Joining a health and lifestyle program 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 health and lifestyle program. It ultimately depends on what suits your individual needs and what fits into your lifestyle.
Many people find online programs more convenient and easier to fit into daily life. To save you tiresome research and help to answer some important questions, this guide compares two popular online health programs; Centr and Second Nature.
Both Centr and Second Nature have a multifaceted view on health; focusing on the importance of eating well, having a healthy mindset and keeping active. Each program provides a community, educational content and in-app exercise videos. Second Nature’s specialty however, is on sustainable weight loss through behaviour-change whilst Centr places a large emphasis on movement through their tailored-exercise and fitness programs.
The main difference between the programs is that Centr provides nutrition support through their 3 specific meal plans whereas Second Nature provides recipes , educational articles and access to a personal coach. This coach is a registered dietitian or nutritionist who specialises in sustainable weight loss and can provide you with specific advice and guidance through your weight loss journey. Centr provide support through their community however, this support is made up of current members, rather than experts in the field.
A second difference is that Second Nature has in-app features such as food diaries and tracking tools your coach can use to help keep you accountable. Centr, having 3 potential goals to choose from (lose weight, get fit and toned or build muscle), is less tailored to weight loss specifically and focuses more on improving mindset and exercise.
Trustpilot is a platform where consumers can leave reviews and scores reflect overall customer satisfaction.
|Score||2.1 / 5
|4.8 / 5
|Clear breakdown of costs||✗||✓|
|Clear cancellation policy||✓||✓|
|Length of programme||Subscription-based model. Option of purchasing the subscription for 3 months or 12 months.||12 week minimum, then ongoing|
|Easy to cancel||✓||✓|
|Refund policy||No partial refund if in the middle of a billing cycle.||Full refund if cancelled within 14 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable.|
($10 credit for referring family or friends.)
|Easy to include family||✗||✓|
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|Dietary approach||‘Real food first’ approach||Lower-carb|
|Caters to vegetarian||✓||✓|
|Caters to vegan||✓||✓|
|Vegetarian/vegan recipe section||✓||✓|
(Other than Vitamin D.)
|Tailors the plan around diabetes||✗||✓|
|Tailors the plan around other health issues||✗||✓|
|Access to registered dietitian or nutritionist||✗||✓|
|Dietitians based locally in Australia and New Zealand||✗
(No nutritionists or dietitians available to answer questions in the facebook community.)
|Assigned to local support group (timezone friendly)||✓
(peer-support via facebook group.)
|Weekend support available||✓
(Customer support response time is 24 hours)
|Daily support from coach||✗||✓|
|Encourages daily weigh-ins||✗||✗|
|Makes you take numerous body measurements||✗||✗|
|Tracks water intake||✗||✓|
|Tracks custom habits||✗||✓|
|Education of nutrition science||✓
(some nutrition blogs in the app.)
|Requires calorie counting||✗||✗|
|Food diary feature||✗||✓|
|Meal planning tool||✓||✓|
|In-app journalling tool||✗||✓|
When programs provide price plans in different formats, it can be hard to accurately compare prices. To make this easier, we have calculated the price of monthly basic price plans on each program to show you how costs compare over 3, 6, and 12 months (as of February 2021). All admin fees are included in these prices.
On the surface, Second Nature seems slightly more expensive, however, your personal coach is a registered dietitian or nutritionist, rather than a Centr member or customer service representative. You also have the same coach throughout the whole Second Nature program giving you the opportunity to build a relationship and tackle behaviour change and psychological behaviours around food and eating.
Registration to a professional body requires a nationally recognised nutrition or dietetics degree. Weekly face-to-face sessions with a registered dietitian or nutritionist can be very expensive ($100+/hour). We have added a column representing this to compare costs (Nutritionist Cost).
Monthly (basic) digital subscriptions:
|Centr||Second Nature||Weekly Nutritionist|
|Registered dietitian or nutritionist coach||✗||✓||✓|
|The same, personal coach throughout the programme||✗||✓||✓|
|Price||$19.99 / month*||$75 / month||$400 / month|
*Centr provides discounts when you sign up to longer subscriptions, however, you are locked into a non-refundable contract for the 12-month period.
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?
Centr were unable to provide any explanation.
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 program, it is important to consider what your goals are, as this will help to tailor what program to choose to help you achieve your goals
- If weight loss is your goal, online and digitally led programs are a better option as often face-to-face weight loss meetings can be uncomfortable or inconvenient.
- Centr and Second Nature are both fully available online
- Second Nature provides a registered dietitian or nutritionist personal health coach to support with behaviour-change whereas Centr’s community is of other Centr members
- Second Nature provides 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.