Second Nature Diet Review: My Honest Opinion After 18 Weeks

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By Katie Pierson

Certified Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer

Katie has been a certified fitness professional for twenty years and holds ten fitness certifications, including Spinning Elite and Personal Training. She has shared her expert knowledge in many fitness outlets like Bicycling & Verywellfit.

Every time you turn to social media or watch television, there is an ad trying to sell you either a weight loss supplement or a new gimmick to shed some pounds. After being in the fitness industry for over twenty years, I have seen many new fads and programs come in and out. I recently was asked to try Second Nature to give my opinion on if it was just another fad program or something that could be a real solution for those struggling with weight loss. After eighteen weeks on the program, I am here to share my verdict. Read on to discover what Second Nature is all about and if it is worth the hype

Second Nature Review

What is Second Nature

Second Nature is a lifestyle change online program from the UK that spans twelve months or more. In this program, people learn how to make healthy choices and understand the psychology of why they make the choices they are inclined to based on their physiology. Second, Nature helps people to make healthier choices through behavioral science.

Four lessons per week cover a specific topic in addition to a task discussed in the lessons and reinforced by the group’s coach. Each group has a coach who oversees the online group, leads discussions, and engages one-on-one with their team members. One of the most significant components that make Second Nature so unique compared to other programs is that the coaches are UK-registered dieticians or nutritionists. In each phase of the program, a new coach will be assigned.

There are four phases within the program that include:

  • Phase 1: Core- Weeks 1-17
  • Phase 2: Growth Weeks 18-35
  • Phase 3: Maintenance- Weeks 36-52
  • Phase 4: Beyond Phase – Weeks 52+

Can You Lose Weight on Second Nature

You can lose weight on many different weight loss programs, but the question is whether you can keep it off. Still, the difference with Second Nature is that this program is not focused on being a quick fix but on making real changes in your lifestyle that allow you to lose weight in a healthy, attainable way. Second Nature helps to make losing weight easier since there is no tracking of calories involved but learning how to eat in a way that properly fuels your body. 

How Much Does 2nd Nature Cost

Second Nature is a little more expensive than other programs on the market. This program costs approximately $50 per month after a two-week trial period. However, the one-on-one time you spend with a licensed nutritionist or dietician is worth it since seeing these professionals in an office setting could easily be the same price or more based on insurance. 

What Food Do You Eat on a Second Nature Diet

If you are looking for an ultra-restrictive diet and food list, you will not find it with Second Nature. The great thing about the program is that no foods are off-limits. Instead, Second Nature teaches you how to properly balance your meals to have you feel full and satisfied. The foods recommended on the plan include natural and whole foods instead of processed with an emphasis on vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates. If you are not sure what to cook, no problem! In your “Second Nature Tool Box,” hundreds of dietician-created meals are available that are both easy to make and delicious.

My Experience With Second Nature

Even being a fitness professional for over two decades, weight loss has always been a struggle. Therefore, I have tried many different programs and plans throughout the years. For example, I have attempted Noom, Weight Watchers, and multiple smaller, less well-known programs with little success. As I get older and after having kids, the struggle to lose weight continues to get more challenging, as I am sure some of you might also understand. Therefore, I was excited when asked to try to program and share my thoughts. I am currently in the Growth phase of the Second Nature program and have been following this plan for the past eighteen weeks. Here is my honest review of how things are going so far.

Ordering

The sign-up process was straightforward. After only a few clicks, I could register for the program. However, I will say that their registration confirmation email needs to be more detailed, as I felt it was missing some critical details as to what exactly I had just purchased. After purchasing, I was prompted to download the app to access the program.

Getting Started

The week before the program begins, daily lessons explain how to navigate the interface and what to expect. This is also the time that your coach reaches out. What I loved about this program was that I wasn’t given a massive food list that I was supposed to go out and buy, along with meals that needed to be prepped before the following week. The transition into the program was smooth and without the stress that I experienced at the beginning of other programs. 

second nature - raw pistachios and a chicken vegetable soup
Raw pistachios and a chicken vegetable soup.

Second Nature Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Dedicated Registered Dietician or Nutritionist Coach
  • Easy-to-follow lessons that are available through an audio recording or text
  • Audio option to catch up on all recordings at once at the end of the week
  • Science-based program that focuses on research and behavioral science
  • A ton of resources to aid in your success

Cons:

  • Might be too expensive for some
  • Cancellation policy is very strict
  • Won’t let people into the program who have been diagnosed throughout their lifetime with dysfunctional eating instead of an active diagnosis.

My Results

Although I do not have crazy before and after pictures like you see on tv, I have lost a few pounds, and most importantly, my body just feels better. I am sleeping well, and my emotional eating is also in check. This plan is all about making fundamental lifestyle habit shifts that are maintainable. I have done crazy diets and lost weight only to gain it back after the program ended. However, this program helps build habits that are easy to maintain. I love that it digs into the root of the problem so you can start to address it along with techniques to help overcome the issue. 

I have lost a few pounds, and most importantly, my body just feels better

Katie Pierson, Personal Trainer & Instructor

Some people in my accountability group have lost quite a bit of weight, but it is essential to remember that everyone starts from a different point, and the weight might come off easier for some than others. 

What I want to focus on is more about the progress I have made in making healthy lifestyle changes. Each week you are to pick a few goals you would like to reach that goes beyond just the numbers on the scale. For example, one of my largest achievements is maintaining that half my plate consists of veggies for lunch and dinner. Even when feeding my young family of picky eaters, I can still hit this goal almost 100% every week.

Now, let’s look at the phases I have experienced thus far.

Core Phase

Although I only lost a few pounds during the Core phase, the knowledge I gained during this phase was worth it. For example, one of the lessons in this phase discussed emotional eating and why it happens. Unlike programs that only scrape the surface, I loved the in-depth lessons and examples that the daily lessons provided. Not only were the group prompts excellent, but I loved how I would get a personal message from my coach just checking in. This helped me ensure I was staying on track with the lessons and that he wanted me to succeed. 

Growth Phase

I am currently in this program phase and am excited about what this phase offers. As hormones play a more prominent role in weight loss efforts, I will learn a little more about how menopause affects weight loss and strategies to help control it, which I am most excited about learning for when I enter this stage of my life down the road. I can’t wait to update you after I complete this program phase. 

second nature - vegetable hash with eggs
Vegetable hash with eggs.

Second Nature Customer Service

I did reach out to customer service as the coupon code we were given didn’t work right in the system. After reading reviews about other people’s customer service experiences with Second Nature, I was a little nervous. However, I had an extremely positive experience with the Second Nature team. They not only reached out quickly after I contacted them but also resolved the issue fast as well. Many complaints were due to billing issues, as the company has a strict cancellation policy.

How Second Nature Compares to Other Programs

Before we begin breaking down Second Nature alternatives, it is essential to note that different programs might work better than others for people. This is because many factors contribute to our metabolism, health, and ability to lose weight. As I mentioned, I have tried many weight loss programs, probably too many, to be honest, but that allows me to give you my experiences. That being said, what might not have worked for me, might be ideal for you. There is a lot of trial in error when finding the perfect program. So let’s compare a few heavy hitters in this category and my first-hand experiences with the programs.

Weight Watchers vs Second Nature

Most people probably recognize the name Weight Watchers, which is understandable since this program was created in May 1963. Throughout that time, Weight Watchers has had millions of people use their program. In addition, the Weight Watchers program is backed by science and has over 130 published studies

The Weight Watchers program applies a point value to foods and gives you an allotted daily point value. However, these point values go far beyond just counting calories. Instead, point values are based on the nutritional value of the foods. Luckily, Weight Watchers understands that it is not a one size fits all model when it comes to deciding how many points someone should have daily, so plans are created based on your answers to a questionnaire. 

This program is affordable and priced at approximately $15 per month. 

My Experience with Weight Watchers (WW)

A few years ago, my mom decided she would try WW, so I joined it, too, so we could do it together. After using the program for about two months, my mom did have some success. But, unfortunately, I actually gained weight when using Weight Watchers when trying to reach my daily points goal. In addition, I found trying to track my points a little stressful on hectic days. Although it didn’t work out for me, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work out for you. One of my friends has been using WW for quite a while with great success. 

Noom vs Second Nature

Noom is a healthy lifestyle-based program with a foundation in behavior science. This app-based program was created in 2008. Similar to Second Nature, this program also uses a psychology-based approach to helping people make healthier choices and lifestyle changes. Users receive weekly lessons covering a specific topic, and their goals for the program are based on a questionnaire completed before the program begins.

Regarding food, this program follows the stoplight eating approach and focuses on calories. Stoplight eating means different foods are separated into three different color groups: green, yellow, and red. The green group includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, low-calorie-nutrient-dense foods. People are to eat most from this category. Lean meats and low-fat dairy are color-coded yellow and should be eaten in moderation since they are higher in calories and have lower nutrients than foods in the green category. Red meat and full-fat cheese round out the red group and should be avoided mostly, although Noom never makes any food off limits. The easy-to-follow app makes it simple to see which color your foods are per day and provide a quick visual to see where there can be an improvement in your diet. 

Noom is available for $60 per month or $199 per year.

My Experience with Noom

After the birth of my last daughter, I received a promo to try Noom for $1 through a website I visited often. Since it was so affordable, I thought I would try it. After the trial ended, I continued using the program for two more months. I loved the idea of having a coach and the program’s simplicity. 

However, I found that the lessons mainly reviewed what I already knew. This could be due to my background in health and fitness, and others without that background might find them more useful. I was excited about having a coach but felt that the interaction almost felt scripted. However, there were questions they couldn’t answer since they didn’t have the background to be able to answer them. Also, I wasn’t crazy that they instantly started with a 1,200-calorie per day recommendation. I know this calorie threshold makes my metabolism sluggish due to my activity level, and my doctor told me it was too low. The 1200-calorie point seems to be a baseline for many programs that are not as customizable as others. I also was not a fan that lean meats were yellow, as protein is vital to weight maintenance. Studies have shown that eating a diet higher in protein helps to maintain lean mass in addition to helping control hunger.

On busy days, I was sometimes guilty of entering my meals at the end of the day, as I didn’t have enough time to finish them after each meal. Unfortunately, this was not the best approach to help aid in my success. Although Noom wasn’t the perfect program for me, I have a neighbor that absolutely swears by it. 

Weight Loss Program Comparisons

Second NatureNoomWeight Watchers
Tracking RequiredNoYesYes
Psychology Based ProgramYesYesNo
SmartPhone App AvailableYesYesYes
One-on-One Coaching with a Registered Dietician/NutritionistYesNoNo
Weigh-Ins3X/week goal, but not requiredDailyWeekly
Price$50/month$60/month$15/month

FAQ

Is Second Nature Recommended by the NHS?

Yes, the National Health Service recommends Second Nature. In fact, it is the first online habit change program endorsed by NHS.

Is Second Nature Better Than Noom?

In my opinion, after trying both programs, the answer is yes. These programs are structured similarly but have some critical differences. The coaches’ knowledge level and interaction are among the most significant differences in the programs. The Second Nature Coaches are UK Registered Dieticians or Nutritionists. Although Noom coaches do not have the same credentials, they do attend a 4-week Noom course and are a Certified Health Coach.

Is Second Nature Better Than WW?

There are no counting points regarding Second Nature, which might make this program more maintainable than WW for certain people. 

Bottom Line

The success or failure of any new weight loss program or lifestyle change is significantly impacted by consistency and if it is the right fit for that specific person. However, remember to always consult your doctor before starting any new program. When examining a new program, remember to listen to your body; it will tell you if it likes the changes. Yes, there is an adjustment period, but you should start feeling better and seeing results. The best programs are the ones that are not quick fixes but are maintainable and can easily be followed for years to come. If you are looking for a comprehensive and thought-out program, I would recommend Second Nature. However, this process is a bit of trial and error, so it might take time to find the perfect program for you. 

Katie Pierson

Katie is the creator of MT Girl Fitness and has been a certified fitness professional for almost twenty years. She currently holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training. Fitness is her passion, and she loves seeing her clients reach goals they never imagined.

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