Dietitian focuses on teaching good habits every day

February 9, 2009 By DAVID SHAROS For The Sun

People who are trying to get fit often forget a key component: nutrition. Proper nutrition, that is.

Downers Grove resident Kate Loman wants to help clients make sure their nutritional habits are sound.

Once a mass-communication major, today, Loman, 52, has reinvented herself and has launched her own private practice specializing in wellness, general nutrition and weight management. The approach, she said, will be to focus on “one-on-one” consultations in clients’ homes and places of business, providing individualized programs across all age groups.

There is evidence that nutritional counseling could be the next big trend. According to Web sites such as, more companies are turning to nutritional counselors or recommending them to employees as a way to better manage health costs before problems develop — a strategy that actually brought Loman into the field.

“My family history includes issues like heart disease and diabetes, and the whole focus of this was to see what I could do in the 30s and 40s, so I wouldn’t be forced to deal with the possible health issues later on,” Loman said. “I had a degree in mass communication and later became a stay at home for 20 years. But then I took a class at the College of DuPage in dietetics and eventually went to Northern, got a degree, and became a registered dietitian.”

Loman says her approach will follow the directives of the American Dietetic Association.

“The basic problem, as I see it, is eating habits and the fact that through television, the Internet and other sources, there is too much information out there, and people are confused about what to do,” Loman said. “People can do a great deal by just making small changes and learning to eat in moderation, along with getting exercise.”

Loman said her approach includes using a “nondiet” approach where her clients will use “hunger and satiety” scales to rate how hungry and satisfied they are after eating certain foods.

“I usually start with a three-day food diary where I have clients measure everything, and then we analyze where they are in their lifestyle,” she said. “If people say they have a bowl of cereal in the morning — that doesn’t say much. I need to know how much they are actually eating, and I work with people on a weekly basis where they are either looking to maintain or lose weight.”

One of Loman’s current clients is Bolingbrook resident Jennifer Matsuoka, who said she met Loman in a scrapbook-making class and has worked with her for three months. Like Loman, Matsuoka said she was concerned about her eating habits and her family health history.

“There is heart disease, cancer and diabetes in my family, and I travel a lot as a consultant for a company and that affects my eating habits,” Matsuoka said. “I’ve worked with ‘Weight Watchers,’ and it hasn’t worked for me. I need the one-on-one service that Kate provides, and so far, things have gone well.”

Matsuoka said one of the keys to managing weight she has learned is to find alternatives for convenience foods.

“Instead of reaching for some prepackaged things, I’ve learned to make a smoothie at home from my own ingredients, and I pack a portable cooler now with snacks instead of going to the vending machine,” she said. “I’ve learned there’s a lot of more healthy alternatives.”