MyFitnessPal vs. Weight Watchers vs. Noom: Which one is right for you?

by | May 9, 2022 | Last updated May 9, 2022

  • Noom helps you lose weight—while still enjoying the foods you love—through psychology-based lessons, a three-color system, and daily food logging.
  • MyFitnessPal promotes weight loss through a combination of exercise and calorie tracking with an emphasis on fitness.
  • Weight Watchers uses a points-based system that includes a personalized list of foods you can eat without restriction.
  • Whichever weight-loss program you choose, you want it to be sustainable, so you can achieve long-term success.

You want to lose weight. And this time around, you’re determined to stick with the program. You just need to figure out which program to choose.

Easier said than done.

With so many weight loss programs out there, you might be confused about what the differences are between them—and which one will help you achieve lasting change.

In this article, we break down the details of some of the top weight loss plans to help you decide.

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

Noom Weight

At Noom Weight, we don’t believe in losing weight through restrictions or sheer willpower.

Our psychology-based approach incorporates daily lessons, food logging, 1:1 coaching, and other tools that help shift your behaviors around food for sustainable weight loss.

Here’s how Noom works:

Lessons

Noom Weight unlocks the psychological and emotional motivations behind your eating habits with Daily Lessons. 

These brief lessons of 5 to 15 minutes can help you identify patterns of behavior that may have blocked you from effectively losing weight in the past.

Noomers have credited these lessons with being key to helping them lose weight.

The lessons cover important weight loss principles like caloric density, portion control, and nutrition. 

You’ll also learn how to overcome stress eating, identify food triggers, and incorporate mindfulness while eating.

With just a few minutes each day dedicated to these lessons, you’ll learn how to build healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Food tracking and the 3-color system

No food is off-limits when you use Noom Weight.

Instead, our three-color system helps you identify foods that have a low caloric density. These foods keep you feeling full and satisfied while staying within your daily calorie range.

Noom’s food logger categorizes all foods as green, yellow, or red.

Green foods have the lowest caloric density (like veggies, fruits, and whole grains), while red foods have the highest caloric density (like fried chicken and chocolate).

Red foods aren’t bad, but they’ll use up your calorie budget faster than green foods. And you may still feel hungry.

As you log your meals each day, you’ll learn how to choose a blend of foods to feel satisfied while staying within your calorie range.

1:1 coaching and community

With every Noom Weight subscription, you receive access to your own personal coach.

Noom Weight coaches draw on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help users identify their goals and the habits they need to develop to achieve them.

Got a question about food logging? Did a stressful day at work trigger your potato chip cravings? Curious about keto?

Message your coach through the Noom Weight app. Your coach can offer guidance, whether you’re struggling with a weight loss plateau or need an extra pep talk.

We also have an active online community to support you. Join a group of other Noomers to share weight loss tips, offer motivation, and recognize successes, big and small.

Exercise

While exercise is a healthy habit that we encourage at Noom Weight, it’s not a requirement of the program. You can incorporate exercise whenever you feel ready.

If you’re brand new to fitness, we’ll help you take those first steps. Using Noom Weight’s pedometer, you’ll begin with 200 steps each day and add more as your confidence builds.

Noom Weight’s exercise tracker can help you find fun ways to get moving—from biking to badminton. 

Log your daily activity, and Noom will calculate the calories you’ve burned, adding calories back to your daily budget.

You can sync Noom with your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Garmin.

It’s also compatible with iHealth, Misfit, OMRON, Polar, Qardio, Runkeeper, Withings, and YOO.

Recipes and meal planning

Noom Weight’s recipe database has over 1,000 recipes to choose from.

Each recipe includes a color-coded scale based on our traffic-light system, so you can easily see how the recipe fits into your calorie budget.

The recipe tracker automatically logs the total calories per serving (so you don’t have to manually log each ingredient).

With Noom, you can eat what you want, when you want—whether you’re a grazer, an intermittent faster, or eat three square meals a day.

Cost

Our current plans plans range from $60 per month (for month-to-month) to $16.58 per month (for the annual plan, which is billed upfront as a 12-month auto-renewing plan at $199).

 Our most popular subscription is four months, which comes out to $39.75 per month (billed upfront as a four-month auto-renewing plan at $159).

Read our post How much does Noom cost (and what do you get)? for more details about our subscription plans.

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal (MFP) is an activity- and calorie-tracking app.

When you sign up, you enter your gender, age, and current activity level, as well as how much weight you want to lose and how fast.

Based on that, MFP gives you a daily calorie goal.

Lessons

The app doesn’t have a structured, step-by-step curriculum for weight loss. 

However, the MFP blog posts informational articles, recipes, and success stories, which you can access via the app. You can also sign up to receive a weekly email.

With a premium subscription, you can choose to join one of the MyFitnessPal Plans, which provide educational coaching and content around specific topics such as high protein diets, muscle toning, and eco-friendly eating.

Food and calorie tracking

MyFitnessPal makes food logging easy with millions of user-submitted food items in their database.

Along with calories, you get a breakdown of macros in each item. There is also a nutrients tab that sets goals for carbs, sugars, fiber, and protein.

While MFP recommends a daily calorie budget, it does not provide guidance or restrictions on the type of the calories you consume.

Coaching and community

1:1 coaching is not a standard feature of MFP.

MFP does have an active online community where members can ask questions related to health and weight loss, share fitness tips, and post success stories.

Exercise

MFP is focused on physical activity.

The exercise tracker allows you to log any cardio, strength, and workout routines. MVP calculates the number of calories you burn from exercise and adds those calories to your daily budget.

While many of the app’s on-demand workout routines are only accessible with a paid membership, they do offer some workout routines in the free version.

Members can link MyFitnessPal with other apps and wearables including Fitbit, MapMyRun, and the Apple Health app.

Recipes and meal planning

MyFitnessPal posts recipes on their blog for anyone to access.

The paid subscription has a Recipe Discovery feature, which allows you to explore recipe collections, ranging from low carb to gluten-free.

You can log and bookmark recipes or save them for later.

Cost

MyFitnessPal offers a free version of the app for tracking food, calories, exercise, and a few other metrics. The free account has advertisements.

Premium membership is ad-free, and the current cost is $19.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

The premium membership includes on-demand workouts, personalized goal tracking, and other features.

WW

WW (formerly Weight Watchers) uses a points-based system that’s personalized for you based on factors including your gender, height, and current weight. 

Each week, members can choose to meet with their WW group in person or online and record their weight on the WW platform.

Lessons

WW incorporates lessons and tips in blog-style articles. Instead of following a structured, step-by-step course, you search the WW online library for the information you want.

Food tracking and the points system

WW assigns all foods a certain number of points. 

For example, a cup of blueberries has a point value of 0, whereas a cup of cooked spaghetti has 5 points. 

You’ll log your daily points (or use the WW app’s barcode scanner) to ensure that you stay within your weekly points budget.

Your plan includes a personalized list of zero-point foods you can eat without restriction. 

These include food choices with fewer calories and more health benefits like fruits, eggs, and whole grains. 

There are also SmartPoints foods to guide you to healthier choices.

Coaching and community

If you choose to attend weekly meetings in person, you’ll enjoy the support of your peers. WW also has a thriving online community.

You can get 1:1 coaching with the higher-cost WW plans. 

With lower-tier plans, you can chat with a virtual coach whenever you want, but you mightnot  end up with the same coach every time you reach out.

Exercise

WW encourages exercise from the start—the more, the better. 

You can earn points through physical activities to grow your weekly points budget. The WW app also includes on-demand workouts.

Recipes and meal planning

The WW app has thousands of recipes along with a weekly meal planner that lets you search for individual WW recipes or choose from a variety of pre-made meal plans.

With the “What’s in Your Fridge” feature, you can search the database for recipes using foods you already have on hand.

Cost

There are several different plans available. Sometimes there are sign-up incentives, such as signing up for two months and getting a third month free.

The current WW subscriptions range from $19.95 to $54.95 per month.

Ready to make lasting change? Get started with Noom here.