Quit the all or nothing approach – you don’t have to have not a lick, or a whole big slice. There are many stages in between that are a much more reasonable compromise.
The Three Bite Rule – I don’t know who came up with three but someone figured out that three bites of cake, pudding etc are enough to satisfy your tastebuds without compromising your waistline. I’ve sort of done this for years – not exactly counting three, but having a taste or two and stopping there. If it’s a cake, I only serve a tiny bit anyway. If someone else is doing the serving, it’s a good exercise in self control.
Eat before – never approach pudding completely starving! Have an apple (fibre, bulky, low calorie) or similar, a large glass of water, and warm caffeinated drinks like tea & coffee can actually suppress appetite temporarily in some people too.
Fill up on less earlier in the day. By which I mean, you can eat slightly lower calorie to buffer in room for a proper slice of cake if you wish (remember calories are the most important factor for weight loss), but make sure it’s the most filling and bulky foods – think huge salads with lean meat, eggs or chicken, cutting the calories instead from carbs and/or fat. Never skimp on protein & veggies!
Don’t have eater’s remorse. If you do end up eating more than you intended, don’t beat yourself up. Why? Because weirdly enough ‘falling off the wagon’ is the biggest reason for diet-tantrums, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and deciding you’re rubbish and you may as well eat a load more cake, and pizza, and sausage rolls, because you’re rubbish…..which as you can probably see from an outsider perspective is a little silly, and not helpful.