Noom vs. Paleo Diet

Noom vs. Paleo Diet Customer Testimonials
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Noom vs. Paleo – For every proven weight-loss program out there today, there are hundreds of programs that offer no proof they work. The proof-less programs are often packed with strict rules, long lists of foods to avoid, and rules that don’t really follow the facts from science. The most invasive of fad diets throw long lists of forbidden foods on the follower, while proven programs address weight-loss as a journey of learning.

Let’s take a closer look at two plans that are on opposite ends of the spectrum – Noom vs. Paleo Diet.

What is Noom?

Noom is a health and weight-loss app that uses the power of psychology, nutrition, and personal coaching to engage users in a program for permanent weight loss. The focus is on lifestyle changes that are easy to enact and are sustainable over the long run. There are no extreme dietary changes, you won’t be eliminating food groups, fasting, or focusing solely on a specific group of foods in the Healthy Weight Plan. Though some outlets claim that Noom attempts to “trick” the mind and body into better habits, that’s not what Noom’s all about. Noom works to offer guidance, so you lose weight for the last time.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet, also called the Caveman Diet, Stone Age Diet, and Paleolithic Diet offers what’s supposed to be a plan created with our earliest ancestors in mind. The foods suggested on the plan were the ones available to our ancestors during the Paleolithic era – or so the diet claims.

If you look closely at the diet rules, you will notice that high-carbohydrate foods are eliminated, so to some extent, this is a carb-based diet.


Noom vs. Paleo – History

Brief History of Noom

The history of the Noom program starts back in 2008 when Artem Petakov and Seaju Jeong partnered to develop Noom. The app was created with the idea that current weight-loss programs, especially apps, were lacking in clinical support and, unfortunately, focused weight-loss plans on outdated and overused methods. Instead of following the same old path, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, and personal trainers were brought together to ensure every angle of weight loss was addressed – from the physical to the mental.

Brief History of the Paleo Diet

The history of Noom dates back to the 1970s, but the plan is supposed to be based on the Paleolithic era, the foods growing naturally on the planet, and how our ancestors would have eaten. The first real introduction to the diet happened in 1988 when a doctor published the first popular book on the plan.

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

Who Created Noom?

Noom was created by two men – Artem Petakov and Seaju Jeong. Petakov was a software engineer who worked for Google before splitting off and creating WorkSmart Labs. WorkSmart Labs led directly to the development of Noom.

Jeong started a business called BuyHard Productions in Korea, where he stayed for six years. After, he partnered with Petakov to create Noom. According to Jeong, “[Noom’s] not a diet – it’s a unique behavior change course that uses psychology and small goals to change your habits so you can lose weight and keep it off for good.”

Who Created the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet is thought to have originated with Dr. Walter Voegtlin. He believed that humans living between 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago consumed a diet that would benefit men and women today.

In 1988, Dr. S. Boyd Eaton from Emory University published the book The Paleolithic Prescription. The concept of the book was that human bodies, and digestive systems, among other systems, are not made for modern diets. Our bodies haven’t evolved at the same rate as food advancements. To Eaton, the pre-agricultural period is more fitted to our genetics. The doctor went further to suggest that modern diseases can be attributed to today’s eating habits.


Noom vs. Paleo – The Rules

Rules of Noom

The big three when it comes to Noom rules are food, exercise, and education. Food and exercise are tracked daily and, based on research on Noom, this tracking is one habit found in people who lose more weight on the plan. The education aspect is what really sets Noom apart. Through lessons and quizzes, you are taught small changes that lead to new healthy habits.

Let’s look at the three pillars of Noom if you will.

Food: Food is a big part of any weight-loss plan – it’s at the heart of weight loss and weight gain. Overeat, eat the wrong foods, skip healthy foods – these habits can lead to weight gain and adverse effects on health, so Noom encourages looking at food differently.

The three food categories with Noom are green, yellow, and red. Think of these three categories as traffic lights. Green is go, yellow is slow, and red is stop (most of the time).

Green Foods: The green foods on Noom are packed with nutrients the body wants, and needs, to function best. Both fruits and vegetables, along with some dairy/non-dairy foods, fall into the green category.

  • Fruits: pears, peaches, tomato, oranges, strawberries, bananas, cherries, watermelon, pineapple, and apples.
  • Vegetables: salad greens, carrots, peas, lettuce, onion, zucchini, Brussel’s sprouts, green beans, and cucumbers.
  • Grains and Starches: whole grains, brown rice, corn, polenta, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Dairy/Non-Dairy: nut milks, skim milk, non-fat dairy.

Yellow Foods: Yellow foods are still packed with healthy nutrients, but the calorie count may be higher or the nutrient profile not as robust as green foods. A few categories, like lean meats and alternative protein sources, are on the yellow foods list.

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

Red Foods: The red foods on Noom are those that offer little nutritional value, but pack quite the calorie punch. These foods should only be eaten on occasion, though no foods are prohibited.

  • Meats: ham, salami, fried meats, hamburgers, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and red meat.
  • Nuts and Seeds: nut butters, peanut butter, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
  • Other: flour, honey, sugar, and wine.

Tracking Exercise: Exercise tracking with Noom provides a welcome surprise. The app automatically adds 50% of the total calories burned during exercise back into the calorie goal. Not only are you encouraged to exercise for the health benefits, but it’s also the perfect way to increase the number of calories you consume each day. As an example, someone who has a calorie goal of 1500 calories a day could increase that calorie goal with daily exercise. If a walk burned 300 calories, 150 of those would be added back, so the calorie goal is moved up to 1650.

Lessons and Quizzes: An exciting aspect of Noom is the psychological side of the coin. With behavioral modification, through the lessons and quizzes, Noom works to help with the adoption of new habits that naturally lead to weight loss. The lessons are delivered via the app, as well as the quizzes. Altogether, it is suggested to spend about 10 minutes a day on Noom lessons. Over the 16-week period that Noom works, all these small lessons lead to significant changes and permanent weight loss.

With a free trial offer, you can see just how unique this program really is.

Rules of the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is all about the foods you can and cannot eat. There are clear food lists that outline how your meals will look, and there’s not a lot of wiggle room.

Here are some of the foods allowed and not allowed on the Paleolithic Diet.

Allowed Foods

The categories of foods allowed on Paleo include:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Root Vegetables and Tubers
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Healthy Fats

The allowed list brings up a significant problem with the Paleo Diet. Foods like broccoli, allowed and encouraged on the plan, were poisonous in ancient times. And, as we covered before, foods like bananas, peaches, and watermelon look nothing like they did naturally. These foods have been genetically modified. That doesn’t fall in line with the rules of Paleo.

Not Allowed

As for the foods not allowed on Paleo, these include:

  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Processed Foods

A problem we found with not allowed foods on Paleo is with the legumes category. Based on newer research, it appears that our ancient ancestors actually ate foods from the legume family. These foods were found naturally in certain areas.

The plan also encourages eating nuts, which has come under fire recently. One of the most popular nuts today is almonds. The majority of almonds are grown in California, and there are so many plants that bees are trucked in to keep the plants producing. This is not something our ancestors would have done.

Eating Plans

Noom vs. Paleo – Eating Plans

The Noom Eating Plan

With Noom, you are encouraged to eat the foods you love while focusing on learning healthier options and how to make the best changes for lasting results. Whole foods are the heart of the plan. Eating foods how they occur in nature is always ideal, no matter what weight-loss plan you’re following. Whole foods are packed with the nutrition the body needs to sustain life, not to mention they are healthier options to the slew of processed foods available today.

Food restrictions are not part of the Noom plan. You can continue to enjoy your favorite foods, but in amounts that fall into the three categories and within your calorie goal.

The best way to explain the Noom eating and healthy lifestyle plan is offered by the company. “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.”

It’s also a feather in Noom’s cap that the plan has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a lifestyle program.

The Paleo Eating Plan

There is no dedicated Paleo eating plan. We do know, however, that there are tips on how to follow the diet. The tips include:

  • Your Paleo Diet should be high-fat, moderate-protein, and moderate (to low) carbohydrate.
  • Consume saturated fats if they come from animals treated fairly.
  • Pack in the animal protein.
  • Stick with carbs from fruits and vegetables, either fresh or frozen, in addition to some starches like sweet potatoes.
  • Grains and legumes should be avoided.
  • Remove vegetable oils from the diet.
  • Eliminate sugar, in all forms other than natural sugars from fruits and vegetables.
  • Leave out dairy products, unless you’re using butter.
  • Eat only when hungry. Skip meals if desired.
  • Reduce stress and exercise in short, intense bouts a few times a week.
  • Consider taking a supplement to add the vitamins and minerals into your diet that you’re missing in foods.
Plan Duration

Noom vs. Paleo – Plan Duration

How Long Does Noom Last?

Noom lasts 16 weeks, after which the user is given the option to move on to part two, which continues with education on healthy habits and lasting behavioral changes to keep weight off. The 16 weeks are broken into lessons that include:

  • Weight Loss Foundations
  • Sleep Foundations
  • Triggers
  • Changing Thoughts
  • Social Situations
  • Dealing With Stress
  • Mindfulness
  • Planning for the Future

As part of the 16-week plan, users are paired with a personal coach who helps with accountability, answering questions, and providing the guidance and support needed to keep the user on track and satisfied with the plan.

Give Noom a try for free with the free trial offer so you can see just how different this program addresses weight loss.

How Long Does the Paleo Diet Last?

There is no set time frame for the Paleo Diet. From all sources we found, the plan is designed to be a lifestyle, so the foods you eliminate are gone for good – for the most part. Because the program is not structured in any way, it leaves much of the work to the user without the guidance needed to progress to lifestyle changes.

Significant Differences Between Noom and the Paleo Diet

There are many differences between the Noom app and the Paleo Diet. Let’s take a look at the two side-by-side.

Delivery: Noom is delivered as an app, and the Paleo Diet is based on information online and in books written by a variety of authors. Not all authors are qualified to present nutritional and diet information, which brings up another difference. Noom works with doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, and personal trainers to cover all angles of weight loss. That’s not the case with the Paleo Diet.

Foods: Another big difference is in the foods allowed, not allowed, and encouraged. With Noom, the plan is all about whole foods with no restrictions. Paleo is based on limitations. The foods you are allowed to eat are limited, and some foods that are encouraged, like saturated fats, are linked to health problems, sometimes severe.

Structure: There is no structure to the Paleo Diet. You are given instructions that have not been vetted by research and science, and that’s where the information ends. With Noom, the plan is broken into 16 weeks, with a solid structure and reinforcement to ensure changes to habits stick.

Can You Follow the Paleo Diet on Noom?

No, the Paleo Diet is not compatible with Noom’s vision. The idea of whole foods, small lifestyle changes, structure, support, and education play no part in this ancient diet. There’s also the fact that on Paleo, followers are instructed to not worry about skipping meals, up to two meals a day. Noom is more about balanced food intake to prevent hunger and binging.

Possible Side Effects of Noom vs. Paleo Diet

Noom has no side effects other than weight loss, but the same can’t be said for the Paleo Diet.

The first problem with Paleo is that the diet isn’t balanced. The main focus is meat, which can lead to eating increased amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats. Not only is this a dietary problem, but meats from wild animals thousands of years ago did not have the same nutritional makeup as the meat available today – even if grass-fed and free-range options are chosen. It is thought that meat in the Paleo era contained more omega-3 fatty acids, which would make sense since modern diets are lacking in omega 3s. There’s also the problem with low fiber intake and missing vitamins and minerals.

Because fiber is missing from the diet, and meat is a significant component of meals, you could experience constipation. This side effect is seen in other meat-heavy diets like low-carb and keto.


Noom vs. Paleo – The Research

Clinical Research on Noom

There is a considerable amount of clinical research that shows Noom works to improve weight-loss results. Moreover, research has shown that the app helps people keep weight off – weight maintenance. Weight maintenance is one of the more difficult parts of weight loss. Let’s check out how research has proven Noom works.

In a study published in Scientific Reports, more than 75% of study participants reported weight loss while using the app. The study involved more than 35,000 people. A closer look at the research showed that of those who lost weight, tracking dinner and exercise were two habits of the most successful people.

It’s also pretty amazing that Noom has been proven to help users keep the weight off after losing weight. Research published in Metabolic Syndromes and Related Disorders showed in overweight and obese participants, those who used Noom maintained weight loss more effectively.

Clinical Research on the Paleo Diet

The biggest problem with the Paleo Diet is that the “rules” may not be rooted in facts. If you look at some of the foods we eat today – certain foods looked nothing like they do today. The reason is genetic modification. Foods like watermelon, banana, eggplant, carrot, corn, and peach have all been genetically modified to increase the meat of the fruit. There are also foods like broccoli that were once poisonous to humans until scientists changed the natural genetics.

While we know that some aspects of the Paleo Diet are not rooted in science or fact, are there studies out there that show some benefit to the plan?

Research into the effects of the Paleo Diet is lacking, which is precisely what the research we found claims. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Paleo Diet lacks evidence – plain and simple.

Quick Facts

The Facts About Noom vs. Paleo Diet

Quick Facts on Noom

  • Noom is a 16-week, structured plan.
  • The plan includes a personal coach and a dedicated community of like-minded users.
  • Various data is used to create a customized plan.
  • No foods are restricted with Noom.
  • Technology and artificial intelligence are used to maximize effectiveness.

Quick Facts on Paleo

  • Food restriction is encouraged.
  • The diet lacks the nutrients needed for optimal health.
  • Saturated fats are encouraged.
  • There is no structure to the plan.

The Paleo Diet is not proven to help with weight loss. Good nutrition is lacking and the premise is flawed based on history and research. Noom, on the other hand, has been clinically proven to help users lose weight and keep that weight off.

Try Noom today with a free trial offer.

Noom vs. Paleo Diet Ingredients


Noom vs. Paleo Diet Questions and Answers

What is the Noom diet plan?

The Noom plan is a 16-week program that gradually changes how the user looks at and feels about food through behavioral and psychological education.

Does Noom have a meal plan?

No, there is no dedicated meal plan on Noom. You are free to create your favorite meals while following a calorie goal and categorizing foods into green, yellow, and red columns.

What are red foods on Noom?

Red foods are foods Noom suggests only be eaten on occasion. These foods tend to be processed, high-calorie, and high-fat.

What are the yellow foods on Noom?

Yellow foods are all about moderation. Nuts and seeds are one example. These foods are nutritious, but they also pack high calorie and fat counts.

What are the green foods on Noom?

The best way to describe green foods on Noom is fruits and vegetables. These foods tend to be nutritious, and serving sizes are more substantial than foods in the yellow and red categories for the same number of calories.

How much is Noom after the trial?

After the free trial of Noom, you will pay $59 a month for four months. You have the option to subscribe to multiple months to save money.

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

Is Noom worth the money?

Yes, without a doubt, Noom is worth the money. In a study of more than 30,000 participants, more than 75% reported weight loss.

Is Noom easy to cancel?

Yes. Contact your personal coach via the message system. Tell the coach you want to cancel your Noom subscription. The coach will cancel the plan, and you’ll receive an email confirmation.

Noom vs. Paleo Diet

Can I do paleo on Noom?


Yes, Noom offers an array of meal plans that are in line with the paleo diet. Their meal plans provide balanced nutrition to help you achieve your goals while also giving you freedom to customize meals and snacks to fit your lifestyle and preferences. Noom also offers resources such as educational videos, food logging tools and personalized coaching sessions to help keep you on track.

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