From skwigg's journal: Free days and cheat days really screwed me up in terms of anticipation and food romanticizing. If you know you can only eat that thing you want on that one certain day, it becomes way too big of a deal in your mind. The anticipation makes you crazy, and then of course the meal itself can never live up to your expectations for it. The whole thing becomes weird. You're dissatisfied all week because you're not allowed to eat your special food, and then you're dissatisfied with your special food because it's never the rainbows and fireworks you had imagined.
I don't do the rules and romanticizing anymore. I can eat anything I want on any day. When I think in those terms, I usually don't want it right now, and I don't pine and daydream about a magical day in the future when I can have ice cream. Again, there are like 4 pints and 4 minis in the freezer. I could eat them all this instant, but I don't want too, and I tend not to think about it until I get around to actually eating it. Afterward, I'm not telling myself "Well, now you can't have ice cream again until a week from next Thursday." That would make it hard to stop. I may have some later that day, or tomorrow. Reminding myself of my freedom to eat whatever I want allows me to put the lid on the pint and forget about it. The cheat day thing took me years to fully get over. The main thing was making sure I enjoy my food every day, and not having any off limits foods ever. Even then, I would still overeat on my weekends sometimes, especially at night, because it was such a strong habit and I wasn't so skilled at questioning my thoughts. It just took practice, basically. I had to keep coming back to eating in a way that makes me feel good, and desperate overeating doesn't feel so hot. I felt like I was not to be trusted. Not at first anyway. Now, I totally trust myself, but it's something you have to learn. If you've never flown a plane before, you can't expect to hop in and take off. There needs to be lessons and practice first. Baby steps. Studying. You don't just go zooming down the runway and hope you figure it out, which is what many people do when they bring home tons of previous trigger foods and then kick themselves horribly for not being able to eat them in moderation. Duh. You don't know how to do what you don't know how to do. You have to practice.
Maybe you start by eating ice cream (for example) only when you're out. Then you bring home one single serving container at a time and practice eating that in a way that feels good. Then you bring home two single servings and practice eating one and saving one. When all of that becomes normal and easy, maybe you bring home something with 4 servings and practice eating a serving occasionally and making it last a week or two. Baby steps. Set yourself up to succeed. Trust is learned.