The Benefits of Cheat Meals
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Cheat meals are important for hormone regulation, maintaining your metabolism and keeping you sane.
If you’re in a calorie deficit for long periods of time, your body will start to think you’re in famine (starvation mode) and your hormones and metabolism will down-regulate accordingly. There’s plenty of research on this, google it.
My point is, Tom and I, we eat what we want, when we want it, unless we’re specifically focused on sports performance or something that requires more discipline for a while.
But, we never count calories (which is next to impossible anyway because things aren’t labeled properly). Watch The Nature of Things episode on caloric labeling- Go, David Suzuki! Anyway, off topic.. sorry, writing blogs is hard and I know I’m rambling but there’s just SO MUCH TO SAY ON THIS.
Anyway, so there are two main hunger hormones that are talked about all of the time: leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin is the hormone that regulates your appetite and controls satiety. AND, your leptin production depends on your calorie intake.
Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that tells you when you’re hungry. When you are trying to lose weight and are following a low-calorie diet, your ghrelin levels can actually increase.
Studies have shown that when people are underfed (which is what people are doing when dieting) and ate a large, high-calorie meal (or “overeat”), that their leptin production returned to ordinary, meaning that a cheat meal can replenish leptin levels to a normal state. With that said, our favorite “cheats” tend to depend on the time of year, or if we’re traveling. Ice cream on a summer day mulled wine at a winter market, pasta in Italy, you get the idea.
We still always try and stick to high-quality ingredients even in our cheat meals, so we’re not fighting off inflammation from ultra-processed foods for the next few days. For example, if we’re going to have pizza, we make a night of it and try making the dough from scratch. Because it’s fun and because then we know exactly what ingredients are going into our food and bodies. Speaking of pizza below is one of our fave pizza crust recipes. We top it with a million classic pizza toppings, pour ourselves a glass of red and watch whatever Tom’s latest obsession is on Netflix.
Enjoy your lives, peeps!
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 6 tbsp coconut flour divided into 3 tbsp portions
- 1 tsp oregano
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg, whisked
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot, 3 Tbsp of the coconut flour, and garlic powder, oregano, and salt. Stir well.
- In a measuring cup, combine the water, oil, and vinegar, then pour into the dry mixture and stir until dough forms.
- Now stir in the whisked egg. Once you have a sticky mixture, add the remaining coconut flour.
- Sprinkle extra arrowroot on your baking sheet, transfer the dough to the sheet and sprinkle with more arrowroot. Work the dough into a 10-inch(ish) circle, then bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how crisp you want the crust.
- Add your favorite toppings, and bake again for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!!!