I think you have accurately described how 'dieting' can really mess your head up and send a person into spirals of guilt because they cannot follow a plan. I am one of those people and I have given up dieting. If I have to think about what is in a splash of gravy or a scraping of butter on toast then life isn't worth living. Life is far too short anyway to be in constant denial. It's madness. OK, so people lose weight by strictly controlling what they can and can't eat, but we shouldn't really have to be THAT conscious of everything we use for fuel...or pleasure. The scales too are an instrument of torture. I have a friend who is forever hpping on and off them and her mood is lifted or deflated by the reading she gets. I allow myself foods that would never be on a diet plan and my weight never goes above what it is now...(my highest ever.) However I reached this high a few years ago after lack of movement and drugs following incapacitating ops...several in a row. I just didn't burn any calories for a few years I think.... Anyway..now I 'maintain'....which means I probably have to lower my calorie intake or move a lot more. I suspect if I moved a lot more I could continue to eat almost anything (in moderation, obviously...a cake and chocolate diet cannot be good for anyone). Post menopause I think the body has to be moved lots and lots! My enforced incapacity came at a bad time. I don't join slimming groups...counting points and 'syns' also wrecks ones thinking I suspect. It makes a person focus on a food and see it as a number....and put foods into 'good', 'bad' and 'forbidden' categories. I can devise my own healthy diet. The fact that I am not super-strict with myself means my weight loss is very slow..very slow, but I am less now than I was a few months ago. I need to learn to love exercise and I am working on incorporating more into my day. I refuse to diet though...and I remain quite cheerful and upbeat and still look forward to meals out without any fore-thought or dread as to how I'll cope. I no longer eat puddings...they just don't appeal any more, there is no yearning, craving or feeling of denial and that sort of balance has to be better for me. I will have a cream tea on the occasion it is offered, or before me...I will drink wine/champers and eat savoury treats if the occasion arises. It doesn't happen often and I don't feel in any way 'naughty' by indulging now and then. On a daily basis my diet is mainly healthy and fairly low fat - but only because I have no desire for chips, pastry, ice cream or chocolate. I'll have a bit of cake and a biscuit now and then, but if I don't buy them I don't eat them or miss them...so I tend not to buy them often. No deprivation, just 'looking after me' better, with no head-f*.cks.