How to fast for a day

Dr. Tallis Barker, D.Phil., holistic consultant

How to fast for a day

Most people in the modern world have never gone 24 hours without eating. You too? If so, the one-day (36-hour) water fast is the perfect way to begin your journey into water fasting.

I remember when I did my first one-day water fast. My plan was to eat dinner, then fast through all of the following day, breaking my fast with breakfast on the day after this. This format is ideal for anyone wishing to try out a 36-hour fast.

Psychologically, the experience was hugely challenging. Like most people, I’d hardly ever even skipped a meal in my life, and the idea of not eating anything for a whole day seemed almost inconceivable. Every time my stomach rumbled, it felt like the end of the world: I was going to starve! Of course, logically I knew that I wouldn’t, but the rational mind so easily collapses when your deeper, instinctive emotions emerge from out of the subconscious . By the evening, all I could think about was food… In the end, though, I did it. And so can you. Anyone can survive 36 hours without food!

So why put yourself through such a terrible ordeal ? ? (By the way, contrary to my own experience, many people do actually enjoy their first one-day fast, feeling full of energy and without existential worries.)

The benefits of a 36-hour water fast:

There are two reasons to face your fears and reap the benefits of a 36 hour water fast. The first is psychological. Precisely by facing your fears and emerging victorious on the morning following the fast, you become a stronger person . We all have a built-in survival response. By breaking the psychological barrier of no food for a whole day, you’ll find that the next 36-hour fast goes much more smoothly. Equally important, it also then becomes much easier to move on to longer water fasts in which you fully unlock the body’s healing metabolism.

The second reason is physical. At the very least, you give your digestive system a break for a day. It can rest and recuperate . This is hugely beneficial for maintaining health and to prevent aging. Mahatma Gandhi, for instance, used to fast one day every week. Following his assassination at the age of 78, the doctors at his autopsy described how Gandhi’s inner organs looked like those of someone half his age.

Perhaps even more importantly, by fasting for 36 hours you prompt the body to begin unlocking its healing metabolism . This can take place only when the body is burning fat for fuel, in a state otherwise known as ketosis. In everyday life you normally burn carbohydrates, either directly from digested food or from the glycogen stored in your liver. When you stop eating, though, your glycogen stores run out after about 24 hours, and your body must begin switching over to ketosis in order not to run out of energy. (This process is described more fully in the article on the 3-day water fast.) There are two main reasons that you can heal while in ketosis. Firstly, the body stores toxins in fat cells, where they can’t cause damage. Only through ketosis can these toxins (continued below)

How to fast for a day

be released and expelled from your body. Secondly, the immune system gains extra energy to repair and replace damaged cells when you stop eating, and the energy normally used for digestion can be used instead for healing.

Beyond the 36-hour water fast:

To complete the switch over to ketosis you need about three days, which is why it’s so important to learn the 3-day water fast at some point. But don’t rush into anything too soon! If you don’t feel ready to fast for three days, keep practising the 36-hour fast. If 36 hours feels too long, then try 24 hours instead. You can begin a 24-hour fast after eating dinner and then break the fast with dinner the next day (lunch to lunch is another option). 24 hours does less to nudge the body into ketosis, but still allows you to benefit by flushing out the toxins accumulated from the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat – not to mention any medications and drugs you take. If a weekly or fortnightly 24-hour fast feels too much, then perhaps you should try intermittent fasting instead. Whatever you do, your body will thank you for it!

Dietary transition and refeeding:

One final note: there’s no need to prepare for a one day fast by changing your eating habits beforehand. Likewise, you don’t have to transition gradually back to eating normally afterwards.

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One day water fasts have become a popular way to maintain health and vigor. Fasting uses the self-healing properties of the human body. During 24-hour or a one day water fast, health improvements happen as the digestive system is given rest and the organs get ample time to repair and heal themselves.

A regular practice of a fasting can improve digestive efficiency, increase mental clarity, increase physical and mental vigor, remove toxins, improve vision and give a general feeling of well being. A 24-hour fast, once a week, is a common religious practice in many communities.

How to prepare for a One day water fast?

Those who are experienced in fasting do not need any external advice, as they have studied the reactions of their own body during the fasting period. A one day water fast is pretty simple for them. But for beginners, a little more care is required.

Beginners should choose a day that is stress free, with relatively less activities planned. Do not consider any heavy work or excessive travel during that day. Light activities, like reading, slow yoga movements, working on your computer, walking in the woods, meditation, watching television, driving short distances, etc., are acceptable. But avoid stressful activities, like heavy exercises, going to the gym, lifting heavy weights, running long distances, etc., as these consume a lot of calories and will make you unnecessarily hungry.

A normal human body can go for weeks without food. Hence, a one-day water fast is relatively easy to do. Once one starts doing it, one will experience great health benefits. Those with serious medical conditions can also fast under the supervision of an expert. If one has a serious illness, it’s important to consult a physician first before attempting to fast.

How to do a One day water fast?

In a one day water fast, one must drink only water for 24 hours. No solid food or other liquids that contain nutrition (like fruit juice, milk, etc.) are allowed. Simple pure mineral water is the best. One can also use boiled and cooled water. Do not add anything in the water during boiling. One may drink about 1 ½ liters to 3 liters of plain water in one full day, according to one’s capacity. There is no harm in drinking even more, if need be.

The best time to start the water fast is during early morning. After getting up from bed and brushing the teeth, drink about two glasses of water. This will also help with bowel movements. The rest of the day, one can drink water any time. There is no restriction on the quantity of water to drink each time or the number of times to consume water. Continue this for a whole day, till the next day morning.

Body reactions during a One day water fast

During the one day water fast, one will notice a few reactions in the body, which is considered normal. As a habit, the body is used to consuming food many times a day. When there is sudden lack of food intake, one may feel weakness, dizziness, nausea, etc. There may be also a drop in blood pressure and slight headaches. One need not get frightened by these reactions. These are quite normal during a one-day fast. Those who fast regularly won’t even feel these symptoms. But beginners should just take rest or lie down whenever these symptoms become intense.

One may even feel a sudden bout of hunger. Just take one or two glasses of water to dilute the gastric secretions. Then lie down and take rest. The hunger should go away in a short time.

It’s all about changing patterns.

If you’re interested in fasting to lose weight, you’re on to a great idea. Fasting does help immensely at dropping pounds, although maybe not for the reasons you think. While the numbers on the scales will go down during a fast, many factors come into play as to how much of that weight will stay off.

Fasting will put you on the right track to losing weight if it’s used with proper attention and awareness. A commitment to lifestyle and behavior changes is still necessary or the weight will come right back. But a fast will make those changes easier as new decisions flow from you naturally.

This is because fasting offers a unique vantage point from which to view your life. It’s effects aren’t just physical, but allow greater understanding and clarity on mental and emotional issues. There is much opportunity to expand and enhance your life as a whole, including any weight issues, if you are willing to pay attention.

Your body is already showing you the effects of the foods you’re eating and the mental and emotional patterns you’re holding. Some combination of these things must change in order for your body to change. And fasting can lead you to that special combination.

“Sometimes when people try to make major dietary changes without the benefit of fasting they become frustrated. Beneficial changes that can take months or years with careful eating happen quickly if a fast is utilized. Once a person begins to realize the health potential and can see the results, he or she is more likely to become committed to a lifetime of healthful living.”

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., Fasting and Eating for Health

Fasting has been called a “reset” button for your sense of taste; the body and palette get cleansed of chemicals and impurities, giving you a keener ability to fully taste foods and more fully enjoy the true flavors of simple foods. There are often many foods that hold less appeal after a fast, especially “dead” foods and ones full of chemicals which you can clearly taste after a fast.

Once you’ve tried fasting and understand how powerful (and easy) the process is, you will prefer a day of fasting over days or weeks of dieting. Since what we typically call “hunger” disappears in the first couple of days, it becomes much easier to fast than to diet.

But it doesn’t take days of fasting to achieve results; one-day fasts bring about many internal (and external) changes. No matter how long you choose to fast, it can be such a relief to just quit eating for awhile, rather than stressing and worrying over everything you put in your mouth. Also, intermittent fasting offers unique plans to help in losing weight.

What is the typical fasting weight loss?

Stories abound on quick, radical fasting weight loss. Losing twenty pounds in a week is a common one. As is 4 pounds a day. But these numbers don’t reflect the weight gain that occurs naturally when one resumes eating, nor are they typical for everyone.

Weight loss occurs most drastically in the early days of a fast (water weight being a big part of this), then declines as the fast progresses. During a water fast, women generally lose about 14 ounces per day and men, on average, lose 17 1/2 ounces per day. This is an average, some days you may lose nothing.

With a fasting plan including around 200 calories per day, such as fruit or juice or broth, these figures lower by about 1 3/4 ounces per day. The Master Cleanse, which supplies anywhere from 650-1300 calories, would have lower numbers yet.

Of course, these figures vary from person to person, and typically it is those who have the most excess weight that lose the most. Thinner people often lose weight a bit more slowly, just as they often don’t maintain as high an energy level during fasting. Their bodies are working harder to conserve energy since they have less reserves to supply fuel for the body.

Those with lower metabolisms may also lose weight a little more slowly as their bodies are already adept at conserving energy.

In the end, results will always vary from person to person.

Be prepared for the after-fast weight gain

It’s imperative you understand that there will be some weight gain right after the fast. The first few days after breaking your fast, water weight returns as the body rehydrates and begins holding more water to compensate for the salt intake in our normal foods.

This can create a huge emotional let-down to those not expecting it, and in a worst-case scenario lead straight back into over eating.

The figures above for typical fasting weight loss, do reflect the water weight gain that occurs right after the fast. Sustained weight loss being approximately one pound per day of fasting.

Instead of focusing on any discouraging feelings that come up during this weight increase, keep in touch with that feeling of empowerment that can linger after a fast. If you’re looking for it, that clarity and inner knowingness can last for days afterward.

Fasting is a great tool for attaining your desired weight

Fasting to lose weight is best undertaken as a jumping off point, leading you into better eating behaviors and a more healthy lifestyle, as these better decisions will be made easily and naturally. If you’re paying attention to your emotional being during a fast, many doors will be opened. And that is actually the greatest benefit of fasting to lose weight — the insights it gives into ourselves.

More information on fasting and weight loss is available at Using Fasting for Weight Loss.

For general information about getting started with fasting, read Fasting Overview for Beginners, which includes guidelines for a one-day fast.

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How to fast for a day

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Why do I need to fast before my blood test?

If your health care provider has told you to fast before a blood test, it means you should not eat or drink anything, except water, for several hours before your test. When you eat and drink normally, those foods and beverages are absorbed into your bloodstream. That could affect the results of certain types of blood tests.

What types of blood tests require fasting?

The most common types of tests that require fasting include:

  • Glucose tests, which measure blood sugar. One type of glucose test is called a glucose tolerance test. For this test you will need to fast for 8 hours before test. When you arrive at the lab or health care facility, you will:
    • Have your blood tested
    • Drink a special liquid containing glucose
    • Have your blood re-tested one hour later, two hours later and possibly three hours later

Glucose tests are used to diagnose diabetes.

  • Lipid tests, which measure triglycerides, a type of fat found in the bloodstream, and cholesterol, waxy, fat-like substance found in your blood and every cell of your body. High levels of triglycerides and/or a type of cholesterol, called LDL can put you at risk for heart disease.

How long do I have to fast before the test?

You usually need to fast for 8–12 hours before a test. Most tests that require fasting are scheduled for early in the morning. That way, most of your fasting time will be overnight.

Can I drink anything besides water during a fast?

No. Juice, coffee, soda, and other beverages can get in your bloodstream and affect your results. In addition, you should not:

  • Chew gum
  • Smoke
  • Exercise

These activities can also affect your results.

But you can drink water. It’s actually good to drink water before a blood test. It helps keep more fluid in your veins, which can make it easier to draw blood.

Can I continue taking medicine during a fast?

Ask your health care provider. Most of the time it’s OK to take your usual medicines, but you may need to avoid certain medicines, especially if they need to be taken with food.

What if I make a mistake and have something to eat or drink besides water during my fast?

Tell your health care provider before your test. He or she can reschedule the test for another time when you are able to complete your fast.

When can I eat and drink normally again?

As soon as your test is over. You may want to bring a snack with you, so you can eat right away.

Is there anything else I need to know about fasting before a blood test?

Be sure to talk to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about fasting.

You should talk to your provider before taking any lab test. Most tests don’t require fasting or other special preparations. For others, you may need to avoid certain foods, medicines, or activities. Taking the right steps before testing helps ensure your results will be accurate.

References

  1. Allina Health [Internet]. Minneapolis: Allina Health; Fasting for a Blood Test; [cited 2020 May 11]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.allinahealth.org/-/media/allina-health/files/15008fastingpt.pdf
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Diabetes Home: Getting Tested; [updated 2017 Aug 4; cited 2018 Jun 20]; [about 9 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/getting-tested.html
  3. Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Boston: Harvard University; 2010–2018. Ask the doctor: What blood tests require fasting?; 2014 November [cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/ask-the-doctor-what-blood-tests-require-fasting
  4. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Lipid Panel; [updated 2018 Jun 12; cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lipid-panel
  5. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Test Preparation: Your Role; [updated 2017 Oct 10; cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/articles/laboratory-test-preparation
  6. Quest Diagnostics [Internet]. Quest Diagnostics; c2000–2018. For Patients: What to know about fasting before your lab test; [cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.questdiagnostics.com/home/patients/preparing-for-test/fasting.html
  7. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2018. Health Encyclopedia: Cholesterol in the Blood; [cited 2018 Jun20]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid;=P00220
  8. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Health Information: Health Facts for You: Getting Ready for Your Fasting Blood Draw; [updated 2017 May 30; cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/lab/7979.html

Related Medical Tests

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.

Introducing foods carefully and gradually is key.

Care needs to be taken when breaking a fast so as not to overburden your digestive system. The best benefit of fasting is realized when a fast is broken properly. Taking it slow and easy is not only kind to your body, but allows YOU the opportunity to integrate your new-found clarity on your relationship to food.

During a fast, the body undergoes several biological changes. Enzymes normally produced by the digestive system have ceased to be produced or have been diminished greatly, depending on the type of fast performed, so introducing food slowly allows the body time to re-establish this enzyme production.

The protective mucus lining of the stomach may be temporarily diminished as well, making the stomach walls more vulnerable to irritation until it also returns to normal. Gentle reintroduction of foods, beginning with the simplest and easiest-to-digest foods, supports this process. Substances known to be irritating to the system, such as coffee and spicy foods, must be avoided during the breaking process.

Overeating immediately following a fast is much worse than
overeating at any other time.

Because of these biological changes, overeating immediately following a fast is much worse than overeating at any other time . Your system needs time to readjust back to normal digestion and assimilation. Not taking the proper measures can result in stomach cramping, nausea, and even vomiting. An example of this is provided by a reader of this site, Nita, who was willing to share her experience of how not to break a fast.

The adjustment period necessary for breaking a fast is based on the length of the fast. Four days is considered adequate for any of the longer fasts, 1-3 days for shorter fasts, and just a day or so for one-day fasts.

Another rule of thumb is take half the number of days fasted to allow for breaking. So a 4-day fast would require a 2 day period for the reintroduction of foods.

Foods to use for breaking a fast

The most nutritious and easy-to-digest foods are used to break a fast initially, gradually adding more diversity and complexity over time.

The type of fast employed will determine the type of foods you use to break it. While juice or fruit are good for breaking a water fast, obviously, they aren’t very helpful in breaking juice or fruit fasts.

To help you determine when to introduce the different food groups, use the following list. It begins with those that are easiest on the system and can be introduced early on, and progresses to those that should be added later.

Depending on the length of your fast, you may go through the list in one day or in 4 days. And you certainly don’t need to eat everything on the list, it’s just a general guideline.

  1. fruit and vegetable juices
  2. raw fruits
  3. vegetable or bone broths
  4. yogurt (or other living, cultured milk products), unsweetened
  5. lettuces and spinach (can use plain yogurt as a dressing and top with fresh fruit)
  6. cooked vegetables and vegetable soups
  7. raw vegetables
  8. well cooked grains and beans
  9. nuts and eggs
  10. milk products (non-cultured)
  11. meats and anything else

Any of the first three items are good for that initial “breaking” of a fast, that first thing you eat; raw fruit being the easiest and most popular.

Even if you did a brown rice fast, eating at #8 on the list, you’ll want to start adding new foods from toward the top of the list. This will support re-establishment of more diverse enzyme production beginning with the simplest.

The #1 most popular food used for breaking a water fast:

More pointers for breaking a fast

  • Pay close attention to your body’s reactions to these “new” foods. Watch for any adverse reactions, perhaps signalling a mild allergy or that you have gone too far, too quickly. Feel for the sensation of fullness and stop eating at that point. Begin to train yourself to watch for that signal, so you’ll always know when your body is fully nourished.

When breaking a fast, begin with frequent small meals, every 2 hours or so, progressing gradually toward larger meals with more time in between them until you reach a “normal” eating routine, such as 3 meals and 2 snacks in a day’s time.

Chew foods well. This will help immensely with proper digestion and is a good habit to foster.

Strive to add live enzymes and good bacteria to your system. Fresh, raw foods are full of living enzymes good for your body and digestion. Probiotics, or “good” bacteria, can be found not only in pill form, but also in naturally cultured and fermented food products, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and miso.

  • Overall, the following four factors represent what we are trying to accomplish when breaking a fast:
  • While it may take a little thought and attention, breaking a fast properly is so important to our overall health and to reaping the full benefits fasting can create.

    Check out the New Food Choices Section of this site for more information going forward after your fast.

    Why do I need to fast before my blood test?

    If your health care provider has told you to fast before a blood test, it means you should not eat or drink anything, except water, for several hours before your test. When you eat and drink normally, those foods and beverages are absorbed into your bloodstream. That could affect the results of certain types of blood tests.

    What types of blood tests require fasting?

    The most common types of tests that require fasting include:

    • Glucose tests, which measure blood sugar. One type of glucose test is called a glucose tolerance test. For this test you will need to fast for 8 hours before test. When you arrive at the lab or health care facility, you will:
      • Have your blood tested
      • Drink a special liquid containing glucose
      • Have your blood re-tested one hour later, two hours later and possibly three hours later

    Glucose tests are used to diagnose diabetes.

    • Lipid tests, which measure triglycerides, a type of fat found in the bloodstream, and cholesterol, waxy, fat-like substance found in your blood and every cell of your body. High levels of triglycerides and/or a type of cholesterol, called LDL can put you at risk for heart disease.

    How long do I have to fast before the test?

    You usually need to fast for 8–12 hours before a test. Most tests that require fasting are scheduled for early in the morning. That way, most of your fasting time will be overnight.

    Can I drink anything besides water during a fast?

    No. Juice, coffee, soda, and other beverages can get in your bloodstream and affect your results. In addition, you should not:

    • Chew gum
    • Smoke
    • Exercise

    These activities can also affect your results.

    But you can drink water. It’s actually good to drink water before a blood test. It helps keep more fluid in your veins, which can make it easier to draw blood.

    Can I continue taking medicine during a fast?

    Ask your health care provider. Most of the time it’s OK to take your usual medicines, but you may need to avoid certain medicines, especially if they need to be taken with food.

    What if I make a mistake and have something to eat or drink besides water during my fast?

    Tell your health care provider before your test. He or she can reschedule the test for another time when you are able to complete your fast.

    When can I eat and drink normally again?

    As soon as your test is over. You may want to bring a snack with you, so you can eat right away.

    Is there anything else I need to know about fasting before a blood test?

    Be sure to talk to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about fasting.

    You should talk to your provider before taking any lab test. Most tests don’t require fasting or other special preparations. For others, you may need to avoid certain foods, medicines, or activities. Taking the right steps before testing helps ensure your results will be accurate.

    References

    1. Allina Health [Internet]. Minneapolis: Allina Health; Fasting for a Blood Test; [cited 2020 May 11]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.allinahealth.org/-/media/allina-health/files/15008fastingpt.pdf
    2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Diabetes Home: Getting Tested; [updated 2017 Aug 4; cited 2018 Jun 20]; [about 9 screens]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/getting-tested.html
    3. Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Boston: Harvard University; 2010–2018. Ask the doctor: What blood tests require fasting?; 2014 November [cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/ask-the-doctor-what-blood-tests-require-fasting
    4. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Lipid Panel; [updated 2018 Jun 12; cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lipid-panel
    5. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Test Preparation: Your Role; [updated 2017 Oct 10; cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/articles/laboratory-test-preparation
    6. Quest Diagnostics [Internet]. Quest Diagnostics; c2000–2018. For Patients: What to know about fasting before your lab test; [cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.questdiagnostics.com/home/patients/preparing-for-test/fasting.html
    7. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2018. Health Encyclopedia: Cholesterol in the Blood; [cited 2018 Jun20]; [about 2 screens]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid;=P00220
    8. UW Health [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority; c2018. Health Information: Health Facts for You: Getting Ready for Your Fasting Blood Draw; [updated 2017 May 30; cited 2018 Jun 15]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/lab/7979.html

    Related Medical Tests

    The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.

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    How to fast for a day

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    • 20% of your customers will drive 80% of your sales
    • 20% of your learning methods will lead to 80% of your results

    When it comes to learning, it feels like there’s so much we don’t know, so it’s easy to jump around everywhere. This will only lead to wasted time. What you want to do is focus on the one or two things that will drive the needle for what you want to achieve and double down on them.

    For example, if you’re learning Spanish to travel this summer, instead of learning how to write or read, you should learn how to speak Spanish. Or instead of trying to please a dissatisfied customer that’s only paying you $37/month, you should add 10 times more value to a customer that’s paying you $1,000/month.

    3. Learn by Doing

    Immersion is by far the best way to learn anything. And as research shows, it turns out that humans retain:

    • 5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture.
    • 10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
    • 20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
    • 30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
    • 50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
    • 75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
    • 90% of what they learn when they use it immediately.

    Think back to how you learned to play basketball, ride a bicycle, or swim. Instead of watching tutorial videos or reading a textbook on how to do something, the way to learn faster is to get into the trenches and gain experience through making mistakes.

    4. Find a Coach

    From business titans to professional athletes, the people performing at the highest levels all have one thing in common: they have a coach.

    According to best-selling author Seth Godin, there are five reasons you might quit in anything you do:

    • You run out of time (and quit)
    • You run out of money (and quit)
    • You get scared (and quit)
    • You’re not serious about it (and quit)
    • You lose interest (and quit)

    Having a coach allows you to see the blind spots that you couldn’t see before, and guide you through the tough times that inevitably come when you’re learning anything new.

    How to fast for a day

    A coach doesn’t have to cost $1 million a year, like what Tony Robbins charges, or even $1,000. If you’re trying to learn a language, you could have a language coach you work with. If you’re trying to learn an instrument, it could be finding a private teacher to help you.

    The point is, you’re not going at it alone. And having someone that’s keeping you accountable can take you miles further than doing everything yourself.

    5. Process Over Performance

    Doing the work is often the hardest thing for most people. A common mistake people make when they’re learning something new is to focus on performance over process. It’s hard to see any consistent results until you’ve put in a significant amount of work upfront.

    For writers, this is sitting down and writing 500 words a day — no matter how bad it may turn out. For athletes, this is waking up every morning and training — no matter how groggy and sore you feel. For language learners, it’s forcing yourself to speak the language every day — no matter how many mistakes you make or how uncomfortable you may feel.

    “Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” — Woody Allen

    Taking small steps may not sound sexy, but it has been the proven path to follow for anything you’ll want to achieve in your life and business.