'What happens to someone who theoretically would follow this diet plan through to their goal weight and then begin to eat at a normal healthy rate? I don't think they would maintain their loss.'
I think that's the key. If you achieve your goal by dieting, you don't (shouldn't) begin to 'eat at a normal healthy rate.' The definitions of 'normal' and 'healthy' may mean 'as you ate before, just less.' But eating less was never your strong suit, if you actually had an upward-trending weight over the years.
The counting-bites method never changes what you put in your mouth. There's a wide range of foods you accept as every-day foods and special foods and yummylicious foods, all of which can be put in your mouth. It's you who decides how to spend your x number of bites at a meal. No more than x number of bites at a meal and no snacking between meals. So, if when you reach your goal weight and you are at that point allowing yourself 14 bites of food (big ones, but they are bites), you can choose carrots, spinach, whatever shouts 'health' to you. But will you? That's when there's a shakedown moment: had those been your foods of choice to begin with, would you have gained all the weight?
The entire dieting sales pitch (any diet) seems to me to be saying, 'You can eat a lot - a LOT - 6,000 calories a day - and fit it into this small space that is your body's metabolism (figuratively speaking), and it will be so satisfying and you will lose weight so fast that you will never want to eat otherwise.'
Every diet message board, forum and website has people struggling with the plateau, even weight GAIN, and frustration at 'falling off the wagon' and failure to maintain. If you find the diet that accomplishes the 'eat all you want of everything you want and do that every day and never regain the weight,' then go for it!
The two diets described (the counting bites method is one, the weighing diet is the other) basically don't call certain foods bad. They don't say you can eat all you want and not gain weight. They don't say you can eat all you want and lose weight (the 'all' part of 'all you want' is important there). They say: here's a limit. You keep your eye on that limit. You obey the limit. You stick with it.
Sounds like dieting to me!
After achieving goal weight, then there's the vigilance of maintenance. And then, there's that 'eat normally and get the healthy food in' that - um, sounds like 'have your cake and eat it too'! The dieter would say, 'I'm not dieting any more, I'm eating just healthy food and I'm not denying myself things I like - the 'bad foods' - so I can live with this.
Mindful eating: the two diets describe watching what you put in your mouth and watching the scale. Sure, there are days when you retain water, or feel bloated or constipated. But the diets work over time, like any and every diet does.
I can't recommend either of these diets - I go to WW and keep my eye on the points. And for me, the going is slow, but it is going.