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FOCUS ON HEALTH - If you're looking to lose weight this year, experts say be patient as it takes a least six weeks to form good habits.
In Thursday's Fox Focus on Health, we introduce you to a woman who used a pen and notebook to drop the pounds.
When she was in her forties, Charmaine Jackson's weight hit 260 pounds.
She knew she had to control her emotional eating, but how would she do it?
She found the answer by putting her diet into words.
"I started the food journaling, and that's when the weight started to come off because I had already started exercising a little bit and then that sort of triggered the whole exercise, eating, trying to sleep more," she said.
Jackson has been keeping a daily food record for five years.
After losing 130 pounds, she has no plans of stopping.
But you don't have to keep a food log this long to make it effective, says registered dietitian Marisa Moore.
Try a few days to start.
"For better or for worse, you write down everything that passes your lips," said Moore.
There is not just one way to keep a diet diary.
"You can get an application for your smart phone to track what you eat."
Moore says the science from the record-keeping is strong.
"There's one study that showed that people who kept a food journal, they were able to lose about double the weight versus those who did not keep a food journal, but importantly they were able to keep the weight off."
For Jackson, the accountability factor works.
"It helps me really be in control of my own eating habits."