Watching Food Inc. has helped cut down on emotional snacking. Plus living far away from the city life has helped. Plus, I keep sugar out of the house. I control my environment a lot by necessity. When you're on a budget you buy the essentials. Also, hard to lose vanity pounds deter some of my food habits but I'm making yet another attempt at cutting peanut butter out of my life. Damn you peanut butter!!!!
I know that being on the penultimate day of my first whole30, not being able to consume butter (I almost always use salted butter) makes the effort of preparing/eating veggies a lot less appealing. So less palatable veggies = little to no veggies where I'd otherwise have eaten lots.
It's funny, I usually eat just about anything, always with flavorings that aren't unhealthy, but if you put it in front of me I'll eat it. I haven't been grossed out by something that people would actually call food, and the decision to eat one food over the other is just ordinary preference, or intellectual having to do with nutrition. Just as palatability doesn't necessarily determine food reward, it doesn't necessarily determine disgust either. Remember Stephan's goo-tube-fed human guinea pigs? The overweight ones ate only a little while the lean ones ate close to their energy expenditure. I think that under normal healthy circumstances we have the instinct to eat to maintain a setpoint regardless of palatability. Although we won't eat something that is poisonous or infectious.
That's just dealing with taste rather than emotion like the example of fat kids drinking soda. Not entirely sure about that one.
I am allergic to all crustaceans; my reactions to even very TEENY, TINY, MINUSCULE amounts of shrimp, crab, lobster, and crayfish are HUGE unrewards in my diet. I avoid them entirely - I do not even care of the smell of them; although I am told that fresh crustaceans do not have any odor.
Trying to exit Costco via the food court is totally enough to turn me away from pizza. It smells like grease and full garbage cans and old condiments. Not to mention watching the SAD overweight families stuff their faces. BLECH!
Even food poisoning from coffee can't turn me away from it. I am pretty sure it will have to be pried from my cold dead hands.
The concept of "rewarding" yourself with food has always made me feel uncomfortable. I get embarrassed when I hear adults say they are going to "reward" themselves with some food item because they've been "good." That just sounds like something Buffalo Bill would shout down a well.
I am more swayed by the unreward. Once it makes me feel really sick, the food is dead to me.
Food unreward is how I stopped binging on SAD foods. I spent a solid couple of months fully paleo, then fell hard on some foods that I didn't even eat pre-paleo (I'm talking half container of ice cream, loaf of bread, box of cookies hard). I felt awful, recovered on paleo foods, but a few weeks later, I did it again. And again.
It's been a month since my last binge, and I can confidently say there won't be another one coming. I realized there was no pleasure in eating the "good" foods—at least not more than healthy foods—and that the costs (glycogen storage/fatness, digestive issues, dehydration) were too high to continue.