What Is The 4 Pillar Plan And Can It Help You Live More Healthily?

The 4 Pillar Plan And Can It Help You Live More Healthily?

What Is The 4 Pillar Plan And Can It Help You Live More Healthily?

When people try and to make their lifestyle healthier, they tend to focus on two areas – their diet and the amount of exercise they do – but there’s more to a healthy, happy life than that.

So says Dr Rangan Chatterjee, author of new book the 4 Pillar Plan (Penguin), which suggests, as you’ve probably already worked out, that there are four factors to consider when trying to make positive changes to your lifestyle. What are those factors? Good question, in fact it’s the first one we asked when we spoke to Chatterjee.

What are the four pillars?

“The four pillars are relaxation, food, movement and sleep,” says Chatterjee. “Many of us recognise the importance of food and movement, but sleep and relaxation are very much undervalued.

I’m finding more and more that a lot of people’s diet and movement aren’t too bad, and rather than trying to become perfect in those areas, or get a 5% improvement, they’re much better off if they focus on the other pillars.

“It’s about balance, not perfection, and it’s not prescriptive. It’s not me telling people what to do. This is a case of trying to shine a spotlight on the things you can do, that are going to help you.”

You recommend five things you can do for each pillar in the book. Do people need to do all of them?

“Frankly it’s going to be very hard to do all 20. For most of my patients 12 seems to be about right. That’s enough to get them feeling really well, but it’s individual. You can personalise this plan.”

The Four Pillars

For a closer look at the plan we spoke to Chatterjee about each of the pillars and asked for a recommendation of one thing you can try from each.


Chatterjee’s five actions to try include living one day a week screen-free, or ensuring you eat at least one meal a day at a table without a connected device next to you.

“I start with relaxation is because I think it is probably the most undervalued component of health,” says Chatterjee. “We think relaxation is something we’re going to fit in when we’ve done everything else, but unfortunately for many of us we never finish our to-do list.”

Try… a daily practice of stillness “This is just a moment in the day when you press the pause button,” says Chatterjee. “Try starting with just two minutes of meditation a day. That daily practice will start to have a massive impact on your overall health.

“We have to train our minds. If you were going to run the London Marathon, you wouldn’t go for one jog around the block and say you can’t do it – you’d understand you have to train your body to do a marathon.

“You can be mindfully listening to your favourite music on your phone through headphones – as long as you’re not scrolling social media at the same time. Also, there are so many meditation apps now. Calm is one of my favourites and there’s also Headspace.

“You can also try 3-4-5 breathing – you breathe in for three, hold for four, and breathe out for five. When our out-breath is longer than our in-breath, we activate the relaxation part of our nervous system.

“Put it in your diary – at 7pm I stop everything and plug into this meditation app, or at 7.30am I do 3-4-5 breathing for five minutes. This is achievable for everyone – you just need to start.”


The dietary advice in the 4 Pillar Plan shies away from the idea that there is a one-size-fits-all diet that will work for everyone.

Instead it recommends general changes you can make, which include eating five portions of different vegetables every day and drinking eight glasses of water.

One change that you might not have considered, however, is only eating in a strictly defined window each day.

Try… the 12-hour window “This is one of my favourite interventions in the book,” says Chatterjee.

“Because although I would recommend changing what you eat, you don’t actually need to change what you eat, just when you eat. In our modern culture, we’re eating all the time.

When we’re eating late in the evening, we’re generally just a bit bored. We’ve got what I call an itchy mouth. It’s just something to do.

“When you restrict your eating window a huge amount of benefits kick in to the body. You can get better control of your blood sugar and your weight, and your immune system functions better. Your mitochondria, which are the energy factories of your body, also work more efficiently. It also improves the health of your gut bugs, which is critical for overall health.”


As with Chatterjee’s advice in the Eat pillar, most of the suggestions for movement fit with current thinking, walking at least 10,000 steps a day and doing some kind of strength training twice a week. One suggestion that did stand out to us, however, was the exercises Chatterjee says you should do every day.

Try… daily glute exercises“Most of us are not putting ourselves in positions where we need to switch our glutes on,” says Chatterjee. “If you’re sat down all day your brain has no reason to activate your glutes, so for many of us they’ve gone to sleep. Even when you’re walking you’re not firing them appropriately.

“Glute exercises give your body no option but to switch your glutes on. I do two minutes of glute exercises every morning while my coffee is brewing. It sets me up for the day. I can feel myself walking better.”

You can see videos of how to do glute exercises, the hip extensions and foot clocks Chatterjee recommends, on his website.


You might think that it’s harder to take control of your sleep than the other aspects of the plan. That’s what we thought, anyway. Chatterjee disagrees.

“Most people who are having trouble are doing something in their everyday lifestyles that’s affecting their ability to sleep,” says Chatterjee.

“The reality is when most people go camping they fall asleep easily and sleep soundly. That’s because you’re removing yourself from this techy modern environment.”

To take remedy this, Chatterjee recommends a period without tech – ideally 90 minutes but as long as you can manage if not – before bed. Another action you can take to improve your sleep is to “manage your commotion”. We didn't know what that meant, so we asked.

Try… managing your commotion “This is to do with emotional commotion,” says Chatterjee. “One of the most common causes of not sleeping is not being able to switch your brain off.

“There was a huge UK sleep survey in 2012 and it showed that the most common thoughts that kept people up at night were about what they’d done that day and what they’d have to do tomorrow.

“The idea is to minimise any activity that’s going to raise emotional tension before bed. If you’ve got something deep and meaningful to discuss with your partner, try not to do it late in the evening before bed.

Or if you need to go through your bank statements and talk about financial matters, try not to do it in the evening. If work emails stress you out, have a cut-off time 8pm or 8.

30pm and say, ‘after this time I am not going to go on my work email account’.

“Anyone can send you an email at whatever time of day they want – you have no control over when someone sends that email, but you can control when you look at it. This was a huge change for me a few years ago. I closely guard the 90 minutes before I go to sleep, and it’s life-changing.”

Written by Nick Harris-Fry for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Source: https://safetyblueblockers.com/blogs/news/what-is-the-4-pillar-plan-and-can-it-help-you-live-more-healthily

Get healthy and live your best life with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

What Is The 4 Pillar Plan And Can It Help You Live More Healthily?

  • Express your interest in this course

We all know there’s more we can do to live longer, healthier and happier lives. We know we should eat more vegetables, take up exercise, stop drinking or smoking, and sleep longer – but in a world where health advice seems endless and contradictory, making practical changes that actually help us to better control our health can seem impossible.

This evening class with Dr Rangan Chatterjee will present an incredibly simple framework for living better and longer.

Rangan is the resident doctor of BBC One’s Breakfast and author of The 4 Pillar Plan and The Stress Solution, and he will take you through the small, easily achievable changes you can make in your life, ensuring you find and maintain good health – and avoid illness.

Suitable for anyone who has ever thought they could do more to ensure good health and longevity, this course is cutting-edge research and Rangan’s own experience as a GP. It covers everything from how to design your morning routine effectively, tips for cutting back on technology use, the importance of eating the alphabet and introducing diet diversity, and ways of combating loneliness.

Course content

  • The four pillars of health: diet, relaxation, sleep and movement
  • Making small, easily achievable changes to find and maintain good health
  • The four steps to reset your body: purpose, relationships, body and mind
  • Presenting simple and achievable interventions to help you reset your life, and offering simple tools for coping with modern life

Tutor profile

Dr Rangan Chatterjee is one of the most influential doctors in the UK and is changing the way that we look at illness.

He is known for taking a 360-degree approach to health, which was highlighted in his groundbreaking BBC TV show, Doctor in the House, and in his first book, The 4 Pillar Plan.

He is also the author of The Stress Solution, the resident doctor on BBC One’s Breakfast, a regular commentator on BBC Radio, and the host of his own chart-topping podcast, Feel Better Live More.

The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee Photograph: Penguin Random House


  • Express your interest in this course

Date: Tuesday 15 January 2019
Times: Evening course, 7pm-9pm
Location: The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
Price: £49
Capacity: 100

Complimentary refreshments included.

You may also be interested in…

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/guardian-masterclasses/2018/oct/25/get-healthy-and-live-your-best-life-with-dr-rangan-chatterjee-health-wellness-course

The 4 Pillars of Optimal Health

What Is The 4 Pillar Plan And Can It Help You Live More Healthily?

Last Updated on April 22, 2020

Some days you wake up and right when you are going to begin your work, you feel a presence within you that stops you from doing so. You sit down, but you sit down quietly this time.

Suddenly, that feeling where you once were so passionate and energized to take action just isn’t there anymore. You try to hype yourself up but it’s not working, and everything you do seems to be counterintuitive. You face the truth.

You don’t want to work today and you don’t feel motivated to do anything but just escape. Without this motivation, you feel a little hopeless, lost, and stuck.

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. If you’re not a hundred percent passionate about your work, then it’s impossible to wake up everyday feeling motivated when you wake up. You might compare it to the ocean.

Sometimes you’ll wake up feeling a tsunami, other time you’ll feel just barely drifting to shore. When you feel drifting to the shore, understand that it doesn’t always have to feel there’s no hope.

You can still feel inspired when you feel giving up.

1. Connecting the Dots

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” –Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs at a Stanford commencement speech said that giving this speech the students was the closest thing he came to graduating college. He’s never finished college.

He recalls that the working class savings that his parents had made their entire life was being spent on his tuition on a college he says was as almost as expensive as Stanford. After 6 months, he couldn’t see the value in it and dropped out.

Not knowing where to go in life, he decided to take a class in calligraphy. He, however, didn’t see any practical application for it in life.

Ten years later, they were designing the first Macintosh computer, and it all came back to him. He used the ideas that he had learned in calligraphy class, including the different types of typography, and put it in the Mac.

It was the first computer to have beautiful typography, which has affected the different types of typography that we use today.

If he had never dropped out in collage, he would have never taken that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do today.

Sometimes when you’re trying to reach a goal, it’s impossible to connect the dots where you currently are. Somehow you just have to trust in yourself, and have faith that you will reach your dreams, despite not having the slightest clue or perfectly laid out road to where you are going.

Nobody can connect the dots looking forward; you only can connect them when you’re looking backwards.

You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future; you have to trust in something, whether it’s karma or destiny, but trusting yourself is the first step towards feeling inspired and having the motivation to move forward.

2. Allowing Your Environment to Predetermine Your Mood

“There is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and getting what you want.” –Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has always advocated the idea of using your environment to your advantage. He believes that controlling your environment is often much more effective than relying on self discipline.

He finds that he writes the best between the hours of midnight and 1 AM to 3 to 4 in the morning. As he is writing, he will put a movie in the background so it will feel he is in a social environment, even though the entire movie is on mute. Next to him may be a glass of tea.

This is what puts him in the mood to do quality writing and make him so successful.

Look around your room right now or your workspace. Does it inspire you? Does it give you motivation? Is it noisy or quiet? Sometimes the hardest thing we do to ourselves is try to force ourselves to work in an area that is subconsciously telling us, “I can’t work here.”

And when you are constantly trying to discipline yourself, you will feel worse and be less productive. Instead try to build your ideal workplace and ideal time. Free it from distractions. Perhaps add a piece of artwork or a quote of your favorite person nearby you on the wall.

Maybe add a beautiful plant in the corner to give you inspiration. If you feel more energy and enthusiasm during the night, schedule your day to work at midnight if you can.

If you can realize the power of having a productive environment, you will naturally feel inspired and motivated to get work done.

3. Don’t Work So Hard

“Research now seems to indicate that one hour of inner action is worth seven hours of out-in-the-world action. Think about that. You’re working too hard.” –Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield was once giving a speech to an audience. He tells of a story of a chiropractor who went into his dream city, near Pebble Beach, and asked chiropractor associate if they could hire them. They told him no because they had 1 chiropractor for every 8 patients.

Instead of letting his external reality which was his control determine his future, he went back to visualize and think about it, and something would come to him.

He put a pen in his new office one day, and put concentric circles that he needed to go ask people in town that he was opening up a new chiropractor office and if they were interested in joining.

Over 6 months he knocked on 12,500 doors, talked to 6,500 people, and gathered over 4000 names to the people who wanted to go to his open house. He opened his chiropractor in a town he was told there was too many chiropractor. In his first month in practice, he netted $72,000. In his first year in practice his gross income was over a million in income.

Now you may look at this and say knocking on 12,500 doors is hard work. To you it is, but to the man it was probably effortless. Jack Canfield says there are 2 types of action – outer and inner.

Outer action is actually going out to do the action – whether it’s networking with people, going door-to-door to make a sale, or just writing at home.

Inner action is other things visualization, meditation, and affirmations.

If you’re trying to force your way into taking action, it could be a sign that you are working too hard.

Most people won’t wake up and waste an hour visualizing, meditating, or affirming, and the first thing they think about is asking what do I need to do today? And when they get the answer, they feel miserable, as if their work suddenly weighs them down.

But Canfield says that if you spend time to focus on your goals, you’ll receive good feelings – feelings that help you feel inspired and motivated to take real action.

Don’t try to paddle upstream. That’s just basically going everyday saying to yourself that you need to force yourself to work every day. Instead, paddle along the stream of the river.

Trust yourself, let your environment work in your favor, and spend some a little bit of time putting yourself in a state before you work.

Inspiration will come to you from different ways – inside and out – and give you the motivation to guide yourself towards reaching your dreams.

Source: https://www.lifehack.org/430850/the-4-pillars-of-optimal-health


What Is The 4 Pillar Plan And Can It Help You Live More Healthily?

Feel Better in 5 is the first daily 5 minute plan that is easy to maintain, easy-to-follow and requires only the smallest amount of willpower.

Every part our body affects pretty much every other part. This book takes a full view of your health and well-being, one that considers every aspect of the your daily life.

By making small, achievable changes in the four key areas of your life, you can create and maintain good health – and avoid illness. What matters most is balance across all the things you do.


Modern levels of physical inactivity are having a detrimental effect on our health. Many people cite a lack of time or a lack of time to exercise. In my book, I share with you simple strategies to get more movement into your everyday lives and how to make it fun! Best of all, it doesn’t require you to join a gym or to dress up in special clothes!

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to go to the gym to have an effective workout. Here’s an easy way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Key Insights into How to do Flex on a Step.


We have infinite distractions these days to keep us from our beds and even when we do get there, many of us don’t get a full, rejuvenating night’s sleep.

Over the past 16 years, I have seen that the majority of people with sleep issues are doing something in their lifestyles to untrain their natural ability to sleep.

In my book, I share with you simple strategies to sleep better so you feel better.

The 4 Pillar Plan isn’t a short-term fix. It is a plan to transform your health and life once and for all.

“Dr Rangan Chatterjee knows the science in great depth, but more importantly he’s evangelical about giving his patients and his readers a way of applying it to their own lives.”

MARK HYMAN, MD Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

“Rangan’s easy, common-sense plan can help everyone live a happier, healthier life.”

JAMIE OLIVER, Chef, Restaurateur and Best-Selling Author

“Rangan is revolutionising the way we think about health. He will make you feel better than you have in years.”

AMELIA FREER, No.1 Best-selling author and Nutritional Therapist

“Dr Rangan Chatterjee knows the science in great depth, but more importantly he’s evangelical about giving his patients and his readers a way of applying it to their own lives.”

MARK HYMAN, MD Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

“Rangan’s easy, common-sense plan can help everyone live a happier, healthier life.”

JAMIE OLIVER, Chef, Restaurateur and Best-Selling Author

“Rangan is revolutionising the way we think about health. He will make you feel better than you have in years.”

AMELIA FREER, No.1 Best-selling author and Nutritional Therapist

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee is a pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine and is changing the way that we look at illness. He is known for finding the root cause of people’s problems by taking a 360 degree approach to health, which was highlighted in his ground-breaking BBC One TV show, Doctor in the House.

He is the resident doctor on BBC One’s Breakfast, a regular commentator on BBC Radio and gave an inspirational TEDx talk on making diseases disappear. He writes for The Huffington Post, Mind Body Green and has a monthly column on lifestyle medicine in Top Sante. He regularly lectures on his subject at events and conferences around the world.

Learn More

Source: https://drchatterjee.com/book/