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Noom® vs Weight Watchers® Australia

Weight loss programs can provide a helpful structure for your health journey when you feel out of control with unhealthy habits. They can also be a great way to join individuals going on the same journey, which can be incredibly motivating.

Everyone is different, and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a weight loss program. It ultimately depends on what suits our individual needs and what fits into our lifestyle. When it comes to losing weight, some people want rigid rules and a quick fix, whereas others like more flexibility and a long-term lifestyle change.

To save you tiresome research and help to answer some important questions, this guide compares two popular weight loss programs; Noom® (N) and Weight Watchers® (WW). Noom® is an app-based, digital program, whereas you can choose between online and face-to-face plans with Weight Watchers®.

Comparisons to the Second Nature (SN) program are included. Second Nature is a 12-week digital program that helps you to lose weight and make sustainable lifestyle changes. As the program tackles bad habits and helps you to build new ones, the changes that you make last in the long term.

Another notable difference between the programs is that Noom® is based in the US, and so it’s tailored to a US audience. This means that if you sign up from Australia, your coach might only be available at odd hours and the metrics or measurements used might be unfamiliar.

Many Australian members prefer the convenience of having a coach and support group based in the same country as them, as with Weight Watchers® and Second Nature. The benefit of the Second Nature coaches is that they are all Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), registered with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), rather than a previous member (Weight Watchers®) an individual from any health-related background (Noom®).

Trustpilot score

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WW Noom® Second Nature
Star rating 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Score 2.3 / 5
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4.3 / 5
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4.9 / 5
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Signing up

WW® Noom® Second Nature
Free trial
(trial period but you must cancel before getting charged)
Clear breakdown of costs
Clear cancellation policy
Length of program All plans ongoing. Core: 16 weeks

Part 2: ongoing.

Core: 12 weeks

Sustain (optional): ongoing.

Easy to cancel
(If cancelling within 14-day trial, otherwise you have to call customer support)
Refund policy Full refund if cancelled within 14 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable. Full refund (apart from $1 admin fee) if cancelled within 14 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable. Full refund if cancelled within 14 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable.
Refer-a-friend scheme
(not for customers in Aus)
Easy to include family

Nutrition

WW® Noom® Second Nature
Dietary approach Low calorie Low fat Lower carb
Caters to vegetarian
Caters to vegan

Support

WW® Noom® Second Nature
Tailors the plan around diabetes
Tailors the plan around other health issues
Face-to-face meetings
(for meeting / meeting+ digital plan)
Access to accredited dietitian
Health coach based in Australia
Weekend support
available

program features

WW® Noom® Second Nature
Tailored content for Australian members
Australian support group
Encourages daily weigh-ins
App
Award/prize system
Recipe videos
(Free recipe videos available on YouTube without signing up)
Exercise videos
(Free exercise videos available on YouTube without signing up)
Education of nutrition science
Counting/point system
(Smartpoints® and Fitpoints®)

(calories represented by traffic light system)
Food diary feature
Food diary reviewed by dietitian

Pricing

When programs have different plans all with different costs, it can be challenging to make accurate comparisons. To make this easier, we’ve calculated the price of the most similar versions of each program. Noom® and Second Nature are both digital programs with a coach, so we’ve compared these basic price plans to the Weight Watchers® digital + personal coaching plan to show you how costs compare over 3, 6, and 12 months (as of March 2020).

If you join a program for 6-12 months, Noom® seems slightly cheaper than Second Nature®. However, with Second Nature, your personal coach is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), registered with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), rather than a previous member (Weight Watchers®) or an individual from any health-related background (Noom®).

This means that all Second Nature coaches practise in line with DAA Professional Standards. Registration to the DAA requires:

1) A nationally recognised dietetics degree
2) Ongoing training and education programs to ensure that they’re the most up-to-date and credible source of nutrition information.

Weekly face-to-face sessions with an APD can be very expensive ($70-$150/hour). We have added a column representing this to compare costs (Weekly Dietitian – WD).

Monthly digital subscriptions:

WW® Noom® Second Nature WN
Accredited dietitian coach
The same, personal coach throughout the program
3 months $55/month $69/month $67/month $440/month
6 months $55/month $34/month $43/month $440/month
12 months $55/month $21/month $32/month $440/month

Example nutrition query response

Nutrition is a major part of any weight loss journey. Therefore, it is important to receive accurate and reliable nutrition advice. We asked each program a common nutrition-related query to see how the information provided as an answer compares.

Q: Are eggs bad for your cholesterol? Should I avoid them?

Noom®’s answer:

“No single food will stop or start weight loss. It’s all about balance! I suggest consulting with your doctor regarding specific needs (i.e. cholesterol).”

Weight Watchers®’ answer:

“There is no need to avoid these, you can go to the gov website and get the correct information on this”

Second Nature’s answer:

“Eggs are a rich source of dietary cholesterol. It was previously thought that cholesterol-containing foods increase blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and strokes. However, this has not been shown to be the case as dietary cholesterol is poorly absorbed from the digestive system, and if cholesterol is absorbed, the body will produce less of it to balance out (and prevent blood cholesterol levels rising). Therefore, you do not need to be restricted unless recommended to do so from your GP/Healthcare professional. Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet providing good quality protein as well as being loaded with vitamins and minerals.”

Take home message

  • When choosing a weight loss program, it is important to consider what would fit into your lifestyle and help you achieve your goals.
  • Everyone is different and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss.
  • Noom® and Second Nature are both online and app-based programs, whereas Weight Watchers® has an optional face-to-face meeting plan.
  • Weight Watchers® seems to focus on eating habits, whereas Noom® and Second Nature approach weight loss by focusing on behaviour change as well as healthy eating.
  • Second Nature is the only program where you get a registered dietitian or nutritionist personal health coach.
  • Second Nature provides you with an education of nutrition and answers nutrition queries with the most up to date science.

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