Some times it helps depending on what you indulge in. But generalization is difficult. Remember the story of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. When a parent took his child to Swamii and requested him to advise his son eating to much of sweets, he did not advise then and asked them to come after two weeks. Swamiji was in the habit of taking sweets. First he stopped and then after two weeks when they returned, he thought he could advise the child against eating sweets. Preachers have practice first if the listeners have to follow them. But present days, we have only preachers who rarely practice what they preach.
Excellent write up. In this connection, I would like to mention that there are several instances of providing free food in many places in the southern part of Kerala. Many people believe that providing food for the needy is the best way of extending charity ( ANNA DAANAM MAHA DAANAM : Giving food is the best way of giving). In my village, it was a custom to provide food almost all persons in the village on every happy occasion like birthdays, weddings and shastipoorthy(60th birthday) etc. There are many temples in North Kerala and Karnataka providing free food for all. For example, If you reach Parassinikkadavu temple in Kannur in Kerala in the he morning, breakfast with either idli sambar or upma banana, lunch rice with at least sambar and thoran and evening diner with chapathi curry are served to all who visit the temple. The expenditure is met from the donations to the temple in cash and kind (food materials like rice, vegetables etc). Udupi Lord Krishna temple sumptuous lunch is provided for all from 1130AM to 230PM. In fact, there are very few hotels in Udupi preparing lunch as almost all including bus and auto drivers take food from the temple. Every one, rich or poor take lunch without any hesitation. On many imprtant occasions in my life, we try to provide a days food for inmates of really good poor homes, or palliative care centres run by committed NGOs in our place. More than giving the money, taking food with the inmates gives us immense pleasure. May be the 'Karma Kitchen' concept is a modern innovation of these instances of good practice in Kerala.