When I was 18, I put myself through a weight loss program that lasted about 6 months and was actually successful. It consisted of eating a low fat/low cal diet, combined with lots of walking and mental discipline.
The way I kept up the discipline was to tell myself that if I wanted a fattening food, I could have all I wanted one day a month. So I would be on my best behaviour all days of that month but one: the 16th. Why the 16th? Because that's my birthday (in April).
Why did it work? Because I hate feeling deprived, and thinking I can't ever have something yummy like cheesy pizza or chocolate is a surefire way to undermine my resolve to lose weight. So it worked really well. I was able to avoid all sorts of temptations because I knew I had that one day in the month when I could eat whatever I felt like eating.
I would plan for the day, going grocery shopping the day before to buy those special items. It was great. Those days I was a student and had a lot more free time, so I would relish in the glory of being free to be glutonous for one day. I ended up losing 22lbs, which at the time was what I needed to lose to get back to a healthy weight. (I wish I could post before and after pics, but the ones I have are not digital. Maybe I'll scan them and put them here when I can).
So I decided to do this 1-day a month system now as well. I officially started my weight loss program 7/28/2010, so the 16th came faster than I expected. I didn't really plan for it, but I knew there were certain things I'd been craving which had too much fat for my points, like pizza, sushi, chocolate and my all time favorite: Chicken Korma from an Indian place in my town.
Out of habit (woohoo! eating healhy is becoming a habit!), I spent the work hours of my day eating low fat low cal meals and snacks (low points), but when I picked up my kids I bought them pizza and bought myself my often craved Chicken Korma.
In the spirit of freedom, I helped myself to 1 slice of my kids' pizza, and then proceeded to divide up the chicken korma into 2 servings. I also kept most of the sauce in the original container. I figured the sauce is the worst offender due to high oil, cream and sugar content.
In the past, I would eat the entire entre, down to the last drop of sauce. This time, I had half with much less sauce, but after I ate it I felt stuffed! This was a good surprise. It means I'm getting my stomach used to eating light. Heavy cream sauce, though yummy, doesn't sit well anymore. I also had a bit of my favorite kind of chocolate, which I used to have all the time. It contiributed to my stomach feeling stuffed. After that I felt heavy, tired, and I just wanted to lay down and veg out.
But, I had a date with my work-out routine at the gym, so I made myself go despite that tired stuffed up feeling.
Working out after that meal was the best thing I could have done. I felt 100% better after my hour at the gym. That heavy feeling was gone, and my stomach felt fine.
I'm glad I had my day to "pig out", but I did it responsibly and actually tracked every point! It put me 7 points above my daily allowance, so I was able to borrow from the weekly points (which I usually don't touch).
Now I'll happily do another month of low fat healty eating, until the next 16th!!!