Weight management programs 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’s 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.
To save you tiresome research and help to answer some important questions, this guide compares two popular programs: WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined, formerly Weight Watchers®) and Second Nature.
WW considers food, activity, sleep and mindset to help you lose weight. The program is based on the WW SmartPoint® system and is available in either digital or face-to-face format.
Second Nature is a fully digital, easy-to-follow program that helps you change your lifestyle, and achieve your weight goals sustainably, with scientific articles, in-app tracking, and dedicated support from a qualified nutrition specialist.
Did you know?
In the UK, Second Nature was the first ever digital behavioural change program to be commissioned by their National Health Service (NHS) and continues to be part of their weight management and type 2 diabetes management service.
Trustpilot is a platform where consumers can leave reviews and scores reflect overall customer satisfcation.
|Score||1.8 / 5
|4.8 / 5
|Money back guarantee||Full refund if cancelled within 21 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable.
However, a termination fee of $49.95 applies if you cancel during a Commitment Plan.
|Full refund if cancelled within 14 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable.|
|Clear breakdown of costs||✓||✓|
|Clear cancellation policy||✗||✓|
|Length of program||All plans are ongoing||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||Low Calorie||Lower carb|
|Caters to vegetarian||✓||✓|
|Caters to vegan||✓||✓|
|Vegetarian/vegan recipe section||✓||✓|
(nutritional supplements are available to be purchased here)
(other than vitamin D)
|Tailors the plan around diabetes||✗||✓|
|Tailors the plan around other health issues||✗||✓|
(for meeting / meeting + digital plan)
|Access to a coach with expertise in nutrition||✗||✓</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 don’t meet the regulatory requirements to be considered US registered dietitians or nutritionists.
(Free recipe videos available on YouTube without signing up)
(Free recipe videos available on YouTube without signing up)
|Tracks custom habits||✗||✓|
|Education of nutrition science||✗||✓|
(Smartpoints® and Fitpoints®)
|Food diary feature||✓||✓|
|Meal planning tool||✓||✓|
|In-app journaling 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 digital price plans on each program to show you how costs compare (as of April 2021). All admin fees are included in these prices.
Both programs include access to a coach throughout the program. However, qualifications vary. With WW, coaches are past members who have been successful on the program rather than nutrition professionals. With Second Nature, your coach is an expert in nutrition.
Another option to get support with your diet would be to have private sessions with 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, labelled weekly registered dietitian (WRD).
Monthly digital subscriptions:
|Access to a coach with expertise in nutrition||✗||✓||✓|
|The same, personal coach throughout the program||✓||✓||✓|
|Price||$21.95 / month*||$60 / month||$350 / month|
If you were to opt for the Weight Watchers® face-to-face group meeting plan it would work out to be more expensive.
Example nutrition query response
Nutrition is a major part of any lifestyle change. 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?
“There is no need to avoid these, you can go to the gov website and get the correct information on this”
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’s important to consider what would fit into your lifestyle and help you achieve your goals
- WW and Second Nature are both online and app-based programs, which is perfect if you’re always on the go!
- WW focuses primarily on diet and may not be sustainable in the long term
- Second Nature takes a more holistic approach to achieving weight goals and uses behaviour change techniques to help you change your lifestyle
- Face-to-face meetings (available with WW) work for some people more than others, depending on how you’re motivated
- 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