When people ask me how is it that I eat ice cream and McDonald's and I'm not fat, I tell them it's simple. I don't prohibit myself from eating junk food, I just eat less of it.
Frankly, if I sat in front of the TV with a whole pint or liter of cookie dough ice cream, I would eat a whole pint or liter of cookie dough ice cream. So I pull out a tea cup and dole out a scoop.
Yet a whole diet and fitness industries have risen up to "help" people solve this seemingly intractible problem. It's really not brain surgery. For most people who don't have a hormonal problem, eat a little less, workout a little more.
Take money. I understand people going into debt if they're out of a job for a long time, embroiled in a lawsuit or working at Walmart. But short of those exceptions, it really isn't difficult to live within your means. I make a great living but I can't afford to fly first class or, sadly, buy these Lanvin sneakers -- correction, I can but I'd run out of money really fast. So I don't -- I fly coach and I buy these runners instead. And if times were tough, I would not travel or buy frivolous running shoes at all. It's not complicated.
This approach probably doesn't work when it comes to legitimately addictive substances: nicotine, alcohol, crack. If you have a substance-abuse problem, you need to not smoke, drink or shoot up at all. Maybe have an apple slice. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Rob Ford.)
But for most things in our lives, moderation can go a long way. The trouble is we live in a culture of entitlement where we convince ourselves we "need" things that we simply only "want." But wanting is human, so give yourself what you want, just don't be a pig about it. (Yep, still talking to you, crackhead.)