I am of the belief that there are all kinds of positives in avoiding caffeine and stimulants in general. I think you just develop a more sustained moderate energy rather than spikes and crashes. That said, there are probably far worse things than coffee in this life, but if someone is trying to heal it’s probably best to avoid.
I’ve been on this site a long time, and there are some positive longterm outcomes, but a lot of people give up, or decide it’s not working for them. HalfNavajo is an example of the perfect trajectory that Matt predicts. He ate a lot, gained about 20-40 pounds, I believe, and then it just fell off a couple years later. His girlfriend was going through the same thing last I heard – she had gained, stabilized, but it hadn’t dropped off yet.
Here are some things that I have observed during my time here, if that helps:
1) Anyone who has been on a low-carb diet is going to see some serious weight gain if the RRARF. It is unavoidable. It seems the only people with better results and minimal gain have added carbs in slowly and carefully. Such as coldmember did.
2) People who go on a crazy junkfood binge are not going to be happy with the weight results. There’s a reason we think of junk food as fattening. Some is fine as part of a general loosening up, but following a core healthy diet is important. And the goal should be moving to a healthy, balanced diet of mostly whole foods with some treats added in.
3) It is about much more than food. If you are eating a lot but not sleeping, dealing with stress, etc., you will not be happy with the weight gain. Yes, if you have an eating disorder or are starving for any reason, food needs to be #1, and don’t even worry about the other stuff until you’re no longer starving. But most people on this site don’t fit that description, from what I have seen. For some people it would make sense to simply cut down on PUFAs and focus exclusively on lifestyle factors.
4) If you are on a medication that causes weight gain, you will not be happy with weight gain on RRARF. There is no possibility for RRARF to overcome the powerful effects of a medication.
5) It simply will not work for everyone. Some people probably need some more guidelines and encouragement of moderation. If you don’t think it’s working for you, try to figure out why and fix it. Be mindful while you’re doing it
6) It is very risky to force yourself to eat more than you want, unless you have an eating disorder. I don’t recommend it. It will mess up your hunger signals.
I am of the belief (not from my time here necessarily but just life observations) that there are a lot of reasons for low metabolism besides food. For one, we have fluoridated water in the US and fumigate food with fluoride, so most of us ingest a lot and it likely slows the metabolism. Additionally, we consume pesticides and all kinds of toxins, and who knows what effect they have. Then there are all of the PUFAs, and the stress of modern life.
I think the answer in the end is trying to listen to your body and make friends with it. And proceed mindfully and with some moderation.