We can let go of any guilt for choosing the “real” thing over the “diet” version as this article shows. Not only do diet products substitute sugar and chemicals for omitted fat, they can mess with your appetite signals, damage your liver and lead to weight gain.
The author’s advice is to eat real food and rely on your own sense of fullness to guide you in knowing how much.
Some research suggests that a technique called intuitive eating can help. Instead of abiding by what you “should” or “shouldn’t” eat, this habit relies on consuming what you want based on listening to your hunger and satisfaction cues. Those who followed this method had lower body weights, according to a 2016 study.