Whether it’s quitting smoking, spending less, or getting to a healthy weight, many of us want results, and we want them now. We look for a fast fix which usually leaves us deprived and grumpy. Richard Fast’s 29 Days System, aims to generate change by tapping into the subconscious habits instead of restricting our wants and needs. With programs around weight loss, spending less and quitting smoking, all of Richard’s research focuses on changing behaviour instead of a quick-fix. We spoke with the certified life coach about his weight loss program and why one month is the perfect amount of time to create permanent change in any aspect of your life:
1. Be patient. “The brain takes about 30 days to accept new changes, so be patient,” Richard explains. When we don’t see the scale shift three days into a diet we get discouraged and give up. We lose our focus and no change happens. Patience is the basis of this program.
2. Understand why. “Our eating behaviours are the result of our thoughts, habits and beliefs,” explains Richard. “If a person goes on a diet without changing those all-important factors, they are essentially the exact same person only now they have a craving for the very thing the diet is denying them.” Willpower will only get you so far, it’s changing your thinking that really sticks.
3. Change your self-image. You must change the way you interact with yourself. The way you think about yourself forms who you become, and your attitude shapes your success. How we see ourselves is what holds us back, and breaking that image is what can move us forward.
4. Embrace fear. Change is scary. People stick with routines because it’s what they know. And though you may be unhappy with where you are, what would happen if you tried then failed? Taking change one day at a time is the only way to make progress. Don’t think six months ahead, you’ll be overwhelmed. With each day’s success you’re one grain closer to a better you.
5. Trick your brain. When it comes to eating Richard suggests simply using a smaller plate, “Studies show people who downsized from a 12 inch plate to a 10 inch plate dropped over two pounds per month. The smaller plate found people taking between 15 and 20 percent less food. That’s about 400 calories a day!”
6. Be aware. Whether it’s smoking, eating or gambling, letting your mind shut off while you’re doing something slows down the registering process in the body. When you come to and realize you just ate a whole bag of chips you’ll wish you were paying more attention. “Neurologists suggest that 95 percent of everything we do is performed on a subconscious level” says Richard.
7. Stick with the steps. One month may seem like an eternity to wait for change but Richard assures it’s the easiest, and most successful, track. This program is about changing your mind so your body will follow.
8. Lose 100 calories. Richard suggests cutting 100 calories a day from your diet. Drink one less can of pop or say no to that donut, “you can lose 10 pounds in a single year without any additional effort.” (Don’t mind if we do!)
9. Walk. Aside from increasing your metabolism, walking is the best thing you can incorporate into your every day life. When combined with the calories you lost passing on that donut, you begin the process of creating new habits and in turn, permanent weight loss.
10. Drink water. Start simple: Richard suggests upping your water intake will aid in weight loss, boost energy, improve digestion and help curb hunger. Leave some in the car, at your desk and beside the bed to ensure you drink up. If you’ve got nowhere else to start, start here.
29 Days…to your perfect weight is on shelves now, $30.
What’s helped you keep the weight off?