Fad diets have a long and strange history. From the first recorded liquid diet in 1087, to the sleeping beauty diet of the 1970s, these weight loss methods have one thing in common: a failure to address the serious obesity public health concern in Australia and globally.
But Be Fit Food is here to change that.
The evidence-based meal plan service, designed by doctors and accredited dietitians, aims to help Australians eat better.
Kate Save, CEO and co-founder of Be Fit Food, shares how her company helps people achieve and maintain a healthy weight – minus the pills, shakes and bars.
Growing up with severe food-related stomach aches inspired Save to study nutrition and health extensively, completing qualifications in nutrition and exercise science, clinical exercise physiology and diabetes education.
She ran her own health consultancy for 10 years, then she and a colleague, bariatric surgeon Dr Geoffrey Draper, decided to create a meal program formulated for fast, healthy and sustainable weight loss.
“I disagreed with the bars, shakes and supplements for rapid weight loss but loved the science surrounding mild nutritional ketosis so I decided to create a wholefood meal program to do exactly this,” said Save.
A different approach to weight loss
Be Fit Food meals are scientifically formulated to support rapid weight loss, with up to 12 vegetables, the right amount of protein and healthy fats in each meal.
Save said she wanted to “create meals that could do no harm and only be beneficial to the health of all Australians, including those with more severe chronic health conditions”.
Be Fit Food provides its customers with free support from dietitians and nutritionists to select the right meal plan or learn more about nutritional ketosis, the principle on which the plans are based.
“Be Fit Food is a program for health change and delivers fast results which are more likely to be sustained long term,” said Save.
“We re-educate people on portion control, how food should taste without sugar and salt, and how much variety should come from plant-based foods at every meal.”
Changing your eating and exercise habits is hard, especially when you have a busy lifestyle. If you want to get healthier but aren’t sure how, Save advises to start small.
“Pick up an apple or a carrot and you are on your way,” she said.
“The more plant-based foods you eat, the less of the junk food you will want. Every meal can make a difference to your health so start with cutting out processed foods, add more colour to your plate in the form of low starch veggies and salads and pair this up with some lean protein.”
Balancing business growth
After Be Fit Food appeared on Shark Tank Australia in August 2017, business increased by 1500% almost overnight.
“We went from doing 1500 meals per week to around 30,000 meals per week after it aired. I went from a team of five to 63 staff in just four weeks,” said Save.
“I never dreamt that five minutes of television could actually have this impact. I honestly just found the best people I could and fortunately they stuck by me and helped me grow the business to where it is today. The secret is good people!”
Save was also named a finalist for Telstra’s 2019 Victorian Business Women’s Awards, after Be Fit Food won Telstra’s Victorian Business of the Year award in 2018.
While Save loves what she does, running a business, raising a family, working multiple jobs and maintaining her own wellbeing is not easy.
Save sources expert help from consultants when needed, invests in excellent staff and makes use of business support networks like the Entrepreneurs’ Organization which can help to build professional support networks.
“I have mentors who guide me through the tough decisions and help me find the confidence to keep going when it all gets too tough,” said Save.
In her personal life, she leans on her family when she needs support, crediting her husband and parents for playing an active role in helping raise her children.
“Parenting is always the most challenging of any role in my life,” said Save.
“I work a lot, but I get to have my kids around me at work after school some days, and I always make plenty of time for them over the weekend to go bike riding, play at the park, or whatever they feel like doing.”
Save’s top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs
- Always trust your gut feeling – I have only made big mistakes when I doubted myself.
- Hire great people. They will take the burden off your shoulders.
- Don’t be scared to try. If you fail, just learn from that mistake.
- Just do it! If it doesn’t work then so be it, but don’t ever have regrets as life is too short.