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caveman-computerFirst you couldn’t have more than 10% fat in your diet, then carbohydrates became the source of all evil*. Slow-Carb waged war on the various Schools of Paleo. But the Food Pyramid continues to loom over them all like some kind of Eldritch abomination.

Weight machines were once all the rage, but then free weights became king. Then Tsatsouline brought kettlebell back into fashion, while others urged us on to condition ourselves with our own bodyweight, like convicts.

Eggs, coffee, and long-distance running caused perennial headaches to gurus all round.

So how does the layman observing this cacophonic monkeyhouse deal with all the noise? Simplify. Simplify the shit out out of all this crap and reduce it all to the following basic question:

Would you have been doing this 10,000 years ago?

Diet fads and exercise methodologies come and go, but the human body remains constant – at least on the timescales that matter. Apply the Caveman Test – and you are unlikely to go very far wrong.

Should you count calories? Erm, lolzwut? No caveman would know what a calorie even is. Forget all those Weight Watchers programs that would have you obsessing over that extra 5 calories you ingested at lunch.

How often should you eat? Did hunter-gatherers eat 6 carefully portioned meals a day – or did they alternate between bouts of fasting and feasting in-between their hunts? There you go – intermittent fasting. Feel free to give breakfast the finger if you’ve never liked it anyway.

Did you eat grains? No, they ate root tubers. When humans started eating grains, life expectancy plummeted relative to the levels of the Paleolithic Age. But here’s the thing: Humans have adapted. Partially adapted. Some human groups have adapted more than others. East Asians have been cultivating and eating rice for more than 10,000 years, and it remains a major staple of their diet to this day; but they nonetheless boast some of the world’s lowest morbidity and obesity profiles**. It is not an unreasonable hypothesis that their physiologies have evolved to better process grains. Reinforcing it is the observation that some of the world’s worst obesity crises are among peoples that have only very recently adopted grain heavy modern diets – the Ameri-Indians, the Samoans, etc. If you are East Asian, you shouldn’t worry much about eating rice. You were doing it 10,000 years ago, after all. If you’re Europea, approach with caution – rice only arrived in Iberia only a millennium ago. And if you’re Ameri-Indian, flee for the hills. Other forms of grain however appear to be pretty much universally bad.

lactose-toleranceDid you drink milk? Again, no. But because its a useful trait to have, lactose tolerance independently developed among several human groups – and then spread outwards. But if you don’t come from those red and orangey areas, chances are high you are lactose intolerant. So don’t bother with it. Forget about GOMAD.

Did you eat fruit? Of course – whatever Tim Ferriss might believe. But here’s the thing: The fruits we have now are, quite literally, the fruits of labor – that is, of a long period of selection for size and sweetness. Take the strawberry. People like pretending that eating bowls of the stuff is healthy (I won’t even go into stuff like orange juice). Here is a picture of wild strawberries – that is, the genuine ones – that might change your mind on this (and don’t forget they would have all been foraged, and only available for part of the year).


What kind of things would you have eaten that you don’t eat much of now? Root tubers. Organs. Bone marrow.

How would you have exercised? Certainly not by lifting symmetric weights in “sets” according to a certain schedule. Anything but that.

How about:

  • Ripped rock climbers.

    Ripped rock climbers.

    Bodyweight exercises: Pressups, pullups, squats, bridges.

  • Gymnastics.
  • Rock climbing/bouldering. Seriously – have you ever seen a fat rock climber? It’s pretty much perfect as far as developing the optimal physique is concerned. Most of the muscles (except the pushup ones) are worked out from all angles and directions; there is the strongest of incentives to drop weight, which acts even at the subconscious level; and reaching the top is inherently motivational. There are now many gyms with bouldering walls.
  • Sprinting
  • Wrestling
  • Lugging about uneven weights

What else would you have been doing differently? According to Cracked, a leading scientific authority, pretty much everything: Shitting, bathing, breathing, sleeping, childbirth, dental hygiene, sitting. (Well, okay, Cracked’s articles can be quite dubious in many cases – but that one hits the mark.).

Well, you get the idea. Don’t obsess too much over one guru or another. Use your own brain – apply the Caveman Test.

Would you have been doing this 10,000 years ago?

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
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While researching a different topic I stumbled upon the following 2006 report on the Internet. It contains comprehensive estimates for the prevalence of birth defects all around the world. The relevant graph is reprinted below (you can click on it to get a bigger picture).


What leaps out at first sight is the sheer extent to which the worst affected countries are Muslim ones. Of the 29 countries with a birth defects prevalence of over 70/1,000 births, only 5 are not majority Muslim. 9 of the worst 10 are Muslim. Furthermore, whereas those five are all very poor African nations, the Muslim ones include very rich Arab states like the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

What explains this? Is it something in the water?

Almost certainly this is due to high rates of consanguineous marriages. As hbd* chick has frequently pointed out, the institution of father’s brother’s daughter is prevalent and commonly accepted pretty much only within the historic borders of the 8th century Caliphate. This is arguably a very regressive custom: While it promotes familial loyalty, the side cost is high rates of clannishness, nepotism, depressed national IQ’s… and, as graphically illustrated above, birth defects.

The country with the least amount of birth defects per newborn is estimated to be France.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
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The WHO has recently released a list of countries by their average BMI and it makes for interesting reading. Obviously of relevance to younger world travelers, “love tourists”, and mini-retirees. It confirms many stereotypes, but also throws up a couple of surprises. It is reprinted below the text for some of the bigger and more visited countries in order of the female BMI (because it’s more socially consequential than male BMI). But first, some general observations.

(1) The thinnest countries are Third World places like Bangladesh and Vietnam where it’s probably more due to malnutrition than anything else. Unless you’re into stick-like peasants in paddy hats, you should probably pass up.

(2) Japan is the best Asian First World country, and France is the best European First World country.

(3) No wonder Roosh is enjoying Romania so much.

(4) The observations about the Dutch and the Scandinavians (okay), and the Brits and the Americans (very fat) tally with my own impressions. And stereotypes. And the influence of gender feminism.

(5) Argentina WTF? Didn’t expect it to be so low.

(6) Also North Korea WTF? One might have expected it to be on the level of Bangladesh or something, if the photos of everybody there who is not called “Kim” are anything to go by. Maybe they only measured North Korean refugees in the South? Or maybe the malnutrition situation there isn’t as acute as we are led to believe?

(7) A consistent pattern is that the women in Muslim societies are consistently a lot heavier than their menfolk. This is what happens, I guess, when societal norms confine most of them to the house all day. It is also a great demonstration of why equity feminism (as opposed to gender feminism) is a really good idea – contrary to some retards in the manosphere who want to counter Gender Studies with jihad.

(8) Russia, virtually identical to Germany and Finland, doesn’t do perhaps as well as the stereotypes of leggy, high-cheeked blondes might indicate. They are forgetting another, older stereotype: That of the babushka.

(9) All the East Asian nations have managed to avoid widespread obesity (although South Korea appears to be a close case). What explains it? The cuisine, the fitness culture, or HBD? One possible explanation I’ve heard (I think on Peter Frost’s blog) is that East Asians have had millennia to adapt to eating rice – hence why they don’t get fat on carbohydrate heavy diets, in stark contrast to their genetic relatives the Native Americans. On the other hand, agriculture did nonetheless first appear in the Fertile Crescent, aka the Middle East, so logically the natives there should be just as adapted to eating bread without ill physiological effects. But they don’t, to the contrary even poor countries there like Egypt, Syria, and Iran are quite corpulent.

(10) One final, general note: A high obesity rate in a place like Mexico or Kuwait is far worse than an equivalent rate in a country like Germany or the US. Why? Because your average German or American is much older than your average Mexican or Kuwaiti, and obesity rates tend to rise with age. In other words, as its population continues to age, I will not be surprised to see places like Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey begin to greatly exceed even the United States (the fattest major First World country) in the size of their girths.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
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I knew that gays had a maybe five or even ten times higher chance of getting AIDS and other STD’s than heterosexuals. I didn’t know the differential was actually more like 50.

Something like 20% of the US gay population (which makes up 3.5% of its total population) is HIV positive. It is 5% in the UK. But as of 2009, according to the CDC “male to male sexual contact” (see pp.58) accounted for about 57% of all HIV transmissions in the US (and of 75% of all HIV transmissions among men). “Heterosexual contact” among men accounted for a mere 8% of all HIV transmissions. Basically, if you’re gay, you should take far, far more precautions during sex than your straight counterparts – though in practice, it seems the precise opposite is taking place (“Carlos estimates that he has already had several hundred sex partners; he eagerly awaits the day when he tests HIV-positive – at which time his erotic interest, Carlos says, will then turn toward infecting another person – which is known as “gift-giving””).

The result is that back at the height of the epidemic in the 1990′s, life expectancy for gays was something like 20 years lower than for straights (those are risks far greater than for smoking). Assuming the gay population to be 3% of the male total, Canadian homosexuals had only a 32% chance of living from the age of 20 to the age of 65, far less than the 78% for the average Canadian man (or equivalent to a Canadian man in 1871). The study in question, however, was carried out at the very height of mortality from AIDS; since then, medical improvements have sharply reduced it, e.g. from more than 50,000 deaths in 1995 to a constant 20,000 or so from 1998 on. So I suppose the life expectancy penalty is now somewhat better than being a heavy smoker or an alcoholic (both about 10 years).

In other words, it’s a valid public health policy to make homosexuality culturally unattractive, as opposed to glamorizing it. And while it is certainly true that it does not apply to the vast majority of homosexuals, the statistics also destroy yet another liberal canard: That there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. In reality, studies indicate that 2-4 girls are abused for one boy, even though there are about 30 straights to every gay (the vast majority of sex abusers are of course male). Even allowing for necessary caveats – e.g., groups of male children are far more likely to be entrusted to males for supervision than groups of girls – that still strongly indicates that homosexuals are, on average, considerably more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals.

A corollary is that I am quite okay with Russia’s new law banning propaganda of the homosexual lifestyle to minors, the mewlings of human rights organizations and other putative do-gooders regardless. Funny how an hour or so of Internet research can destroy so much mainstream liberal “wisdom.”

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.