Women trying watchful eating still consume as many calories as those who don't.
Researchers at Utrecht University in Holland found that frequent dieters not only robbed themselves of the pleasure of food but also failed to lose weight and felt negative emotions about their eating, the Daily Express reported.
In the study, a group of women - who thought that they were taking part in supermarket food-tasting - were left for 10 minutes with high-calorie chips and chocolate-covered peanuts and low-calorie crackers and apple slices.
Next, the women were quizzed about their emotions and attitudes to food.
The results showed that the so-called "restrained eaters" had eaten just as much as others, including high-calorie food, but felt greater guilt.
The study has been published in the latest edition of the Psychology and Health journal.