Are You One of the "Walking Unwell" | Chris Kresser

Are you one of the “walking unwell”?

by Chris Kresser

Last updated on

Today, millions—if not billions—of people around the world are suffering from what I call “chronic unwellness.” They may not be seriously ill, but they never feel completely well. They have nagging symptoms that prevent them from feeling their best, and often stand in the way of accomplishing their goals or living life to the fullest. Symptoms like:

  • Bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, and other uncomfortable digestive issues
  • Sugar cravings and blood sugar swings throughout the day
  • Difficulty losing weight, no matter what you try
  • A hard time falling asleep, not sleeping soundly, and waking up tired
  • Afternoon ‘crashes’ making every day a little harder than it should be
  • Chronic stress making you less productive and more distracted
  • Embarrassing and/or painful skin breakouts

These symptoms are so common in our society that they’ve come to seem normal. But they’re not normal; they’re the “canaries in the coal mine,” signs that our bodies are malfunctioning and our health is moving in the wrong direction.

Find out why “chronic unwellness” is more serious than you might think—and what to do about it.

What’s more, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, these symptoms don’t tend to go away on their own. In fact, they get worse rather than better over time. Why? Because symptoms are the ultimate expression of underlying disease processes. They don’t exist on their own or come out of nowhere; they are the outward, noticeable signs of dysfunction in our bodies.

To use an analogy, symptoms are like warning lights on the dashboard of your car. If the engine light comes on, it’s a sign that something is wrong. What do you do when that happens? You probably take your car into the shop to get fixed, because you know that the longer you drive around without addressing the problem, the greater the chance that your car will be seriously damaged.

These symptoms are robbing you of your joy and making every day more difficult. But, more than that, here’s why you really should pay attention to these “warning lights” on your “dashboard:

  • Carrying extra weight. Two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and one-third are obese. This is a huge problem, because a recent study found that excess weight accounts for 1 in 3 deaths among middle-aged and elderly adults.
  • Poor quality—and not enough—sleep. Disrupted sleep is a clear sign of physical and/or psychological/emotional distress. In addition, people who sleep fewer than 7 hours a night have a higher risk of death and greater prevalence of obesity then those who sleep 7–8 hours a night.
  • Chronic stress, anxiety, depression, or brain fog. Our brain is arguably the most important organ in our body. If it’s not functioning well, nothing else will either. We now know that cognitive and mood disorders are often caused (at least in part) by underlying inflammatory conditions, and chronic stress can itself trigger inflammation.
  • Skin breakouts. The majority of skin conditions are inflammatory, so if you struggle with skin breakouts, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with underlying inflammation.
  • Chronic pain. If you’re constantly feeling aches in your muscles or joints, that’s also a sure sign of an underlying inflammatory process.
  • Digestive problems. I’m sure you know by now how important gut health is to overall health. While many people may simply accept gas, bloating, constipation and loose stool as “normal,” the fact is these symptoms are signs of deeper problems that can lead to everything from inflammation, to autoimmune disease, to heart disease.
  • Fatigue, low libido, loss of mojo. Do you have a hard time waking up? Do you crash in the afternoons? Do you find yourself struggling to get through the day? Are your sex drive and “mojo” distant memories? So many people accept this as a normal part of aging, but in truth it’s yet another indicator that something is wrong.

If you’re experiencing two or more symptoms on this list, that’s a sign that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. If you had two warning lights on your car dashboard, you probably wouldn’t just stick duct tape over them and hope for the best, would you? Yet that’s often what many of us do when it comes to our own “warning lights.” Not a good idea!

The good news is that, in many cases, these symptoms of chronic unwellness can be successfully addressed with some simple (but not always easy!) diet and lifestyle changes.

14Four: the solution to “chronic unwellness”

As many of you know, I suffered from a debilitating chronic illness for over a decade. During that time I saw over thirty doctors on three continents and more alternative medicine specialists than I can count, took numerous medications, and spent thousands of dollars on supplements.

Yet in the end, the most important factors in my recovery were also the most simple: diet, movement, stress management, and sleep.

I’ve seen a similar phenomenon through my work with patients. Although I do work with patients who are typically quite ill, in many cases it is focusing on these basics that yields the best results.

This is why I’m excited to introduce 14Four. It’s a new program designed to help you “reboot” 4 key areas of your life in 14 days:

  • Diet: reboot your diet with nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods that deeply nourish your body
  • Movement: reboot your energy levels with exercise techniques that don’t require any special equipment or a gym membership
  • Stress management: reboot your brain with simple yet effective techniques for managing stress and increasing resilience
  • Sleep: reboot your sleep with easy-to-follow tips for improving both your sleep duration and quality

What makes 14Four different than other diet programs?

  • It’s not just about food. As you noticed, 14Four helps you to reboot your movement, stress management, and sleep, in addition to your diet. In my work with patients, and in my own experience, I’ve learned that addressing these other factors is just as important (and in some cases more important) than addressing diet.
  • It emphasizes preparation. 90% of success is preparation. Many diet challenge programs throw you into the deep end of the pool without any of the preparatory steps that are critical to successful change. 14Four includes a 2-week “on-ramp” phase designed to ease your transition and improve your results.
  • It’s an all-in-one solution. All you have to do is follow along. There are no decisions to make, there’s nothing to figure out. We tell you exactly what to do and give you everything you need to make it happen, from delicious daily meal plans and recipes, to workouts of the day (based on your fitness level), to exercise video demos, to guided stress management audios and videos.

14Four is really all about the basics. There’s nothing sexy or exotic about it. It’s not the next miracle cure from the rainforest or a secret shortcut promising dramatic results with no effort.

But don’t let its simplicity deceive you: it works incredibly well, and you just might feel like a miracle did happen after you finish the program. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones.

Who would benefit from the 14Four?

14Four is a great choice if:

  • You’ve got a lot of nagging symptoms and problems, but don’t know where to start14Four focuses on the four key areas that restore health and reverse disease: diet, physical activity, stress management and sleep.
  • You’re suffering from a chronic illness, and want to heal it naturally. Conventional medicine is great with trauma and catastrophic care, but lousy when it comes to preventing and reversing chronic illness. 14Four will empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to take care of your own health, naturally.
  • You want to transition to a Paleo diet and lifestyle, but could use some extra help14Four gives you all of the resources, tools, and support to be successful.
  • You feel like you could use a tune-up. Let’s face it, with the craziness of modern life it’s easy to fall off the wagon with diet, sleep, stress management, or physical activity. We all know these things are important, but practicing them daily is another story. 14Four can help you get back on track and feeling your best. (I plan to do one myself once every quarter, at the beginning of the summer, fall, winter, and spring.)
  • You want to maximize your performance and prevent disease before it starts. Maybe you’re feeling pretty good overall, but you want to take your health and performance to the next level—and do everything you can to maintain your good health and extend your lifespan. 14Four is a great choice for accomplishing these goals because it focuses on the diet and lifestyle factors we know are most important to performance and long-term health.

Special offer: Get free bonuses if you join in the next 3 days

If you sign up for 14Four before Saturday, October 25 at midnight, you’ll qualify for the following free bonuses:

  • Membership in the “14Four Founders Group”, which gives you exclusive access to four weekly Q&A webinars with me starting next week. I’ll answer your questions as you move through the program.
  • A discounted price of $37. The price will go up when this offer expires.
  • 10 entries into the raffle (described below)

The raffle will feature the following prizes:

  • One 16 GB iPad Mini with Retina Display
  • One Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro 9000
  • Three $200 gift certificates to US Wellness Meats
  • Twenty signed copies of my book, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback as The Paleo Cure in December 2014)

If you’re not ready to sign up for 14Four, you can still participate in the raffle by Tweeting about 14Four or following me on Facebook. Posting on Twitter will earn you three entries and following me on Facebook will get you one entry.


Join the conversation

  1. I am reading (and now following the step plan for) The Paleo Cure but can’t’ find anything about stopping/getting off the PPI’s. Suggestions?

  2. Hello,
    One of the posts above refers to buying supplements.
    Is this a necessary part of the programme? I’ve just started seeing a nutritionist
    and so already on a recently implemented supplement regime also I’m in the UK and have been led to believe that shipping to UK is an issue anyway?
    Thank you.
    Very best wishes

  3. I am trying to plan my shopping but can’t tell when the program will let me view week three, since each week seems to unlock on its own. Can this restriction be lifted so I can plan on a start date.

  4. This doesn’t seem like the right place for support for 14Four after I am signed up, but I can’t find a better option. I have been following the week one prep and took the quiz (twice actually–you take it once and then when you take the Supplement Quiz it’s the same quiz.). The quiz says I scored high on everything (odd because the bulk of my answers were 1, with a few zeros, a few twos, and very few threes). But I decided what the heck, I’ll order the supplement package at 50% off, and then I see it’s sold out! And the site says to order early so we can start on time (I planned on my two weeks being Nov 9-22). If I can’t do this the way it’s recommended (with the supplements) I may want to take advantage of the moneyback offer, but that ends soon. What gives? Do you have to enter all zero’s to not score high? And will the supplements be back in stock in time for the people who started Oct. 26?

  5. The problem is, so many of these kind of problems develop gradually over time. Sometimes people don’t even realize there’s something wrong. Another often underestimated health hazard of today I’d like to mention is the safety of personal care products. Not all crap enters the body through the mouth.

  6. About 2 hours ago I posted a question here about the price on the web site not being accurate (I was being charged $47 not $37), and I asked for some assistance. Now I see my post is no longer on this Q&A page. I never got an email or any reply to my question. I’m a bit disappointed. I guess I’ll just read the e-books.

    • Peg, we moderate our comments for spam purposes, so I’m sorry your previous comment did not appear right away. The price changed to $47 today (Sunday 10/26). The promo price ended at midnight on 10/25.

  7. When I try to sign up, it is charging me $47, not $37. how do I get the discounted price? It’s already late here on the east coast and I’m not going to be on line for much longer (and I was away all weekend). I want to sign up, but I don’t want to get over-charged. Please advise. Thanks!

  8. I would really appreciate it if there is some way that (Catherine Wessling) can enter me into the raffle. I have tried many, many times to use the info presented here…I even used my desktop but see no widget, etc., etc., Please advise and hope you can enter me into raffle. Thank you. Obviously I have purchased the program… 🙂

    • The raffle ended last night at midnight, which is why the raffle widget is no longer on this page. I’ll see if I can enter you manually.

  9. Am I too late to enter my code into the raffle? I was unable at the time of purchase as I used my mobile. Now I am on my laptop but cannot find the widget at the bottom of the blog?

  10. Joined the program already as I just started excersises and stress management on my own besides the paleo kind of diet…and the improvements started to boost…what if I start all these in a professional and more structured manner…? Now one question I have regarding the 2weeks program. I follow a paleo like + low foodmap diet. I eat potatoes and white rice (jasmine only) as I do pretty bad on low carb or VLC diets. Can I maintain a modarate carb during the program?

      • Thanks a lot! One more question: wanted to order the 3 Adapta system products in bundle but it seems one of the product is unavailable therefore cannot place the order. Do you know when is it going to be available? International shipment costs a fortune so do not want to order twice….thanks!

  11. Yes I am another who can’t find where to put the code.

    Is it because I am using my Iphone? Is the website set up appropriately for mobiles?

    Thank you

  12. All- this is helpful. Catherine, you might consider pushing this up to the top each day. 🙂 Thanks – this worked for me to make the directions clear!!

    Catherine Wessling
    OCTOBER 24, 2014 AT 12:04 PM

    At the bottom of the blog post above there is a Raffle widget with a picture of an iPad. Click “Purchase 14Four” as the entry option and there is a space to enter your code. You’ll need to be on a computer not a mobile device.

    • Are you using a desktop computer? It’s on this page at the bottom of the post (above the comments). There is a picture of an iPad on the widget.

  13. I am unable to find the “widget” that is suppose to be on the bottom of this page so that I can enter my confirmation code. Please help. Thanks.

    • There is a raffle widget at the bottom of the blog post on this page. Click “Enter” and you’ll see the options for entering the raffle.

    • You enter where it actually asks you to purchase the program. Click on that button and it will ask you for your confirmation number if you have already purchased the program. Hope that helps.

  14. I bought the $37 program, got the confirmation code, and followed the requisite instructions but never got to a place where I could enter the confirmation code. Instead I was asked to Like on FB, or tweet, etc. Please advise. The people who purchase and get a confirmation code should get sent to one clear place where they can enter the code.

    • OK, I see the problem Catherine. People who purchased are asked to click on another button on the iPad screen that says “purchase,” but we already did so we don’t click on it. Instead it is presented as an option among the other options. Maybe there’s a way to fix this, so first you get an “enter confirmation code” screen, and then once you enter the code you get the “earn additional entries” screen?

  15. I cannot enter the raffle and have read through the comments pertaining to this ad infinitum. I deserve a box of meat (my choice) for doing so since I’ve done it twice!
    Here is my process – I go to the 14Four ipad icon (shown within the Giveaway! box) and click it. This is under your last sentence, “Please note that you must live in U.S. …..Wellness Meats gift certificate.” Nothing happens when I click that icon. Can you please enter me into the raffle (and I hope to win the Wellness Meats gift certif).

    • On the iPad widget, you need to click “Enter” and it will display a list of the entry options. Clicking the image of the iPad will not work. Please email [email protected] if you continue to have trouble.

  16. I’ve tried to sign up but don’t appear to have all the requisite details. For example:

    a) Password request: What exactly is this? It comes immediately after the Email field. Whenever I sign up to something new, I always make a note of my password and there’s nothing for C.Kresser so I’m sure I’ve never had an account.

    b) Apply coupon: Where do I find the requested ‘coupon code’? I’ve trawled everywhere and can’t find anything. I’m beginning to lose the will!

    c) If my questions are answered in time, will I have to jump through hoops of fire to enrol? Unless it’s relatively easy, I’m not interested. I prefer to walk away from unwarranted stress these days.

    • The confirmation code would have been on the confirmation screen you saw after completing a program purchase. If you lost that code, you can enter your Purchase ID from the email confirmation you received after your purchase.

      To enter the raffle, you need to click “Enter” in the widget above (at the end of this blog post) and it will show you the entry options.

  17. I’m confused. Thought I just purchased the $37 program (entered my credit card data) and got a confirmation code, but do not see where to enter the code on this page. Also, will I receive program materials via email or ????? Thank you.

    • At the bottom of the blog post above there is a Raffle widget with a picture of an iPad. Click “Purchase 14Four” as the entry option and there is a space to enter your code. You’ll need to be on a computer not a mobile device.

  18. Simple question folks, my apologies if it’s been asked already; is the diet portion of 14four compatible with “low-carb”? Or would I have to modify things completely? I’m currently doing a strict ketogenic diet, 20g of net carbs or less a day.

    • The program is 5 weeks. Week 1 and 2 are all about preparation, week 3 and 4 are your 14-day “reboot,” and week 5 is for evaluation, transition and creating a personal strategy for moving forward. The name 14Four comes from the 14-day reboot where you focus on 4 areas of your health: stress management, sleep, diet and movement.

  19. I understand the philosophy of adhering to a “Paleo” whole foods approach. I’m a Vegan; I’m assuming that this program would not be for me?

    • The meal plans would not work for you, but the other three areas of health: stress, sleep, and movement would be applicable.

    • When you buy the program, it’s associated with your email address, so I’ll need to talk to our tech team about the best way to do this. I’ll get back to you soon!

  20. Sorry to add another question. Is this something my husband and I can use together or at different times? As in he start this month and I start next month? Are all the documents downloadable or viewable online through an account?

    Thank you so much. I think so much of this would help both of us. Also would we have to substitute for any allergies, such as seafood?

    • All of the documents are online and available for download, so you can start the program anytime and access the materials at any time. There are a few recipes with fish that would need substitutions.

    • Hi Greg,

      It starts whenever you’re ready to start. It’s ongoing, there are no particular start dates. We designed it that way to be as flexible as possible. That said, there are four webinars included for those who sign up by 10/25 and the first one will be next week (date TBA). It would be helpful to have started Week 1 by that time or shortly thereafter.

  21. Hi Chris,

    You said in the above post that you had been unwell for a decade. I’m relatively new here, and I hadn’t read about your illness. I would love to read about the it and your healing journey. Can you, or anybody else please point me to the appropriate post(s).

    Thank you

    • There is no official start date. You can choose your own start date that works for your schedule. There are four webinars included for those who sign up by 10/25 and the first one will be next week (date TBA). It would be helpful to have started Week 1 by that time or shortly thereafter.

    • From Kelsey, one of our staff dieticians: Yes, 14Four will help with thyroid and adrenal function. It’s a moderate carbohydrate plan, which will help in both those cases.

    • I don’t believe you’d have any issues with the menu. And keep in mind, substitutions can always be made when necessary.

  22. Some of these comments are hilarious in the most ridiculous kind of way.

    Catherine…you have the patience of Job. Bless you. Lol

    I’d like to say that the site is attractive, professional and well run. Kudos for a job well done.

    • You can absolutely join the program and the raffle. Just note that you’ll only be eligible to win a signed copy of the book.

  23. Is the program suitable for people with adrenal fatigue? I’m in the early stages and find exercising other than gentle walks n stretching or yoga really taxing on my body.
    Also, is alcohol permitted? I’m guessing not, but thought I’d ask…

    • The exercise routine has good options for beginners if you want to try something more gentle, but listen to your body in this case. Also, alcohol is not “permitted” and probably isn’t good for someone with adrenal fatigue to be drinking very much of anyway.

  24. Why make everybody jump through hoops to sign up for the raffle? Either auto-enroll them or use a check box so participants can sign up for the raffle with one click. Web Programming/Design 101.

      • I can’t get in to raffle copter to use my paid for code. It says to close tab to continue to raffle copter but I close it and nothing happens. I am on an iPhone.

        • Please try on a computer and see if that works for you. It seems Rafflecopter is having issues on mobile devices.

  25. In addition to having celiac disease, I am dairy and egg intolerant. Will the food plan be easily adaptable to allow without being impossibly restrictive? Paleo recipes tend to rely heavily on eggs.

  26. Took my credit card info, gave me a raffle coupon code, ran me around in circles trying to find how to enter the raffle. So I’m signed up for the program, but no raffle. Obviously, that is not a priority, but it makes me suspect as to the intentions of the organization.

  27. LOL, guess you can delete my other comments. I finally found where to enter the code. It was not obvious to me. Must be my brain fog. 🙂

  28. Well I placed the order, and got a confirmation code, but *still* cannot figure out how to enter the raffle. All I can see is a tab that says “enter to win” but nothing happens when I click it. Looked at Terms and Conditions to see if I needed to click something there, but nothing to click, I’m about to give up and ask for my money back! So frustrating.

    • To enter the raffle, please click on “Enter to Win” and then click on the entry option “Purchase 14Four.” Enter the confirmation code, and click the green “Enter” button. Please enter the confirmation code from your purchase confirmation screen or the order ID from your confirmation email. If you continue to have trouble, please email us at [email protected] and we can troubleshoot.

    • To enter the raffle, please click on the entry option “Purchase 14Four,” enter the confirmation code, and click the green “Enter” button. Please enter the confirmation code from your purchase confirmation screen or the order ID from your confirmation email. If you continue to have trouble, please email us at [email protected] and we can troubleshoot.

  29. I already follow a nutrient dense diet, get 7-8 hours a sleep a night and do daily yoga, but still feel unwell. Would this program really be beneficial for me, or is it going to tell me what I already know and have learned from Chris’s articles and podcasts? Is this for people new to this lifestyle? Also, would this be good for fertility as I can’t afford the Baby Code? Like is it worth it for the Q&A sessions alone? Thanks for your insight!

    • 14Four does not cover specific health issues, so you will not find information about fertility in the program. This is geared towards people looking for a mind-body reset, those new to Paleo, or those that already have the information, but struggle with application in their day to day life.

    • I guess the only questions that get answers are ones that involve people paying for the program. I’m happy Chris is building his offerings (and getting paid for his talents), but it would be nice to have the answer to this question so people with a similar background can know if this program is RIGHT for them before they spend the money. Or do you want us to just use the money back guarantee? In which case this is leaning more infomercial than effective program in my mind. This wording is also making me question the integrity of this program and giveaway: “Posting on Twitter will earn you three entries and following me on Facebook will get you one entry.”

      • Jan, we already replied to Cari’s question above:

        14Four does not cover specific health issues, so you will not find information about fertility in the program. This is geared towards people looking for a mind-body reset, those new to Paleo, or those that already have the information, but struggle with application in their day to day life.

  30. I just placed the order, but I’m disappointed in all the hoops I have to jump through to “enter” the raffle when initially I was promised all I had to do was sign up and pay for 14four.

  31. Chris, I am so grateful for you and your work. I did my first 30 day reset 3 years ago with great results, fell off the wagon, then did another this July. Since then I have completely crashed–not because of the reset, though! Because I knew then it wasn’t diet, I was able to dig deeper into some of my chronic problems and have found C.diff AND parasites. I am finally getting appropriate treatment and will slowly get better. Without everything I have learned from your blog and podcasts, I don’t think I would ever have been able to figure out what they symptoms were pointing to. Thanks for your informative, balanced, research and practice-based advice.

  32. Every time I try to submit my order or pay through paypal, I keep getting a message that someone already exists with my email address… (me)

    • Dody, Since you are already a member of, you need to be logged into your account in order to make a purchase. Please login and then visit to make the purchase.

      • Note: we have changed this setting so that current ChrisKresser members do not need to be logged in before signing up for 14Four.

  33. How is this program different from the book Your Personal Paleo Code? I was going to buy the book. Is all this information in there?

    • Chris’s book, Your Personal Paleo Code, is the “manifesto.” It will explain the “why” with some information on practical application, but more of a focus on the concepts. 14Four is the “blueprint,” an online program focused on practical application. It will help you to implement the nutrition, stress management, sleep, and physical activity recommendations Chris makes in the book.

  34. Now it won’t take my my puxhase confirmation code. Copied and pasted and keyed in three times, still won’t take it. Any suggestions?

  35. Another glitch…..asks for email address, but won’t take the order because there is another member with that email (me!).

    • Deborah, Since you are already a member of, you need to be logged into your account in order to make a purchase. Please login and then visit to make the purchase.

  36. Trying to purchase 14Four, it keeps asking for my phone number but there’s no place for phone number. Please advise 🙂

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