so you’re not just following some rules because someone told you to.
Rules of the Gluten-Free Diet
When it comes to rules and the gluten-free diet, it’s simple – avoid gluten. The real question isn’t what are the rules as much as it is what foods have gluten?
Grains That Contain Gluten
Grains are the number one source of gluten. The basic list of foods with gluten is wheat, rye, and barley. Oats are also included on some lists. Eating foods made from, containing, or processed with these grains can cause health issues in people sensitive or allergic to gluten. You’ll also want to keep a lookout for ingredients like spelt, durum, kamut, einkorn, and emmer as these are varieties of wheat.
When it comes to flour, the varieties that contain gluten include:
- White flour
- Enriched flour
- Graham flour
- Self-rising flour
Grains That are Gluten-Free (Safe for a Gluten-Free Diet)
Gluten-free varieties of gluten-rich foods are available at most grocery stores today.
Most processed foods should be avoided on a gluten-free diet. This is where many people run into problems because naturally gluten-free foods may not be gluten-free after processing.
Processed foods that contain gluten include:
- French fries
- Imitation meat
- Imitation seafood
- Hot dogs
- Seasoned rice
- Seasoned potato and tortilla chips
- Salad dressing
Most beer, lager, ale, and malt-containing foods, including malt vinegar
Other Gluten-Free Foods
Other foods acceptable on a gluten-free diet are fruits, vegetables, beans, eggs, and unprocessed meat.
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet – Eating Plans
The Noom Eating Plan
The Noom eating plan is really focused on whole foods. During our research, we felt like the diet leaned on the side of the Mediterranean diet with healthy fats and increased intake of healthy-calorie, nutrient-rich foods.
Noom doesn’t just provide a generic eating plan if you will. The program is designed to be personalized and customized to the individual.
“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.”
You can check out what Noom has to offer with a special free trial offer for Dietsupplement readers.
The Gluten-Free Diet Eating Plan
According to the Celiac Foundation, “the most cost-effective and healthy way to follow the gluten-free diet is to seek out…naturally gluten-free food groups…” The food groups are:
Meat and poultry
Fish and seafood
Beans, legumes, and nuts”
The real focus of the gluten-free diet is to avoid all gluten. The diet was developed for people with a wheat or gluten allergy or intolerance. It shouldn’t be followed if not medically necessary. There is no proven health benefit of avoiding gluten in more than 99% of people.
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet – Plan Duration
How Long Does Noom Last?
The Noom Healthy Weight Plan lasts 16 weeks or about four months. A post-weight-loss maintenance program is also available.
How Long Does the Gluten-Free Diet Last?
Following a gluten-free diet is a lifelong commitment for people with gluten intolerance. The diet is not recommended for weight-loss purposes.
Significant Differences Between Noom and the Gluten-Free Diet
The main difference between the Noom program and the gluten-free diet is its purpose. Noom is a lifestyle plan to help users find health and weight loss while the gluten-free diet is a plan for people who have a gluten intolerance. The gluten-free diet is discouraged for anyone who doesn’t need to avoid gluten.
Can You Follow the Gluten-Free Diet on Noom?
Yes, you can follow a gluten-free diet on Noom. The eating plan will be exactly the same as a traditional eating plan focusing on whole foods. Any gluten-containing foods can be replaced without affecting the outcome.
Possible Side Effects of Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet
Noom is a weight-loss app, so there are no side effects to be concerned about. With the gluten-free diet, there are some risks to consider.
Gluten-free diets may be nutritionally deficient because many gluten-containing foods are excellent sources of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, folate, calcium, and fiber.
Because the gluten-free diet requires the elimination of whole grains, many fiber-rich foods are off the menu. Whole grains also provide many heart-healthy benefits. According to research published in a 2017 edition of BMJ, “avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may affect cardiovascular risk. The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without celiac… should not be encouraged.”
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet – The Research
Clinical Research on Noom
Noom has been the subject of various clinical studies, including one that followed participants from October 2012 to April 2014. During this time, more than 35,000 participants used the Noom program for weight loss. The results were amazing, with about 78% of participants reporting weight loss. What’s more interesting is that the study showed logging weight regularly reduced the likelihood of yo-yoing weight and tracking the dinner meal was the “most important factor for successful weight loss,” according to Scientific Reports.
We know weight loss is hard, but weight maintenance can be even harder. We were thrilled to find research into just that issue that involved Noom directly. Published in 2017 in the journal Metabolic Syndromes and Related Disorders, when overweight and obese Korean men used Noom, they were more apt to keep the weight off than when they didn’t use the app.
Clinical Research on the Gluten-Free Diet
The gluten-free diet is not made for weight loss, and in many cases, medical experts agree that it is not safe for someone to follow on a whim. There are potential nutrient deficiencies to consider and, about 99% of people don’t have an issue with gluten at all, according to the journal Gastroenterology and Hepatology. As shared in the journal article, “Gluten-related diseases such as celiac… and gluten ataxia are rare conditions, affecting less than 1% of the population in the United States.”
To help prevent any health issues that may occur in people who wish to follow the gluten-free diet without medical reasoning, healthcare providers need to be well-versed in the diet and able (and willing) to discuss the potential risks with patients. “Healthcare practitioners should query patients about their dietary choices, and in cases of questionable adoption of a gluten-free diet, patients and parents are educated about the detriments of a gluten-free diet, and in cases where patients continue to insist on gluten-free foods, referrals to nutritional counseling are warranted to minimize potential harm,” as per the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
Across the board, the majority of research we found into the gluten-free diet shared the same concerns. The journal Nutrients shared a 2018 article that claimed, “As there is limited evidence supporting the use of the gluten-free diet beyond its role in managing gluten-related disorders, consumers are urged to be mindful of the sensorial limitations and nutritional inadequacies of the diet despite ongoing strategies to improve them.”
What’s the solution for the nutritional inadequacies of the gluten-free diet? “Further efforts are required to conceive adoptable interventions for product development and reformulation to achieve compliance with nutritional recommendations,” says an article in Nutrients.
The Facts About Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet
Quick Facts on Noom
- You can expect to follow Noom for 16 weeks.
- Multiple subscription plans are available to save you money.
- Calories are used, but the focus is on teaching how to choose healthy foods, so calorie counting isn’t needed.
- The plan has been proven in clinical research to help with weight loss and weight management.
- No food restrictions are suggested with Noom.
- Doctors and psychologists came together to develop Noom.
- When you exercise, 50% of the calories burned are added back into your daily calorie goal.
- Whole foods are encouraged on the program.
Quick Facts on the Gluten-Free Diet
- The gluten-free diet is a permanent dietary change.
- The plan is designed for people with celiac or other gluten intolerances or sensitivities.
- Research is concerned about the nutritional safety of long-term gluten-free diets.
- The gluten-free diet is not for weight loss.
- As many as 99% of people have no trouble eating gluten.
- Just because a food is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s a healthy option.
- Check alcoholic beverages carefully, many beers and some liquors contain gluten.
- Wheat-free is not the same as gluten-free as gluten is also present in rye and barley.
The Final Take on Noom vs. the Gluten-Free Diet
At the end of the day, both Noom and the gluten-free diet have their place. Noom is for natural weight loss, and the gluten-free diet is a protective diet for people who have intolerances or sensitivities to gluten. The gluten-free diet is not a weight-loss diet and should not be used as such, according to healthcare professionals.
We like that Noom offers a different take on weight loss. Too many plans cause weight to yo-yo leaving people discouraged.
If you want to give Noom a try, take advantage of the free trial offer for Dietsupplement readers today!
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet Questions and Answers
What is the Noom diet plan?
The Noom diet plan is a combination of technology and psychology. The app uses food logging, exercise tracking, and healthy lifestyle lessons to teach the user how to eat for life and lose weight naturally.
How much does Noom cost per month?
When signing up for Noom, you can choose to pay $59.99 a month or choose a subscription plan to reduce the monthly cost. The more months you pay for in advance, the lower the price per month.
- $50/month for two months
- $33/month for four months
- $25/month for six months
- $20/month for eight months
- $17/month for 12 months
These monthly prices are estimates, and the plans are recurring, so once the initial subscription is complete, the next month or plan will bill automatically.
How many calories does Noom allow?
Your calorie goal will be determined based on the answers provided during the initial setup of Noom. The four factors that go into determining daily calorie intake are gender, age, height, and starting weight.
Is Noom just calorie counting?
No, though Noom does use calories to help the follower track what they’ve eaten for the day, a traffic-light system of green, yellow, and red foods helps teach how to choose the best foods, so by the end of the program, you’ll know what foods to choose without needing to know the calories.
What are green foods on Noom?
Green foods are go-ahead foods. You’ll find you can eat nearly as much as you want of more fruits and vegetables. The foods on the green list are low-calorie and high-nutrition. Green foods make up 30% of daily calories.
What are yellow foods on Noom?
Yellow foods are moderation foods on Noom. This is where meats and low-fat dairy comes into play. The majority of your daily calories, 45%, will be from yellow foods.
What are red foods on Noom?
Red foods on Noom should only be eaten on occasion. These foods may be high-calorie, high-fat, and/or low-nutrition. Keep red foods at 25% of total calories.
Is Noom a good program?
Yes, based on research, Noom is an excellent program that supports weight loss and weight maintenance.
What does Noom actually do?
Noom teaches you how to make lifestyle changes that naturally promote weight loss. The user isn’t taught how to lose weight, they are taught how to live healthier and weight loss happens naturally.
Has anyone lost weight on Noom?
Yes, in a study of more than 35,000 people, about 75% reported weight loss while using Noom. This research has been replicated in other settings, and the plan is recognized as a lifestyle program by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Noom vs. Gluten-Free Diet Questions & Answers
Yes, Noom provides a gluten-free diet plan that consists of whole foods and excludes all sources of gluten. It includes an extensive list of gluten-free recipes and supports users’ individual dietary needs. Additionally, Noom’s certified nutritionists are available to provide personalized guidance and support.