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
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.