Instead of eating a whole bag of cheap potato chips that aren't even that good, I eat a small bowl of the more expensive potato chips I adore.
Don't eat celery for a week then splurge on two days of nothing but cake, eat HEALTHIER meals with occasional small bad-for-you snacks.
Don't eliminate mashed potatoes completely from you meals, just eat a small serving of delicious rosemary/garlic home-made mashed potatoes instead of a family-sized tup from KFC.
This is what I do. I eat what I want, just smaller amounts. I drink unsweetened iced tea and water - I'm sure that helps too.
I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
Why do people view food from a reward and punishment perspective?
If you think about it, diets play into the "good" and "bad" dichotomy. If I eat this healthy food even though my body wants unhealthy food and in essence, I'm punishing myself, I feel good about it.
If I'm a good girl, I'll have ice cream for dessert tonight.
I feel bad so I'm going to eat this entire gigantic bag of grease chips!
Isn't there a way to break out of these mindsets and view food for what it is, sustenance? Instead of going from one extreme to the other of eat crap then diet, why not just moderate your daily intake?
You can turn the punishing around by recognising you aren't punishing yourself but your taste buds. Your taste buds, you can think like this "I'm a slave to my taste buds, my stupid little taste buds!"
Having said that, chocolate sits well on the taste buds. As do other rich foods. A little goes a long way.
It's really about awareness and balance than good and bad.