There are several ways to avoid fattening movie snacks without taking away from the fantastic movie-going experience. Unfortunately, most movie-goers don't realize that there is even a need to do so.
1,800 calories. That's about a day's worth of calories for most of us, even if we're not trying to lose weight. What else is 1,800 calories? That large buttered popcorn and soda combo at your local movie theater. Add on a box of your favorite candy for about 900 more calories plus a refill on your soda, and besides a slightly sick feeling, you'll get almost two days' worth of calories in less than two hours of screen time.
Just Say 'No'
A small buttered popcorn and diet drink can't be too bad, right? Wrong. It's still going to set you back around 900 calories. With the average weight-loss diet promoting a 1400 to 1600 daily caloric intake, that's more than a meal. Who can stop at a small size anyway? The next size up is always twice as big and only 50 cents more. Why is that? Because the food is cheap and awful. It costs the movie houses pennies to produce. The best strategy when entering a movie theater is to breathe in that hot buttery smell, and say to yourself, "Isn't that nice. I'm going to save myself a bit of money and continue with my healthy lifestyle."
If You Just Can't Say 'No'
For many of us, snacking our way through a good movie is part of the movie-going experience. If we don't hear the rattle of a candy wrapper or the crunch of our popcorn in our ears, it just isn't a trip to the movies. In this case, going to the movies should be a very occasional treat while on a mission of weight-loss. It's also best to go just after a healthy and filling meal, so that movie snacks are just snacks and not a very bad meal replacement.
Sneak Your Own Food
Let's face it, if movie theaters began offering healthy alternatives at their concession stands, no one would buy them. Besides the $6 bottles of water, there is usually nothing on the menu that would qualify as a light bite. There may be big signs posted at the entrance that no outside food or drinks are permitted, but for the sake of your health, be an outlaw. Smuggle in your favorite healthy snack, and then play stupid if you get caught. Also, realize that movie eating is mindless eating. It doesn't matter much what the food tastes like so long as it's crunchy and in little pieces. Although pretzels, cheerios and dried fruit may not quite hit the spot, it's a good compromise when compared with the alternatives.
Become a Kid Again
If you haven't planned your smuggling properly, or just can't stand the thought of not hitting the concession stand for some movie snacks, a Kid's combo is the only reasonable solution. With a small scoop of popcorn, a tiny drink and usually a little baggie of chewy fruit snacks, it's just enough to give you that taste of the movies without completely blowing the whole thing. Be sure to opt for a diet soda, and take your little race car box of goodies proudly into the theater knowing that you're one step closer to living life in balance.