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(CNN) - Experts say it takes at least six weeks to form a habit, and there are many ways you can establish your own good habits to help lose weight and keep it off in the New Year.
Keeping a record of everything you eat and drink can jump start your weight loss journey.
When she was in her forties, Charmaine Jackson's weight hit 260 pounds. She knew she had to control her emotional eating. 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 that sort of triggered the whole exercise, eating, trying to sleep more," Jackson said.
Jackson has been keeping a daily food record for six years. Now 130 pounds lighter, she has no plans of stopping.
But you don't have to keep a food log this long to make it effective, said registered dietitian Marisa Moore.
"You can keep it simple, try a few days to start," she said.
For better or for worse, you write down everything that passes your lips.
And 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 said the science behind 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," she said.
For Jackson, the accountability factor works.
"It helps me really be in control of my own eating habits," she said.
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