No matter how hard we try to avert our eyes and tell ourselves definitively NO, snacks and movies go together like peas and carrots.  Unfortunately, portion sizes have dramatically expanded in the last 20 years and the movie theater concession stand is no exception to this rule.  A large tub of buttered movie theater popcorn has, on average, 1500 calories! For some, that’s enough for an entire day. Now theaters have (somewhat) tried to include (somewhat) healthy options, but let’s face it, there isn’t anything you can order at the stand that’s entirely guilt-free.  

Even if you’re sharing that large tub with a friend or a date, are all of those empty calories worth their weight in snack gold?  Especially when we tend to polish off the bucket before the opening credits even begin to roll.

So next time you head out for the theater, take a few minutes to gather (or prepare) some healthy snacks that you can sneak in.  Here are some ideas.

  • A bag of frozen grapes. They last, are delicious and refreshing.            
  • Make your own popcorn- the old-fashioned way, on the stove. And don’t add butter.  Use olive oil, pour the kernels in the pot and listen for the first pop.  You need to pay attention, and continuously shake the pot, but the result is a healthy alternative.  Bag the popped corn, and stash it in your purse.
  • Bring raw almonds.  They’re healthy, fill you up, and satisfy the need to crunch down on something hard.  Plus, after a handful or two, you’re usually satiated.
  • You hear this time and again and this won’t be the last:  drink water.  Cravings last about ten minutes, so if you have the self-control to pass the snack line, a bottle of water will ensure that you don’t make a U-turn.

-Arianna Schioldager

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