For nutritionist Kate Freeman, her passion for setting people free from food stress and the revolving door of fad diets began after working in a weight loss centre, where diets and restrictions were all too common.
“There is this expectation that you should just be able to stick to a diet and it will be easy. When people find that it’s not easy, they don’t blame the diet or the approach, they blame themselves.” Kate explains. Kate is a registered nutritionist and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Human Nutrition from the University of Canberra, as well as a Graduate Diploma and Masters of Human Nutrition from Deakin University.
She’s also the founder and Managing Director of The Healthy Eating Hub – and after 15+ years in the weight loss industry, she is on a mission to set people free from food stress and teach them how to eat well for the rest of their lives.
By providing access to one-on-one support and education on building healthier habits suitable for busy lives – with no detoxes, fad diets, quick fixes or elimination in sight – Kate and her team are addressing the disconnect between the science behind healthy eating and how it is marketed to the general public.
“I really like when I see that lightbulb moment when my clients realise that slow incremental behavioural changes – along with good education – will help them see the change they so desperately want,” she says.
Kate has observed two barriers in particular that can prevent people from being happy and healthy in their own bodies.
In today’s culture, the influence of the media can result in people seeking an unobtainable body shape or expecting unsustainable results from their diet and physical activity. Nutrition is also an increasingly crowded space, filled with unregulated yet influential voices, spreading misinformation to anyone that may listen.
“People in larger bodies often feel like they don't belong or they're second-rate citizens and the pressure to be in a smaller body can drive them to want to take the restrictive, drastic approach that will get them there the quickest. What I’m promoting is slow change, even in a culture where people want quick fixes,” she says.
In Australia, nutrition is not a government-regulated profession, so anyone can use the title of nutritionist –Kate is a qualified nutritionist, but a personal trainer, influencer or person down the street can also provide nutrition advice.
In order to overcome these challenges, Kate and The Healthy Eating Hub are working hard on growing the brand to be big enough – and to be a loud enough voice – to change the approach to living a healthy, happy sustainable life.
The Healthy Eating Hub has recently introduced telehealth services, and supports students and younger generations through placements and work experience, in order to further the spread of better nutrition information.
“With the right information and education, misinformation and unhealthy cultural pressure to achieve unobtainable body shapes can be overcome, and people can be empowered to make better nutritional choices,” she says.
Words by Shannon Pickrell, photos supplied.
Kate Freeman has been nominated for a Chancellor’s Rising Star Award at the Distinguished Alumni Awards. These will be presented at the 2022 University of Canberra Night of Nights on 29 July 2022.
The Chancellor's Rising Star Award recognises alumni who are an emerging professional proving to be a trailblazer in their field.