I like them through a whole prep , initial for just a mental break and giving the chance to have a normal family dinner but they are semi restricted. As the prep wears on they change so that timing your carb up can be figured out
I definitely have. I wouldn't call it a weekly cheat but I have a 24 hour period of higher calories which is usually based around my weakest body part. I'll start 1 meal prior to training my weakest body part (legs) and finish the meal prior to training the next day. All the meals will be higher carb with the exception of my ore bedtime meal which stays the same. I've always felt this allowed me to go a little harder on that weak body part day plus the additional calories should help aid in recovery. Sometimes I'd add insulin in the mix provided the situation warranted it. I started following this protocol a couple years ago and have had some good success with it. 95% of the time, all meals are clean but the additional calories definitely curbs the desire to go stuff my face with a dirty cheat meal. Either way, 1 meal isn't gonna be the nail in the coffin if you are in the gym training 5 days a week + and eating a calorie restricted diet.
This is super dependent on how you are trying to recomp and how aggressive you are. I'm ALWAYS of the mindset that, unless you're in precontest, eating some "whatever the fuck you want" food once a week or twice a week is ok and keeps you sane.
When I'm trying to recomp (mostly just bulk and cut now) I'm usually zig-zagging my cals depending on my training and off days as well as reallllly dialing in nutrient timing as well.
A single big meal very high in calories will have a HUGE impact on both your physique and metabolism.
I've gone two full weeks without a cheat until fat loss stalled then went and had a 3000 calorie meal (IHOP Colorado omlet with 9 pancakes over over several hrs) , I woke up the next morning lighter and much tighter. It's crazy , I started sweating during the meal , blood pressure and pulse went up.
Some people prefer to have a full day where they just increase calories slightly above maintaince to help boost there metabolism.