Monday, April 6, 2020

One year of Noom

In one year with Noom I lost sixty pounds in the first six months and maintained within a five-pound range with a few excursions.

I was quite concerned about how I would do in maintenance and experimented with a few different approaches:
  • Should I keep logging? (I did)
  • Weekly weigh-ins (tried it; didn't like it) 
  • How do I set my new calorie budget?

Should I keep logging? 

I did keep logging. I could imagine stopping at some point. But it helps be stay mindful of what I'm eating and it provides realtime feedback of how my day is going calorically. I still don't trust my hunger signals, there are times when I am hungry right after I eat. But I think I am getting a little better at sussing out genuine hunger from mere snackiness. Some days I approximate more than others. It depends on if I'm in the middle of my range and having a normal sort of food day, then I don't sweat every last gram. If life is complicated, or I am above my range, I try to be more careful.

Should I go to weekly weigh-ins?

I tried it and didn't like it. The daily weigh in lets me know if things are ok, or need attention. And I like having the data. When I tried doing weekly weigh ins I felt more anxious not knowing if I was drifting.

How do I set my new calorie budget? 

By trial and error, I figured out that on the lowest weight loss setting (Turtle in iPhone) I needed about 200-300 calories over the max if I double counted my exercise (log twice as much as I actually did so the app would give me all the calories and not just half). Early on if I went above my range I would go full Noom immediately. And I would get back in range within a day or two. Now I am a little more relaxed and just try to be more careful with my logging and only count my exercise like normal and it usually corrects itself within a couple days anyway.

What's next 

I am very happy with the program, especially once I found the Noom facebook groups. I keep upping my exercise game. I got a set of dumbbells, then I needed a set with heavier weights. Then I got a weight bench from a friend. Now I use the FitBod app for my workouts. It tracks which muscle groups you use and how long they need to recover.

My wife and I also started using Habitica (app and website) which gamifies our task lists and helps with habit formation. This gives us a lot of the benefits of Noom but applied to other aspects of our life.

Each day is its own adventure.