what you are overlooking is the fact that maintaining is SUPER EASY. ive stayed the same weight for years ( the result of not counting calories. however, dipping into fat deposits is hard. therefore, you 'diet' ( aka extreme measures ) to get rid of the fat while maintaining LBM. then once you have gotten lean, go back to your normal way of eating. i promise you will not gain the weight back by tapering carbs back up, and eating your maintenance calories.
you arent supposed to stay on a ''diet'' forever - just until you have achieved the desired results. although, you are correct that you should look at your relationship with food and correct it if necessary.
edit: you will not lose 2-3lbs a week of fat without counting calories. how can you eat below maintenance and lose fat if you dont know what your maintenance is or what you're consuming?