This seems to be the hottest new thing in weight loss, even though it's the same tedious advice we've all tried and given up on, countless times.
But since it's so hot right now, and I work with some of its fans
, I will share what I know.
health coach in your phone
It is perfect for people who say, "It never worked before because I GAVE UP ON IT. With someone nagging me that I'm paying money for, it will be different!"
Which is true, as far as it goes
I always white-knuckled my way through losing 10-15 pounds, but when the weight loss stopped, so did I. So I can understand the temptation to think that I just didn't hang in there long enough.
And it's true that when I was exercising for 1.5 hours every day, and kept my fat grams under 25, I had a years-long stretch of weight stabilizing
at a size twelve. Which was better than the steady creep that kept happening.
But I got sick, had to stop the ceaseless exercising, and that horse ran away. Even when I tried to duplicate it, I would get sick again. Looking back, I think that horse was trying to tell me something
I certainly never got on it again.
Remember Susan Powter, who had a silver blond punk cut, a workout-worthy figure in a unitard, and was a low fat/exercise guru? She'd do infomercials with stunning before & after photos, yelling that we could have a pat of butter OR EIGHT BAKED POTATOES.
Well, they put in her in an app.
It's a tracker which starts by asking all kinds of questions. This is supposed to "customize" your experience. How much weight you want to lose, how active you are, etc. From the different ages and sizes of the ladies doing it, I question this concept, since they all seem to get exactly the same advice.
It's a food tracker, and it uses a traffic system of red (limit) yellow (in our old friend moderation) or green (low fat so IT IS GREAT.)
Green foods are considered very healthy and nutritious for you like fruits and vegetables and whole grains. 30% of your daily intake should be in this category, but more is always welcome. Yellow foods are comprised of lean meats, low-fat dairy, and starchy carbs and should be taken in moderation. 45% of your daily intake should be in the yellow food category. Red foods tend to be the highest calorie foods and most do not have much nutritional value. There are a few exceptions to this rule though from the nutritional value aspect. 25% of your daily intake should be from the red food category.
Green, yellow, and red
Here's some green foods:
whole wheat bread
whole grain pasta
greek yogurt (non-fat)
non-fat cottage cheese
Oh, yeah, takes me back. To size 16
Here's some red foods:
You can see low carb is OFTHEDEVIL
Nathan Pritikin was a super-low-fat guru who committed suicide when his diet did not prevent recurrence of his cancer. As we say today, "very bad for the brand." He had literally staked his life on something that probably contributed to his poor state of mental and physical health, from what we know now.
But vampires never get staked in health circles, because here it is again. This is the source of the ladies sighing in the breakroom and planning their "100 calorie dinners" because they have run up against the NOOM wall. From the NOOM site:
Did you know that cutting 100 calories per day could help you lose over 10 lbs a year?
We’ve put together 100 simple swaps that save at least 100 calories a pop!
Make an omelet with 1 egg and 2 egg whites instead of 3 whole eggs.
Choose a whole grain english muffin instead of a bagel.
Spread 2 tbsp. sugar-free jam on an english muffin instead of 1 tsbp. butter.
Replace ˝ cup of granola with ˝ cup of oatmeal cooked in water.
And so forth. Raise your hands if you tried this, along with the doll-sized plates and eating a whole box of Snackwells. Yes, I know, everyone
But... this is a health coach too!
exercise that behind off
OF course you have to exercise. It connects to FitBit and the like so it's all in one app. Then it shows you "calories burned." This increases your calorie ration. Maybe you can have TWO hundred calories for dinner!
We all know how that one goes.
The app likes to pretend there's a real life health coach ready to chat, but it's really more like ELIZA.
ELIZA is a natural language conversation program described by Joseph Weizenbaum in January 1966. It features the dialog between a human user and a computer program representing a mock Rogerian psychotherapist.
Talk to Eliza the therapist
I can tell these ladies are not aware of the program, because that's the kind of health coaching they get. We're around two months in, and they are starting to complain that they are getting the same advice over and over.
Because there is nothing new under this sun. What can it say?
They are paying $35 a month for this, plus the near-mandatory gym membership, and buying all sorts of kitchen helpers and the like. I've seen them make a meal of grapes and toast since this is "legal." They're two steps away from living on celery by the end of the day. And yes, some of them have lost some weight, up to 20 pounds in some cases.
Been there, couldn't sustain that.
If it works for them, great. I just don't think it will. Let's face it, if you have a weight problem in American, it's because you are carb-sensitive
. People who effortlessly stay slim ARE SLIM. And they are the ones who chirp about taking a walk at lunch and skipping desert "some of the time."
If you are committing to the NOOM app you have a weight "problem." I know. And this heart-breaking reliance on "will power" is DOOMED to failure.
Maybe they should call it DOOM.