Here's what's going on in my kitchen right now. I'm making Peanut Butter Slutty Brownies. The bottom layer is peanut butter cookie dough. The next layer is full size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Then you pour brownie batter over the top of everything and bake it.
If you had told me years ago that this is how I would finally achieve and maintain a lean body, I might have laughed, or cried, or wanted to punch someone. Here's how it works. I'll cut this into 16 small squares, eat one after dinner, and freeze the rest individually. These things freeze amazingly. Then when I want something sweet, a taste of dessert this rich and delicious eaten after a meal totally satisfies. What did not satisfy was large portions of diet desserts. Light ice cream, bean brownies, sugar free muffins, protein pudding. I could eat a vat of those things and still want more. Two bites of one of these at the end of a satisfying meal and I'm done. No food thoughts for many hours. I eat better and less when I can have exactly what I want and when I operate from an abundance mindset. This scene is one of abundance! Scarcity is when you're only allowed certain foods, on certain days, after earning them, and other foods are bad/wrong/dangerous. That thinking drove me to overeat, even when my intention was to eat less. Like I said in the conversation a page or so back, I would overeat what was allowed (Weee! Chia seeds!) and then I would overeat what was forbidden (OMG, Oreos!). Trying to keep a lid on my appetite and cravings was a full-time job because my brain felt deprived and threatened. It's nearly impossible to eat "normally" when you're always hungry and you don't enjoy your food.
I'm happy with a freezer full of these things now. The last batch was in there for months before we finished them off. I didn't start off that way though, with huge quantities of very tempting foods at home. That would cause willpower to enter into it, and willpower is unreliable and easily depleted. You want to set yourself up for success. I started by eating previous "scary" "trigger" foods while I was out, a cupcake from a bakery or an ice cream cone from a scoop shop. That way I didn't have to deal with leftovers. The next step was to bring home and enjoy a single serving, like a candy bar, a single serving bag of potato chips, or an ice cream mini. Then I'd bring home two servings of something and practice eating one and saving one for another day. From there, I'd buy things that could be easily portioned and divided, like individually packaged nuts, fun size candy bars, or portioning things in Ziploc bags for mindful consumption with meals.
I didn't go right to having three family sized bags of potato chips on hand and eating them directly out of a huge bag while watching television. I still don't do that! I set myself up to succeed by eating meals when hungry and mindfully choosing my portions before I sit down to eat. I don't eat directly out of containers, I don't go back for more. I've learned about how much and what kinds of foods will keep me full for hours. It's always a combination of protein, carbs, and fat with some additional volume courtesy of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. I couldn't eat just a bowl of cereal, or some veggies and rice, for example, and think that I could get into those brownies and eat just one. I need to construct something with meat, veggies, whole grains, and fat. Tonight it will be a corn and whole wheat flour tortilla with beef, cheese, veggies, and sour cream. Followed by some organic blue corn tortilla chips with salsa. That's a satisfying meal. I'll eat a couple bites of brownie after that and be comfortable and happy until breakfast in the morning. There will be no dissatisfied cupboard surfing or wondering if I need more food. I'll feel light and empty when I go to bed 5 hours later. Maybe there will be a gentle stomach growl, maybe not, but I won't be going to bed stuffed and remorseful, or hungry and deprived.
I don't want to imply that my approach is the right way and you should imitate me. I'm just sharing how I think about it and balance things. Maybe it will give you some ideas you can use.
I will also say that the hardest part of baking these brownies is that it takes the entire bag of Reese's to cover the bottom of the pan. There's not even half of one leftover for the cook to sample while waiting for them to bake. :-)