This postponement of the temptation to an unspecified time works because you are not denying yourself the pleasure, but at same time you are also not giving in to the temptation at the moment. You simply convince yourself to have it later.
Research has shown that this strategy actually decreases the desire for the item over time. The researchers found that this postponement strategy neither encourages guilt-ridden indulgence in an unhealthy treat nor does it encourage painful
abstinence, which often leads to binge eating later on.
However, study researcher Nicole Mead said, "It's not clear whether using the postponement strategy would work as a weight-loss method, as focusing on the dieting aspect of postponement might, ironically, keep the temptation in your mind, where you have to fight it."
The research was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Diego.