"Everything in Moderation" Doesn't mean what you think it means.
Over the years clients have used this word moderation to describe poor eating choices. And I agree partly that you shouldn’t restrict your diet from enjoying the foods you like. But let’s be honest with ourselves. If you have a steak every Friday is that moderation? If you “treat” yourself to ice cream every Sunday is that moderation?
As a personal trainer, in my humble opinion, moderation means irregular. Eating bad foods in moderation means not on a regular basis and not on a schedule. I advise splurging less often, perhaps once a month or less.
If you are truly craving something, give it a few days or a week. If you still want it then have it, but not because you are “allowed” to under the umbrella of moderation. Have it because you want it. Understand it is not as good as veggies or fruit and understand it may slow down the reaching of your goals but have it because you have free will. You are in charge of what you eat and how. Twisting a definition or guideline to suit you in order to feel less guilt can be more dangerous than just eating the damn chocolate.
You are not a dog. You don’t get treats for doing things well. You eat because your body needs fuel to survive. And you eat processed food and sweets because they exist and make our taste buds do summersaults. Moderation is a thing that means not often and not regularly and without extremes. But don’t eat bad foods because of moderation. Eat them because you want to... And then ask yourself why you want it.