ST. BONIFACIUS, Minn. -- It's the time of year when many people make fitness resolutions, and many never achieve those goals. So what does it take to be successful?
There are many ways to get in shape, and many tricks for making fitness successful long-term. In her "Finding Fit" series, KARE 11's Ivory Hecker features the various tricks from people who've found success.
Britton Lawson found fitness success in 2016 after struggling to lose weight despite being active.
"I've always lived an active lifestyle, but I've never been able to get down below that 230 pound mark," said Lawson.
Every afternoon he struggled with low energy and tiredness, and he often craved sweets.
"I was a victim of convenience," said Lawson, who works construction and is often on the road for work. "I was going to the fast foods, the convenience stores--'I'm hungry, I need this I need that fast.'"
In August it was Lawson's wife who inspired him to try something different.
"She just basically said, 'Hey, do you want to sign up for the 60 Day?'" said Lawson, referring to the 60 Day Challenge at Life Time Fitness.
He decided he needed to turn healthy food into a convenient option in order to stay on track and avoid the junk food on the road.
He began prepping healthy lunches for the week every Sunday. Six months later he's still doing it--packing mason jars with chicken salad. He also packs mini Tupperware containers with mixed nuts to keep his health fat portions small. Another healthy snack he brings on the road--hummus and veggies. Lawson says he eats five meals per day.
As for exercise, Lawson says during the course of the 60 Day Challenge, he found out why the running and biking he had been doing wasn't working for him. He says he met with a trainer at the gym and took an active metabolic assessment.
"That was kind of the biggest eye opening for me," said Lawson. "I did this active metabolic assessment that takes your heart rate into consideration, and the trainer starts out with, 'Some people just don't burn any fat in zone one, so you're basically at rest.' We get done with the assessment, and she goes, 'Remember when I said that? Yeah, you're one of those people who don't burn any fat in zone one.' You're supper efficient in zone three, but you can't sustain zone three.'"
Lawson says he realized his three miles on the treadmill were doing very little for him because of his body composition.
"So basically what she said is, 'You need to go in and go to the gym, and don't sweat,'" said Lawson, adding the advice was opposite of everything he'd done.
The trainer told Lawson to work on his lean muscle mass in order to make his body work for him, so he started lifting weights rather than running.
"I started doing workouts that were pertaining to low heart rate, long sustained, and went back and did my AMA (active metabolic assessment), and now I'm efficient in zone one," said Lawson.
He started taking group Alpha classes at his gym, which incorporated heart rate monitors to help him see what zone he was training in.
Lawson says he found that the community and competition of the group setting gave him the accountability he was looking for to get in shape.
Lawson went from 237 pounds to 211 pounds. He replaced fat with muscle, going from 27 percent to 17 percent body fat.
nearly six months after starting his journey, he's kept the weight off. He attributes the convenience of meal prep and the accountability of group fitness to his maintained success.
He also opts for smaller portions, and chooses the veggie option over the fries when he's out to eat.
"It feels awesome," said Lawson.
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