The days of fad diets and calorie counting are soon becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, there are more and more personalised routes to weight loss all for the price of a monthly subscription. If you’ve tried and failed strict diets in the past the two programs we’ll be covering today may just be right for you. As you’ll already know, the key to lasting weight loss is consistency in your habits. In this post, we’ll be looking at Zoe VS Noom and what each weight loss program can offer you.
Zoe and Noom are quite different and so this comparison will give you the info so you can see which one might be best for you.
Quick overview: Noom is a weight management and general health program that takes a psychological approach to our relationship with food. Zoe on the other hand is primarily a personal health program that tailors a diet for you based on your unique gut microbiome.
Table of Contents
Zoe: pros & cons
Nutritionist direct messaging
Support not 24/7
Learn about the foods that suit you
Noom: pros & cons
jargon can be confusing to beginners
Holistic approach to weight loss
Zoe VS Noom: Zoe overview
Zoe is not actually marketed as a weight loss program. Instead, it’s a program that allows you to understand how the food you eats affects you personally with weight loss potentially being a side-effect of that. After all, everyone is different. The Zoe app was pioneered by Professor Tim Spector, the man behind the Zoe Health Study app, the very app many of us put our Covid symptoms into. The Zoe program is built on two parts; the at-home tests and the membership app.
If you use the Zoe program, there is no calorie counting or restricted foods. In fact, you’re allowed to eat anything you want as long as you follow the program. The big focus with Zoe is your own unique body and the contents of your own personal gut microbiome. The goal with Zoe is to allow you to understand what foods give you inflammation and which foods your body actually likes. Another big focus is blood glucose so you can understand what foods spike your blood glucose levels and when.
Zoe VS Noom: Noom overview
The Noom program is primarily marketed as a weight loss program. However, just like Zoe, there are no foods that are off-limits. Noom isn’t a typical weight loss program though, Noom uses talking therapy (or cognitive behavioural therapy) with its participants to improve their relationship with food and educate them on the subject of nutrition. This can help you create healthy habits making your weight loss consistent. Once you’ve completed the questionnaire on the Noom website, you can then be linked with a therapist who will be on call at most hours.
Noom takes a holistic approach to weight loss and with the help of your own therapist, you can iron out all the areas of your life that contribute to weight gain.
Noom uses a simple traffic light system to let users know which foods are good or bad. For example, green labelled foods are good and contain the most amount of nutrients, red are not so good and amber labelled foods are somewhere in between.
Zoe: how it works
Zoe is simple enough to use. Once you visit the Zoe website you can select what your goal is either long-term health or weight loss and health. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire to identify the right plan for you as an individual.
The questionnaire will as you questions like how many plants you eat a day, what goal is most important to you, what your ideal goal weight is and if you have any health conditions.
You need to purchase the at-home tests as well as the membership as they cannot be purchased separately. You can download the Zoe app at any time for Apple or Android. However, once you have completed the tests, your app will switch to a different mode and begin to show you foods and recipes that are beneficial to your personal health based on your test results.
The tests run over a 4-week period and include a blood glucose patch that you wear continuously, a finger prick test to test the fat levels in your blood and a stool sample test to see how you metabolise foods.
All of these tests are then sent to the Zoe HQ for analysis. The app has all of your personal results stored on it so it can suggest the foods that suit you best. You can chain foods together to create recipes and then you’ll get a percentage rating in relation to how your body works and what it likes to eat.
This is great because you’ll know exactly what will give you the least inflammation and help you to make better food choices that don’t make you bloated or gain weight.
Zoe home tests: a closer look
As mentioned, you’ll need to complete three different tests so Zoe can return your results and tailor your diet. The stool sample test is simple enough, you just have to put your sample in a tube that has a solution in it. It doesn’t need to go in the fridge so you can store it where you want until it’s time to send it to the lab.
Zoe also sends you an insulin sensor patch that can put placed on the back of your arm. The patch is meant to be worn for at least two weeks which is enough time for Zoe to analyse your data. It’s worth mentioning that when you sign up for a Zoe plan, you have to consent to be part of a wider research plan which involves everyone wearing a patch. It’s no extra cost to you, however. The patch monitors your glucose levels and is comfortable to wear.
Zoe sends you specially-made muffins when you place your order with them. These muffins are specially created for you to eat so Zoe can see how your blood sugar responds to the high sugar content.
The last part of the at-home tests is the finger prick test to check the fat levels in your blood. This test can also see other blood work markers and give Zoe a good overview of your current health. The finger prick test isn’t too painful and only requires a small drop of blood.
Noom: how it works
As mentioned, Noom is a weight loss program that takes a holistic approach to weight loss. When you’ve signed up for Noom, your therapist won’t just help you to make better food choices but they will also help you take control of other areas of your life that affect your weight like your sleep, your exercise regime and stress management.
This is where Zoe vs Noom differ, Zoe is very much a personalised health program based on your test results whereas Noom is less invasive, looking like a more typical weight loss program with the added benefit of on-hand support.
Noom is very easy to use. Just like Zoe, you’ll need to fill out a quick questionnaire that will ask you questions like what your goal weight is, if you have any existing health conditions, what you’d like your plan to focus on (nutrition, muscle building, other), the speed of which you’re looking to lose weight, and more.
You’ll then need to add an email address to get more information about how Noom can help you to reach your goal.
Zoe app overview
The Zoe app is an easy-to-use app. With the app, you can create a log of all the foods that suit your metabolism and the ones that don’t spike your glucose levels, based on your original test results.
The Zoe app also has a handy barcode scanner built in so when you’re out and about shopping, you can simply scan something to get a score, helping you make better food choices for your personal metabolism.
You can slo set yourself challenges like the amount of plants you eat in a day and all of these can be logged and tracked over time to see the improvements you’re making.
The app also includes coaching support from nutritionists that can help you to discover new food choices that may be better options. They don’t appear to be on call 24/7 like Noom’s therapists but it’s a neat feature to have within the app.
Noom app overview
The Noom app is also easy to navigate and includes support in the way of private messaging with your therapist. Both Zoe and Noom act much like habit trackers. Noom allows you to track your daily meals, water intake, and daily steps whilst also allowing you to track your blood pressure and glucose levels.
The Noom app also allows you to scan barcodes to see where the food you’re scanning falls within their traffic light system. If you’re not able to physically scan a barcode, you can search the thousands of foods in their database, much like myfitnesspal does.
Noom lets you view your weekly intake and shows you your percentages of green, amber and red choices so you can see what colours your daily bar charts include. To help with this, you can set your own colour targets and easily see if you’re going to or if you have hit them. Added to this is a daily calorie intake average.
The neat thing about Noom’s daily food tracker is the visual aspect. Easily being able to see your greens, ambers and reds is very helpful so you know how many greens you need to add in and how many reds you need to limit to stay on track.
Noom is personalised to you and although is not based on blood work and stool samples, it can begin to build a picture of what might suit you best on your plate.
Zoe VS Noom: pricing
When it comes to pricing, Zoe and Noom are both on the higher end of the scale in terms of weight loss programs. Both run subscription models so if you’re going to purchase a plan, you need to be committed.
Zoe has two costs. The first is the at-home test kit which is £299. This includes the blood glucose test, the blood fat test and the stool sample test. You can however pay for this over 6 monthly instalments costing you £49.99 a month. The second part of the cost is the monthly subscription to the app.
This can be paid for in three different plans. The first is for one month (that renews automatically) at £59.99. You can pay for four months at £39.99 or for 12 months at £24.99 a month. All of these plans can be cancelled at any time.
Noom is a lot more straightforward. Noom costs £12.50 a month or £149 a year and both of these plans can be cancelled at any time. Noom also allows you to try a 14-day trial for £1. Just remember to cancel before the end of the 14 days if you don’t want to continue.
Zoe app reviews
When it comes to it, reviews from users are what counts. Zoe has a rating of 4.3/5 on Trustpilot with many describing how it has helped them to lose weight and keep it off. However, most of the reviewers praise Zoe for helping them understand their own unique relationship with food and which foods suit their bodies the best.
Noom app reviews
Noom has a Trustpilot rating of 4.1/5 and many of the reviewers have praised Noom for teaching them vital information about nutrition and how different food types benefit them. One of the most praised aspects of Noom is the 1 to 1 coaching users get.
Zoe VS Noom: my conclusion
Both Zoe and Noom are big commitments. However, if you’ve tried typical weight loss fads, they might be an investment worth making. The best thing about these programs, in my opinion, is the 1 on 1 support and in this area, Noom is the clear winner.
However, the personalised health plan that Zoe offers is fantastic and could give you information that you could use for life, even if you did cancel your subscription at any time. Once you know what types of food your gut likes, you could potentially see out your subscription and then cancel it. However, you won’t have access to nutritionists any more.
If you want a holistic approach to weight loss including changing your perspective through CBT therapy then Noom is the best bet for you. If you want to understand how your body metabolises food so you can make better and personalised food choices, Zoe could be the way forward.
Just remember, weight loss and health are something you have to pay attention to consistently whilst making and keeping your healthy habits so they last and work.
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