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Looking back on my weight-loss journey, there’s one really crucial lesson I learned that I wish I had known from the get-go. It has nothing to do with how much to eat or which workouts burn the most calories or how to eat less sugar.

The most important—and most unexpected—lesson I learned was to maximize the amount of pleasure I was getting in my life. This may sound pointless or unrelated to weight loss, so I’ll break down why this is actually one of the most important things you can do if you want to lose weight.

When you pick up your very first diet book or go to your first support meeting, the focus of your life immediately changes. Rather than focusing on that cute guy at work or your desire to improve your photography skills, you spend your time and energy counting calories, measuring food, and scheduling your workouts.

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There are two fundamental problems here: (1) When your brain is consumed with food-related thoughts, you can’t focus on all of the other, way-more-important aspects of your life. So your life inevitably begins to become dull, and you end up feeling like you aren’t really “living.” (2) Dieting puts you in a deprivation mindset. You constantly tell yourself you can’t have what you really want, and that can trickle into the rest of your life. You start living in a way that leaves you feeling unsatisfied and devoid of pleasure. It all boils down to this: When food becomes your primary source of happiness, you’re going to eat more of it.

That’s how so many people find themselves on the weight-loss roller coaster for years—or even decades.

In order to break this cycle of frustration, deprivation, boredom, and eating, you need to incorporate way more non-food pleasures into your life. The more bliss you feel on a moment-to-moment basis, the less you’ll need to turn to food to get pick-me-ups. Prioritizing your pleasure will also affect the way you eat; all of a sudden, shoving a package of Oreos into your mouth in two minutes flat won’t seem nearly as appealing.

When I started down this path, I had to discover what pleasure meant for me.

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It takes time to start living each moment from a pleasure-filled perspective. But as you slowly move toward this way of living, food becomes just one more fun aspect of your life, not the be-all, end-all.

Here are some tips to add more pleasure to your day-to-day life:

More… The Key to Weight-Loss Success That Has Absolutely Nothing to Do with Diet or Exercise – WomensHealth