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noom vs nutrisystem - which is best

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Noom vs Nutrisystem: Which Weight Loss System Is legit?

About the Author

Alex Goldberg

Alex worked at three early-stage startups before starting Fin vs Fin. Covering the rise of direct-to-consumer health, his mission is to help patients access better treatments online. He's also a husband, father, and UC Berkeley grad who enjoys golf, podcasts, live music, cooking, and home improvement.

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Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Weight Loss Specialist, and Expert Health Writer with over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry.
Melissa utilizes the latest evidence-based research to help guide nutrition recommendations for consumers. She translates complicated scientific research in an easy-to-understand manner, helping you make the most informed choices for your health and well-being.

In this Article

In this Article

Alex Goldberg

As we age, our metabolism slows, and most of us could stand to lose a few pounds. Is it realistic to rely on a more novel weight loss app like Noom, or is a tried and true diet program like Nutrisystem more effective?


There isn’t a one-size fits all unfortunately, so the answer comes down to who you are and what your life is like. In this article, we’ll compare Noom vs Nutrisystem to help you figure out which diet can help you shed weight (and keep it off for good)!

But first: How do doctors recommend you lose weight?

While doctors have long debated the merits of various weight loss schemes and diet programs, there’s a strong consensus in the medical community that you shouldn’t lose weight as aggressively as contestants on reality shows like “The Biggest Loser”.


Instead, the average American should only target losing between o.5 and 2 pounds per week. Tapering much faster can lead to a range of health problems including lowered metabolism, muscle loss, nutrient deficiency, gallstones, and more.


Thus, for folks who are 50 pounds or more overweight, the bad news is that it could take half a year or more to take off excess weight, assuming you follow the path most doctors recommend. Cutting corners or trying to accelerate the process can be harmful to your long-term health.


Secondly, most doctors don’t endorse extreme diets, like eating only oranges, drinking only juice, or any drastic changes that you won’t be able to maintain over the long haul. Instead, for otherwise healthy individuals, the typical recommendation is to reduce overall calorie intake and to exercise more.


The process of reducing caloric consumption usually includes shifting to healthier foods, but shouldn’t come at the expense of a balanced diet. Exercising more can range from going for easy walks to incorporating a total-body fitness regimen, which totally depends on what your doctor says is best for your particular situation.

What’s the best way to keep weight off for good?

Garlic Ginger Beef Broccoli Bowl
Beef and broccoli stir fry from Nutrisystem.

Ask anyone who’s signed up for a gym membership on January 1st — it’s not easy to make these kinds of lifestyle changes. That’s why many dieters may lose weight but so often end up putting it back on.


Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology says, as quoted on the UCLA Newsroom, referenced a study – “We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, and then some. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority.”


So, what’s the secret to healthy habit formation? Some opt for prescription weight loss, but additional research at UCLA points to an added weight loss concept they call “behavior modification.” (Side note: who would have guessed folks in LA would be so concerned about how much they weigh? 😂


“Behavior modification” is the process of changing your current behavior patterns so you are more likely to make healthy choices. Such programs at UCLA combined education and psychologist-led support groups so that dieters are taught what to eat and then are held socially accountable for following through. It’s worth noting that this combination of nutritional education and group support has shown strong results in clinical trials.


For example, in an article published in the medical journal “Primary Care,” such behavioral modification strategies were shown to improve long-term outcomes, like collaborative goal setting, nutrition-monitoring, stimulus control, and more. 


So, with that primer on how doctors say to sustainably slim down, let’s compare Nutrisystem vs Noom to see if either can work for you in the long run.

Nutrisystem vs Noom: Two very different approaches to weight loss

Nutrisystem and Noom each work to promote weight loss, albeit in very distinct ways. Nutrisystem is centered around pre-proportioned, meticulously calorie-counted meals delivered to your home. Noom takes more of a social psychology approach, offering an app that promotes behavior modification and healthy habit formation via personalized daily checklists, support groups, and a coach to hold you accountable. 


Nutrisystem’s plans start at $99.99 for a 7-day “Body Reboot Kit” plan, and starts around $250 for a four week program.


Noom’s free trial makes it easier to get started, before charging just $44.99 a month thereafter. Click here to give it a try for $0.

Which works better, Nutrisystem or Noom?

Both companies claim research showing that they help people slim down. But, are these legit, and do they show what you’d want them to show if you’re like me, trying to take off a few pounds permanently?


Nutrisystem lists quite a few studies on their website, most of which they sponsored. However, these do all show that Nutrisystem users lost weight over the time period analyzed, which ranged from 2 weeks to 9 months. It makes sense that while someone is on a calorie-restricted diet would drop pounds — we all know that if you eat less, you get skinnier.


On the other hand, Noom’s weight loss app — a digital behavior modifier — has also shown strong results in studies they sponsored. One of them showed that 77.9% of the app’s users lost weight, with the average loss at 5% of overall body mass. These studies were longer, and one even shows that 66% still kept the pounds off over a year later, which makes sense since Noom is focused on sustainable weight loss success.


Overall, the available research indicates that both Noom and Nutrisystem work for many, many Americans. Diligent dieters can expect to lose anywhere from 5% to 8% of their body mass over 16 weeks if they stick with either program.


However, Noom’s behavioral modification approach is supported by more academic research, and arguably is more likely to drive longer term success. But if you’re looking to produce results in a hurry, Nutrisystem’s calorie-restricted diets are probably going to help you shed pounds more immediately.

Comparing Noom vs Nutrisystem

Check out this table which lays out the costs, weight loss strategies, and science that distinguishes Noom and Nutrisystem:

Noom vs Nutrisystem: Best Weight Loss System

Monthly Cost$44.99 (Start FREE Trial)$250 to $350 (Buy one, get one FREE)
Key Weight Loss StrategyBehavioral ModificationCalorie Restriction
Mobile App4.6 stars4.6 stars
Food Delivery
Access to Coach
Access to Support Group
Short Term Success ProbabilityVery HighVery High
Long Term Success ProbabilityHighModest
Ease of Getting StartedEasyHarder
Free Trial