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Weight Loss Programmes

Noom® vs Second Nature

title

Weight management programmes can provide a helpful structure for your health journey when you feel out of control with unhealthy habits and want to lose weight.

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 no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a weight loss programme. It ultimately depends on what suits your individual needs and what fits into your lifestyle.

Many people find online weight management programmes more convenient and easier to fit into daily life.

To save you tiresome research and help to answer some crucial questions, this guide compares two popular online weight loss programmes; Noom® and Second Nature.

Both Noom and Second Nature focus on behaviour change and sustainable weight loss. Both weight loss apps provide the same coach throughout the programme, allowing you to build a relationship with your coach.

With Second Nature, you’ll have daily access to your qualified coach via private chat for expert advice, support, or just a little motivation when you hit a bump in the road.

Noom may just be another strict diet

Despite Noom’s advertising as a sustainable weight loss solution, and their programme containing some information on behavioural science, their approach to nutrition and other programme elements mimic many of the restrictive dieting approaches seen in Weight Watchers and Slimming World.

Dietitian and eating disorder expert Christine Byrne wrote a review on Noom for Outside magazine in 2021 and quoted:

“Don’t Be Fooled, Noom Is Just Another Diet.

The popular app promises weight loss without dieting. Then it proposes restrictive eating habits.

…behind Noom’s popularity and slick “no dieting needed” marketing, it’s really just another diet. The app is essentially a calorie tracker supplemented by lessons on behavior change and a personal coach who messages you. Many nutrition and mental health experts have warned that the way Noom presents itself is misleading.

Calorie counting on Noom

On Noom, you’re assigned a ‘personal’ calorie target. However, it seems that everyone is assigned a 1200-calorie target, no matter what information you put into the Noom quiz.

Like Weight Watchers and Slimming World, Noom also has a food ranking system to inform you what foods are ‘good’ and ‘bad’. They use a traffic light system based on the energy density of foods.

Energy-dense foods (such as cheese) are labelled red, and low-energy-dense foods (such as vegetables) are labelled green.

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.

Did you know?

Second Nature was the first-ever digital behavioural change program commissioned by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. It continues to be part of their weight management and type 2 diabetes management service.

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. Currently, Noom has no published long-term data to support its approach.

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 Second Nature and the Noom programme.

Trustpilot score

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

Noom® Second Nature
Star rating 4 stars 5 stars
Score 4.3 / 5
read reviews
4.8 / 5
read reviews

Trustpilot logo

Signing up

Noom® Second Nature
Money back guarantee 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.
Clear breakdown of costs
Clear cancellation policy
Length of program Dependent on your goals Ongoing subscription (minimum 12 weeks)
Easy to cancel
Refer-a-friend scheme
Easy to include family

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.

Nutrition

Noom® Second Nature
Dietary approach Low fat Lower carb
Caters to vegetarian
Caters to vegan
Vegetarian/vegan recipe section
Supplements encouraged
(other than vitamin D)

Support

Noom® Second Nature
Tailors the plan around diabetes
Tailors the plan around other health issues
Access to a qualified nutrition specialised </span style=”color: #000000;”>*
Weekend support available

*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

Noom® 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
(calories via a traffic light system)
Food diary feature
Meal planning tool
In-app journalling tool

Pricing

When programs 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 digital basic price plans on each program to show you how costs compare. All admin fees are included in these prices.

Both programs provide a coach to support you throughout your lifestyle change journey. Noom® coaches can come from any health-related background, while Second Nature are coaches with expertise in nutrition.

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 expensive ($70-$100 per session). We have added a column representing this to compare costs, labelled weekly registered dietitian (WRD).

Monthly digital subscriptions:

Noom® Second Nature WRN
Access to a qualified nutrition specialist
The same, personal coach throughout the program
Price $60 / month $60 / month $350 / month

Example nutrition query response

Nutrition is a significant part of any lifestyle change. Therefore, it’s important to receive accurate and reliable nutrition advice surrounding nutrition.

We asked each programme a common nutrition-related query to see how the health coaching support 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).”

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 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 being loaded with vitamins and minerals.”

Take home message

  • When choosing a weight management program, it’s important to consider what would fit into your lifestyle and help you achieve your goals
  • For those who find face-to-face meetings uncomfortable or inconvenient, digital programs are a better option
  • Noom® and Second Nature are both fully digital
  • Noom® has a clear guide of foods to eat or avoid; however, the focus is on reducing calories and daily weigh-ins, which might not benefit those with an unhealthy relationship with food
  • Second Nature provides education in nutrition science, allowing you to make informed decisions and develop a healthy relationship with food in the long term.
  • You can download the Second Nature and Noom apps on the Apple or Google play stores.

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Woman holding phone with Second Nature

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Write a response

Commenter
Sue
27 January, 2022

Can Second Nature be used with AOL in the U.S.?
Noom can not . It requires a Google account.


Commenter
Anna
17 March, 2022

Hi Sue,

Thanks for your comment and interest in our programme! You can certainly signup with an AOL email address 🙂

If you’d like to sync Google Fit to your Second Nature account, however, you will need a Gmail account.

If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions.


Commenter
Anna
2 February, 2022

Hi Sue,

Yes, you can signup for Second Nature with an AOL email address 😊

If you’d like to register for an account in the US, you can take our health quiz here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email support@secondnature.io 😊


Commenter
Denise
3 November, 2021

I’m currently going through menopause. Can this program help me, lose weight. Nothing I do right now is working


Commenter
Anna
10 November, 2021

Hi Denise,

Thanks for your comment and interest in our programme!

We have a Menopause community in-app where you’ll be able to connect with other subscribers. The community is guided by a health coach who is there to support the group and also answer any questions that come up along the way. Communities are available in-app from week 4 of the programme, but you can message our support team if you’d like to join a community right away. You may find this article helpful.

If you’d like to learn more about our programme, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Cheryl S Hair
10 October, 2021

I’m under a huge amount of family stress (supporting 4 members with current health issues) right now. Should I wait to start this program until I’m in a less stressful spot?


Commenter
Anna
18 October, 2021

Hi Cheryl,

So sorry to hear what you’re going through at the moment. Sending you and your family our best wishes.

Do you have the capacity to implement nutritional and lifestyle changes at the moment? We do recommend home-cooking when possible and advise you follow our balanced plate model for your meals.

As a general description, our programme will help you build healthier lifestyle habits around the way you eat, move, and think.

The programme itself will take you through some nutritional and exercise-related lifestyle changes. You’ll be guided by a health coach, your nutrition expert who is there to support you 5 days a week along with the support of your own peer group. 

You’ll receive regular educational articles to help you and motivate you, taking you through different aspects of lifestyle change – including things like nutrition, sleep, exercise stress management, thought patterns, and behaviours. You’ll have about 5-10 minutes of reading daily with the option to listen to the learning articles rather than read them.

The programme is entirely digital and you’ll be able to check in and out of the app at your convenience – there isn’t a specific time you’ll need to be online.

If you’d like to learn more, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Dana
15 August, 2021

Interested in the program please


Commenter
Anna
15 August, 2021

Hi Dana, thanks for your interest in our programme! To learn more about Second Nature, you can take our health quiz here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions.


Commenter
Laurie Palladino
15 August, 2021

Curious


Commenter
Anna
15 August, 2021

Hi Laurie, thanks for your interest in our programme! If you’d like to learn more, you can click here, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
Craig Stephens
4 July, 2021

Approaching annual leave and looking at a weight loss lifestyle program to kickstart


Commenter
Anna
22 July, 2021

Hi Craig, we’d love to welcome you to the programme! Please click here for more information, or email support@secondnature.io with any questions 🙂


Commenter
ROMINE Kat
15 May, 2021

Have never heard of this…


Commenter
Anna
2 June, 2021

Hi Romine, thanks for your interest in our programme! To find out more, please take our health quiz here


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