Weight loss programmes 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 program. It ultimately depends on what suits your individual needs and what fits into your lifestyle.
Many people find online weight loss 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 weight loss programs; Equalution and Second Nature.
Both Equalution and Second Nature focus on sustainable weight loss and behaviour change, especially in terms of nutrition. Both programs are designed to fit in easily with your lifestyle and offer access to a user-friendly app.
The main difference is that Second Nature has a built-in group platform allowing you to share daily successes, challenges and questions with your dedicated health coach and other members on the program. Equalution provides individualised coaching once a week however, there is no in-app group platform or guarantee of the same coach at each check-in.
Additionally, Equalution’s nutrition ethos is based on flexible dieting and calorie counting, whereas Second Nature promotes whole foods whilst limiting ultra-processed foods and those with added sugar. The Second Nature program also takes a multifaceted approach with their education encompassing nutrition, mindset, exercise, sleep and stress.
Trustpilot is a platform where consumers can leave reviews and scores reflect overall customer satisfaction.
|Score||– / 5
|4.8 / 5
|Clear breakdown of costs||✓||✓|
|Clear cancellation policy||✓||✓|
|Length of programme||Subscription-based model: Minimum 8 weeks||12 week minimum, then ongoing|
|Easy to cancel||✓||✓|
|Refund policy||No refund provided.||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||✗||✓|
|Dietary approach||Flexible Dieting||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||✗
(Not all coaches are registered nutritionists or dietitians.)
|Dietitians based locally in Australia and New Zealand||✓||✓|
|Assigned to an in-app local support group (timezone friendly)||✗||✓|
|Weekend support available||✗||✓|
|Phone support available||✓
(Only once a week.)
|Daily support from coach||✗||✓|
|Encourages daily weigh-ins||✗||✗|
|Makes you take numerous body measurements||✓||✗|
|Tracks water intake||✓||✓|
|Tracks custom habits||✗||✓|
|Education of nutrition science||✓||✓|
|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 (as of February 2021). All admin fees are included in these prices.
When comparing the two programs, Second Nature works out to be $100/month cheaper than the Equalution program. Second Nature also provides members with a dedicated coach throughout the whole program, who offers daily support to members.
All Second Nature health coaches are registered dietitians or nutritionists. In contrast, Equalution has coaches from a variety of health-related backgrounds.
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 (Weekly Nutritionist).
Monthly (basic) digital subscriptions:
|Equalution||Second Nature||Weekly Nutritionist|
|Registered dietitian or nutritionist coach||✓||✓||✓|
|The same, personal coach throughout the programme||✗||✓||✓|
|Price||$238 / month*||$75 / month||$400 / month|
*This is the monthly payment for the ‘mini mum8-week’ subscription. There are also 2 month ($242/month), 3 month ($227.50/month) and 6 months ($197/month) subscriptions available.
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 programme 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?
“Eggs like all food are neither good or bad for the body but should be considered in the context of the whole diet, we consider cholesterol similarly in that it should be regarded in the context of the whole diet.”
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 health program, it is important to consider what would fit into your lifestyle and help you achieve your goals.
- For those who find face-to-face weight loss meetings uncomfortable or inconvenient, online and digitally-led program are a better option.
- Equalution and Second Nature are both fully available online.
- The Second Nature program allows individuals to support each other through an in-app group platform, whereas the Equalution app does not offer this.
- Second Nature provides a registered dietitian or nutritionist health coach available 5 days a week, whereas Equalution coaches can come from other health-related backgrounds and only provide weekly check-ins.