The Six Pillars of Living Well

Our culture seems to love simple, one-dimensional answers to questions about health, fitness, weight loss, and living well. I’ve read many books that promise if I just eat the right ratio of fat to carbs, or cut out grains, or do a simple 15-minute exercise program, that I can achieve my weight or fitness goals. My guess is that you have read some of these books too.

The problem with these simple solutions is that our bodies are complex, self-regulating organisms with multiple needs. The human genome has about 22,000 protein-coding genes and many of these genes can be turned on or off based on our diet, exercise, sleep patterns, exposure to nutrients and chemicals—even our exposure to light. Any solution that hopes to address how to achieve good health and fitness must consider a variety of factors beyond just diet or exercise. Fortunately, the majority of these answers fit in with what we’ve long known about living well—get enough sleep, eat right, get some exercise—but with strong science to validate those observations and clarify what is really important and give us guidelines to follow.

In this book, I examine The 6 Pillars of Living Well: thinking, eating, moving, sleeping, hosting, and staying well. Some of these concepts are easy to understand—you can’t live well unless you sleep and eat well. Others are less obvious, but no less important. Putting all 6 Pillars to work will help you customize a program to help you live your best life, starting today.