Review: The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

The thing about leading a healthy lifestyle is that most of us know what we are supposed to go it – but we don’t. In his book “The 4 Pillar Plan – How To Relax, Eat, Move, Sleep Your Way To A Longer, Healthier Life”, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee does just this.

Acres of articles have been written about motivation and willpower when what is really needed, I think, is a structured guide to exactly what we need to do.

Slice of watermelon being held up by a woman's hand - The 4 Pillar Plan

Dr. Chatterjee is the star of BBC One’s Doctor In The House and his particular mission is to tackle two of today’s biggest threats to our health – type 2 diabetes and obesity.  The 4 Pillar Plan is a comprehensive programme of 20 diet and lifestyle interventions.

These are the kind of tactics which, if followed could help us to avoid bunging up our doctors’ surgery waiting room and possibly even A&E if we take just three of the nuggets of wisdom in each pillar to heart.

His pillar approach is broken down into four distinct areas:- Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep – in each of which he offers sensible, do-able, no-nonsense steps based on recent research.  You won’t find any navel gazing or chakra massaging.  Much of this advice is probably stuff you heard from your mum – and promptly ignored.

It is important to take a holistic approach to this.  You can take each pillar at a time but you do need to take steps in each of them. Dr. Chatterjee says that the non-food elements are important because our whole system is interconnected. If we are stressed, we eat more and sleep less, for example.


The 4 Pillar Plan does contain a healthy eating plan but it is just part of an overall approach.

To give you an idea of the type of advice that is included, here are some examples from each pillar.

Pillar 1 – Eat

Try to eat at least 5 portions of vegetables every day – ideally of 5 colours.  This is important because these contain chemicals called phytonutrients which help our hearts, fight cancer cells and reverse brain ageing. Good sources include broccoli, red onions, asparagus, carrots and olives.

Introduce daily microfasts – eat all your food within a 12 hour window – so breakfast at 7 am and supper by 7 pm. After 12 hours a process called autophagy will have started, cleaning our bodies and helping with weightloss.

Unprocess your diet – avoid food products which contain more than 5 ingredients – much easier than worrying about calories, carbs or fat content.

Pillar 2 – Relax

Have a ‘digital sabbath’ – Dr Chatterjee recommends a digital free Sunday to give us a break from the constant onslaught of social media and online advertising.

Eat one meal a day at a table – in company and with no mobile devices!

Schedule 15 minutes of me-time every day – this could be reading, gardening, meditating – but no screens.  Prioritise your self care.

Pillar 3 – Move

Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps a day – put your Fitbit through its paces or buy a pedometer.

Do three or four ‘movement snacks’ a day 5 days a week – put on some music and sing or dance, do some star jumps or play with the kids.

Wake up your sleepy glutes – exercise your buttock muscles at least once a day to counteract the effect of sitting down all day.

Pillar 4 – Sleep

Sleep in the dark – use an old fashioned alarm clock not your mobile phone. Install blackout blinds or extra thick curtains.

Manage your racing mind – don’t have difficult conversations right before bed or watch the news if it upsets you.  Read a calming book or write in your journal instead.

Embrace morning light – spend at least 20 minutes outside (without sunglasses) every morning.  There is even a study which shows that people who do this have a lower body mass index!

You can choose which pillar to work on or work on them simultaneously.  I think you are better off picking a few small changes to incorporate into your routine and seeing how they work for you.

This is a fantastic, common sense book which is certain to have something you’d be willing to try – and small changes can lead to great improvements long-term.

You can find Dr. Chatterjee’s book at Amazon and I have a copy of The 4 Pillar Plan to give away.

Entry is via the GLEAM widget below and the usual terms and conditions apply which can be found on my Giveaways page.  UK entrants only.

The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

The Four Pillar Plan Giveaway

Good luck!


Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”

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77 Comments on "Review: The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee"

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Tracy Nixon

Sleep – as that is the area of my life I struggle with most!

Gaynor Vincent

This is good solid advice -which I am aiming to follow – into the 2nd week of Jan and still there!

Helen best

Brilliant I’m sleeping but up several times

Daniel Marchant

Totally sleep… It’s waking in the morning too early

Sallyanne Rose

Sleep! Undisturbed

Margaret Clarkson

I would start with the move pillar because I think it would be extremely beneficial


Pillar 4 because sleep is so important to everything, and if that improves I think the others will feel more managable!


Sleep im always tried x


sleep to try and improve it


Sleep – since I moved home in November I am struggling to settle

Margaret Gallagher

Relax i think the others will follow


Sleep because I’m always tired.

Jodie A Green

2, i really would love to be able to relax more!


I’m not sure – probably Move and Relax as I think these are the areas which I need to try harder with.


Eat as its the one i need to do something about most!


I think it would have to be eat as i do tend to skip my required amounts of fruit and vegetables each day.


Relax – would be nice to do that ever

Rose Stephenson

I just need to look after myself better in all aspects of my life.


Has to be sleep, sometimes my sleep patterns are all over the place

Aimee Bradley

This sounds amazing. There are so many that I feel would really benefit me. Thanks so much. The book is now on my wish list

Annabel Greaves

Pillar 4 of sleep – I can suffer from insomnia so these are great tips to try


Sounds good! I need a much healthier sleep pattern x


I like the concept of the four pillar plan, especially when he says we should eat all our meals within a 12 hour window and I think it is great that he says we should have a digital detox. That is something that I definitely need to do!


We are trying to eat more fruit and veg as a family so this plan would fit in nicely with our goals.


Sleep has always been an issue for me, it definitely comes in waves of struggling as well. I really need to learn to relax more and stop my mind racing


I like the idea of the four pillars. I am looking to be more healthy this year and I am doing it and setting goals on a weekly basis.


Pillar 1 Eat. I really need to improve my diet

Lauretta at Home and Horizon

I just need to work on all of these. Sleep shouldbe my first move.


I love the sound of this, I really want a good, positive plan for this year.

Sara Goodman

Sleep, it’s the thing I struggle with most and I really feel it.
Thanks for a fantastic giveaway 🙂

Angela Treadway

Relax as i need to chill out more lol x

Laura Pyper

Pillar 4 – Sleep
Im really stuggling to sleep at the moment so i would start with that


I would start with Eat as i intend to eat more probiotic foods this year to boost my immune system.


I do often have trouble sleeping so will be taking some of the sleeping tips

Chris Andrews

Which of the four pillars do you think you would start with and why? . . . .relax ‘cos l am usually so wound up about something or other


Eat – need a much healthier diet


Sleep takes me ages to nod off


I’ve never actually heard of this book before but I think the main points are great and so true! I do always struggle with sleep though x

Danielle Spencer

Sleep as it is the part I struggle with the most.


Sleep as I’m always waking up during the nig

Katherine Lucas

Pillar 4 – Sleep as that is where I really struggle


Would be to try and relax


Probably Pillar 4 as I never get enough sleep!!

Lynn Brown

Move – I don’t move enough to long at a PC

Adrian Bold

Sleep, as I’m always exhausted!

Sandra Fortune

These all sound great having lost 3 stone last year I need a bit more exercise . I had pneumonia in October last year and couldn’t do much for about 6 weeks so I think no. 3

Samantha R

Probably relax otherwise I’d be too stressed to do any of the others!

Rachael Sexey

Sleep as I am currently on medication for sleeping problems but I want to come off it and no depend on it

Carole Nott

I would start with eat – this is the mainstay of any healthy routine


I will start by moving more.