How I used Noom and Carb Cycling to finally drop the weight, and keep it off.
I know what you’re thinking, ugh, another article about some miracle weight loss product. It’s ok to think that because I think it too. Every day there’s countless ads bombarding us with the latest weight loss trend, pill, plan, etc.
Here’s my favorite outlandish weight loss claim
Have you seen the commercial featuring the famous athlete and his famous wife who took some pill and lost 16 lbs in a few weeks “without changing their diet”??
Look, if you honestly think you’re going to take a pill then proceed to stuff your maw with a large pizza today, cupcakes tomorrow and burgers and fries then next day, and STILL lose weight, you’re grossly (and irresponsibly) misinformed. There is no planet in our perceivable universe where that’s possible, and no human is capable of such nonsense.
Bottom line- it’s an outright lie.
It’s one thing to be hopeful, it’s another to be gullible. When you buy into those gimmicks the only thing that’s getting slimmer is your wallet.
That’s why I’m so skeptical of weight loss ads
I’ve tried everything under the sun. The way I see it, there’s 2 sides to the weight loss coin. First, there’s the actual weight loss side. How to eat, what to eat, what times to eat, what foods to avoid- so much information!
Secondly, what to do once you’ve actually lost the weight, and how to keep it off- AKA the maintenance plan.
So why should you believe me? Because 20 years ago I was where you are today, and since then it’s been one long trial and error process, with the majority of it being an exercise in futility. That probably doesn’t sound very encouraging! I repeatedly fell for the rapid weight loss tricks- lost 10, gained 20. I bet you’ve been there too.
And I can’t stress this enough- you are not a failure.
But I’ve finally figured out what works, and it has nothing to do with a pill, or a fast track to anything. Really, it’s about 3 simple things- time, habits and movement.
What finally worked for me
When I joined Noom in 2019 I vowed that this would be the last weight loss plan I ever did. I was tired of not being able to lose weight and keep it off. Right away, I could tell Noom was different. Their program addresses your habits around food and eating the food. It takes a psychological approach to weight loss, so know you’re gonna get down to the nitty gritty of your food habits. We all have them, and there’s no judgement. You’re not “good or bad” for eating certain foods or eating those foods in a certain way. Furthermore, food is not “good or bad”, it’s just food. That made sense to me and once I unlearned that thought process, my world changed!
When you understand that everything is “on the menu”, so to speak, there’s a feeling of freedom from the guilt of eating. Dessert is ok and so is a piece of pizza.
There’s a lot more involved with the program too!
Self Awareness is the key
We all live busy lives. Your job, kids, spouse, social activities, daily and weekly routines keep things on autopilot. Sometimes that’s easier, and sometimes it gets in the way of slowing down and paying attention to what we’re putting on the plate. How often do you sit at a table and eat- without phones, the tv or computer in front of you? If “never” is your answer, it might be time to reassess.
Eating while distracted can lead to overeating. Chances are, you’re not really paying attention to how much food is in front of you. Think about a time when you ate a meal and didn’t even taste the food! Noom puts your daily meal habits front and center, and gives you the tools to learn a new way to eat.
How I did on Noom
I lost about 15 lbs pretty easily and have mostly kept it off. Over the holidays I laxed on tracking and ate all the cookies. Whatever, I have no regrets. I gained 7 lbs from Thanksgiving to New Years. At first I was bummed, but my Noom coach helped me keep my perspective. Remember, no one forced me to eat all the cookies! So I followed a meal plan, began tracking my food, and within 2 weeks, I lost 6 of the 7 pounds I gained.
This was not a quick fix weight loss plan! Once your body is comfortable at a certain weight, and you’ve managed to maintain that weight, it’s not hard to get back there. But it does take some work on your part. All you have to do is follow the plan and form some new habits.
When 15 pounds wasn’t enough for me
Every woman on the planet knows that as you approach menopause, weight loss becomes harder. It’s in our DNA. Thanks to all the lovely hormones, or lack thereof, things in the weight loss arena grind to a screeching halt. So not fair.
I started doing some research and discovered carb cycling.
Carb cycling is similar to keto, but much more carb friendly. The basics are:
Days 1-3 follow a low carb diet
Day 4- high carb
Days 5 and 6- low carb
Day 7- flex.
Very doable, and no feelings of deprivation.
Low carb is not no carb
The recipes I followed included a small amount of carbohydrates on low carb days. Your body burns off excess glycogen and begins to use fat as a source for energy. But it’s not something you need to do for several days on end! At the end of your week you get your flex day. This is not a “cheat day” where you go nuts and eat a weeks worth of calories in one day. This is a “enjoy that slice of pizza or some ice cream” kind of day. Because you don’t feel deprived throughout the week, you don’t derail yourself on your flex day. Additionally, since you’re not carb starved, your head is thinking clearly and you make choices that work in your favor. In the 3 weeks I lost another 6 pounds.
That may not seem like a lot of weight but in reality, it is. When you take the realistic approach to lasting weight loss, you learn that the quick fixes are short term and what you lose, you gain back (and then some).
The jab and the knock out punch
I can’t say if Noom is the jab and carb cycling is the knock out punch- it could be the other way around. They both work so well together that it doesn’t even matter. For me, I can’t do one without the other.
Because my work is largely done online (thank you, blog reader), I have the opportunity to travel with my husband, who is a catastrophe insurance adjuster. We often spend 3-6 months in one location, and it’s off to the next one. It can be easy to fall prey to the constant inconsistency of moving from place to place, not always having a kitchen to cook. During natural disaster times, not having healthy options to choose from make things far more difficult. But applying the tools I learned through Noom and carb cycling don’t derail my progress.
There will always be some excuse.
Once you understand that, you empower yourself not to live through those excuses. You begin to give yourself more and feel better about the healthy life you’re creating. All the new habits I formed from my time with Noom, coupled with understanding the basics of carb cycling have helped me stay comfortable in my weight loss journey.
It’s true, there’s always room for improvement, but part of that improvement is being ok with who you are in the present moment.