12

votes

What should a healthy human look like?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 10, 2010 at 10:35 AM

If I surf the internet, I see many different standards for how a healthy human should look depending on the diet a particular site espouses.

Are we meant to have a very low body fat composition?

As a woman, should I have a "six pack?" Or should I aim to have more curves? Years ago, during the height of the low-low-fat craze, I had dieted down to what I then thought was ideal - and my breasts and butt pretty much disappeared. Now, on a paleo diet, I have curves and am slowly getting more muscular.

I see some groups who say that humans should be quite thin and wiry, that it leads to longer life and better health, and that we have been programmed over the years to accept a fuller, more muscular look as ideal, even though it is not. Added to this is a strange media compulsion with super-thin celebrity women. Are we meant to look like Twiggy? Or Marilyn Monroe? Or something quite different?

It's so confusing! What's healthy? What's sexy? What the heck should I look like, if I am a healthy woman, and what should a healthy man look like?

Thanks for your thoughts!

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:31 PM

nice. agreed!!!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on August 17, 2010
at 02:57 AM

Jessica Biel has an amazing body type. Athletic. Smoking Hot

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on August 17, 2010
at 02:55 AM

Looks scrawny to me

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:32 PM

Dairy can be surprisingly insulinogenic - my Type 2 diabetic mate at school can't even have cream or brie cheeses; she showed me the proof via a hypo after sharing my brie & egg breakfast (a planned experiment, washed down with almond pancakes and fruit... No jelly beans for her! She's learning!)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:27 PM

You weren't full of phyto-estrogens pre-paleo, were you Melissa? I had a friend who was eating soy once per day, and drinking soy milk with her breakfast cereal, and then cut it out - it was like both balloons had leaks... Maybe they were beer boobs, I remember you liked your hops ;)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:25 PM

Melmoth - on and off, but my preference has been the same since I was a teenager. For what it's worth, in that second article, Sean Connery is by far the hottest. But none of the guys in that piece look hard-edged to me - I'm talking cut and jaw-gaunt like the guy at the top and the guy at the bottom left of this page: http://www.lasplash.com/publish/cat_index_Style_and_Fashion_Los_Angeles_Events/Antik_Denim_2006_Collection_Fashion_Show_or_Rock_Show_.php

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:25 PM

Ha, I've seen Jolie in Lara Croft, Beowulf, and a few mags back in the day. Not lately. Sad if she's starving away, although perhaps that's parenthood for you...

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on August 11, 2010
at 10:13 AM

Perhaps we need a "Paleobabes" subsection of this site...

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on August 11, 2010
at 06:02 AM

"Saturated fat - makes your boobies big". We should emphasize this and the "evil" label shall peel itself off, hehe.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 11, 2010
at 03:37 AM

Diary is a notorious staller for the atkins style low carb type diets. For some, lactose has too much of a sugar like effect, triggers sugar cravings and more eating.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on August 11, 2010
at 03:11 AM

I concur. HOTTTT H-G's

C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on August 11, 2010
at 01:57 AM

If I recall correctly, Da Vinci was a vegetarian. That might affect one's perception of the Vitruvian man as optimally healthy.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on August 11, 2010
at 01:07 AM

Healthy humans have two arms and two legs. lol (just joking around) I agree. The Vitruvian Man is a good example.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 11, 2010
at 12:23 AM

Fortunately, those pics are rather old.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on August 11, 2010
at 12:20 AM

I like this, but Bread and Circuses were soon to follow.

92894924b5d2a542a650f3f778f53535

(130)

on August 10, 2010
at 09:17 PM

Can I just say... Everyone is always mentioning the Maasai, but at least according to the wiki, they haven't been using their traditional diet for at least 20 years. In fact, it says that meat is consumed on occasion, sugar is used, and corn can make up to 30something percent of caloric intake. Also, blood is used now only ritualistically. But I still agree with the dairy comment, the higher my calories to % of dairy, the easier the excess weight comes off, even with being in the same caloric and macro-nutrient range.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 10, 2010
at 07:53 PM

The photos were taken by pretty famous anthropologists who had grants to study in very isolated areas, so many of these cultures are still healthy.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on August 10, 2010
at 07:20 PM

Hannah, I like your answer :D

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on August 10, 2010
at 07:12 PM

Haven't really looked at many photos in the link, but...If these are photos of "native" peoples, they are relatively recent. How native are there diets? The camera = outside influence. N.A. reservations are some of the most impoverished areas where, as Taubes states, malnourishment and obesity were prevalent even 100 years ago. Obviously, I don't know the history behind the photos or the people...it was just a thought that occurred to me. But I would agree that 6-pack abs wouldn't be likely on a native woman. Body fat would have to be pretty low. My inner-grok says "woman soft".

0637289bb4a0ab314d80fa4de627d395

(1015)

on August 10, 2010
at 06:58 PM

Well. I think the standard media would say that full fat dairy causes people to become fat. Things such as butter, cream, full fat milk. Some of the paleo writers such as De Vany and Cordain write about milk's insulin spiking abilities and "other" growth promoting properties. In theory, the high insulin levels may encourage people to eat more as your body will likely by-pass stored fat as an energy source at that point.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on August 10, 2010
at 05:33 PM

I don't care for a woman that looks unbalanced, athletic trim with a little curving is hot. Jolie and Paltrow are too much to each extreme

Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on August 10, 2010
at 05:05 PM

I loved Angelina's curves as Grendel's mom in "Beowulf", though of course, she was digitized in that movie.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 10, 2010
at 04:09 PM

good one. I have to say that when i see shows like Bourdain's or Zimmerman's and they visit outoftheway african villages, many times people are in pretty killer shape. Dont think they're HGs most of the time but just sayin. Lots of those dudes are pretty cutup.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on August 10, 2010
at 04:03 PM

Why would anyone think that dairy makes people fat?

C0887358ae041723ba426a6ad4732cfc

on August 10, 2010
at 03:55 PM

If you don't mind a personal question, are you on the pill? When women are most fertile, they are more attracted to hypermasculine features than the rest of the month. The pill, however, eliminates that: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/10/07/are-birth-control-pills-changing-the-mating-game/ You refer to many of today's celebrities as "tough-jaw hunks," but some have argued that the pill has shifted male celebrities toward a more cherubic look: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1218808/Contraceptive-pill-women-attracted-masculine-men--interested-boyish-looks.html

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:52 PM

Yeah, I think I'd go for looking like Jolie in "Tomb Raider"; since then she always looks sickly to me.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:27 PM

This is not apropos of the question in any fashion, but I keep reading that tag as "six-pack-of-breasts" which is a really satisfying mental image.

C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on August 10, 2010
at 02:56 PM

Both the Greeks and the casting directors for 'True Blood' ;)

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on August 10, 2010
at 02:12 PM

That gallery is a fantastic resource! Not sure I agree on the Troibriands being the most attractive though.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:25 PM

Angelina Jolie a "healthy woman ideal"? Check out this poster for "Wanted"-- http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/blwantedposter.htm --closer to anorexia than health. I realize that her weight fluctuates, but Angelina Jolie has not looked healthy to me since she was Lara Croft.

0637289bb4a0ab314d80fa4de627d395

(1015)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:22 PM

Maybe it is not the dairy alone that makes you fat. Dairy plus "SAD" food makes you fat. Obviously the combination of certain foods has to factor in there somewhere.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:12 PM

Your last paragraph eludes to the answer especially to me - what does the opposite sex find attractive? It seems that we are attracted to healthy individuals. Obviously different people like different body shapes, but I bet there is a general consensus of sorts. I don't recall any of my buddies ever saying they didn't like women with curves, so I suspect you're right.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 10, 2010
at 01:09 PM

I guess I'm the only lucky one whose breasts shrank dramatically, from a C to an A. Oh well, still gots the hourgrlass.

Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

(4089)

on August 10, 2010
at 12:13 PM

This makes sense to me; let's let the Paleo experiment run for a few years, see what the hardcore Paleos look like then, adjust for our much greater availability of food, health care etc., and that's your answer.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on August 10, 2010
at 10:50 AM

Probably like Brad Pitt in Fight Club?

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16 Answers

7
2f6954550d0be62f5feae562daf1447b

on August 10, 2010
at 11:12 AM

The Greeks spent a lot of time thinking on this question. I think the Greek ideal, depicted for men and women in their sculptures is a pretty good answer.

C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on August 10, 2010
at 02:56 PM

Both the Greeks and the casting directors for 'True Blood' ;)

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on August 10, 2010
at 07:20 PM

Hannah, I like your answer :D

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on August 11, 2010
at 12:20 AM

I like this, but Bread and Circuses were soon to follow.

5
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:58 PM

I think some of these people are good examples: http://paleohacks.com/questions/7058/share-your-paleo-before-and-after

:)

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:31 PM

nice. agreed!!!

4
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 10, 2010
at 04:14 PM

I think it will depend on genetics and environment which originally developed together. Innuit are typically shorter and more stout. This is useful in cold environments. For the tropics, I think you will see more of the tall and willowy looking people. When food is scarce in an environment, smaller, shorter, more petite tends to be beneficial. When food is plentiful, then the environment better supports bigger humans with more muscles. Muscles come at a price. They require larger amounts of calories to support them on a daily basis. If you ever watch 'Survivor' on TV (reality TV show in which people try to compete and survive in nature with minimal food supplies), you will notice that big muscular guys seem to suffer quite a bit from exhuastion once the food supplies run out. It's often the trim but fit smaller people that handle the lack of food much better. In the same vein, big boobs are also body material that requires calories but serves less of an immediately useful purpose during times other than breast feeding. It's more efficient caloriewise to grow boobs for the baby and then have them shrink again. Boobs are also not efficient for running. I think they exist mostly as a sexual dimorphism that attracts the opposite sex than as a useful functional item on a day to day basis and they come at a caloric price that may or may not be worth if depending on the situation.

So personally I think determining healthy must be done more on the basis of other factors than just appearance. Obviously, you don't want to be hugely fat so that you cannot move quickly and you should not be a thin stick with ribs poking out. But I think for women, determining health would also be on the basis of fertility and lack of illness and generally feeling healthy and spry. The weight that yields this effect will depend on genetics as well as current condition of metabolic state after a lifetime in current environment. If metabolism has been damaged, that may effect what can best be achieved currently. And I also think that a naturally female curved body with a pronounced thinner waist is also a sign of health. Studies show that regardless of weight, a certain hour glass figure naturally attracts men more than any other female body shape. If you remember back 40 years ago, this is the shape that almost every woman had. Fat or thin, they had a waist and an hour glass shape. Evidence that something very wrong has happened is that women these days are looking more like men, with skinny legs and a big stomach. Weird! Fructose probably has something to do with that..

For men, I think the answer may be a bit more clearcut though. I think healthy men do not naturally have much bouncing body fat. They may be more trim and wiry or they may be more muscular and bulky, but I do not think it's natural for them to be flabby. I also do not think it's natural for them to look like a huge puffed out bodybuilder. THis kind of huge musculature is not seen in nature and is inefficient. If you are super bulky, you get tired just carrying your own bulk around and it slows you down and demands a lot of calories and special treatment to maintain. You don't see that in any natural culture. -Eva

4
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on August 10, 2010
at 02:29 PM

For men, I've always thought of this picture as a good example (besides being a very beautifull photograph). It is taken by George Rodger and the subject is the winner of a traditional wrestling match. Nuba are not hunter-gatherers though...

what-should-a-healthy-human-look-like?

I can't think of a female example (although the words scarlett and johanssen come to mind ;-)

[UPDATE] I found a few pictures for female healthy bodies, from Leni Riefenstahl (famous but controversial German filmmaker and photographer). Again this is not from a hunter-gatherer society. And these girls are relatively young.

what-should-a-healthy-human-look-like?what-should-a-healthy-human-look-like?

And I also like the idea touched in a previous answer: eat like a H-G and move like a H-G and you will know what a healthy body looks like. For a man, I think you will end up something like the fantastic Erwan LeCorre (from MovNat). Ofcourse, the would be no evolution without variation, so some will be bulkier, some will be more slender.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 10, 2010
at 04:09 PM

good one. I have to say that when i see shows like Bourdain's or Zimmerman's and they visit outoftheway african villages, many times people are in pretty killer shape. Dont think they're HGs most of the time but just sayin. Lots of those dudes are pretty cutup.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on August 11, 2010
at 03:11 AM

I concur. HOTTTT H-G's

4
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 10, 2010
at 11:49 AM

Great question! Here's my ramble of a ponderance...

When I started low-carbing (high-fatting), I noticed that my E-cups soon pushed out of their restraints - even now, an F-cup bra barely contains me.

I couldn't figure out why until I saw other bloggers reporting that they had 'boobs for the first time ever' after upping their saturated fat intake.

Those results tell me that, if we're meant to consume saturated fats (yes) then we're meant to be buxom creatures.

And the bonus is that is you're fit and not holding onto excessive body fat (whatever that means for your particular body), then you can certainly still have flat abs. A six-pack, I'm not so sure about, but if you can lower your body fat percentage far enough whilst still consuming decent amounts of sat fats, then in theory I could imagine it. And I have seen it before (including on people whose lifestyles shouldn't bless them with such physiques!); I'm more considering the possibility of my own curvy body ever getting that slim without possibly sacrificing fat intake levels... My body is muscular and curvy, a large-scale hourglass, so I don't think I'm the right type to end up scrawny and ripped without doing some serious starvation & over-exertion... Even then, I'd probably end up all jutting giant hipbone and ribcage, with a scary small waist!

Personally, I imagine Angelina Jolie as a current healthy woman ideal - she's not scrawny (often), she has muscles and some deadly curves. She seems quite effectively yet naturally proportioned to me.

In terms of what a healthy man looks like, I imagine Michelangelo's David: not too skinny, not too muscled, resulting in an attractive body without losing a softness in the face. It might be a hormonal/maternal thing, but I've always been attracted to otherwise-lean guys with baby faces. Once they get that hard, jutting jawline thing going on, I'm repulsed. And once they get a saggy gut and moobs, I'm gone! Given that so many of the "heart-throb" celebs out there are all tough-jaw hunks (of gristle) I tend to assume my preference is not a sign of acculturation... Am I wrong?

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on August 11, 2010
at 10:13 AM

Perhaps we need a "Paleobabes" subsection of this site...

Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on August 10, 2010
at 05:05 PM

I loved Angelina's curves as Grendel's mom in "Beowulf", though of course, she was digitized in that movie.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on August 10, 2010
at 05:33 PM

I don't care for a woman that looks unbalanced, athletic trim with a little curving is hot. Jolie and Paltrow are too much to each extreme

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 10, 2010
at 01:09 PM

I guess I'm the only lucky one whose breasts shrank dramatically, from a C to an A. Oh well, still gots the hourgrlass.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:25 PM

Melmoth - on and off, but my preference has been the same since I was a teenager. For what it's worth, in that second article, Sean Connery is by far the hottest. But none of the guys in that piece look hard-edged to me - I'm talking cut and jaw-gaunt like the guy at the top and the guy at the bottom left of this page: http://www.lasplash.com/publish/cat_index_Style_and_Fashion_Los_Angeles_Events/Antik_Denim_2006_Collection_Fashion_Show_or_Rock_Show_.php

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:12 PM

Your last paragraph eludes to the answer especially to me - what does the opposite sex find attractive? It seems that we are attracted to healthy individuals. Obviously different people like different body shapes, but I bet there is a general consensus of sorts. I don't recall any of my buddies ever saying they didn't like women with curves, so I suspect you're right.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:25 PM

Angelina Jolie a "healthy woman ideal"? Check out this poster for "Wanted"-- http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/blwantedposter.htm --closer to anorexia than health. I realize that her weight fluctuates, but Angelina Jolie has not looked healthy to me since she was Lara Croft.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:52 PM

Yeah, I think I'd go for looking like Jolie in "Tomb Raider"; since then she always looks sickly to me.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on August 11, 2010
at 06:02 AM

"Saturated fat - makes your boobies big". We should emphasize this and the "evil" label shall peel itself off, hehe.

C0887358ae041723ba426a6ad4732cfc

on August 10, 2010
at 03:55 PM

If you don't mind a personal question, are you on the pill? When women are most fertile, they are more attracted to hypermasculine features than the rest of the month. The pill, however, eliminates that: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/10/07/are-birth-control-pills-changing-the-mating-game/ You refer to many of today's celebrities as "tough-jaw hunks," but some have argued that the pill has shifted male celebrities toward a more cherubic look: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1218808/Contraceptive-pill-women-attracted-masculine-men--interested-boyish-looks.html

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:25 PM

Ha, I've seen Jolie in Lara Croft, Beowulf, and a few mags back in the day. Not lately. Sad if she's starving away, although perhaps that's parenthood for you...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:27 PM

You weren't full of phyto-estrogens pre-paleo, were you Melissa? I had a friend who was eating soy once per day, and drinking soy milk with her breakfast cereal, and then cut it out - it was like both balloons had leaks... Maybe they were beer boobs, I remember you liked your hops ;)

3
Df6b40dd55cf2c7e6097629b4febe4f2

on August 10, 2010
at 06:20 PM

Something tells me humans are supposed to look like this.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 10, 2010
at 01:15 PM

I think the Anthrophoto gallery is a good place to look. You'll notice that it varies based on cultures, but no woman has six-pack abs. I think the most attractive culture is probably that of the Troibriands, an Island chain that includes Kitava.

Interestingly, if dairy makes people fat, why are the leanest people in those galleries the Masai?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 11, 2010
at 12:23 AM

Fortunately, those pics are rather old.

0637289bb4a0ab314d80fa4de627d395

(1015)

on August 10, 2010
at 06:58 PM

Well. I think the standard media would say that full fat dairy causes people to become fat. Things such as butter, cream, full fat milk. Some of the paleo writers such as De Vany and Cordain write about milk's insulin spiking abilities and "other" growth promoting properties. In theory, the high insulin levels may encourage people to eat more as your body will likely by-pass stored fat as an energy source at that point.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on August 10, 2010
at 04:03 PM

Why would anyone think that dairy makes people fat?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 11, 2010
at 03:37 AM

Diary is a notorious staller for the atkins style low carb type diets. For some, lactose has too much of a sugar like effect, triggers sugar cravings and more eating.

0637289bb4a0ab314d80fa4de627d395

(1015)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:22 PM

Maybe it is not the dairy alone that makes you fat. Dairy plus "SAD" food makes you fat. Obviously the combination of certain foods has to factor in there somewhere.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 11, 2010
at 12:32 PM

Dairy can be surprisingly insulinogenic - my Type 2 diabetic mate at school can't even have cream or brie cheeses; she showed me the proof via a hypo after sharing my brie & egg breakfast (a planned experiment, washed down with almond pancakes and fruit... No jelly beans for her! She's learning!)

92894924b5d2a542a650f3f778f53535

(130)

on August 10, 2010
at 09:17 PM

Can I just say... Everyone is always mentioning the Maasai, but at least according to the wiki, they haven't been using their traditional diet for at least 20 years. In fact, it says that meat is consumed on occasion, sugar is used, and corn can make up to 30something percent of caloric intake. Also, blood is used now only ritualistically. But I still agree with the dairy comment, the higher my calories to % of dairy, the easier the excess weight comes off, even with being in the same caloric and macro-nutrient range.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 10, 2010
at 07:53 PM

The photos were taken by pretty famous anthropologists who had grants to study in very isolated areas, so many of these cultures are still healthy.

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on August 10, 2010
at 07:12 PM

Haven't really looked at many photos in the link, but...If these are photos of "native" peoples, they are relatively recent. How native are there diets? The camera = outside influence. N.A. reservations are some of the most impoverished areas where, as Taubes states, malnourishment and obesity were prevalent even 100 years ago. Obviously, I don't know the history behind the photos or the people...it was just a thought that occurred to me. But I would agree that 6-pack abs wouldn't be likely on a native woman. Body fat would have to be pretty low. My inner-grok says "woman soft".

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on August 10, 2010
at 02:12 PM

That gallery is a fantastic resource! Not sure I agree on the Troibriands being the most attractive though.

3
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on August 10, 2010
at 11:17 AM

I love that this is coming up, because we are beginning to question what healthy looks like for humans overall.

There will always be individual variation, but until we have a large (heh, or not so large) population by healthy humans who have been eating Paleo-Primal for at least 5-10 years, we shall just have to eat and act as healthily as we can manage and discover what healthy looks like for each of us.

I know that healthy for me can be be summed up as Fit-and-Fatal.

I want to look ready for action, and capable of fun, frolic, or combat as needed.

Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

(4089)

on August 10, 2010
at 12:13 PM

This makes sense to me; let's let the Paleo experiment run for a few years, see what the hardcore Paleos look like then, adjust for our much greater availability of food, health care etc., and that's your answer.

2
3ece011d5e0193458a73ae40096f97ea

(20)

on August 17, 2010
at 01:35 AM

It seems like the ideal body type would be that which promotes the varioous types of fitness mentioned around the web. Correlating these with why they were important 10 thousand years ago may give an idea of what the ideal body type should be. For example: 1. Speed (not marathon racing, but sprinting): increases the possibility of evading a predator or catching prey. 2. Flexibily: In order to hide from predators (think getting into tight spaces where a large predator (saber tooth!) couldn't go) 3. Strength: Successful hunting meant carrying one's kill to a safe location to eat. 4. Stamina: Exerting power over time may have meant the difference between life and death when dealing with a competitor (another human of a different tribe/clan) 5. Balance: Breaking a leg may have meant starvation in 10,000 BC. Useful for such activities as climbing; balance played an important role in survival. There may be others that I missed, but I think you get the point. The question is, what body type promotes these kinds of fitness? If you could "design" a human that is able to do well at all of these, I think you would have the ideal bodytype. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Check this out: http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/FitnessComponents.html

2
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on August 10, 2010
at 07:42 PM

Whatever body allows you to be fully active, healthy, fit, springy and do the job - whatever the "job" might be - running fast to reach bus, lifting boxes and furniture during your move, lifting and carrying children, thinking clearly... As well as support child bearing and feeding. Which also means - no skinny, deprived of body fat physique.

Recently I've been listening to Cro-Magnon book by Brian Fagan (I recommend it!) where he was speculating that for a woman the ideal was heavy buttocks and tights as that meant she was able to have children and breastfeed them for months and months. Healthy cushion around the mid-section was also a sign of bigger chances to survive winters.

We are living now in a very unique times - we have food all year round, in good supply. That was not the case for our ancestors, so it was natural they had to get on some fat during good times in order to survive winter/dry season. Which means that the looks fluctuated depending on season, age, needs...

Personally when I think of ideals in the world we live now, for women I see Jessica Biel, Tomb Rider Jolie (or when she's pregnant), Serena Williams or just any beach volleyball tournament participant :) For man? from the slim, wiry types to more bulky.. but never over done bodybuilder-style. it's impossible to achieve this kind of muscle growth through natural movements.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on August 17, 2010
at 02:57 AM

Jessica Biel has an amazing body type. Athletic. Smoking Hot

2
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on August 10, 2010
at 12:19 PM

As a male I can only offer an opinion but I think women can suffer varying degrees of reproductive problems when they reach very low body fat levels. Abs on a woman requires 11-12% BF and I understand this level can cause loss of the menstrual period and infertility, reversible of course. For this reason very low body fat levels, at least in women, don't seem like a feasible evolutionary direction. I find a lean toned curvy slightly muscular body on a woman very sexy. Although shite ads, I like the look of the models on those late night commercials for the ab machines.

1
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on August 13, 2010
at 02:10 AM

What an update Pieter D.

They appear to look like female warriors -- naturally being EOE (equal opportunity) I like the female versions as much as the male.

Watched Avatar again for family movie nite yesterday... I think the Na'vi are our quintessional futuristic optimally 'healthy hominid' examples of H-Gs interconnected ultimately with their environment: predator v. protector v. symbiotic-dragon-riders...

Thoughts? Sorry to be total geekazoidal sci fi freak...Noetic science have a part here (we are ALL interconnected)??

1
7bea72ef073e8f76b5828727f1460900

(2718)

on August 11, 2010
at 12:28 AM

I tend to think of the Vitruvian man as a pretty good depiction of what a healthy human looks like. That would be the picture on the left, below.

You on Paleo vs. You on SAD:

what-should-a-healthy-human-look-like?what-should-a-healthy-human-look-like?

Taken from my (shameless plug) Paleo for Life site.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on August 17, 2010
at 02:55 AM

Looks scrawny to me

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on August 11, 2010
at 01:07 AM

Healthy humans have two arms and two legs. lol (just joking around) I agree. The Vitruvian Man is a good example.

C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on August 11, 2010
at 01:57 AM

If I recall correctly, Da Vinci was a vegetarian. That might affect one's perception of the Vitruvian man as optimally healthy.

1
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:27 PM

"Sexy" is about how your perceive yourself as much as how others perceive you and how others perceive you has a lot to do with how you perceive yourself.

0
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on August 11, 2010
at 12:11 AM

Thin, but muscular. Not sure how to describe that. Bodybuilders have a mentality of gaining lots of bulging muscle mass. Most men and women just want muscle tone.

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