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Find the right ingredients to fuel your cycling goals

22 Mar 2021

With Noom, you can eat healthier without ditching the things you enjoy

Images: Noom

It takes a lot of calories to power the average cyclist. But how can you be sure you’re getting yours from the right places and in the right amounts?

If you’re looking to improve your diet or fitness, lose some weight, or just gain greater insight into how what you eat affects your body, Noom provides long-term results through habit and behaviour change, not restrictive dieting.

‘Weight can be an important metric for cyclists in their performance and can determine their success in an event,’ explains Jannette Rho, Category 2 racer, USA Cycling trainer and Noom coach.

‘However, weight goals aside, it’s also important for cyclists to make sure they’re fuelling properly both on and off the bike. In this regard, Noom can help track the quality as well as the quantity of the nutrition they’re getting, which can be essential to a cyclist’s performance.’

A menu for cyclists

Aiming to provide a holistic programme to help users assess and modify their diet to match their fitness goals, Noom uses your phone to track movements that contribute to your individual calorie budget.

It then suggests healthy choices to assist you in managing your calorie intake relative to your objectives and level of activity.

Of course, whether it’s about powering your rides, helping you recuperate afterwards or simply the possibility of indulging in a midweek splurge, no one wants to swap every comfort food for a salad. Luckily Noom doesn’t intend to make you.

‘At Noom, we believe in promoting whole foods and not limiting choices, unless there is a medical or personal reason for them,’ explains Jannette.

‘Instead, Noom focusses on the psychology of behaviour change and mindfulness, which can redefine your relationship with food.

‘Along with weight, Noom hones in on the other pillars of health to develop well-balanced athletes and provide individualised coaching and accountability.’

To achieve this, Noom furnishes users with thoughtful guidance based on their unique physiology and fitness goals.

Backed by expert supervision from always-on-call human coaches like Jannette, Noom offers its users a broad range of resources, each based around behavioural change psychology, education and accountability.

Designed for the real world

It’s no mystery that green vegetables are good for you, that steak might be OK in moderation, and that heavily processed food is best kept for occasional meals only. Where Noom excels, however, is in educating you as to the effects these different types of food have on your overall diet and lifestyle.

‘Many Noomers find the Noom curriculum readings set the tone for their day,’ says Jannette. ‘This plays a role beyond just making mindful choices regarding food but also touches on topics such as hydrating, nailing a workout, managing stress, boosting motivation, or simply being your best for that day.’

Given the high activity level of cycling and the energy it consumes, cyclists are often guilty of failing to make enough quality, whole food choices. That’s often because what’s healthiest and what’s available at your next cafe stop are seldom in accordance. Ditto when it comes to rustling up something from whatever’s left in the fridge when you come home after a long ride. Luckily Noom is amenable to these realities.

Foods that fall into the least healthy of Noom’s three categories are still expected to constitute up to a quarter of your regular diet, making its programme more realistic and therefore far easier to stick to.

Noom is also based entirely on your own choices, not regulated meal types or changeable fad diets that restrict or ban certain things. It’s equally adaptable to your schedule or current level of activity.

‘Cyclists with larger training blocks or those consistently putting in long hours riding need to fuel their bodies properly on and off the bike,’ says Jannette.

‘This is where Noom can support cyclists by helping them focus on the quality of their nutrition in an innovative, user-friendly way. While there can be a place for quick and easy calories in your routine, a training plan should also include a good amount of nutrient-dense food.’

This is something Noom and its enormous library of recipes and nutritional information are ideally placed to advise on.

Mind before body

Yet beyond helping you choose what to have for dinner, or achieving a set goal within a particular timeframe, Noom aims to instil positive habits that will last a lifetime. 

It’s the opposite of the sort of programmes that advocate a small treat at the end of an otherwise abstinent week. This does little to improve your relationship with less healthy foods, plus it reinforces the idea that they’re something to be craved.

‘Weight loss is more than just keeping track of what you’re eating,’ explains Andreas Michaelides, Noom's chief psychology officer. ‘It's about changing behaviour.’

Using this as its starting point, Noom’s approach takes its cues from cognitive behavioural therapy and aims to get you out of ingrained but unhealthy behavioural patterns such as excessive drinking or overeating as a way to deal with stress.

Once you’ve completed your personal assessment, Noom encourages you to learn about your current diet and in the process reform it by training in good habits.

To help with this, Noom also has a social side where you can team up with other members to encourage each other towards your goals.

‘While an app like Strava can provide cyclists with a community focussed on a single activity, Noom provides a community space focussed on other wellness goals like losing weight or making mindful food choices,’ explains Jannette.

This also makes it a great utility for people who want to discuss wellness topics in a less public forum and with other people trying to achieve similar aims.

Just as you’d expect your cycling training plan to instil long-term winning behaviours, Noom will manage the same for your diet. Educating riders as to how the raw materials for their efforts combine to create a healthy diet, it’s an insightful and beneficial tool in any cyclist’s kit bag.

To see how Noom can help you lose weight, keep fit and stay healthy, sign up today