What would be a word or short phrase meaning not to do something for a certain period of time in order for it to feel better, or stronger, once you finally do it?

I'm looking for a better way to say this, for example:

What are the effects of not eating foods of a certain flavors for a few weeks in order to develop a more developed taste for it?

Though this of course makes me think of delayed gratification but I don't think it really applies here.

  • Maybe something along the lines of "resensitize"?
    – user888379
    May 28, 2019 at 17:36
  • Reculer pour mieux sauter used to be common among educated English speakers. May 28, 2019 at 19:03
  • Could you rewrite the example sentence with a _____ placeholder where you want the word or phrase to go?
    – k1eran
    May 28, 2019 at 22:07
  • Abstain; but it lacks the concept of anticipation of pleasure later.
    – Xanne
    May 29, 2019 at 4:03
  • @Xanne I much rather abstaining to eat than not eating thank you!
    – Hugo
    May 30, 2019 at 16:04

3 Answers 3


absence makes the heart grow fonder TDF an idiom

  • A separation causes one to feel even more positive about the absent person or thing.

As in:

We'll see if absence makes the heart grow fonder after our time apart.

  • That's a pretty way to say it, but I don't think it applies to the situation here.
    – Hugo
    May 28, 2019 at 18:37

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
― Aristotle

So you could say perhaps:

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet so let's wait until Christmas to have a turkey & ham for dinner!

According to goodreads.com the quote is from Aristotle, but I've read other opinions online.

  • Again I don't see this applying to the example, maybe my question isn't worded correctly, I tried to fix it.
    – Hugo
    May 28, 2019 at 19:51

Fast conveys the notion of not eating foods for a period time.

  • Which is not even what the example is about. I would not use fast about a specific food.
    – Hugo
    May 28, 2019 at 18:36

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