Having a cheat meal every week can be a big reward for a job well done during the preceding seven days. When you are on a very focused nutrition program and you follow it to perfection, it can wear on you mentally when everywhere you turn there are advertisements for all the "wrong" foods.
The marketing agencies specialize in convincing you that it's perfectly fine to snarf down a super-sized fast food meal with 1,200 calories. That's what they get paid to do and they are good at it. To top if off, most people in our society think it's ok, too. Of course, when you look at their waist line compared to your ever-thinning waist line, you know the marketers are wrong. Still, some of those things that you shouldn't eat can be used as motivation....if you have the discipline to stop at just one such "reward" per week.
There are two factors, for me, in choosing a cheat meal; what to have and when to have it. With respect to when, that is really a personal choice. Personally, I like to have it Friday night. After a long week of working, working out and maintaining my nutritional discipline, it's time to grab some take out and head home to enjoy that meal with my wife. The other reason for Fridays is that I am usually busy on the weekend doing projects around the house, hunting & fishing or some other activity that keeps me burning calories. I know I will burn off the meal in short order.
Alternatively, maybe you know there is a holiday, wedding or big family gathering upcoming. Use that as your cheat meal.
As for what to have, my favorite is pictured above...a bacon bleu cheeseburger. My mouth is watering just typing this. While loaded with fat and simple carbohydrates, there is a ton of protein in that sandwich (I have to find the bright side, right?). It's not always what I have. I like a variety, but that is my go-to item. I usually have a nice cold beer for good measure and sweet potato fries (good carbs, bad preparation method).
Pick whatever you want; pizza, fried chicken, an ice cream sundae; whatever gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling after you eat it. Just be reasonable. Don't down a whole pizza or a bucket of chicken. Again, balance.
Here is another really valid perspective on cheat meals.
The lifestyle changes that I am advocating throughout this site are not intended to be punitive. I want you to achieve your weight loss goals that you established on the Home page. I also want you to realize that a reward system is necessary so this weight loss program isn't a grind (it can't be if you intend to use for the rest of your life). Use these special meals to mentally recharge and to satisfy the bodily cravings that you have been so effectively controlling.
Click on another link to further build your weight loss program. I'll be there with you.