Entries tagged with “noom”.


Saturday – Daily Weight 153.4

There’s nothing like a change in routine to throw a girl off track.

During the week, I am home alone most of the day working remotely. As such, there is a specific structure to my day.

  • Get up
  • Walk Dog
  • Or, if lazy, take dog into backyard and carry weight of guilt as bad pet parent
  • Find food
  • Clock in
  • Take break
  • Eat Lunch
  • Take break
  • Clock out
  • Repeat morning struggle re: walking the dog – fetch is just as good, right?
  • Find Food

On the weekends, though, most of that goes out the window. I try to take Enzo on extra-long walks on my days off to make up for the fairly short and not entirely consistent walks we take (or don’t) the rest of the time. However, the threat of Snowpocalypse 2019 kept me inside most of the day. We did go out and play in the snow a few times, but I was standing still mostly.

 

This was also the day Noom brought up the largest challenge currently; cravings

It was helpful to have the subject brought up, and Noom does so in typical cheeky style. I appreciate the utter lack of any judgment and  the can-do positivity of the message. When certain messages about sugar are framed as an “addiction” from which one needs to “detox” it can start to feel overwhelming, and the process seems much more intimidating. The friendly, low-key tactics Noom employs makes it much easier to imagine developing a healthier relationship with sugar and sweets. 

 

I also used the recipe tab for the first time to good effect. I had kinda gone overboard in the morning and needed something that wasn’t going to shove me way over my allotment for the day. I found a Thai Chicken salad that turned out to be very very tasty. Thanks Noom, for breaking my food-related decision fatigue!

Sunday: Daily weight 153.3

Sunday was a different kind of challenge. Until this point, I had skipped any kind of alcohol intake as a waste of precious calories. However, I had a ladydate scheduled, and didn’t want to be a party pooper. Also, the pedicure salon is 2 doors down from my favorite cheeseburger around.

So, for breakfast, I had a cheeseburger and a bloody Mary. It was delicious, but I knew that was encroaching on a huge chunk of my allowance for the day. On top of which, I also had a beer after the pedicure, just to be sociable.

Noom talks about these social triggers, and I can see this is one of my most problematic. I love going out to eat. Love it. I would eat out everyday if it wasn’t prohibitively expensive and calorically disastrous. So, when the occasion arises for socializing, it always seems natural to suggest a meal or cocktail as the context. I do sometimes make an effort to suggest something not related to consuming something, but that turns out to be pretty weather/cash flow dependent.

Today was the day Noom introduced the idea of activity tracking beyond just a step count. It now allows me to enter different kinds of exercise and adds 1/2 a calorie to my budget for every one burned. I think this is a super smart way to look at it, since in the past, I had a tendency to use working out as a free pass to fat ass. By only giving back 1/2 a calorie, I’m less likely to wipe out my efforts with extra food.

 

After surveying the damage from my morning, I realized I only had a few hundred calories left for the rest of my day. Luckily I continued to feel pretty full until about dinnertime, so I wasn’t tempted to eat any more. And holy wow, there is no green anywhere in that food wheely thing. Oops.

I did chores for 4.5 hours, and was able to log that as activity. I earned back about 215 calories that I promptly spent on a frozen pizza. My analysis for the day was deeply red. Even still, I kept to my calorie budget.

It helped a lot to keep a more informed eye on just how many calories I was taking in. Turns out most people vastly underestimate the number of calories in food and end up overeating as a result. I was able to decide I wanted the cheeseburger more than I wanted an extra meal, and then select my activity level and food intake accordingly thereafter.

Clearly, the answer is more chores…

Daily weight – 153.7

Okay, so clearly, the first weigh in was the fluke, since I’ve gotten essentially the same number twice in a row. Good to know. 

This morning I was determined to make a better run at breakfast. I pulled out eggs, salsa, and a head of lettuce. I was imagining a healthy breakfast burritoesque thingy. I scrambled the eggs with a dollop of salsa, and tried in vain to peel a leaf off of the head without it shredding into 4-5 much smaller sub-burrito sized pieces. To no avail. 

What I ended up with was a bowl with lettuce, and salsa-scrambled eggs in it. I also made the mistake of using sesame oil to cook with, and it tasted… weird and not great. I had about 5 bites before I gave up. Ah well, I don’t really like eating that much in the morning, anyway. 

Feeling smug, I opened Noom to log what was – I was sure – a SUPER healthy and green breakfast choice. Cue sad trombone noise…

Wait, whut? I always thought eggs were supposed to be a GREAT diet food, what with being all protein heavy and low in calories? Then I recalled a lesson from my first day that talked about how the density of the food is critical in this weighing mechanism (rimshot) A hard boiled egg, for example, is a green food, but scrambled is yellow, because the method of preparation impacts the density of the food and the degree of satiety a person will experience eating it. That’s great to know, but not super helpful in this context since there’s no way I’m gonna eat a hard boiled egg unless it is also a deviled egg, which in this case would be counterproductive. 

I digress…

Fine. I regroup and carry on. 

It’s time for my lesson, which today is about the types of eating.  Fuel vs Fun. Do you eat to live or live to eat? Well, it’s complicated. Once upon a time it was absolutely the former. I still have a strong sense that were it an option, I would give up eating altogether in favor of sustenance pills. When Soylent came out a few years ago, I was genuinely excited about the possibility of enjoying a post-food existence. 

But, since my hysterectomy, hormonal changes have really impacted my relationship with food. I suffer from cravings in a way that simply never used to be the case. Sweets have become a huge focus. In the past, I’d have candy every now and then, on a whim. For a while now, it would be an odd day that I DIDN’T have some kind of sweets. Over the last year, I can’t even count the number of times I would find myself in the car on the way to the mini-mart on the way to buy some Lifesavers Gummi Collusions*. Or a Big Hunk. Or, more usually, both. 

Even after I started to consciously realize what an unhealthy habit this was, I found it INCREDIBLY difficult to stop. I would make bargains with myself about how many days a week this was acceptable. Which is itself is kinda nuts. 

So when Noom asked me whether I was a “fuel” or “fun” eater, I realized the answer wasn’t the one I would have made 5 years ago. Weight loss with a side of Self-revelation!  

I progressed through a series of vignettes about the types of eating that are most common

 

Right, and don’t forget fog-storm eating… Where you’re mindlessly eating even though you’re already full and can’t stop. 

But the beauty of Noom is that while I thought I knew what was coming next, Instead I get:

 

If I hadn’t already been sold on this program, that right there would have done the trick.

Okay, then. Check off one kind of eating I’m not doing!

For a snack later in the morning I have a couple of trusty white cheddar popped rice cakey things. These are green. Woot. Lunch consists of a leaf of lettuce – carefully extracted, but still mangled – in which is rolled a pickle spear, 3 slices of roast beef, and some A-1. I skipped mayo and bread, making this little package a slim 308 instead of what would have been 600+ made conventionally. 

I decided to poke around in the recipe tab for ideas about dinner. I noticed a fair number of asian choices, and had a craving for Tom Kha. I looked up a slow-cooker recipe and was happy to see it only came to about 265 per cup. Made a big ol pot of that. Crunched down a couple more rice cakes and a sugar free pudding. 

Ended the day about 300 calories under budget, which felt like a triumph, but I do know there are diminishing returns at some point. Though generally fewer calories are good, one doesn’t want to stray into the territory where the body starts to think you’re in a famine and hoards those fat cells at all costs. Nobody wants that…

 

*The first time I bought these, I TRULY thought they said “collusions” rather than “collisions” Infer what you will about the times we live in. 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Weight – 153.7

On my second morning, it became clear there was some kind of funky about my weigh in. Either the day before, or now, because one does not simply lose 4 pounds in one day without even trying. More’s the pity. 

Whatever. 

More weighs-in would clear that up, so there wasn’t much point dwelling on it. 

I poured myself a bowl of Kix and sat to complete my first daily activities. The first thing I noted was that to my suprise, KIX IS A RED FOOD. Even though it’s relatively low in calories and sugar, the caloric density isn’t great. It makes sense on some level, but I was surprised nevertheless. This was the first time Noom’s analytics taught me something new. It wouldn’t be the last. 

 

I admit, I really like the immediate feedback this system delivers. Knowing that my breakfast already burned 1/3 of my “red zone” foods made me a little more careful about how I planned the rest of my day. 

On the other end of the “gee, that’s not what I would have assumed” spectrum was dinner. I dimly remembered from another run at losing some weight, that Wendy’s Chili was one of the best fast food options you could get. Low cal, high fiber, and quite yum. The pantry was a bit bare after skipping the grocery store last week, so I decided to pop out and grab something. 

1 large chili and small fry later (488 calories total) I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Chili was green, and the fries were yellow! This ran completely counter to my expectations; low key breakfast cereal RED, fast food dinner, yellow and green. Who knew?

Another feature I discovered to my utter delight is the recipe tab

During the course of the day, Noom tracks your current calorie and “color” proportions, then takes this information to offer a list of food choices that are in budget for remaining meals. This is SO INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. Even on my best days I tend to suffer from a form of paralysis related to trying to decide what to eat. Having a list of choices – along with the instructions to make it – right at my fingertips, along with the impact on my remaining calorie budget is INCREDIBLY helpful. I would say that even without any of the other useful and interesting things Noom does, this alone makes it distinct and worthwhile.

We did take a trip to the grocery that night. I left a lot of things on the shelf I would have been inclined to grab in the past. I also added some sugar free pudding and popped rice cakes to the cart. I know in the past, it was important to have reasonable stand-in choices for chips and candy, so these were serviceable alternatives for hitting those buttons. The gummy worms in the checkout lane were calling my name in their wormy little mewling voices. though. I did resist. Go me. 

So, on this day I managed to come in almost 200 calories under my total allowance. I wasn’t aiming to do that, but it was nice to feel like I could do that while still feeling satiated and enjoying what I’d eaten. I’m starting to think this might work out after all!

Yesterday was my first full day of Noom. After downloading the app and poking around the first day, it encourages you not to weigh yourself, or even do much of anything except agree to believe you can be successful. 

Okay, I’m in!

Daily Weight: 157.4

One of the elemental steps for using this system is a daily weigh-in. While I don’t have “scale anxiety” I’ve never really been a fan of the daily weigh in strategy. Also, I’m not sure I entirely trust an electronic scale, but it’s what I’ve got, so there I am.

Personally, I have always felt like weekly weigh ins were more meaningful since, as even Noom concedes, weight can fluctuate from day to day for all sorts of reasons, such as:

  • Did I drink an unusual amount of water?
  • Am I bloated from steroid use?
  • Is Mercury in retrograde?
  • Have I pooped yet?

That being said, I understand part of being able to see incremental progress, as well as ensuring my results are reflective of complete adherence to the program, I climbed up there.

Ick

However, it is down a bit from a recent 159 so, I’m trying to think positive.

Then it was time for breakfast. About which I have mixed feelings. Sometimes I simply do NOT want to eat right when I get up. Other times I am famished. This particular morning, I wasn’t hungry, but planning to go skiing and knew I needed the fuel; also, I didn’t want to be hungry and have to eat some resort crap later.

I ate some oatmeal with a bit of peanut butter stirred in and logged it as I ate. Having previously used MyFitnessPal to track my meals, I found the interface in the Noom app much easier and more pleasant to use. I was interested to see that PB is considered a “red” food with high caloric density. I had always considered it almost a freebee, so it was helpful to have this called to my attention.

The way the app creates a visual representation of the mix of food choices is really helpful. This, while not including any shaming tone. The information is presented neutrally, but in simple and clear terms. Other apps I have used, in a misguided attempt at building accountability, responded to certain entries with a message that felt like I was being scolded, which of course didn’t compel me to be totally honest or consistent about reporting my habits.

I also found it useful when, after lunch, I saw my running total for the day. It turns out a huge salad with steak, blue cheese, sunflower seeds, and champagne vinagrette will use up like 70% of your daily calorie allowance. Go figure. This allowed me to plan my evening meal accordingly, and not exceed my budget by more than a few calories here and there. 

On the whole it was a good first day. I like interacting with the app, and have set notifications to remind me to eat and log my food. So far, so good.

 

 

I’ve had something weighing on me for a while now.

Literally.

Sometime between the summer of 2017 and the winter of 2018 I quietly packed on about 20lbs

While this is not the most I’ve ever weighed – thank you steroids – the last year represents the longest stretch I’ve been at this weight not due to medical intervention (or lack thereof). I understand intellectually that I look fine, and am close to a healthy weight for my size – 15-20 lbs of tit weight notwithstanding – but carrying an extra 20 lbs over my normal has been both physically uncomfortable and demoralizing.

On top of which, my wedding dress, which fit more or less perfectly when I bought it, now won’t zip up.

Boo.

I knew Noom had a different approach than something like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig. While the idea of just eating foods that were delivered straight to my face and disengaging entirely was attractive, I also knew it wasn’t a long-term solution. Though I haven’t traditionally struggled with my weight, my body has changed a lot since menopause, and I can’t rely on it acting the way it has historically.

Noom has scientific backing and a multi-dimensional approach. Both nutritional advice and cognitive behavioral methodology are at work. Not only advice about how and what to eat, but ways to identify – and hopefully circumvent – the triggers for unhealthy eating.

 

 

Additionally, Noom provides one-on-one coaching. It asks questions about what motivates you, what kind of support you prefer, and pairs you with a coach who best fits your style. It even guides you to set a failsafe in case you start to lose steam. For myself, I set an alert so that if I failed to log meals 2 days in a row, I would get a text message reminding me to get back at it. You can choose whatever accountability check feels right, or skip it if you don’t think it would be useful. 

So far, I like the way information is presented, and unlike other plans I’ve tried, it has presented me with new information. In some respects weight loss is common sense. It’s rare for me to encounter insights about strategies I hadn’t already heard about. Noom’s mention of Caloric Density as a concept certainly wasn’t new, but it’s use in terms of the proportion of foods being divided and organized to complete the dietary landscape absolutely was.

The app is easy to use, approachable, and cheeky, which I enjoy. I think Noom is aware that a lot of this information isn’t news to anyone, but chooses to deliver it nevertheless. My feeling is that by presenting a full and comprehensive picture, they hope to create a sense of intellectual engagement with the process of change. It doesn’t insult the intelligence of the user, but neither does it take anything for granted. It’s a difficult balance I feel they achieve beautifully.

I know that a lot of changes in my life have brought me to where I am now – both good and bad – so it makes sense that adapting the way I approach self-care would be necessary as well. I’ve always had a slightly combative relationship with food, and I see this as a way to potentially heal that breech, or at very least, develop a healthier rapport with what might be driving me to make decisions that aren’t in my best interest.

I’m actually pretty excited about what might come of this process for me. I think a lot of the psychology and routine of attending more closely to my actions could apply in other areas of my life where I struggle. Maybe Noom can take on finances, next?