Hold the Butter: Your Guide to Smart Snacking at the Movies
Learn the facts about fats and calories in movie theater snacks and drinks, including strategies for cutting back on calories when going to the movies.
It's a snowy day. You bundle up to see the new blockbuster that just came out last week. What could be better than settling down in a cozy movie theater with a big bucket of popcorn in your lap?
Going to the movies is a great American pastime. But many people unknowingly consume too many calories and fat grams in the process. You may not have realized it, but those bucket-sized servings you buy are not intended to be eaten alone. They're really meant to be shared between friends or family members. A large box of theatre candy has multiple servings in it, too. Have one by yourself and you'll really be eating for six.
Movie snacks: a review Popcorn
A medium (about 11 cups) container of non-buttered popcorn has about 900 calories and 70 grams of fat. Check with your local theater about what they use to pop their corn. Although some have changed to heart-healthier non-hydrogenated oils, all are still high in total fat and calories.
An average box of candy at the concession stand ranges from 450 to 750 calories. Among the least damaging to your diet are gummy candies and chocolate mints. Still, mind the portions. Bite-sized chocolates have the highest calorie and fat content.
A small soda at a movie theater is the same as a 12-ounce can. It has about 170 calories and 42 grams of sugar. A large non-diet soda or lemonade is about 300 to 400 calories, depending on how much ice is in the drink. Sodas also deliver about 70 grams of sugar per large drink. This is equivalent to eating 6 tablespoons (over 1/4 cup) of pure sugar.
How to improve your movie snack rating Want to enjoy a theater snack without overdoing it? Here are some tips to keep you focused.
Don't go to the theater hungry. If you go to a pre-dinner movie, make sure you have a snack before you head out. You'll be more likely to resist the temptation at the snack bar. Go for the gum. Keep your mouth busy with sugarless gum, or suck on a couple of sugarless candies. Share! Split a small popcorn (400 calories, without butter) with a friend or two. Must have candy? Get the smallest box and share with your movie partners. Choose a better beverage. Opt for bottled water, tea or coffee to sip on. Consider the calories. Most value combinations should be shared with others. Otherwise, you could be consuming as much as 1,500 calories by yourself. Pocket the savings. A snack and a soda can cost as much as a movie ticket. Hang on to the money and let it pay for your next movie outing.In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy the art of being entertained! That's a surefire strategy that won¿t cost you any calories.