Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet

Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet Customer Testimonials
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Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet – The weight-loss business is booming, and technology is setting new boundaries for how best to fight overweight and obesity. With that said, some traditional diets have amazing clinical support. When you partner the two together, you have a winning combination. Let’s take a look at how the latest technology in Noom compares to the traditional Mediterranean Diet.

What is Noom?

Noom is a unique, app-based weight-loss and lifestyle program designed by doctors. The premise behind the app is to teach users how to make small changes that lead to lasting results. There are two programs available from Noom: Healthy Weight Program and Diabetes Prevention Program.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle plan that’s based on how people in the Mediterranean regions of the world usually eat. The majority of foods recommended on the diet are plant-based with fruits and vegetables, complemented with nuts, healthy oils, and a moderate intake of lean proteins like fish and poultry.


Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet – History

Brief History of Noom

In 2008, Saeju Jeong and Artem Petakov developed the idea of a technology-based weight-loss program and established Noom. The two have worked with multiple rounds of funding, including funding from the likes of Samsung and Sequoia Capital.

Noom currently has offices in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and New York, US. In addition to the Healthy Weight Program, the company also offers a clinically-proven program called DPP or the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Brief History of the Mediterranean Diet

It is thought that the basis of the Mediterranean Diet is rooted in Greek history. Other populations like the Romans copied the Greek eating style, which included wine, oil, and bread. This way of life wasn’t recognized as a healthy option until researchers noted that countries who naturally ate via the Mediterranean Diet rules tended to develop heart problems less often than other cultures.

The Seven Countries Study is at the heart of the worldwide attention paid to the plan. According to the research, when people in Yugoslavia, Italy, Holland, Finland, Japan, United States, and Greece were studied and showed a relationship between different lifestyles and cultures and how nutritional intakes reflected in health in the various countries. The results of the study lead researchers to the benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet.

Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet – Who’s Behind the Plans?

Who Created Noom?

The Noom app was created by two men with an eye for software and health. Artem Petakov and Saeju Jeong, with the help of nutritionists, psychologists, doctors, and personal trainers, developed a program that takes into consideration much more personal information than many others.

Artem was originally a software engineer intern at Sun Microsystems. From there, he went to Google for a while before co-founding the business WorkSmart Labs. WorkSmart Labs led to the development of Noom.

Seong has a slightly different story. He founded BuyHard Productions in Seoul, Korea. After establishing the business and staying in the city for six years, he partnered with Artem to develop Noom.

Who Created the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is thought to have originated in the Greek culture, after which the ancient Romans picked up similar eating habits. By the 1960s, countries located near or around the Mediterranean Sea reported fewer heart-related problems, so the plan was thrust into the spotlight.


Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet – The Rules

Rules of Noom

Noom really isn’t a rule-based program. It’s better to think of the basic suggestions as pillars that hold up your successes. The more you learn throughout your progress over 16 weeks, the stronger your foundation will be. A strong foundation leads to lasting results and achievements.

When you look at the basics of Noom, you’ll find three things that stand out – food tracking, exercise tracking, and education. Though these may sound familiar, it’s how each is done that sets the new standard in weight-loss apps.

Food Logging: Research shows that logging food is a habit of people who’ve successfully lost weight – even in Noom studies. With Noom, food logging isn’t just a way to track calories. It is a direct method of teaching the user how to categorize foods so later they won’t have to count calories at all.

The concept of food logging with Noom is based on a green, yellow, red categorization. Green foods are the go-to, yellow foods are in moderation, and red foods only on occasion. Let’s take a look at some of the foods suggested in each category.

Green Foods

The green foods on Noom tend to have the least amount of calories per serving than any of the foods in the yellow or red categories. These foods you can eat as the bulk part of your eating plan. Some foods considered green include:

  • Fruits: banana, pears, cherries, peaches, watermelon, tomato, pineapple, oranges, apple, strawberries.
  • Vegetables: cucumbers, salad greens, green beans, carrots, Brussel’s sprouts, peas, zucchini, lettuce, onion.
  • Grains and Starches: brown rice, whole grains (bread, pasta, cereal, tortilla), polenta, corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes.
  • Dairy/Non-Dairy: skim milk, cashew milk, almond milk, coffee with milk, non-fat Greek yogurt, non-fat cheese sticks, non-fat yogurt.

Yellow Foods

Yellow foods are all about moderation. These foods tend to have a higher calorie count without the substantial nutritional value of green foods. Some yellow foods include:

  • Fruits: avocados, olives, guacamole.
  • Lean Meats: grilled chicken, turkey breast, eggs, salmon, tuna, lean beef, pork or lamb, deli meats.
  • Alternative Protein Sources: baked beans, black beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan.
  • Grains and Starches: pita bread, English muffins, white (rice, bread, pasta), couscous, quinoa.
  • Dairy/Non-Dairy: low-fat milk, cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt.

Red Foods

On Noom, the red foods are calorie-dense and offer the weakest profile of nutrients of all foods. These foods should only be consumed occasionally – not daily. Some red foods include:

  • Meats: bacon, ham, sausage, salami, hot dogs, fried meats, red meat, hamburgers.
  • Nuts and Seeds: peanut butter, other nut butter, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds.
  • Dairy/Non-Dairy: butter, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, full-fat cheese, whole milk.
  • Other: wine, flour, sugar, honey.

Exercise Tracking: Next up in the “rules” of Noom is exercise tracking. Yes, this feature is found in many weight-loss programs, but Noom has taken the tracking a step further. The plan allows the user to eat 50% of the calories burned in daily calories. For instance, if you exercise and burn 250 calories, your suggested calorie intake will increase by 125 calories. That 1400 calories then becomes 1525 calories. When the initially recommended calorie intake is established, various personal data and responses to an initial interview are taken into consideration, so no two plans are ever the same.

It takes just minutes to learn your calorie goal and get started on the Noom plan with a free trial offer.

Lessons and Quizzes: On the psychological side of the equation, there are lessons and quizzes. Most diets overwhelm followers with ALL the information on how to lose weight given at one time in one lump sum. This leaves the person fending for themselves, trying to figure out how to put the rules into practice. Noom doesn’t work like that. Noom offers 10 minutes a day with lessons and education, which are reinforced with quizzes. The lessons and quizzes work as a gentle reminder of what’s been learned and an introduction, of sorts, into what will be learned. Over the 16 weeks of Noom, the user takes all the small lessons and naturally combines them into more significant lifestyle changes for permanent weight loss.

Rules of the Mediterranean Diet

Fundamentally, there are two parts of the Mediterranean Diet – healthy foods and unhealthy foods. A more direct route to categorize the foods is unprocessed and processed foods.

Unprocessed Foods

Foods to Eat Often: You are encouraged to eat foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, whole grains, potatoes, herbs, spices, bread, seafood, and healthy oils. Yogurt, eggs, poultry, and cheese are to be eaten in moderation, and red meat only on occasion.

The foods you shouldn’t eat include things like sugar, processed lunch meats, refined foods like grains and oils, and other foods that go through processing before being sold.

Processed Foods

Many sources of information on the Mediterranean Diet offer a detailed list of processed foods that should be eliminated from the diet. Suffice it to say that most foods in the inner aisles of the grocery store are processed. You also want to stay away from foods marked non-fat or low-fat. These foods often have added sugars and preservatives.

Eating Plans

Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet – Eating Plans

The Noom Eating Plan

One of the first things people often notice about Noom is that processed foods are left behind, and whole foods brought into the light. Whole foods are packed with nutrients that can be found in no other foods, even foods that are enriched. Nature works perfectly with our bodies to promote the absorption of these nutrients effectively, which is not something that occurs even in foods that are fortified.

There are no food restrictions to worry about as Noom focuses more on helping you choose the healthiest foods most often and the foods on the less than healthy side of the coin, in small amounts on occasion.

Noom says it best, “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.”

We also find it encouraging that Noom has been recognized as a lifestyle program by the CDC.

The Mediterranean Eating Plan

There’s no set progression to move someone from a traditional Western diet to a Mediterranean-style diet. But, the easiest place to start would be with processed foods. Skip soda, ice cream, pastries, sugar, white foods like pasta, bread, and rice. Replace these with whole foods and whole grains.

Gradually, make small changes to the foods you cook and eat. Eventually, you’ll have adopted the Mediterranean-style of eating.

Plan Duration

Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet – Plan Duration

How Long Does Noom Last?

Noom is a 16-week program that progresses gradually through lessons that teach the user about food choices, healthy exercise habits, lifestyle changes, and more to help build the knowledge needed to lose weight for good. During the 16 weeks, the user will be partnered with a personal coach whom they will contact for tips, questions, and advice, or just to check in with progress throughout the program.

How Long Does the Mediterranean Diet Last?

The Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle program, it is not a diet that lasts a certain amount of time. You adopt new eating practices, choosing whole foods, healthy fats, and lean meats to be a part of everyday meals.

Significant Differences Between Noom and the Mediterranean Diet

The significant difference between the Mediterranean Diet and Noom is that Noom is an app-based program. The suggestions that are part of the Noom eating plan are in line with the recommendations of the Mediterranean Diet.

Another difference involves structure. Noom is a 16-week structured plan that helps people make more substantial dietary and life changes via small change encouraged through education, lessons, and quizzes. The Mediterranean Diet is not a structured plan with specific steps or goals to help the follower stick with the new way of eating.

Can You Follow the Mediterranean Diet on Noom?

Yes, you can follow the “rules,” if you will, of the Mediterranean Diet while on Noom. Many of the aspects of the plans overlap like the encouragement to eat whole foods and skip processed foods. If you look at the basic Noom plan with green foods, yellow foods, and red foods, the foods in each of these categories align with the dietary suggestions with the Mediterranean Diet.

Possible Side Effects of Noom vs. the Mediterranean Diet

We rarely say this, but there are no side effects of either Noom or the Mediterranean Diet. Both plans work with natural, whole foods, healthy fats, lean meats, and excellent sources of nutrients to promote overall health.

You can lose weight without worrying about side effects with Noom. A free trial offer is available today.


Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet – The Research

Clinical Research on Noom

A large study involving more than 35,000 participants reported weight loss in more than 75% of people using the Noom app. The research also showed that users who tracked their evening meal and exercise most frequently were the ones who lost the most weight, as per Scientific Reports.

The journal MSRS published a study involving overweight and obese Korean adults. According to the authors, results showed that the Noom app actually helped men and women keep weight off after weight loss. Weight maintenance is one of the hardest parts of the weight-loss journey.

Research also shows that people with uncontrolled blood sugar may lose more weight following the Noom DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program), according to JMIR. The DPP is a 24-week program.

It was interesting that we also found research that showed Noom can help people with disordered eating as it helps patients stick with a structured plan, as per the IJED.

Clinical Research on the Mediterranean Diet

In 2015, the journal Nutrients shared that the Mediterranean Diet is associated with improved cognitive function and decreased risk of cardiovascular conditions.

Nutrition Today published research in 2017 that showed the Mediterranean Diet reduced the risk of certain chronic health problems and improved longevity.

Further research, this time in 2019, went even further, suggesting the Mediterranean Diet was beneficial for instances of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular health, based on an article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Also published in 2019, a review of research that covered more than 40 previous studies showed that the Mediterranean Diet did, in fact, “play a role in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular [conditions],” says the journal Nutrients.

Quick Facts

The Facts About Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet

Here are a few facts to remember about Noom and the Mediterranean Diet.

Quick Facts on Noom

  • Noom is a 16-week structured program designed to teach lifestyle habits that lead to lasting weight-loss.
  • All foods are allowed on Noom.
  • Each Noom user is partnered with a personal coach and a customized weight-loss plan.
  • Noom uses technology and psychology to promote weight loss.

Quick Facts on the Mediterranean Diet

  • The Mediterranean Diet is considered one of the healthiest diets ever.
  • Whole foods are an integral part of the lifestyle plan.
  • Research suggests that people who live in Mediterranean regions live longer.
  • The plan is designed to be followed for a lifetime, not a set number of weeks.

When you look at how the Noom eating plan is set up, you will see quite a few similarities with the Mediterranean Diet. That’s because the Mediterranean Diet is based on clinical research over many decades and real-life experiences. Though the two are entirely different, with one being an app-based program and the other a more traditional eating plan, there is good reason to adopt the rules of the Mediterranean Diet while working through the 16-week Noom program.

Check out Noom’s free trial offer today!

Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet Ingredients


Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet Questions and Answers

What exactly is Noom?

Noom is a Healthy Weight Program based on a 16-week progression of education and personal coaching aimed at making small changes that add up to lasting weight loss.

Why is it called Noom?

The name Noom came from the word moon. The moon is a guiding light to all in the darkest of times – thus, Noom is the guiding light for weight loss.

What do you eat on Noom?

On Noom, you can eat any of the foods you love. There are three categories of foods – green, yellow, and red. Green foods are the go-to for the majority of calories. These foods provide tons of nutrients, and you can eat a larger serving size for a small number of calories. Yellow foods should be consumed in moderation, and red foods, though allowed, should be kept to a minimum. These foods tend to be laden with fat and calories, but offer little in terms of nutrition.

Is Noom just calorie counting?

No, Noom provides a suggested calorie intake, and 50% of the calories you burn during exercise is added into your calorie intake each day. Still, the aim is to teach users how to see foods in the three categories – green, yellow, and red, so calories eventually become obsolete.

Has anyone lost weight with Noom?

In a clinical study of more than 35,000 participants, more than 75% of users reported weight loss with Noom.

Is there a free version of Noom?

You can download the Noom app for free. There is a trial period, after which you are allowed to sign up for the complete 16-week program. At that time, the user is partnered with a coach and a dedicated community of users.

How much is Noom after the free trial?

After the trial period, Noom costs $59 a month. There are savings available for those who sign up for longer periods.

  • 2 months is $99
  • 4 months is $129
  • 6 months is $149
  • 8 months is $159
  • 12 months is $199

At the lowest price, you can sign up for Noom for less than $20 a month.

How can I cancel my Noom subscription trial?

After logging in to your Noom account, send a message to your coach, and ask for your service to be canceled. Once the service is canceled, you will receive an email that confirms the cancellation date of your program.

Does Weight Watchers own Noom?

No, Weight Watchers (WW) does not own Noom. Noom was initially developed by the creators of WorkSmart Labs.

Noom vs. Mediterranean Diet

What is not allowed on the Mediterranean diet?


The food allowed are mostly fruits and vegetables – whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils, and a moderate intake of lean proteins like fish and poultry. Heavily processed foods like processed red meats, refined grains, butter, processed oils, added sugar and alcohol are not allowed.

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