It is all about moderation! When our grandparents and great grandparents were young, people didn't eat out at restaurants every day, every week, or even every month. We didn't keep chips, ice cream, and so on in the cabinets. There was no such thing as Pop-Tarts...
There was REAL food. Things such as soda, ice cream, and restaurant meals were TREATS. They were eaten for special dinners out, going out on a date, birthday parties, and so on. They were not eaten on a daily basis.
Treats should be just that-a treat-not part of your everyday diet.
This is especially important not only for weight loss, but for general health. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a piece of cake, or a donut-when it is done in moderation as an occasional treat.
You have to be careful for a few reasons:
~Sugar and refined carbs are addicting! Seriously-the more chips and sweets you eat, the more you crave. This is why many plans such as South Beach and Atkins have an induction phase, or phase 1-because it is the part of the program that breaks the refined carb addiction by completely omitting them-and people actually suffer withdrawal symptoms!
If you are on a low calorie diet, and you have a sweet refined thing early in the day, you are more likely to crave it later in the day as well.
Try to go for moderation, eating treats (even low cal, fat free ones!) only occasionally, and to help a bit with the craving cycle-try to have it at the end of the day, so you are sleeping through the "sugar crash".
~On a low calorie diet, all calories matter!
If you are eating a low calorie diet for weight loss, then you are going to have to get more bang for your buck with your calories, to get in all of the vital nutrients, protein, and fiber in your day. If you are eating 300 calories of diet "treats" a day, that is 1/4 of your daily intake for someone eating 1200 calories a day...1/5 of your intake for someone eating 1500 a day. Try to keep your treats at 10% or less of your intake per day. (120 calories for a 1200 calorie plan, 180 calories for an 1800 calorie plan, etc.)
Sweets and treats are still empty calories!