Can cooking help you lose weight?

Turn off the television and get cooking, study scientists say.

According to a report published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, adults who consume home cooked meals without the television on have healthier weights than those who don't. The adults surveyed who watched television while eating their meals were 37% more likely to be obese. Those who spent time in their kitchens whipping up home cooked meals rather than eating out, ordering in, or microwaving dinners, were 26% less likely to be obese.

Shutting off the television is easy, but what if you can't cook? Start out easy. Buy pre-cut and washed vegetables, sliced up chicken or fish. Ask your busy friends for their favorite, easy recipes. Make your favorite home cooked meal and swap with your neighbor. Watch cooking shows for inspiration. (I can guarantee you'll feel the itch to try making your own dish after watching 12-year-old kids create restaurant quality dishes on Master Chef Junior).

Making your meals can be daunting at first. I know, because I used to eat cereal for dinner. Learning to cook, however, is a worthwhile effort. Try it once a week, then add in a second day. You can do it.

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