Noom and Nutrisystem are two popular weight loss programs.
Although both aim to help you achieve your weight goals and improve your overall health, several key differences set these two programs apart.
This article compares Noom and Nutrisystem to determine which is better for long-lasting weight loss.
Here’s a basic overview of what each program entails.
Noom is a mobile health app outfitted with tools to promote weight loss, such as an activity tracker, food log, and educational resources. It also offers personalized support from a virtual team, which includes a group coach, goal specialist, and online support group.
Upon signup, the app asks you a series of questions about your diet, lifestyle, medical history, and goals in order to build a personalized plan.
Although no foods are banned, Noom encourages users to eat foods with a low calorie density, meaning that they contain few calories relative to their weight or volume.
Furthermore, the app provides a variety of healthy recipes that you can use to create your own custom meal plan.
Nutrisystem is a program designed to simplify weight loss by providing fully prepared meals that are easy to reheat and enjoy.
Although most of its plans are designed to be followed for 2–4 weeks, you can repeat the program as many times as you wish, or until you reach your weight loss goals.
Nutrisystem offers four plans:
- Basic: provides 5 days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks per week
- Uniquely Yours: offers 5 days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks each week from the complete menu
- Uniquely Yours Ultimate: includes 7 days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks per week from the complete menu
- Partner: provides 5 days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks per week from the complete menu for two people
Regardless of which plan you select, Nutrisystem encourages you to eat two snacks per day in addition to the meals and snacks provided.
Here are the menu options and meals you can expect from each program.
Unlike Nutrisystem, Noom doesn’t include meals or snacks as part of its monthly fee. Instead, it provides the recipes and tools you need to prepare healthy meals at home.
While no foods are completely off-limits, the program encourages you to stick to foods with a low calorie density.
Foods are classified as red, yellow, or green depending on their calorie density, and Noom provides a comprehensive list of which foods fall into each category.
Ideally, your diet should consist mostly of green and yellow foods, which include fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and legumes. Red foods should be limited and include items like processed meat, high calorie snack foods, and sweets.
Nutrisystem has a large menu with an array of prepared meals and snacks, including both fresh and frozen options.
You can filter their full menu to find recipes that fit your needs, including vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, high fiber, and high protein meals.
You can also exclude certain ingredients or allergens, such as pork, milk, wheat, eggs, or onions.
The Basic plan lets you choose from a selection of 100 menu items. Meanwhile, the Uniquely Yours, Uniquely Yours Ultimate, and Partner plans all offer over 150 dishes.
Here’s a closer look at how these two programs compare in terms of price.
Noom subscriptions start at $59 for an automatically recurring monthly plan.
Discounted rates are also available if you sign up for longer periods. For example, an annual subscription costs just $199, which is approximately $16.58 per month.
Furthermore, Noom offers a 7-day trial that lets you select how much to pay, starting at just $0.50 for the entire week.
Nutrisystem has several plans that vary in price, the number of meals, and menu options.
Here are the prices of each plan:
- Basic: $8.93 per day for women, $10.36 per day for men
- Uniquely Yours: $10.71 per day for women, $12.14 per day for men
- Uniquely Yours Ultimate: $12.86 per day for women, $14.29 per day for men
- Partner Plan: $10.71–$12.14 per person, per day
Free shipping is available for all plans, and you can save money by prepaying for multiple shipments.
Optional add-ons like protein shakes are available for an additional fee.
While both programs promote weight loss, Noom’s focus on behavioral changes may be more beneficial for long-term weight control.
Although specific research on Noom is limited, one study in nearly 36,000 people found that 78% of users reported losing weight over an average of 9 months (1).
In an 8-week study, women who used Noom lost significantly more weight and body fat and experienced greater improvements in emotional-eating behaviors, compared with a control group. However, keep in mind that this study was funded by Noom (2).
The app also promotes nutrient-dense, low calorie foods, including fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes. Such foods are not only likely effective for weight loss but also may support healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels (3, 4).
Additionally, Noom promotes healthy eating habits and sustainable behavioral changes, which is key to maintaining long-term weight loss (5).
Nutrisystem claims that its program helps you lose up to 18 pounds (8.2 kg) in your first month, which is supported by a money back guarantee.
This claim is based on a 12-week trial sponsored by Nutrisystem, which found that people who followed the program lost significantly more belly fat and body weight than those on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (6).
Several other studies likewise suggest that Nutrisystem may aid short-term weight loss.
For instance, one review of 39 studies found that people who used Nutrisystem for 3 months experienced an average of 3.8% more weight loss than those who received behavioral counseling or education (7).
Still, more research is needed to determine whether the program is effective for long-term weight loss.
Both programs may offer a few additional benefits.
Noom is fairly flexible, as it doesn’t restrict any ingredients or eliminate entire food groups from your diet. Instead, it allows you to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.
It also offers virtual support from coaches and peers, which may benefit those who want someone to help hold them accountable.
Plus, it takes multiple factors into account when creating your custom plan, including your medical history, eating habits, weight loss goals, and lifestyle. This allows the app to build a personalized plan to help you meet your goals.
Unlike many competitors, Nutrisystem doesn’t have any complicated rules or regulations, making it suitable for those who prefer a streamlined program that’s easy to follow.
Furthermore, all meals and snacks are delivered fully prepared, which saves time on cooking and meal prep throughout the week.
Nutrisystem may also support better blood sugar control. For example, a review of 18 studies in people with type 2 diabetes found that Nutrisystem improved blood sugar control more effectively over 6 months than nutritional counseling (9).
Plus, the company offers an array of low glycemic, diabetes-friendly meals that minimally affect your blood sugar levels. Some research suggests that low glycemic foods promote blood sugar control and weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes (10, 11).
Here are a few drawbacks to consider for each program.
Noom is somewhat pricey, with individual monthly plans starting at $59. This doesn’t include the cost of food, which you must buy on your own.
This program also requires a smartphone or tablet and internet access, making it infeasible for people with limited internet access or who aren’t tech-savvy.
Additionally, Noom is entirely virtual and only allows you to communicate with your support team through the app. Therefore, it won’t work for people who prefer face-to-face interactions or in-person counseling.
Nutrisystem offers limited meal and snack options for people with certain dietary preferences and restrictions, including those following vegan, gluten-free, or paleo diets.
Additionally, although some studies suggest that Nutrisystem aids short-term weight loss, it may be very expensive and difficult to follow long term.
It also focuses on processed meals and snacks rather than promoting healthy habits or dietary modifications. As such, you may experience weight regain once you resume your typical diet.
Moreover, most plans provide just 1,200–1,500 calories per day, which may not be enough for many adults. Excessively cutting your calorie intake may slow your metabolism, which may hinder weight loss over time (12).
If you’re trying to decide between Noom and Nutrisystem, it’s important to consider your personal goals and needs.
While Nutrisystem can be somewhat pricey, it’s a more structured eating plan that can help save time on cooking.
On the other hand, Noom may be a better choice for those hoping to modify their diet and lifestyle for long-term weight loss. Although it requires more time and effort, it may be more sustainable and effective overall.
Noom and Nutrisystem are two popular programs designed to promote weight loss.
Nutrisystem provides a selection of fully prepared, low calorie meals to help you reduce the time you spend in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, Noom is a mobile app that offers tools to support long-term changes to your diet and lifestyle. It may be more effective for creating healthy habits and maintaining weight loss long term.