I wanted to write a Second Nature diet review, seeing as I’m into week 7 of the 12-week programme and thought it’d be good for me to do a halfway evaluation. And, good for you to know what the Second Nature healthy eating plan is all about if you’re thinking of signing up.
I’m all for body positivity and loving yourself, but I’m also for feeling healthy and active, and in control. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad with this review, so here’s a lovely travel quotes post if you feel you don’t want to read this.
“Second Nature is an online weight loss plan that helps you to make long-term healthy lifestyle changes. We are used and trusted by the NHS.” – Second Nature
Why I decided to join Second Nature
I thought the scales in the bathroom were malfunctioning when I stepped aboard at the beginning of May.
“That can’t be right”
So, I invested in some new fancy ones that linked up to your phone for the actual result.
Turns out they weren’t broken at all, and I’d actually just put on a whole load of weight without realising. Two stone in two years in fact. Oops.
It’d been a great two years though, to be fair.
I think at least half a stone of that was in lockdown. First few weeks and I’d just decided to bury the worry and anxiety in daily gin and tonics, bottles of wine on zoom quizzes and whatever I liked to eat ‘to do what I could to get through it’.
Start of May and I was feeling crappy, mentally and physically. So, I knew I needed help and couldn’t do it on my own and decided to sign up and pay up, so I’d have some accountability and guidance.
In short, I’m really, really, glad that I did. I’ve lost weight, I feel better, and I know that the programme is giving me help and advice for life. And making me reassess my unhealthy habits in life, not just towards food.
I know there’s absolutely no way I could stick to the popular shake diets, and I don’t really believe they can be long term. I knew I didn’t want to start calling food ‘sins’, or go to any group weigh in, or count calories, or ruin food with guilt forever.
I liked that Second Nature is backed by the NHS, that I’d have an online support group, and that it came with recipes to make at home. It didn’t seem like any rad ideas – like drinking lemon and cayenne pepper – but just back to basics that good, natural food, and a decent amount combined with exercise and knowledge would help you lose weight. I’d also read that they didn’t want you to go hungry – very important.
Also, I wanted to be able to do something that didn’t involve me sitting there eating lettuce while my boyfriend tucks into a feast. I can have what he has, just minus the carbs and plus some veg.
In this Second Nature diet review of the healthy eating programme I’ll look at:
- Why I decided to join Second Nature
- What is the Second Nature diet?
- How much does Second Nature cost?
- Second Nature diet review – is it hard to stick to?
- What are the Second Nature recipes like?
- Can I still have fun on Second Nature?
- How does the Second Nature app work?
- Exercise on Second Nature
- How much weight have I lost on Second Nature?
- My Second Nature diet review
If you’re debating signing up, I hope this Second Nature diet review will give you all the pros and cons you need.
What is the Second Nature diet?
Second Nature is an online weight loss plan that helps you to make long-term healthy lifestyle changes. Basically you start with a ‘reset week’ where you analyse your intake and outgoings, get prepared with recipes and generally get your head in the game.
I’ve never done any sort of official weight loss thing before. I did go with a friend once to a Slimming World class and decided that wasn’t really for me, and, with my random work schedule knew I wouldn’t be able to commit. I lost about four stone when I was 20, after an indulgent first year at uni. That was all obsessive calorie counting, living in hilly Sheffield, working every shift possible in a busy pub, and going out dancing all night. None of those I fancied doing again.
So, Second Nature it was.
It’s all done on the Second Nature app, with a group and a private nutritionist. Every day a new article is released for you to read – on topics such as sleeping, alcohol, insulin, and healthy eating – this is an all round programme to encourage you to check everything you take in and put out with your body.
There’s a weight track function, a steps counter (links up to Google Fit) and a sleep tracker too. You’ll get access to a whole toolbox of recipes, guides, exercise links, a meal planner and a journal. Most importantly, there’s the chat where you can talk to the group and your nutritionist.
How much does Second Nature cost?
I paid £100 for three months of dietician advice, a recipe book, access to a group on the app, and videos and articles to read every day. This pretty much works out as £1 a day. Bargain.
Second Nature is normally £40 a month, but I’d signed up for info, and then they sent me a money off code. I don’t know if this was a special deal time during lockdown, or that happens for everyone. Sign up using this link and check I guess!
If you do use that link, you’ll get £10 off, and I will too. Up to you though. I didn’t write this Second Nature diet review for that, but as a therapy for me, and a help for you.
Second Nature diet review – is it hard to stick to?
Once you sign up, you’ll be given a date to start. For me it was the coming Monday. This gives you a chance to get shopping – planning is a big part of the programme – and to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
You’ll also have some articles to read on the Second Nature app so you know what to expect
The basic premise is to eliminate – at least for the first week – all bread, sugar and complex carbs. Instead you’ll replace with veggies, protein and three small amounts of good carbs a day.
This leaves LOADS of food you can still eat. You just need to be prepared and plan, so you don’t find yourself reaching for a quick pizza / sandwich / bag of sweets – whatever your poison.
It sounds kinda obvious, and is based on the premise of eating more good things, staying hydrated, and exercising more. Having the private chat, the group chat and measuring your success means you’re held accountable, and have all the more reason to do it.
What are the Second Nature recipes like?
I’ve been so impressed with the Second Nature recipes and have really enjoyed having a book of tasty, easy to make recipes so ready at hand. You can also access them all on the Second Nature app.
I have quite a few cookbooks but never use them because I don’t plan for the supermarket, or know what’s good to make. And they’re just long and complicated, and anything over about 40 minutes to prepare is not fun for me. I’m self-employed, I don’t have time for that.
The Second Nature recipes are pretty simple, and by using the app I’ve been able to order my ingredients very easily online.
My favourite recipes are the savoury slice, the banana bread, the butter chicken and the Burmese curry – oh, and the muesli.
Yeah, I make my own muesli now.
Before Second Nature we had a few recipes we’d recycle at home – fajitas, chilli, roast chicken – but this has made me a lot more adventurous in the kitchen, and given me some great recipes to learn in lockdown.
My boyfriend likes them too – although, it can be hard to stick to their portion size. Which, incidentally will be my next thing to focus on in the programme.
My secret weapon in all of this is lots of decaf tea and coffee, and high protein yogurt. I’m soon to become an expert in which natural yogurt is best from all the supermarkets.
Can I still have fun on Second Nature?
Yes, Second Nature are your friend. They don’t want you to have to go sober, or breadless, or boring – but they do want you to be able to make better choices. There’s advice on alcohol, on eating out and on recipes with friends. They want to give you the tools to be able to change your mindset forever.
– Definitely not a Second Nature recipe but I need to take more pics of my creations!
They also try to adjust your mindset to thinking fun = food. I mean, this is hard, it’s been a good 30+ years, but it’s great to have the tools to think differently.
How does the Second Nature app work?
One of the USPs of Second Nature is that you get access to a group on the app. There are 14 of us in my group – all women – and we help support each other through daily choices and meal plans. It’s really inspiring and great to have a group to bounce ideas off so you don’t bore friends and family with Second Nature talk.
Also, this is where you’ll find the Second Nature recipes. You can track your progress here too, and it syncs up to your Google Fit. Or, if you’ve decided to buy the Second Nature pedometer and scales, it syncs here too.
I just add my weight manually from my Bluetooth Body Fat scales, which give a full breakdown of everything. Including telling me my BMI, body age, muscle mass, BMR, visceral fat… everything.
Every day Second Nature release a new article to inspire you. These could be on anything from sleep, to alcohol, to insulin, to positive mindsets. I think it’s great they do this as it keeps something new in your mind every day and stops that initial burst of enthusiastically reading everything, only to fall flat after.
This way there’s always a new lesson to learn and something fresh to bring to your healthy eating plan.
Exercise on Second Nature
If you link the app up to Google Fit it’ll monitor your steps. I aim for 5,000 a day, although 10,000 is a better idea. I have been so sedentary through lockdown. I go out for maybe an hour or two a day to cycle, walk or go paddleboarding but the rest of the time I’m in my little house, working.
I know more movement equals better chances at weight loss, but it’s hard when there’s nowhere to go! I feel like I’ve cycled and walked every street in Portsmouth through lockdown!
If you do something other than walking on the Second Nature programme, you have to convert it to steps and put in the app, it’s quite a weird way of doing it which I think they could make better.
How much weight have I lost on Second Nature?
I’m coming up to week 7 and I’ve lost 9lbs (4kg) on Second Nature. As I’ve thought about it more, I’m very happy with this.
Obviously it feels good to be one of those people that ‘loses half a stone in the first week!’ but Second Nature isn’t like that. As in, you’re not hugely restricted. They want you still to eat.
Second Nature is a way of life they want you to get used to and adopt, rather than eating 500 calories for a few weeks, losing weight and messing up your mind and body. Only to put it back on when you start eating normally again.
There’s some crazy stat about how many people put weight back on, and then some, when they’re on diets, and I didn’t want that, which is why I initially chose the Second Nature healthy living plan instead.
You’ll notice there are no ‘before and after’ pics here. this isn’t what I look like, it’s what I feel like, and the cold fact it’s not healthy for me to be any heavier than I am right now.
Last week I had fish and chips, and loads of bread and two BBQ lunches – and wine, champagne and cider. It was a great week, no regrets as we were coming out of lockdown and I had friends and family to celebrate with. I was nervous to stand on the scales but was actually thrilled that I didn’t put on any weight.
I didn’t lose any in that week either, but I had all the other weeks and I’m ready to get back on it again.
I’d say, bar that week, I’ve stuck to the plan about 85% of the time. And that’s fine. If I was eating and drinking like I was before, I would’ve put even more weight on, so 9lbs to lose, while not being super restricted, has been fine.
As I’ve said, I know I wouldn’t last long on a super restrictive diet, so slow and steady is the way forward for me.
My Second Nature diet review
The Second Nature programme has been great for me so far. I think I really needed it right now. Everyone can be the weight they want, obviously, I’m not judging and this is why I haven’t written mine in, but at the rate I was going, I would need to buy new clothes, and I wasn’t feeling good.
Last Monday I put on jeans for the first time since the start of March and they felt tight. Uncomfortably so. I’ve been wearing yoga trousers for the last four months and I think if I’d put the jeans on before I started Second Nature – 9lbs / 4kg ago – I wouldn’t have even got in them.
I really like that you can use the premise of the plan in daily life. I know it will be harder when I’m seeing friends, and going out more, but I definitely feel that the results have shown me it works. And that I can stick to it most of the time.
My choices have already improved so much and I’m looking forward to making more of the recipes.
After a lax week, I’m going for it full throttle next week and hope to lose another 2 lbs. If I can lose another 9lbs in the last six weeks of the programme, then I’ll be happy. I need to step up a bit to make that a reality.
If you have any questions about Second Nature, let me know in the comments below.
I hope this Second Nature diet review has been helpful!
– sign up through that link and get £10 off!