Better Nutrition
Fitness Diet Workout Stress Image Credit: Better Nutrition
Fitness Diet Workout Stress Image Credit: Better Nutrition

7 Healthy Habits That Matter More Than Any Diet Or Fitness Plan

These seven basics matter more than any of the details of specific diets or exercise programs.

Jonny Bowden, Phd, CNS

The debate over the best way to eat is not going away. In fact, in just the past few years, it seems to be paralleling our national political debate—and not in a good way. Nutrition is getting ever more partisan—the raw-food people disagree with the Paleo people, who think the vegans are nuts, while the South Beach Diet enthusiasts take offense to the keto diet people, who think all the rest of us should be eating like they do. And the debate over exercise isn’t much better—interval training or conventional weights? CrossFit? Standard aerobics? Every day? Once a week? (Insert “scream” here!)

Calm down, people.

Every so often, it’s good to step back and take a “helicopter view” of a situation. We get so deeply into the minutiae and details of things that we frequently lose sight of the bigger picture. Though you wouldn’t know it from all the tribalism, there actually are a few things that we all can and do agree on. So I’d like to take this opportunity to offer what I consider the “7 Bipartisan Principles of Health,” habits that would be worth cultivating for absolutely everyone, no matter what diet or exercise program you follow.


By “real food,” I mean food that would go bad if you left it outside in the air for a k couple days. Food that you could hunt, fish, gather, or pluck. When I s

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