A Healthy Trip to the Movie Theater

23 Jul

Growing up, I knew movie theaters meant big red slushies, popcorn, and maybe some Reeses Pieces. Now, I know better. I still enjoy going to the movies and have picked up some tips over the years that make going to the movies a much healthier experience.


popcorn (Photo credit: danmachold)

Before You Go:

  • Walk: I know walking to the theater isn’t an option for everyone. But, here in NYC it’s about a 25 minute walk each way from my apartment. So, by walking to and from the theater there’s already some built-in fitness in the activity. If you’re driving to the theater, many movie theaters are in malls. So, set aside 20-30 minutes before and after your film to walk the mall at a brisk pace.
  • Eat a Meal:  I make sure that I always go to a showing that is after a mealtime. This way, I can make sure I eat a healthy meal before going and then won’t be stuck with just the food court/concession stand options for fuel.
  • Pack a Snack: Depending on your theater, it might be against the rules to bring in your own food and beverages. With that caveat out there, I like to pack a bag of nuts or a homemade trail mix and a bottle of water to combat that “mindless munching” craving I always get.

At the Theater: 

  • Avoid the Mindless Munchies:  Be informed. If you’re going to eat some of that popcorn, make sure you work it into the rest of your plan. As this article on Sparkpeople explains, the average large movie-theater popcorn has 100g of fat and about 1,300 calories. Even if your splitting, a couple handfuls of stuff has to be accounted for. Not to mention all that salt!
  • Bring a pack of gum: If you’re already busy chewing away,  you might not be as tempted to reach for your friends nachos. Preferably, make it something with a strong flavor (very minty, very cinnamon, etc.) so you know whatever you much on after that just won’t taste as good.
  • Keep Hydrated: Sometimes our bodies misinterpret thirst for hunger. Sip a bottle of water throughout the movie. Salty snacks like that homemade trail mix you brought along can make you thirsty.
  • Enjoy the show! Now you know a trip to the movies doesn’t have to throw you off track.

2 Responses to “A Healthy Trip to the Movie Theater”

  1. earthdrifter July 26, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I find movie food in the US to be generally uber expensive and very unhealthy. I always bring water and have made my own popcorn at home (costs 1/50 the price of the theatre). I don’t salt or butter it so it’s perfectly healthy.
    If you can walk, by all means, sitting in the theatre is already lethargic, no need to sit and not move in the car too.

    • SweetAccountability July 27, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      You’re right, on top of it being unhealthy it is so incredibly overpriced! Thanks for sharing and stopping by.

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