I've been RRARFing for the last couple of weeks. Don't be scared by the way it sounds-- RRARF is an acronym for Rehabilitative Rest and Agressive Re-Feeding. It's Matt Stone's creation, and you can get his free e-book to read all the details, but I'll outline the basics here.
RRARF is a program to heal and speed up the metabolism. Matt defines metabolism as "the ability to produce cellular energy at a high rate." When your metabolism is high, it keeps you healthy, resistant to disease, and hopefully keeps you lean.
However, the point of RRARF is not to lose weight. It's to get your metabolism revved up to where it's supposed to be. Matt says, and I think he's on to something here, that when we reduce our calories to lose weight, we are setting ourselves up for failure. The way to lose weight and keep it off is to have the body lower its setpoint, and the weight will slowly drop on its own.
This is so different from what we hear all the time that it's hard to believe. We are constantly bombarded with the mantra to "eat less, move more." But what if our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for? What if our bodies send signals to eat exactly what they need, and when we don't provide that nourishment (by dieting, for example), the body responds by slowing down the metabolism?
The idea behind RRARF is that for about a month, you overfeed the body. You can eat almost anything except sugar and polyunsaturated fats. That leaves you with all-you-can-eat of real, healthy foods. You can measure your progress by taking your temperature each morning. You also get a lot of rest. RRARF is really about learning and listening to your body cues.
Sad to say, before I started, my temperatures were in the mid 95s! That indicates that my metabolism was very slow. My cellular energy was quite low, and I could feel that-- I had less energy than I have ever had. After RRARFing, my temperatures are in the mid 97s, and I can feel a big difference energy-wise. (note: armpit temperatures are generally up to one degree lower than oral temperatures.)
What I have loved about RRARF:
1. It's really helped me understand my hunger cues. I don't think I'm much of an emotional eater. But I did find that there are times when I'm hungry, but I don't feel that it's "okay" for me to eat (it's not a meal time, or we're about to have dinner or something), and those are the times when I'll reach for chocolate chips or something to tide me over. By taking sugar out of the picture, and being encouraged to eat whenever I was hungry, I understood what my real hunger signals feel like, and learned that I just need to eat when my body is telling me to!
2. Understanding body cues means listening to more than just hunger signals. The body knows when it needs to rest, when it needs to move, etc. The body knows what it needs and I need to listen!
3. Measurable results. We want to measure results in inches and pounds, but RRARF helps you measure another aspect of your health. Seeing my body temperature rise so much in such a short time shows me that I am really doing something good for my body. I also feel that I am setting myself up for future weight loss.