Noom and keto are two of the hottest diets right now. A lot of people looking to lose weight find themselves considering these two weight loss programs, so which is best for you? Can you do keto on Noom? These two diets are very different and get very different ratings from health experts. If you are comparing Noom and the keto diet, here’s what you should know.
Noom in 80 Seconds:
Diets don’t work, but it’s not you, it’s the approach, and Noom claims to be “the behavior change company.” Here’s how Noom works:
About Keto: (5-minutes)
Keto isn’t a plan you have to sign up for, the keto diet is simply a shift in how you eat that claims to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low carb eating plan that encourages your body to burn fat instead of carbs. Here’s how keto works:
OK, so you have a decent idea of how Noom and keto work. Now, let’s look at how experts rate these two diets.
Noom vs Keto Ratings:
U.S. News asked a panel of health experts to rate 35 popular diets. Here’s how they rated keto: (source)
• KETO rating:
So, how bad is their “2.0/5” rating for keto? Keto placed #34 on their list of 35 diets. Even worse, when rated specifically on health, keto came in 35th. Yes, dead last on the list.
So, how did Noom fair? Noom is still the new kid on the block, so they weren’t included in this year’s list. However, we can speculate that Noom would have done much better than Keto for a number of reasons including that Noom’s closest rival, WW Weight Watchers (coupons) was ranked #1 on their list of Best Weight Loss Diets.
For some time Noom was referred to as “WW for Millenials,” although Noom doesn’t really like the WW comparison, believing that their program is more effective.
Since U.S News didn’t rate Noom, let’s find a credible source for Noom ratings. In this case, we’ll consult the App Store, which has over 160k user reviews:
• NOOM rating:
There are also over 17k user Noom reviews on TrustPilot:
As you can see, Noom currently has a stellar “Excellent” rating and 4.5+ stars based on user reviews.
Let’s look more into why Noom and keto got these very different ratings and compare them in several important areas.
1. Weight Loss (Short-Term):
It’s important to understand the difference between short-term and long-term weight loss. Think of short-term weight loss as a vacation, while long-term weight loss is more like your home.
While keto scores high for short-term weight loss, Noom (and most experts) will argue that doesn’t matter much.
What good is weight loss for 2 or 3 months if it’s just going to come right back. Actually, that kind of yo-yo dieting is pretty hard to handle both mentally and physically.
When it comes to short-term weight loss, keto is out of the gate like a sprinter but has no long-term plan. Even so, we’ll give keto this round because it does encourage fast initial weight loss.
Scorecard: Noom 0, Keto 1
2. Weight Loss (Long-Term):
Keto scores very low for long-term weight loss which is the more important variety. That’s probably because keto requires extreme diet limitations, but doesn’t address or attempt to change behavior.
In fact, Noom might say that the idea of “dieting” itself is unsustainable because people look at it as a short-term approach to a larger issue. Diets that don’t address the underlying bad habits and behaviors that caused the weight gain are doomed to fail.
Because keto is essentially unsustainable, Noom wins this round.
Scorecard: Noom 1, keto 1
3. Convenience / Easy to Follow:
If you go out to dinner with a friend who’s on keto, it’s pretty obvious. That’s because it’s hard to eat “normal” meals on keto. It’s also very easy to get off-track with keto, and the diet requires a lot of planning and dedication. Avoiding carbs means very specific groceries, food prep, and planning.
If you’re skilled enough to do keto right, you’ll be in a fat-burning state of ketosis. However, beware; a single pasta dinner or sandwich can throw you out of whack.
Noom recognizes that diet restrictions can quickly cause cravings. While no foods are off-limits, they do have a color system that helps you understand the value of foods, and make good choices. The goal is to encourage healthy eating choices to break bad habits and encourage positive behavior change.
With Noom, all of your meals are logged on their app. You’ll also get as much support from a personal and group coach as you need.
Because Noom adapts to most men and women’s lifestyles better than keto, Noom wins this round.
Scorecard: Noom 2, keto 1
Did we mention that U.S. News rates keto dead-last in a group of 35 diets!? That’s really concerning. Why? It seems that keto seeks weight loss without consideration for wellness.
In other words, in the effort to cut all carbs, you also cut out the good ones like whole grains in favor of fats and unhealthy foods like red meat and butter.
Instead of cutting carbs, Noom focuses on the calorie-density of food. Foods that have a lot of water are less dense, and fill you up faster which deters over-eating and encourages weight loss.
Example: A cup of grapes and raisins will fill you up the same, but the grapes have are less dense and have a lot fewer calories.
Noom assigns a “Green” color to less dense foods, and they encourage you to eat more of them. Overall, Noom’s approach to food is much more healthy. In boxing, an especially one-sided round will net the victor 2 points. So, when it comes to being healthy, keto hits the canvas and Noom gets a 2-point win.
Scorecard: Noom 4, keto 1
Does Noom Work With Keto?
A lot of people wonder whether you can use Noom’s app and tools to keep you on track with keto. Here’s the short answer:
Yes, but Keto on Noom is kind of an oxymoron because keto goes against just about everything Noom thinks a diet should be.
Combining Keto with Noom is like “jumbo shrimp” or “foolish wisdom.”
Noom even has written a number of articles specifically throwing shade at keto and pretty much describe it as the antithesis of a healthy and sustainable diet.
In fact, Noom’s approach is a conscious evolution away from fad dieting, and they (and a lot of experts) believe keto is a fad. In fact, they specifically address the question of whether Noom works with keto by saying:
“Even though the keto diet is somewhat limiting, a little planning can go a long way. With access to Noom’s huge database of recipes, you can plan a variety of meals that include endless combinations of keto-approved ingredients. You’ll also have an experienced support network of others doing exactly what you’re doing and creative meal plan options at your fingertipsSource: Noom/blog
Noom’s view of keto is that it’s unhealthy and unsustainable, but doing keto with Noom’s support and tools is a better option than trying to do it alone.
*Related: Noom vs WW: Which Diet is Better?
Ding, ding, ding! Noom Wins!
After doing research and reading reviews and ratings from health experts we conclude that Noom is a healthier and more sustainable weight loss program than keto. In this head-to-head battle, Noom beats keto convincingly in every round except for short-term weight loss.
If you are looking for sustainable weight loss as the result of a healthier lifestyle, I recommend Noom over keto. While I don’t recommend keto on Noom, it is a better option than trying to do all of the meal-planning on your own. Attempting to do keto on Noom may also show you how unhealthy keto is and encourage you to quit in favor of Noom’s regular program.
Not sold on Noom? I’m also happy to recommend WW (coupons) as another highly rated and healthy app-based diet. If you are very busy and don’t like to cook, perhaps the convenience of Nutrisystem of South Beach Diet is appealing?
Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new diet, and thanks for stopping by Wonky Pie!