Noom vs. Keto – Have you ever noticed that adopting a new diet or eating plan often starts out strong, but as time passes, adherence to the diet wanes, and you find yourself eating the same foods you were before and gaining all the weight back you lost? The problem with many diet and weight-loss plans today is that the suggested changes happen fast with little preparation or time to get used to a new way of eating. You may lose weight at first, but as time passes, the fact that you weren’t taught how to make lasting changes comes back to haunt you, and that’s when fad diets fail.
Let’s take a look at one of the newest, most advanced weight-loss programs and one of the most popular out there today: Noom vs. Keto.
What is Noom?
Noom is an app-based health program that aims to teach people how to make the best dietary choices for overall health and weight loss. In addition to the Healthy Weight Program, Noom is also behind a Diabetes Prevention Program.
What is Keto?
Keto is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet that aims to force the body to use fat stores for energy by eliminating most carbs from the diet. Though used in some medical cases, the popularity of keto today is centered on weight loss.
Noom vs. Keto – History
Brief History of Noom
Noom was founded in 2008 by Artem Petakov and Saeju Jeong. As of March 2020, the company has received various stages of funding, including funding from big names like Samsung and Sequoia Capital. Noom operates offices in New York City, Tokyo, and Seoul.
Based on much of the press surrounding Noom, the program is more popular among the millennial generation than any other – often being called the millennial’s weight-loss app.
Brief History of Keto
The history of the keto diet isn’t as structured as Noom. The diet dates back hundreds of years to when doctors recognized that eliminating certain foods, mainly carbs, from the diet helped patients with epilepsy. In the 1970s, Dr. Robert Atkins popularized the low-carb diet, which is where keto is rooted. Over time, low-carb, which is a high-fat, high-protein plan, morphed into a high-fat, moderate-protein plan that we now know as keto.
Noom vs. Keto – Who’s Behind the Plans?
Who Created Noom?
Noom was created by Artem Petakov and Saeju Jeong in 2008. Doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, and personal trainers all played a part in the development of the program and app.
Petakov started out as a software engineering intern at Sun Microsystems. Not long after, he started working with Google before co-founding WorkSmart Labs, which eventually led to Noom.
Jeong, on the other hand, started out in Seoul, Korea, where he was the founder of BuyHard Productions. After spending about six years working in Seoul, he founded Noom with Petakov.
Who Created Keto?
The keto diet program, as followed today, is thought to be linked to Dr. Russell Wilder, who worked at the Mayo Clinic in the early 1920s. He developed the program as a treatment for epilepsy. Since its inception, the plan has been modified various times to develop Classic Keto, Modified Keto, and Modified Atkins. The Classic Keto is the plan linked to Dr. Wilder.
Noom vs. Keto – The Rules
Rules of Noom
The basic rules of Noom are simple – track food, weight, and exercise while spending about 10 minutes a day reading weight-loss education and completing quizzes to keep the information fresh and to reiterate the lifestyle changes that lead to weight loss. You also have the option to track your blood pressure and blood sugar.
Food Logging: Noom is based on calorie counting, though food intake is categorized to make tracking easier. There are three food categories with Noom – red, yellow, and green. The majority of the foods you eat should come from the green category, followed by yellow, and then red. Noom shares extensive food lists to give users an idea of what foods they will be focusing on throughout the diet and the foods they will be eating in moderation, or leaving behind most of the time.
Some of the foods that fit into each category are:
- Green Beans
- Brussel’s Sprouts
- Almond Milk
- Non-Fat Yogurt
- Egg whites
- Whole oats
- Brown rice
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain pasta
- Sweet potatoes
- Lemon Juice
- Non-fat cottage cheese
- Canned tuna
- Lean Meat
- Fresh Tuna
- Turkey Breast
- Grilled Skinless Chicken
- Low-Fat Milk
- Low-Fat Cheese
- Canned pineapple
- Lean pork
- Rice (wild, basmati, yellow)
- English muffins
- Corn tortillas
- Whole wheat bagel
- Plain pancake
- Fruit cup
- Fruit cocktail
- Diet sodas
- Grapefruit juice
- Orange juice
- Light beer
- Fruit smoothie
- Fried Meat
- Peanut Butter
- Fruit Juice
- White Flour
- Dried cranberries
- Trail mix
- Tortilla chips
- Potato chips
- Protein bars
- White bread
- Flour tortillas
- Ice cream
- Cinnamon roll
- Chocolate milk
- String cheese
- Whole milk
- Half and half
Exercise Tracking: When you track exercise with Noom, you earn back 50% of the calories burned to increase your total calorie balance for the day. For instance, if you are allotted 1200 calories each day, and you burn about 500 calories in exercise, your total calorie allowance increases to 1450 calories. Various factors are taken into consideration when calorie count is established, including how much weight you want to lose.
Give Noom a try to see how your exercise can add calories to your goal with a free trial offer.
Education and Quizzes: Noom works with healthy lifestyle changes to teach, through weight-loss education, how to choose the best foods for nutrition with the best calorie profile. Eating more foods with high nutrition and low-calorie load, like certain fruits and vegetables, is encouraged. Daily weight-loss education is delivered to the app. You are given the option to read the articles and tips and complete short quizzes to reiterate what’s been learned. The education and quizzes work as a consistent reminder of small lifestyle changes that, over time, gradually build until the user looks differently at food than they did before they started the program.
Rules of Keto
The rules of keto vary depending on the version of the plan chosen. For the Classic Keto, you can expect to consume around 70% to 75% of total calories from fat. The remaining calories are in the form of protein and carbohydrates, with carbohydrates making up as little as 5% of total calories.
The keto diet pulls some of its rules from the standard low-carb diet. For instance, during the first week or two, consuming full-salt broth can help reduce the symptoms of induction flu, which occur when the body starts converting fat stores to energy. Also, during the first stages of the keto plan, processed foods are discouraged. Processed foods include what are sometimes called “frankenfoods.” Frankenfoods are pre-packaged meals and snacks. Though allowed on all stages of keto, whole foods are always suggested above processed options.
In terms of food lists, keto offers general guidelines that work across most versions of the diet, and low-carb diets, as well.
Some of the foods encouraged on the plan include:
- Fatty Fish
- Vegetables (excluding those grown below ground – root vegetables)
- Full-fat dairy
- Some berries
- Bone broth
Foods that are discouraged on the keto diet include:
- Sugared foods and drinks of any kind
- Potatoes, pasta, bread
- High-carb and high-sugar fruits
- Most beers
- Margarine or hydrogenated oils
- Foods to eat in moderation on keto include:
- Low-carb beers
- Lower-carb wines
- High-cocoa chocolate
Exercise is also suggested on keto, but the first few weeks may require a lighter physical load. Fatigue, headache, and other side effects that occur during the first week or two can make it difficult to perform exercise optimally. It is suggested, in some cases, to ease off on intensity until the symptoms of keto flu subside and energy levels return. You do not earn more calories, fat, protein, or carbs with exercise.
Noom vs. Keto – Eating Plans
The Noom Eating Plan
The Noom eating plan is based on whole foods that provide complete nutrition. The company claims the program is a lifestyle change because it uses the power of psychology and small, attainable, measurable adjustments to create lasting change. There are no food restrictions, just advice, and guidance on better food choices.
“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 CDC has recognized Noom as a lifestyle change program.
The Keto Eating Plan
The keto eating plan is based on high-fat foods – plain and simple. In some cases, we’ve found that keto dieters even eliminate carbs altogether, if only for a short time to jumpstart ketosis, which occurs when the body converts fat to energy.
Noom vs. Keto – Plan Duration
How Long Does Noom Last?
The Noom program lasts 16 weeks. During this time, the user will use food and exercise tracking, education, and communication with a personal coach, to learn how to make small changes that add up to significant changes. These bigger changes are what permanent weight loss is based upon.
How Long Does Keto Last?
There is no time frame for the keto diet. The induction phase, as described by the low-carb diet rules, occurs during the first two weeks on the plan. During this time, your body will use up the extra carbohydrate stores as you adjust to your new eating schedule. After these initial two weeks, depending on how much weight you have to lose, you can stay in the first phase, or move on to a higher-carb level. This move to a higher-carb level is typical of the low-carb diet with many people on keto choosing to stay at or below 5% carbs throughout the diet.
Significant Differences Between Noom and Keto
There are some significant differences between Noom and the keto diet. These include:
Food intake: Noom encourages eating all foods without restricting specific categories. The keto diet aims to remove nearly all carbohydrates while promoting the consumption of high-fat foods. Research has shown that food restriction leads to binge eating and preoccupation with food, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Duration: Because the keto diet isn’t following a set of rules aimed at teaching you how to eat for life, there is no specific duration. The Noom plan focuses on educating the user in 16 weeks. Past those initial 16 weeks, the user who sticks with the plan maintains access to their personal health coach, the online community, and other features. The idea is to teach users enough for them to no longer need the Noom app.
Cost: Noom is provided with a monthly fee. The keto diet doesn’t require a fee, but when you compare the foods suggested on each plan, the keto diet may come out as more expensive. Though consumed in small amounts, some of the carbohydrates “allowed” on keto are exotic or rare in some locations, like daikon radish. Other foods are only available at certain times of the year.
Can You Follow Keto on Noom?
Noom takes your eating preferences into consideration, but a defined keto diet does not appear to be part of the plan. This is because Noom doesn’t focus on food restriction. Instead, it teaches the follower how and what to eat for the best nutrition and health. Some foods encouraged on Noom are, essentially, forbidden or discouraged on the keto diet.
Learn more about how Noom looks at food with a free trial offer.
Possible Side Effects of Noom vs. Keto
There are no side effects associated with Noom, other than weight loss, but the same can’t be said for the keto diet. According to the journal CFP-MFC, side effects of a keto diet may include:
- Bad breath
- Muscle cramps
Noom vs. Keto – The Research
Clinical Research on Noom
The clinical research into the impact of Noom on weight loss shows amazing results. Not only does research show that more people lose weight while using the novel weight-loss app, but of the app users, those who tracked food and exercise more frequently experienced even better results, as per Scientific Reports.
The Noom Diabetes Prevention Program also works to promote weight loss, which is one contributing factor to the development of type 2 diabetes. Based on the research in JMIR, “A fully mobile DPP intervention resulted in significant weight loss and high engagement during the maintenance phase.” The study followed users for the 24-week program and more than 40 weeks after the program ended.
Another look at the Diabetes Prevention Program also showed significant weight loss when used for the duration of the 24-week plan, says BMJ Open.
Though dietary apps aren’t often suggested for people with eating disorders, research has shown that Noom helps patients adhere to eating programs and treatment, based on research published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
In overweight or obese Korean adults, the Noom app helped followers to maintain weight loss, according to the journal MSRD. This is one of the most challenging parts of weight loss – maintenance.
Clinical Research on Keto
The research into the effects of the keto diet on weight loss and weight maintenance isn’t so clear cut. Typically, research finds that in the short term, keto diets can promote weight loss, but over time, the weight comes back.
According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, “The dictum, ‘Moderation is the key,’ should be used, while following any long-term diet plan. While low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet does, admittedly, show dramatic improvements in the short term, these can increase morbidity and mortality in the long run and are rarely sustainable. Instead of letting the pendulum of nutrients swing on either side, one must be vigilant of the balance and interplay of nutrients, and there should be a representation of all food groups on the plate.” This is precisely the focus on Noom – healthy foods in healthy quantities for permanent results. This research also reiterated that short-term results with the keto diet don’t necessarily lead to long-term weight management.
However, we must admit that there is research that shows promise. Based on information in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the keto diet helps to effectively induce weight loss while improving certain cardio (heart) risk factors.
The Facts About Noom vs. Keto
Quick Facts on Noom
- Uses AI and psychology based on the latest technology.
- Promotes healthy eating patterns.
- Clinical research shows Noom supports weight loss.
- No food restriction.
- Majority of calories come from foods that can be consumed in larger portions – like green, leafy vegetables.
- Central app is the cornerstone of the program.
- Each version of Noom is personalized to the user.
- Extensive food database of more than 3.5 million foods makes tracking easy.
- Comes with personal coaching.
- Food costs may not change.
- Structured, progressive program.
Quick Facts on the Keto Diet
- Popularity as a weight-loss program rooted in low-carb in the 1970s.
- Promotes consumption of foods known to cause health problems.
- Scientific support for high-fat, medium-protein, low-carb diets is mixed.
- Extreme food restriction.
- Encourages fatty foods.
- Majority of calories come from small portion sizes.
- No central app. (various third-party apps with no clinical support)
- No central version. (multiple versions with different rules are followed)
- Difficulty eating out.
- Tracking macronutrients can be time consuming.
- Personal coaching must be hired.
- Food costs may be higher.
- No structure – followers are left to fend for themselves across all stages of keto.
After all is said and done, what is the main difference between Noom and the keto diet? Noom teaches about nutrition, eating healthy, choosing more nutritional foods, and the power of personal support and accountability. The keto diet is more about restriction and fast weight loss, though research says the weight may come right back.
Check out Noom today with a free trial offer, for a limited time.
Noom vs. Keto Questions and Answers
What exactly is Noom?
Noom is an AI-driven mobile app that uses the power of psychology to address lifestyle habits currently hindering weight loss. Through small changes, in only 10 minutes a day, the lessons become new habits that support weight loss and weight maintenance.
How does Noom actually work?
Noom works through education, coaching, and community via daily articles, tools, and quizzes, plus check-ins with your personal coach and community groups.
Is there a free version of Noom?
Yes, the Noom app is free to download. The app can be used as part of a trial, after which a monthly fee is charged. Users gain access to coaches and a dedicated community after the initial trial period.
How much is Noom after the free trial?
After the initial trial period, Noom costs, at most, about $60 a month. You have the option to choose plans that last up to one year to save money each month.
Is Noom easy to cancel?
Yes, Noom is simple to cancel. Log into your Noom app and send a message to your personal coach. The coach will contact you about the plan and process the cancellation. Check for a verification email after cancellation.
Does Noom send you food?
No, Noom is not a meal delivery system. You are given nutrition and meal advice and access to recipes, but food is not sent from Noom to the user.
How long does Noom last?
The Noom weight-loss program lasts 16 weeks but can be followed after the initial period indefinitely – though the aim is to educate people. Hence, they no longer need Noom to maintain weight.
What do you eat on Noom?
Noom breaks foods into three categories – red, yellow, and green. You focus on green foods, eat yellow in moderation, and eat red foods occasionally. There are no restricted foods with Noom.
What does Noom stand for?
Noom is the word Moon in reverse. The moon is the guiding light at night when times are dark. Thus, Noom is the guiding light to weight loss.
Noom vs. Keto Questions & Answers
Yes, Noom and the keto diet can be combined successfully. While both approaches are designed to help people reach their weight loss goals, they focus on different aspects. The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat consumption, while Noom is a lifestyle program that encourages users to track foods, set goals and make better daily choices. By combining these two approaches you may find more success in reaching your desired weight loss results.