Lifestyle programs can provide a helpful structure for your health journey when you feel out of control with unhealthy habits. In particular, they can be especially useful in helping you achieve your weight goals. Programs are 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 management program. It ultimately depends on what suits your individual needs and what fits into your lifestyle. Some people want rigid rules and a quick fix, whereas others like more flexibility and a long-term lifestyle change.
This guide compares Second Nature and 8Fit, two app-based programs that provide science-backed health and nutritional advice.
8Fit is a Berlin-based app offering workouts, meal plans, and self-care guidance.
The Second Nature program takes a holistic approach to weight management, by focusing not only on nutrition but also on exercise, sleep, stress, and our mindset. Second Nature gives people the tools they need to achieve their weight goals sustainably.
The main difference between these programs is that with Second Nature you have a qualified nutrition specialist as your coach plus access to a peer-support group for support, guidance and motivation throughout your journey.
Ratings and reviews
8Fit and Second Nature both deliver their program via an app. This enables you to have nutrition advice in your pocket, helping you stay on track. We’ve looked at reviews from the Apple App Store to see how customer satisfaction compares across each program.
|Score||4.7 / 5
|4.8 / 5
|Money back guarantee||Full refund 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.|
|Clear breakdown of costs||✓||✓|
|Clear cancellation policy||✓||✓|
|Length of program||Dependent on the goal and program selected. Each level takes around 2 weeks to complete, but this can all vary depending on your current fitness level and how many workouts you end up completing||Ongoing subscription (minimum 12 weeks)|
|Easy to cancel||✓||✓|
|Easy to include family||✓||✓|
Want to make losing weight feel easier?
The Second Nature app uses behavioural science to retrain your mind to make healthy choices automatically, so these stick in the long run. Join 150,000 people who’ve used Second Nature to make losing weight feel easier - the first step is to create your personalised plan with our quick quiz.
|Dietary approach||Focus on nutrient-rich whole foods||Lower carb|
|Caters to vegetarian||✓||✓|
|Caters to vegan||✓||✓|
|Vegetarian/vegan recipe section||✓||✓|
|Tailors the plan around diabetes||✗
(Special meal plans for people with diabetes aren’t offered. 8fit recommends working directly with a doctor)
|Tailors the plan around other health issues||✗||✓|
|Access to a qualified nutrition specialist||✗||✓*|
|Weekend support available||✗||✓|
|Phone support available||✗
(Works exclusively via messages)
*Second Nature coaches are all UK registered dietitians or nutritionists. This means they have completed university accredited degrees to gain this professional title. However, coaches are not registered in the US, so don’t meet the regulatory requirements to be considered US registered dietitians or nutritionists.
|Encourages daily weigh-ins||✗||✗|
|Tracks water intake||✗||✓|
|Education of nutrition science||✓||✓|
|Requires calorie counting||✗||✗|
|Food diary feature||✓||✓|
|Meal planning tool||✓||✓|
|In-app journalling tool||✓||✓|
As of February 2021, 8Fit doesn’t track sleep or water intake. However, this is something that they are looking to provide in the future.
When programs provide price plans in different formats, it can be hard to accurately compare prices. To make this easier, we’ve calculated the monthly basic price plans of each program to show you how costs compare (as of February 2021).
At first glance, the Second Nature program may seem more expensive than 8Fit. However, the cost of the Second Nature program includes access to your coach, a qualified nutrition specialist, who you can speak to regularly. You also have access to your digital peer support group, plus meal planning and journaling tools, and step, weight, and habit tracking technology.
Another option to get support with your diet would be to see a registered dietitian. Weekly face-to-face sessions with a registered dietitian can be very expensive ($70-$100 per session). We have added a column representing this to compare costs (Weekly RD – WRD).
Monthly digital subscriptions:
|Registered dietitian or nutritionist coach||✗||✓||✓|
|The same, personal coach throughout the program||✗||✓||✓|
|Price||$25 / month||$60 / month||$350 / month|
Example nutrition query response
Nutrition is a major part of any lifestyle. Therefore, it’s 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?
We asked this question via the online customer query portal and had a reply from one of the 8Fit customer advisors. The advisor linked us to a blog post written by Noureen at 8Fit. We’ve copied a few paragraphs from the blog post below:
“They’re versatile, budget-friendly and an egg-cellent source of protein to start your day with – also, we at 8fit HQ can’t get enough of them. Maybe that’s why eggs are such a hit in breakfasts all over the world!
Eggs are considered a ‘complete’ source of protein thanks to their nine essential amino acids, packed with nutritional benefits that earn them the reputation as a nearly perfect food. They’re also one of the few natural vitamin D food sources and contain heart-healthy fats as well as the essential nutrient choline, key in brain development.
Years ago, when scientists made the initial association between high blood cholesterol and heart disease, foods high in dietary cholesterol were thought to be the leading cause of the condition, and subsequently got blacklisted — egg yolks happened to be one of the prime suspects.
Even though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, it’s been found that having one egg daily is safe. As a general rule of thumb, eating a healthy egg breakfast that contains more than one egg is fine if you’re not eating it every day.”
You can read the full article here.
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 management program, it is important to consider what support you need and what would fit into your lifestyle to help you achieve your goals
- 8Fit and Second Nature are digital, app-based programs
- Both programs provide you with an education of nutrition science, allowing you to make informed decisions yourself and develop a healthy relationship with food in the long-term
- Both Second Nature and 8Fit focus on sustaining healthy habits and promoting good relationships with food, rather than numbers on the scales
- Second Nature provides a personal coach who’s on hand for you to speak directly with throughout the program
- 8Fit’s meal plans are developed by registered dietitians but you will not have access to ongoing support from a coach