How did I find the Second Nature Diet trusted by the NHS? There are many differences between Second Nature and Slimming World which you can find some of in my previous post.
After having followed Slimming World for years it had become natural to me so swapping would always be a challenge.
Here I thought I would share with you my thoughts and experiences so far regarding the diet for weight loss.
Why choose the Second Nature diet
When I started following the Second Nature diet I had a mixture of goals. Of course, like anyone else I have outside issues and influences that would no doubt affect my time following Second Nature and its outcomes.
Everyone’s goals with the Second Nature diet, of course, will be different and everyone’s struggles will be different so maybe you will read this and my feelings will resonate with you.
On the other hand, you may read my thoughts and feelings you face very different challenges. The plan is trusted by the NHS so I find that reassuring.
Could Second Nature weight loss be possible?
I have experienced weight loss and felt so happy and comfortable as my thinner self so weight loss is, of course, a main goal of mine. However, I do want to ensure that it is sustainable and that I eat proper food.
I am also very aware that I do have an addictive personality. I am determined not to fall into any unhealthy habits in an effort to lose weight.
Improvement to Fatigue with the Second Nature plan?
I suffer from fibromyalgia and mental health issues (PTSD, depression and anxiety). Due to both of these and probably in part due to my diet, I struggle with tiredness and generalised fatigue every day.
This fatigue means that some days I am less productive with my website. I also get less done around the house, and generally feel pretty rubbish a lot of the time.
Whilst I am receiving help from my GP regarding these I also hope that in some way this plan could help too.
A healthier diet following Second Nature
Even when I have been “on plan” with Slimming World I have been very conscious as a vegetarian that I possibly do not get all the nutrients that I should.
As a vegetarian, I do not eat any fish or meats but I do eat eggs, milk and cheese.
On Slimming World I was conscious that my healthy extra a choice for calcium didn’t actually give me my full RDA of calcium.
I also worry about other nutrients that maybe I am not fully aware of the impact of.
My preference would be to avoid supplements so I hope to use diet alone for all my recommended daily amounts of nutrients.
I have spent years following Slimming World and eating white rice and pasta with many meals. Also, I noticed I had a lot of sweetener in yoghurts, drinks and that sort of thing.
Whilst these are low in calories I did find that as someone who has a sweet tooth I was often consuming a lot of these. Maybe this is something I could change?
Improvement to bowel habits and reduced constipation
I have had constipation issues for a long time since following Slimming World. Naively putting that down to my body maybe just not liking a healthy diet!
I did also wonder if maybe I wasn’t getting enough fibre or something but I am not a nutritionist and trusted that any healthy eating plan surely covered this.
Maybe for the majority of people, it does I do not know! I guess there are a lot of things that have an impact on our bodies.
Less Snacking following the plan
Whilst I have always tried to snack on healthy foods I have always thought I probably eat more than many people and should cut down on the general quantity.
I am also very aware that I have never been in a good habit with regard to drinking water. I know this is also something I need to work on. However, I have said that before here and still struggled!
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Does the Second Nature diet work?
After a month following Second Nature, under its previous name OurPath, I lost around 12 pounds.
I say around because we all know that everyone has fluctuations in their weight daily so we need to always remember that.
I am very happy with that but I am also happy with the other changes I have noticed. Due to some personal issues, I feel I have not been as focussed whilst following Second Nature as I could have been. I will share more about these issues in the coming post.
Approach to Portion Sizes
I have noticed that I am much more aware of the portion sizes of food I am eating. This is something that some other plans such as Slimming World don’t tackle in the same way.
I had often thought I should try and reduce portion sizes but when I did I was not full or took things too far and ate only soup for a week!
Since learning of suitable portion sizes on Second Nature and ensuring I have the right proportions on my plate I am finding I am eating less quantity but actually feeling much more satisfied.
Drinking water and consuming enough calcium
Since following the Second Nature diet I have started adding milk to my coffee and only having one or two coffees a day.
I have been eating cereal for breakfast and also adding cheese to meals sometimes but without worrying about measuring them.
I definitely think I am having more calcium than I previously did but it is hard to tell. Another thing I have stopped is drinking fizzy drinks and having those for odd treats instead of regularly.
I am now drinking squash throughout the day. This has helped me, I have noticed, to feel more refreshed. I guess this is because I am more hydrated.
Instead of eating between meals, I have noticed I am naturally drinking more and recognising my thirst.
Did Second Nature control my sweet tooth?
I have stopped eating fruit as a “go-to” snack and realised that I don’t actually need it. Drinking more fluids has meant I am full and do not need snacks.
Not drinking fizzy drinks as much and eating less fruit has meant that I have unexpectedly lost my sweet tooth a little.
Obviously, I wouldn’t say no to cheesecake, chocolate or ice cream however I have realised how sweet these things are.
By cutting them out the majority of the time I have discovered sweet foods are sweeter than I had realised as I guess they had become normal to me.
Protein as a vegetarian on Second Nature
As a vegetarian, I have never eaten many protein-rich foods. I am not a big fan of Quorn only eating it a few times a week and eggs maybe once a week.
On the programme, I needed to add protein to my meals which initially I found really hard. I have got the Slimming World plan so ingrained in me that I found the idea of adding nuts or seeds to a meal so wrong.
The meals that I did not add protein to however I did notice that I did not feel as full. I have gradually gotten used to thinking about the protein element in my meal.
I’m now feeling more comfortable adding nuts or seeds when I am not having eggs, tofu or Quorn.
Now it has become a habit to add protein to a meal and as such, I am feeling full after the meal. The addition of protein to my meals I think has made reducing complex carbohydrates like white pasta so much easier.
Bowel Habits and constipation
I have noticed a massive difference and no longer have constipation regularly. Making up half of my meals with non-starchy vegetables and drinking more throughout the day has really helped.
I now only generally have wholemeal pasta, brown rice and seeded bread and you know what, I love it! Knowing it is a healthier option is a bonus too.
My fatigue and mental health
Over recent weeks alongside Second Nature, I have also changed my antidepressants and have found mentally I am in a slightly better place now. I am hoping this improvement will continue.
It is hard to know whether the Second Nature programme has also helped my mental health given the outside influences of the medication too.
I do know however that whilst I am still struggling with my fatigue I am more inclined to choose healthier snacks when I feel tired. I feel like nothing is off-limits and sometimes I am even snacking on a bowl of cereal.
My overall thoughts on the Second Nature diet
I am very impressed with how I have been eating on the plan. All my meals have been filling, tasty and nutritious when I have been eating at home and when I have eaten out I have felt less concerned with being on or off-plan or calorie counting.
As a vegetarian eating out whilst following Slimming World was difficult as my only real were usually a plain salad or jacket potato with baked beans and cheese.
Salads with things such as pine nuts, olive oil or sundried tomatoes would be classed as off-plan and would be harder to work out the syns for.
Following Second Nature these things are not needing to be counted and can fit into my plan reasonably. This meant for me eating out was more guilt-free.
Would I recommend the diet?
I love the way that the Second Nature diet has reading to help you to understand your body and healthy eating plan.
The reading also focuses on your mental health surrounding food and definitely helps you to understand why you have struggled previously. The support you have with the Second Nature diet is from a qualified nutritionist which I love.
Whilst I believe plans like Weight Watchers and Slimming World work as plans they are delivered by people who have only been trained by the organisation itself.
If you have specific concerns about your health and nutrients, for example, the answer you would often be given is that the plan is developed by nutritionists so just believe and accept it.
I love that if you prefer organic, vegan or gluten-free you can literally tailor this plan to suit you perfectly.
I am happy with my weight loss so far and more importantly my change in eating habits and hope that I can continue in this way.
My determination is high to get back to my target weight where I was happiest with myself! All the meals above are ones I have made and enjoyed whilst following Second Nature. Don’t they look good! They tasted good too I can assure you!
Why there are Second Nature NHS partnerships?
The NHS truly believe in the Second Nature plan and endorses it in many ways. I can really see why as it is a well-thought-out plan that seems to truly work if you put your mind to it and use the support offered.
Whilst I have been given access to the programme to review all views above are my own.
Starting a diet – my top tips
If you need some top tips to start dieting then this video should help you.
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If you are looking for a new diet to try and are still undecided check out my full weight loss guide with lots of different plans. Remember if you are calorie counting you can find calories for all my recipes on the individual recipe cards. A few popular ones are:
This is my second try at SN. My first course stopped half way due to me feeling mentally awful, didn’t care. I know my sweet tooth was curved & I loved the foods. I will say plan. If you don’t, it’s so easy to slide. Thanks for this honest & open blog
Excellent article – thank you so much
What a fantastic blog. I’m seriously considering this plan. I know WW are now focusing a lot on mental health but I have found with both WW & SlimmingWorld that I feel I’m being dictated too. I don’t like wearing a straight jacket and need to be able to make an informed choice or else after about 4 weeks I go completely off the rails & wreck all the previous hard work. It sounds like Second Nature understand this and are prepared. My only other concern is that £13.75 a week is a hell of a lot of money to pay off my benefits. I have decided to have the free 2 weeks. Thanks again.
Thanks for an honest review. I’m considering Second Nature and I was worriedf that it may be another diet scam designed to take youre money and offer no benefit. After reading your review I will go for the 2 week trial. Thanks
I am 4 days into my 2 week trial.. it’s very good.. I love it learning the nutritional side and the recipes I have made so far do not feel like dieting, despite very limited carbs for the first 5 days, I am already seeing myself lower on the scales too. They do take your first £40 though even though it say 2 weeks trial, but I think if you cancel they refund this from what I have heard. Give it a try, I’m not disappointed, you just have to learn to plan new menus which isn’t difficult once you get into it. Tiredness first few days due to cutting sugar, most carbs, and caffiene, but drinking the 2 litres of water a day helps and today I feel good after my best nights sleep for months. They focus on sleep, mind, teaching nutrition, and of course food.
Thanks for your review i was torn between trying Second Nature or Noom and have decided to try Noom, your review helped me decide this. Im currently off work with Depression and my weight gain is not helping this. So i know i need to sort my diet and drinking out aswell as my mindset. Ive tried every diet going without success and im the heaviest ive ever been so i know i need to work on my diet because this will help me healthwise and my depression too. Im looking forward to starting SN because i like the psychology and know i need to form some healthy habits.
Do you have any examples of meal plans for SN you used becfause meal planning is where i struggle?
I tried Noom. The diet is focused on 1200 Kcals. Very American in content. Much prefer Second Nature. Recipes are delicious, very accessible non patronising coach. Would highly recommend.
Found NOOM awful too. They were telling me to weigh daily – horrific advice for someone with a declared eating disorder. Wouldn’t recommend at all
Have completed the 12 week Secind Nature programme and am now in my 5th week on Second Nature’s Sustain programme. To date I have lost 3st 2lbs. Absolutely delighted with my weighr loss and hopeful that my blood sugars have improved. Many other benefits such as daily exercise from none before, no sugar cravings, have ditched fizzy drinks, 8+ hours sleep a night (previously 4-5), stress levels greatly reduced, no longer have painful joints, zero food waste, cheaper shopping bills and a much more positive attitude.
How are you going? I desparately need to lose weight but cant starve to do it. Last about 1/2 hour. I know it is a journey that has its ups and downs, and reading your very human story is such an inspiration. We are all in lockdown at the moment because of covid and its all starting to get a bit much, but reading your blog was really inspiring. I like that you have tried and failed, that’s very real and genuine. I am really hoping you are still going, my neighbour wanted me to look up Noom but somehow I got Noom vs second nature and followed it up from there… Good luck to everyone. If we don’t try we will never succeed. Before you win there is always lots of losses…
On week 10, lost a stone and never hungry. What’s not to love about SN.
Great review, I’m on week 4 with second nature and it’s changed me for the good in so many ways!
Am starting Monday. I’m glad I read this as I too am on meds & a vegetarian. Thankyou for sharing.
Thank you for this. I’m in a very similar position to you so your review was really helpful. Good luck with your journey x
Thanks or this really helpful review. I’m been looking at Second Nature and Noom and have decided to go with SN based on your review and as they are a UK company.
Thanks for the info. Useful as I have just done thequiz. Is it the same kind of cost as slimming world?
Im getting FBadds for Noom as well so clearly the internet knows Im a chonk!
Thanks for the review, it’s been really helpful in supporting my decision. I think I will sign up
Great info, thanks
I’ve just signed up and found your comment last and review really useful and inspiring. Thank you.
I’ve just signed up for Our path and was so pleased to read your post after reading some negative reviews elsewhere today. I can relate to everything you’ve written and appreciate your honesty. I can’t see when this was written but notice the comment above was in January. Can I ask how you’ve found the plan longer term and would you recommend the sustain option if you used it?
oh no, went to sign up and the code for the discount doesn’t work 🙁