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CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet vs Second Nature

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 weight loss 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 their lives. To save you tiresome research and help to answer some important questions, this guide compares two popular online weight loss programs; CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and Second Nature.

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and Second Nature focus on behaviour change and sustainable weight loss on an app platform. Education is provided through evidence-based articles and discuss the different pillars of health on both programs. Topics include nutrition, diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and mindset.

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and Second Nature offer a range of tools on their app platforms to support weight loss. These tools include extensive recipe libraries, exercise videos and the ability to track weight loss, exercise and food. While Second Nature offers a flexible meal planner where members can add and change meals each day, CSIRO offers a set daily meal plan.

One of the main differences between the programs is that Second Nature offers daily guidance from a dedicated and qualified health coach. Members who start the program at the same time are placed into a group together, with an assigned health coach and can use others in the group for peer support. While members on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet can access support from forums on the app they are not part of a group and do not have the same dedicated health coach to check in with them daily.

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CSIRO Total Wellbeing Second Nature
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4.8 / 5
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Signing up

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Second Nature
Free trial
Clear breakdown of costs
Clear cancellation policy
Length of programme 12 weeks
Then ‘Program 2’ as an option for those with bigger weight goals or the Loyalty program
12 week minimum, then ongoing

Easy to cancel
Refund policy No refund is offered for unused months. Full refund if cancelled within 14 days. After this point, any charges non-refundable.
Refer-a-friend scheme
(Buddy membership is a discounted rate for 2.)

($10 credit for referring family or friends.)
Easy to include family

Nutrition

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Second Nature
Dietary approach Higher-protein, low-GI Lower-carb
Caters to vegetarian
Caters to vegan
Vegetarian/vegan recipe section
Supplements encouraged
(Other than Vitamin D.)

Support

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Second Nature
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
Assigned to local support group (timezone friendly)
Weekend support available
Phone support available
Daily support from coach

Programme features

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Second Nature
Encourages daily weigh-ins
Makes you take numerous body measurements
App
Recipe videos
Exercise videos
Tracks steps
Tracks exercise
Tracks water intake
Tracks custom habits
Education of nutrition science
Requires calorie counting
Food diary feature
Meal planning tool
In-app journalling tool
Award / prize system
(Membership fees can be refunded if successfully adhering to the program.)

Pricing

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 Februrary 2021). All admin fees are included in these prices.

On the surface, Second Nature seems slightly more expensive, however, the price of your Second Nature membership includes a qualified health coach, who is either a dietitian or a nutritionist. Your assigned coach is on hand every day of the program to offer support and answer any questions. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet offers the support of a dietitian or nutritionist with a one-off call as an added extra (1 call for $40, or 2 for $69).

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:

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Second Nature Weekly Nutritionist
Registered dietitian or nutritionist coach
The same, personal coach throughout the programme
Price $199* $75/month $400/month

*This is total cost for the 12 week program.

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?

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet’s answer:

“In regards to eggs, if you have a healthy cholesterol, then having two eggs a day would be fine (as long as it is within the health guidelines). However, if you are at risk of high cholesterol then we do recommend trying to portion this. If you are unsure if you are at risk of high cholesterol then we do recommend seeing your GP or a health professional to check.”

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 loss 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 programs are a better option.
  • CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and Second Nature are both fully online.
  • Second Nature includes a registered dietitian or nutritionist personal health coach for the duration of the program, whereas CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet offers the support of a dietitian or nutritionist with a one-off call as an added extra (1 call for $40, or 2 for $69)
  • Both Second Nature and CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet offer a range of tools on their apps to support weight loss, including extensive recipe libraries, exercise videos and the ability to track weight loss, exercise and food.
  • While Second Nature offers a flexible meal planner on the app where members can add and change meals each day, CSIRO offers a set meal plan for members to follow each day.
  • Both Second Nature and CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet 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.
  • The program Customer support for CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is based in Australia. Second Nature has a local team in Australia and New Zealand, and also provides weekend and phone support options.

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