Fitness and calorie-counting apps have helped many of my clients lose weight and achieve their body goals.
Two of the most popular apps available at the moment are MyFitnessPal and the Noom app. We researched these two options based on actual customer feedback. A number of our clients also used them, and the results were mind-blowing, to say the least.
Read on to find out how this debate about Noom vs. MyFitnessPal pans out.
What is Noom Coach?
Noom Coach is a smartphone app with an integrated dietary advice service.
According to the creators, they focus on “making healthy living easy,” and with over 10 million downloads on Android alone, there certainly seems to be something to this claim.
What sets Noom apart is its combination of technology and human touch. The app not only learns your eating habits over time for better food tracking but also provides the unique feature of assigning a personal coach to each user.
This human element, coupled with personalized meal plans and community support groups, enhances the weight-loss journey.
Additionally, Noom adopts a non-restrictive diet approach. It doesn't ban any foods; instead, it encourages a balance, promoting the consumption of nutrient-dense foods while allowing for occasional indulgences.
Another positive of Noom for many people is that it doesn’t ban any food. Rather, it encourages eating more nutrient-dense foods (labeled green), such as fresh produce, and minimizing the portions and/or frequency of yellow-tagged (proteins, starches) and red-tagged foods (the latter being pizza, candy, alcohol, and the like).
- Cynthia Sass, Registered Dietician
What is MyFitnessPal?
MyFitnessPal is an Android and iOS calorie-counting app that helps you log your food intake, like a food diary app.
When I started using MyFitnessPal on my iPhone, its effectiveness as a food diary app was immediately clear. It helped me focus on each meal, making me more mindful of my food choices.
According to the company that makes the app, the total weight loss of all its users has added up to over 200 million pounds.
From what we can tell from all the reviews we have read, it’s mainly the calorie-tracking functionality of the weight loss program that seems to be its big attraction.
The company claims they have health and nutritional values for millions of different healthy foods, and even easier than choosing from a list, you can actually also scan the barcode on the food you eat .
This is indeed a very cool feature that can make your life a lot easier.
Noom vs. MyFitnessPal: Key Differences
1. Calorie Tracking: Winner = Noom
In my personal use of both apps, I noticed a significant difference in the accuracy of the data, especially when integrating with my activity tracker.
Noom consistently provided more accurate calorie counts and synced seamlessly with my fitness devices, offering a more reliable overview of my daily activities.
According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, this approach results in positive results among people who use apps for weight loss .
From comparing the App and Play Store reviews, there is a definite indication that a lot of users find that MyFitnessPal is not as accurate and that Noom is a lot more reliable when it comes to counting calories for weight loss programs.
It seems that Noom can really live up to its tagline of “Calorie Counting Made Simple."
2. Free Trial: Winner = Noom
I downloaded both apps for free and explored their features. While many functionalities were accessible without a subscription, I found that the advanced features, especially in Noom, were worth the investment for the added depth they provided.
One of my clients who used Noom said that he opted for Noom's premium version, and the value of the actual weight loss coaching became evident.
The personalized guidance and support he received were crucial in helping him understand and overcome his weight loss challenges.
And that’s what Noom offers: a 1-week trial period for Noom Coach for only $0.50, where you don’t get billed the full amount if you cancel within 7 days.
MyFitnessPal doesn’t currently offer such a trial for its Premium version (but you can use the basic food diary version for free), so the point goes to Noom with an updated score of 2-0.
3. Support: Winner = Noom
Both apps have a dedicated online support service where you can post questions about anything from billing to technical problems. MyFitnessPal also has a forum where you can post questions, and apparently, it’s monitored by staff.
From looking through quite a few questions posted, it does seem like the response times on this forum are quite slow. This could be a bad sign since it means you might not get the help you need in a timely manner.
On the other hand, after testing the online support form with Noom, we saw a response within just 24 hours. And that is something we saw reported in a few fitness forums that we reviewed as well.
The promptness of their response is astounding, considering the size of their audience and the scope of their service.
So, again, the point goes to Noom, and the score is 3-0, so far in this Noom vs Myfitnesspal comparison.
4. Coaching: Winner = Noom
If you can afford a personal exercise coach and dietician, then fair play to you. For most people, though, that’s quite an expense, with professional nutrition advice easily costing a few hundred dollars a month.
First up, Noom offers a great one-on-one coaching service directly through the fitness app. You can ask questions and have your diet, recipes, and meal plan reviewed.
You’ll also get loads of tips on how to improve things, and the company claims that they really help people stay motivated through their coaches.
MyFitnessPal, unfortunately, doesn’t have such a service included at the moment. So, again the point goes to Noom, 4-0.
5. Ease of Use: Winner = MyFitnessPal
One reason so many people fail to reach their goals is that they either lose motivation or have difficulty keeping accurate data.
If you can easily track all your food intake and add every little snack in a matter of seconds, then you should be able to set yourself up for success.
Now, both apps claim to have a huge food database, and the input is done through a simple search-and-add feature.
However, this is one area where the MyFitnessPal app does stand out quite a bit. They have an added barcode reading functionality, and they claim to be able to automatically query their food database for the exact nutritional info, simply by scanning the barcode with your phone.
That is a cool feature, so the score now is 4-1.
6. Nutritional Education Content: Winner = Noom
Noom is renowned for its holistic approach, focusing not just on calorie counting but also on educating users about healthy eating habits.
It offers a wealth of articles, tips, and daily lessons that delve into the psychology of eating, the importance of nutrient-dense foods, and strategies for making sustainable dietary changes.
This educational approach is designed to empower users with knowledge, helping them make informed decisions about their diet beyond the app's usage.
On the other hand, MyFitnessPal primarily serves as a robust food tracking tool, offering a vast database of foods and their nutritional information. While it provides basic guidance on nutrition and calorie goals, its educational resources are more focused on tracking and less on the whys of nutrition.
The winner in this category is again Noom. Its comprehensive approach to educating users about healthy eating habits, the psychology of eating, and sustainable dietary changes gives it an edge.
7. Customization and Personalization Features: Winner = Noom
8. Price: Winner = MyFitnessPal
Keep in mind that with Noom, your monthly subscription will include a one-on-one instructor, so simply looking at the dollar amounts doesn’t tell the whole story.
According to the Google Play Store, the monthly subscription for MyFitnessPal is $19.99 (or $79.99 annually).
Noom, on the other hand, offers its services for $59.99 per month (or $199 annually). They quite clearly say that “The longer you commit, the more you save.”
As already mentioned, Noom goes beyond counting calories and providing some recipes. However, purely from a value perspective, the point goes to MyFitnessPal, and the final score is 6-2 in favor of Noom.
Targeted at millennials, Noom is a health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help you lose weight for the long run. It focuses on making tangible, sustainable lifestyle shifts rather than encouraging more extreme styles of eating.
- Jaclyn London, Dietician
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can Noom sync with MyFitnessPal?
Noom can’t sync with MyFitnessPal, as they are completely separate and competing services. You can use Noom to sync with a load of other activity tracking apps, which the company highlights as a major feature on its website.
Want to know what apps can sync with Noom? Read our article here.
How much is MyFitnessPal a month?
MyFitnessPal is $9.99 a month. You can also sign up for their annual subscription, which will cost you just $49.99.
Is MyFitnessPal accurate with weight loss?
Yes, MyFitnessPal is accurate with weight loss, but it’s only as accurate as the data you enter.
However, there are a lot more customer reviews that say that Noom tracks your progress and calculates the calorie amounts a bit more accurately.
Can MyFitnessPal adjust calories as you lose weight?
Yes, MyFitnessPal will adjust calories as you lose weight, and your current weight is updated. Ideally, through a rigorous exercise and workout routine, you should be able to burn some fat reserves. As you update your weight on a daily or weekly basis, the app will adjust and provide you with new goals to aim for.
MyFitnessPal vs Noom Coach: The Verdict
After all the research we’ve done, both by trying out the apps ourselves and by diving into the customer reviews online on the App Store and the Google Play Store, we have come to the conclusion that Noom is the better choice.
With Noom, you can record all the steps you’ve taken throughout the day, as well as any exercise you’ve done at the gym, so you can get a much better picture of how you’re progressing.
There are an overwhelming number of reviews that highlight that people not only achieved their weight loss goals but also managed to maintain them afterward, all with Noom’s help.
You can download the app for free and sign up for a 7-day trial for $0.50 to find out how much fat you can burn in just two weeks.
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