... I have major trouble self regulating because it's always (irrationally) in my mind that I may never get a chance to have have that chocolate, ice cream, fries, chips, whatever again...
I am doing the opposite for my daughter... She eats very healthy meals and snacks but has access to treats if she wants them...
She is completely self regulating, will refuse dessert if full and will stop eating a treat if she's had enough. She will also happily choose something more healthy if she's not feeling like a treat.
When I was around 8 a doctor told my mom I could no longer have sugar because I had "low blood sugar". My mom refused to allow me any sweets at all, even though other family members could. Please keep in mind this was many years before Splenda and all the other sugar alternatives. My friends would make fun of me severely because my birthday cakes would look so pretty but taste like crap. I remember going to town with a neighbor man around age 10 and he took my sis and I through the drive thru at Dairy Queen. He told us we could get whatever we wanted. My sis and I both got icecream (the guy didn't know I wasn't allowed sugar and I wasn't telling). When my mom found out the next day, I got a whooping (that's country for a beating that lasts much longer than a spanking).
As an adult, I can not have sweets in the house. I'm fine if they aren't here but they will be gone the next day if in the house (this includes entire boxes of Oreo's, entire cakes, boxes of candy, etc). Even though I know nothing will "happen" over night to make the food disappear, I still have the mentality that I better eat it all while I still can. I have tried explaining this to family, stating sugar is an addiction to me and please don't bring it over. They still will bring numerous sweets to my home each visit and just tell me not to eat it if I don't want to. They just don't understand and I can't stop myself. I'll find myself awake at 3 am and eating those cookies and that pound cake while everyone else is asleep. I just can't control it.
I allow my kids to have whatever food they want, whenever. They can have their dessert before dinner if they want (at a restaurant because I don't keep it at my house). They are able to self-regulate and still will eat healthy, balanced diets. My daughter is a bit better about it than my son but I'd never restrict sugar because I know what it can do. My daughter is the type who can get a whole bucket of Halloween candy, keep it in her room, and still have candy left over by Christmas. She can take two bites of cake and then move on to her carrots or whatever.
We have a neighbor girl who isn't allowed any sugar. She goes NUTS whenever she can get her hands on sugar, eats nothing but the sugary food and then begs for more sugar, even eating other peoples sugary crumbs off the floor (seriously).
People should not restrict food, even sweet stuff for their kids imo. I know what that does. If you make something taboo that is exactly what the kid craves. If my kids never wanted to eat anything but sugar, I'd have to work out a system of dessert only after healthier foods were eaten. But I'd never restrict it or limit it to only special occasions. I think it usually back fires in the long run.