Chief Nutrionist for New Atkins-Honest MumLinda O’Byrne is the chief nutritionist for the New Atkins Nutritional Approach and has worked at Atkins for four years, with experience in the nutrition industry spanning over 15 years.

Linda is passionate about helping people embrace a healthier low carb, low sugar eating approach and its many benefits.

She regularly takes part in online discussion on the Atkins forum at uk.atkins.com, offering tips and advice on health and nutrition.

Linda also writes for the New Atkins Nutritional Approach newsletter, the ‘Low Carb Times’, as well as contributing to various newspaper, magazine and online articles, informing others about the benefits of a low carb, low sugar lifestyle.

Describe a typical day for you?

I wake up early – as I have a seven year old daughter – and we enjoy a healthy breakfast, such as Greek yogurt with flaxseeds and berries. We love our morning routine and breakfast is usually followed by homework and then an active game with arts and crafts, or a puzzle (all before 7am!), then we get ready for our day.

My tasty and satisfying breakfast provides me with plenty of energy to tackle the morning routine and I also try to fit in either a gym session or a run about four times a week.

I follow this up with a post-workout low carb, low sugar snack such as a Muffin in a Minute with peanut butter before I start work.

I’m lucky to work for the New Atkins Nutritional Approach from home so it’s easy to get straight into it without interruption until the afternoon school run.

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Professionally, I’ve had the opportunity to work with people all around the world, as I lived in the USA for 10 years and now work with people in the UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

It’s great to experience different cultures and all the various foods enjoyed in each country, and it’s fun to adapt the New Atkins Nutritional Aproach to suit each different taste and way of life. Personally, of course, my biggest achievement is my daughter, Alannah – she’s always full of cheeky smiles and giggles and really is the light of my life.

What’s in your handbag?

I always have a couple of low sugar Atkins bars which are great to snack on when I’m on the run, my favourite being the Atkins Advantage Chocolate Decadence. I also carry a bottle of water everywhere, as well as essentials such as lipstick – and, of course, my phone is never far away!

What are your ambitions in life?

First and foremost, I want to bring my daughter up in a healthy, balanced way. It’s frightening to see the figures on childhood obesity and how quickly they are rising, and even more frightening how the marketing of sweet food and hidden sugars is targeted at children. I can’t stand seeing young children drinking full sugar Coke or eating a king-sized chocolate bar.

I also want her to learn how to eat healthily and not let food become her primary focus or as a reward, as it does for so many people.

Professionally, I love to write so would love to continue to do so and gain confidence in that area. I’m lucky that my job includes my two passions – nutrition and writing!

What advice would you now give to your pre-baby self?

I’d say don’t stress about losing the baby weight. Thankfully, I had an enjoyable pregnancy but many women seek advice about how to lose weight immediately upon giving birth, or even during pregnancy.

My advice is usually to eat well, cut out the junk and don’t believe the myth of ‘eating for two’.

Usually you’re so busy once your child comes that you can shed the weight anyway and it’s important to eat well to cope with the stresses of sleepless nights. If the weight doesn’t come off easily then there are always ways of tweaking your diet to speed up weight loss, such as cutting out refined carbs, sugary drinks and eating more vegetables.

I’d also say cherish every second (even the bad bits!) as they don’t last forever.

Sleepless nights, for example, seemed endless for me, but then only a few months later Alannah was sleeping through the night and I was stressing about some other aspect of motherhood!

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I’d love to have travelled and seen more of the world. I have a list of places I just have to visit, including Brazil, the Maldives and even closer to home, such as Southern Ireland.

As travel is one of my passions, I’d like to think I’ll visit some of these places in the next five years. Also, as my daughter will be 12 years old by then, I hope I’ve also still got the sweet, lovable child and not the moody teenager I was!

What advice would you give a budding chief nutritionist?

Get your education but continue to expand on it. The latest research in nutrition is so far from what you actually learn as a nutritionist, registered dietician, doctor or healthcare professional.

So be your own person and educate yourself, as well as getting your formal credentials. You can’t coach people to get healthier and lose weight if you don’t believe what you’re teaching.

Find your niche too – if you don’t want to work in hospital environments then maybe pursuing a registered dietician requirement isn’t for you.

Whether you want to work with people with particular health problems, such as autism or diabetes, or if you prefer to work in the fitness field, find your focus.

Finally, happiness is…
A day full of laughter

For healthy recipes, tips and products, and to view the four phases the New Atkins Nutritional Approach, visit www.atkins.com.

New Atkins Nutritional Approach products are available to buy at www.buyatkins.co.uk and major retailers including Boots, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Holland & Barratt and Superdrug.

The new book ‘New Atkins Made Easy’ is available now at www.amazon.co.uk and all good bookstores.

Find Linda and the New Atkins Nutritional Approach on Facebook www.facebook.com/MyAtkins and follow on Twitter @MyAtkins

 

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