Tag Archives: Movies

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

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.