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Weight Loss Programmes

MyFitnessPal vs Lose It!

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Which lifestyle program should you join?

From our perspective, you have two options:

  1. If you want to count calories, track your food intake, weigh your macros, lose weight fast and have a higher risk of weight regain, you can consider MyFitnessPal or Lose It! We think Lose It! might be the better choice as they seem to have more evidence-based resources available to support healthy choices. They also have a better Trustpilot score.
  2. Suppose you’d like to lose weight sustainably, be supported by a UK-registered dietitian or nutritionist, be free of the yo-yo dieting cycle, and follow a programme trusted by the NHS and backed by scientific evidence published in the British Medical Journal. In that case, Second Nature might be the better choice.

When we feel out of control with unhealthy habits, extra support can help us to get back on track. Guided lifestyle programs and food-tracking apps are some ways we can achieve this.

Everyone is different, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a lifestyle program or app.

It ultimately depends on what suits your individual needs and what fits into your lifestyle.

For example, lifestyle program can be a great way to join individuals going on the same journey, which can be incredibly motivating.

Other people may be looking for a more independent approach with less emphasis on support and accountability.

Many people turn to online weight loss solutions as they find them more convenient and easier to fit into daily life.

How do they work?

Both plans focus on counting calories. The apps help track your food intake to stay below a certain threshold based on your weight and goals.

Similarly, MyFitnessPal and Lose It! offer free versions of their app with limited features. This guide considers the features that are available in the premium versions.

MyFitnessPal and Lose It! are unguided programmes, so no one can answer your questions or provide nutritional advice.

At Second Nature, you’re assigned a health coach who is a registered nutritionist or dietitian.

This means they have completed university-accredited degrees to gain this professional title.

You’ll have one-to-one private support with your health coach for expert advice, support, or just a little motivation when you hit a bump in the road.

Instead, they rely on computer-generated replies from an existing knowledge base of blogs and FAQs.

Although calorie counting works for some people, the evidence suggests that not all calories are the same and shouldn’t be viewed as equal energy sources. You may find that a more holistic approach suits you better.

The risks of calorie-counting and strict dieting

Strict calorie restriction risks putting your body into what’s known as ‘metabolic adaptation’. This is essentially a starvation response by your body when energy intake is very low.

This triggers a cascade of events designed to encourage you to eat more and continue to store fat. You might feel lethargic and hungry, and your mood might also experience a dip.

Because of this starvation response to strict dieting, Second Nature has taken a different approach – one where you determine what level of intake works for you, and surprisingly, it can lead to more weight loss in the long term.

Second Nature’s approach: Indulgent but supports weight loss 

In 2022, the NHS published data in the British Medical Journal from the National Weight Management and Diabetes Prevention programme, where five providers delivered weight loss services in the UK.

The results showed that after 12 months, Second Nature was more than twice as effective as the four other providers.

How does Second Nature’s approach work?

We approach nutrition and healthy eating differently. We don’t count calories, track macros, weigh food, or assign strict targets on your intake.

We provide you with evidence-based guidance on a balanced diet and teach you to understand what your physical and emotional drivers for eating are to reach your weight loss goals.

We also provide tools, such as our hunger scale and mindful eating techniques, that help you tune into your physical hunger cues and manage your food choices.

Alongside this, we help you build healthy habits that you can enjoy for a lifetime to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Our feedback inbox is filled with people like Jo, who lost over eight stone to achieve a healthy body weight on Second Nature after following our nutrition guidelines and receiving the support of our app and health coaches.

The difference is that members of Second Nature learn to love food again. They’re no longer restricted. They’re liberated.

If you’d like to join over 150,000 others who’ve joined Second Nature, lost weight and kept it off, then click here to take our health quiz.

Otherwise, keep reading as we look at other key differences and similarities between MyFitnessPal, Lose It! and Second Nature.

Did you know?

As the first-ever digital behaviour change programme commissioned by the NHS, Second Nature is trusted by experts across the country.

Want to make losing weight feel easier?

Second Nature uses science to help you make healthy choices, ensuring they stick in the long run. Join the 150,000 people on a Second Nature journey today by taking our quiz. We use your quiz answers to tailor our advice and support on the programme, to ensure you lose weight and keep it off.

Trustpilot score

Trustpilot is a platform where consumers can leave reviews, and scores reflect overall customer satisfaction.

MyFitnessPal Lose It! Second Nature
Star rating Trustpilot review score for MyFitnessPal showing 2.2/5 stars Trustpilot review score for Lose It! showing 3.1/5 stars 5 stars
Score 3.9 / 5
read reviews
4.72 / 5
read reviews
4.8 / 5
read reviews

*There are fewer reviews for Lose It! compared to Second Nature and MyFitnessPal

Signing up

MyFitnessPal Lose It! Second Nature
Money back guarantee There are no refunds for termination or cancellation of the Premium Service The refund policy isn’t disclosed. A request needs to be submitted online. Full refund if cancelled within 14 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable.
Clear breakdown of costs
Clear cancellation policy
(Cancellation policy depends on where the subscription has been purchased)
Length of program Monthly and Yearly Premium membership available. program length is dependent on your goals All plans are ongoing with yearly and lifetime account options Ongoing subscription (minimum 12 weeks)
Easy to cancel
(Cancellation policy depends on where the subscription has been purchased)
Refer-a-friend scheme
Easy to include family

Nutrition

MyFitnessPal Lose It! Second Nature
Dietary approach Low calorie Low calorie Lower carb
Caters to vegetarian
Caters to vegan
Vegetarian/vegan recipe section
(Meals and Recipes are available for premium members)

Support

MyFitnessPal Lose It! Second Nature
Dietary approach Low calorie Low calorie Lower carb
Tailors the plan around diabetes
Tailors the plan around other health issues
Access to a qualified nutrition specialist </span style=”color: #000000;”>*
Weekend support available
Phone support available
Face-to-face meetings

*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 they don’t meet the regulatory requirements to be considered US-registered dietitians or nutritionists.

Program features

MyFitnessPal Lose It! Second Nature
App
Encourages daily weigh ins
Recipe videos
Exercise videos
Tracks sleep
Tracks steps
Tracks exercise
Tracks water intake
Tracks custom habits
Education of nutrition science
Requires calorie counting
Sets daily calorie targets
Tracks all nutrients
Food diary feature
Meal planning tool

*MyFitnessPal is within the Under Armour Connected Fitness™ portfolio and connects to Under Armour Map My Run for Exercise tracking.

Pricing

When programmes provide price plans in different formats, it can be hard to compare prices accurately.

To make this easier, we have calculated the price of monthly basic price plans on each programme to show you how costs compare (as of April 2022).

MyFitnessPal and Lose It! have a lower membership fee than Second Nature.

However, Second Nature is the only programme that gives you private access to a registered dietitian or nutritionist and telephone support options.

Both MyFitnessPal and Lose It! do not offer a coach option. They are purely food-tracking apps.

Personalised support can help with accountability and tailoring a programme to your lifestyle and personal preferences. This extra support can be crucial to making lasting changes to your health.

Another option that offers high levels of personalisation and support is seeing a registered nutritionist or dietitian.

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 expensive ($40-$100/hour).

We have added a column representing this to compare costs (Weekly Nutritionist – WN).

Monthly (basic) digital subscriptions:

MyFitnessPal Lose It! Second Nature WRD
Access to a qualified nutrition specialist
The same, personal coach throughout the program
Price $9.99/month $3.33/month $60/month £300/month

Example nutrition query response

Nutrition is a significant part of any weight loss journey. Therefore, it’s essential 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?

It’s important to note that MyFitnessPal and Lose It! answers are computer generated. MyFitnessPal and Lose It! don’t answer your direct question but link you to an article within their knowledge base, which is shared below.

MyFitnessPal’s answer:

“Protein is found in various foods: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy and even grains.

From a dietary perspective, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and soybeans are complete proteins; that is, they provide all of the amino acids required by our body.

Other protein foods like legumes, some nuts and seeds, and grains don’t provide adequate amounts of the essential amino acids by themselves but can when eaten in combination with other foods and as part of a balanced diet.”

The full article on Protein by MyFitnessPal can be read here.

Lose It!’s’ answer:

“We found this answer.
Macronutrient Recommendations. The Institute of Medicine recommends the following calorie breakdown:

45%-65% of daily calories should come from Carbohydrates
10%-35% of daily calories should come from Protein
20%-35% of daily calories should come from Fats”

The suggested article can be found 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 is not the case, as dietary cholesterol is poorly absorbed from the digestive system. If cholesterol is absorbed, the body will produce less to balance out (and prevent blood cholesterol levels from rising).

Therefore, you do not need to be restricted unless recommended to do so by your GP/Healthcare professional. Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, providing good quality protein and containing vitamins and minerals.”

Take home message

  • When choosing a weight loss programme, you must consider what support you need and what would fit into your lifestyle to help you achieve your goals.
  • MyFitnessPal, Lose It! And Second Nature are an online, app-based programmes
  • Second Nature is the only programme where you have access to a registered dietitian or nutritionist.
  • Your health coach can tailor the programme to your individual needs and preferences and answer any nutritional questions you may have.
  • Second Nature provides education in nutrition science, allowing you to make informed decisions and develop a healthy relationship with food in the long term.
  • Customer support is available on the Second Nature programme.
  • Customer support is extremely limited on MyFitnessPal and Lose It! Most queries with MyFitnessPal or Lose It! will be answered using their existing knowledge base with computer-generated replies.

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