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Intro- where to start?

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Intro- where to start?

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    Hi everyone,

    Great to meet you all. I’m a 30-year old fit, healthy Aussie female (or so I thought). I thought I was doing fine until I started charting my basal body temperature as we are trying to conceive and realised it is quite low- usually oral temps in high 35 degrees (say 35.7-35.9) pre-ovulation and around 36-36.2 post-ovulation and no change after meals. And I have had cold feet for as long as I can remember. And have bouts of exhaustion (though I’m doing much better with that these days as I learned last year to eat all of the foods… have a mother who always harangued me about how much I ate and I guess that stuck around for a long time).

    Anyway, so I have been trying to take better care of myself, though I’m not sure it’s metabolic driven so much as stress-related. I’m a PhD student and a general workaholic and am always on the go. I go through periods of the dreaded 3-4am wakeups and the crash and burn mentioned above (which I am now actively trying to manage).

    I normally eat 2500-3000 cals a day, generally healthy stuff (yeah I got on the whole ‘clean eating’ bandwagon thing + eat relatively high protein, high carb, moderate fat). I’m lucky that one of my favourite foods is icecream so that’s never lacking and I just rediscovered the joy of orange juice too. I’m 182cm tall, 77kg and I have 18% body fat measured by DEXA. I do strength training (heavy weights) 3-4x/week though I’ve dropped that in the last couple of months down to 1-2 sessions as my recovery was increasingly poor.

    It probably goes without saying that I have some hormonal issues (though hormones are all a-ok in blood tests) and was having long, anovulatory cycles, hence all of the rest lately. Obviously I’m never going to get pregnant unless I can get everything working the way it’s meant to, so I guess that is how I’ve ended up buying some books (halfway through Diet Recovery 2 at present, and also bought Eat for Heat) and seeing if I can do something about this naturally.

    I don’t really have a dieting history at all, other than probably slightly undereating for most of my life, but never consciously as such. I’m fortunate enough to have good body composition, good muscle mass + tone and general athletic ability, but just haven’t fed myself enough during times of very high output (by this I mean, for the last 3 years I’ve been doing a PhD, going to the gym at least 4 times per week, and renovating a house in all my spare time).

    So… I’m not sure which way to go. Right now I’m eating a lot (I would estimate 2500-3000 cals, eating to hunger and sometimes a bit more), resting a lot (I am going to bed as soon as I’m tired which means I’m sleeping nearly 10 hours a night) and doing less exercise and less house renovations. I don’t know if I’m a good candidate for RRARFing as I don’t have any of the symptoms listed in the book other than the low temp + cold feet (and possibly screwy fertility). I personally feel that some good rest, getting a grip on the stresses in my life and doing less in general may help. But, I’m clearly not an expert when it comes to work/life balance, so I’d love to hear from some of you with more experience and potentially some of the same issues to chip in.

    Thanks for any advice that you may have!


    Hi Amiaow, I’m no expert either but it looks to me like you’re doing everything right! Getting 10+ hours sleep, eating 2500-3000, managing stress and cutting back on workouts are great and I expect that you’ll see improvements from those. Also, I assume you’re watching your fluid intake? That really helped get my temperature up. I lost my period for 3 years due to under eating and I tried everything natural (acupuncture, massage, meditation, cutting back on workouts, essential oils…) but what worked was upping my calories (2500+) and taking a break from exercise. A few weeks ago I started watching my fluid intake and specifically eating for heat and my temperature if pretty steadily in the 98s and 99s in the afternoon (36.7-37.7 range). I’m hoping to get pregnant too so hopefully we’ll both be celebrating our pregnancies soon!! I’m sending you lots of good thoughts:)


    Hello Amiaow,

    just wanted to say that when I conceived both times my temps were in the low 35, 35.1 to 35.3 preovulatory and I still have two healthy children. I don’t have any history of ED, just eating really “healthily”. So I would consider myself healthy. I then discovered 180 degrees and wanted to become super healthy by raising my temperatures. I was like you, cold feet, low temperatures. So I have embraced the whole RRAF and now I’m not happy with my weight gain so I stopped it and now just eat to fullness. I have however learnt a lot like stop drinking huge amounts of water, watch your pee colour, rest more. I wish I had just done that rather than diving into it the whole hog and now struggling with extra 7 kg gained in 1 month alone. As Matt would probably say there is no guarantee that this will help you, especially since you have no history of ED. Just a thought to consider. You may want to start slowly and see where it takes you.
    I wish both you and saisrice healthy gorgeous babies!!


    Scarlettsmum, what do you mean by eating “healthily”. Because that’s what I thought I was doing at first and was WAY under eating and over exercising. How many calories did you eat before RRAFing?

    And about the Ed comment, is the process of weight gain any different than dieting?


    Eating more if you’ve been under eating or restricting, limiting fluids, resting as needed, reducing stress, etc helps everyone regardless of ED or not. 25000-3000 calories isn’t a huge amount of food and is what most people should be eating regardless of history. While it may not be a cure for everything, Matt says it’s a good place to start and bringing up temps and metabolism heals a lot (is great for fertility) and I’m almost positive that he doesn’t say anything about this being more helpful for people with ED or otherwise.


    i certainly wasn’t eating that much before, however now I just eat according to health at every size so i don’t know how many calories, but more than before i started rraf because i listen to my body now rather than ignoring it. however i now no longer eat just for the sake of raising my temps.hope that helps.


    If you’re happy with your health and feel good, I would question making any big changes. Many people end up wrecking their health because they’re chasing an ideal that isn’t really worth having.


    Thanks everyone, some great thoughts there. I might just keep doing what I’m doing for the moment and work on decreasing stress- I think this will make a big difference to me. Baby steps!!

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