Fit for life Amanda Byram’s health regime

In her new se­ries Body By Byram, avail­able on the RTÉ Player, Amanda Byram has cre­ated six brand new work­outs with prac­ti­cally no need for gym equip­ment. She shares her tips and tricks for liv­ing well

Irish Examiner - Magazine - - Contents -

Can you de­scribe your ap­proach to health and fit­ness? My ap­proach to health and fit­ness is 360. I don’t be­lieve you can have phys­i­cal health with­out men­tal health. Health is a way of life — it’s not a quick fix. We have been abus­ing our bod­ies for years by yo-yo di­et­ing and we have been un­der-nour­ish­ing our­selves by de­pri­va­tion. We beat our bod­ies and our minds up for never be­ing per­fect enough, toned enough, thin enough, long enough, mus­cly enough. You name it, we beat our­selves up over it, and that in turn has a detri­men­tal ef­fect on our men­tal health. I be­lieve that health and fit­ness is about giv­ing your body a break from the quick fixes and learn­ing to fuel the right way and train smarter not harder. Body By Byram fo­cuses on quick ef­fec­tive work­outs — what made you choose the HIIT method? I travel a lot for my job, I am of­ten on lo­ca­tion in ho­tel rooms and have early call times. So I had to cre­ate a way to stay fit dur­ing a two-to-three month stint on lo­ca­tion. I cre­ated a se­ries of work­outs in my ho­tel room and out and about, us­ing the room or the out­doors as a gym (chairs, han­dles, steps, benches etc). The more women I spoke to that had is­sues train­ing said it was be­cause they ei­ther didn’t have time or couldn’t af­ford a gym. So I de­signed these with busy women in mind. What changes can we all make to im­prove our life­style? Cut back or quit booze, find al­ter­na­tive sugar sub­sti­tutes and move more.

Even if it’s an ex­tra few miles walk, or tak­ing the stairs in­stead of the lift. I also be­lieve we eat too quickly and we do not fo­cus on chew­ing our food. In turn this makes di­ges­tion more dif­fi­cult so we get bloated and as a re­sult we find our­selves more hun­gry as it takes longer for our bod­ies to re­ceive the nu­tri­ents be­fore the food gets bro­ken down. Do you have a strict ap­proach to nu­tri­tion? Not in as much as I deny my­self (good) foods like I used to. I used to be afraid of fats and carbs but I stud­ied nu­tri­tion and un­der­stand the ef­fects on our bod­ies when we eat cer­tain foods. If peo­ple re­ally want to elim­i­nate some­thing to shift the fat, then don’t give up the brown rice and av­o­ca­dos — give up the booze. It’s just pure sugar.

What does your typ­i­cal day look like? Break­fast is typ­i­cally oats or eggs and rye, lunch is usu­ally fish (I don’t eat meat any­more), brown rice or sweet potato and salad/veg. And din­ner is fish (any­thing from grilled sal­mon/scal­lops stir fry/sea bass lightly fried with co­conut flour) and veg (roasted or stir-fried).

What’s your guilty plea­sure and why? I don’t see things as guilty plea­sures any­more. The word “guilty” im­me­di­ately makes you think you’re do­ing some­thing wrong. I used to binge ev­ery few weeks be­cause I de­nied my­self of so much and then felt guilt af­ter­wards un­til I re­alised that de­pri­va­tion just made things worse. So now if I feel like hav­ing choco­late or ice cream I will have it and it doesn’t feel like a guilty treat. What keeps you awake at night and how do you deal with it? I sleep well; in fact I think sleep is key to a good body. The less you sleep the more tired you will be and crave sug­ary foods the next day. If any­thing keeps me awake it’s hav­ing dis­agree­ments with peo­ple. I hate con­fronta­tion. I’m a lover not a hater!

What’s your most un­healthy habit? Stress. I have learned to deal with it a lot in the past few years — my hus­band is great at help­ing me to re­mem­ber to breathe!

How do you re­lax? Breathe deeply, and watch movies with my hus­band. What’s the best piece of health ad­vice you’ve ever been given and why? Quit­ting or cut­ting back on booze, it’s a game changer.

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