Very interesting musings. I think one of the key elements of the success I have had is to find immediate rewards in the form of fun food. Even before primal, one of my core rules was "have fun eating". So I got both immediate and future rewards. The most profoundly satisfying foods to me are the ones that follow the "rules" and are totally delicious. I win on all fronts, and knowing that adds yet another layer of reward.
In your quarter example, there was no question of hormonal influence and all the emotional baggage that eating certain foods have, which is why I think it is much less complex. It was a scientific example, in that he managed to reduce the experiment to a single variable, which rarely happens in real life.
I am also a great believer in rewarding weight loss with deliberate rewards, in addition to the esthetic and health benefits. And that these rewards should preferably be something that plays directly into the weight loss: fun clothes or activities that are only newly possible because of the weight loss. Banana splits are the absolute stupidest kind of reward possible. (Yes, I know that's not grammatical. 80/20 applies here too, LOL!)
The treat in your treats is the metabolic high of the sugar rush, or the emotional connections, the actual feel and flavour in your mouth. Like an earworm, it is best overcome by substitution. Wash the earworm out of your head with doses of better music, wash the treat out of your emotions with better treats.
5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again
More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
- Lewis Mumford