When she was in her forties, Charmaine Jackson weighed 260 pounds. That's when she knew she had to put the brakes on her bad eating habits, so Jackson put 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.
It's been working. She's been keeping a daily food record for five years and is now 130 pounds lighter. Jackson is also still writing and doesn't plan to stop.
You don't have to keep a food log this long to make it effective, says registered dietitian Marisa Moore.
"For better or for worse, you write down everything that passes your lips," Moore said.
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.
She says the research supports the effectiveness of record-keeping.
"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.
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