If someone were to ask me my best piece of advise for dieting/weight loss... It would have to be not to restrict yourself of the foods you love. I've seen people make lists of foods they aren't going to eat to lose weight, and I don't advise that. In some situations, that may be necessary for various reasons, such as medical conditions or medications, but for general weight loss, it's only going to make it more difficult knowing you are restricting yourself from those those foods. It's perfectly fine to allow yourself a cheat MEAL... not necessarily a cheat DAY (that can really put you off track). If you are at a birthday party, it's fine to eat a piece of cake... not a HUGE piece, but a small slice to satisfy that sweet tooth! Or at holiday parties or Thanksgiving when there are so many food choices and you want to eat them all, you can! Just take one small serving from each dish! If you go to a restaurant and you want to splurge a little bit, then do it. Just plan ahead and monitor what else you eat throughout the day!
If you restrict yourself too much, eating will seem more like a chore than something enjoyable. Eating should be an enjoyable experience and your food should taste good. If you don't like it, don't eat it! If you are sticking to your diet on a regular basis, then it's alright to have a little treat. I did this yesterday... my little sister turned 13 (hard to believe!) and she wanted po-boys, so I ate one, even though I shouldn't have had the French bread since it has gluten in it. But they were homemade, so they were a little healthier than if I were getting one from a po-boy shop! I also had a piece of cake (Chantilly cake from Whole Foods! YUM!). I don't eat those foods often, but I really enjoy them.
Treating yourself and having a cheat meal should be something enjoyable. You can have a cheat meal (treat) once or twice a week, it's still easy to stay on track. Remember it's all about moderation! If you have a cheat day or two, that might make you stray from your diet too often, and next thing you know, you know you are telling yourself "Oh I'll get back to my diet tomorrow" or "My diet starts Monday, so I need to eat as much good food as I can." No... It should never end. As long as you maintain an overall healthy diet on a regular basis, you are less likely to do that. The more you put it off and make excuses, the longer it will take you to reach your goals. Another little tip... Don't refer to it as a diet. Refer to it as a lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle should include a healthy diet, regular exercise, and occasional treats!