Do you ever wonder how many calories you’re consuming at the movies?
You might be in for a shock.
According to tallies on the Calorie King website, here is how some of your favourite movie snacks stack up:
A small bag of butter popcorn = 950 calories
Half a box of Peanut M&Ms = 315 calories
Nachos with cheese = 750 calories
A medium cup of pop = 300 calories
So what can you do if you want to satisfy your craving for sweet and salty at the theatre without tipping the scales? You’re not allowed to bring your own snacks into the theatre, but here are some ways to cut calories:
Don’t ask for extra butter but do share a small popcorn. I’m often tempted to ask for a medium sized anything—it takes discipline to ask for a small. And when it comes to movie popcorn, even more discipline to share. In this case, a medium popcorn without butter is 700 calories and a small without butter is 350.
Instead of peanut M&Ms, try another snack, like gummy bears. Though they aren’t healthy by any means, eating half a box of gummies is 200 calories. Pass them around and you’ll get a sweet chewy snack without going overboard.
Nachos are salty, crunchy and delicious. They are also easy to eat and mess free, unless you spill the cheese all over yourself. Most of the calories come from the cheese, so eat it sparingly and make sure there’s some left in your dish when the nachos are done.
Instead of pop, ask for water or a calorie-free drink, like Diet Soda or Zero Water. Again, not exactly healthy, but they definitely have fewer calories and zero guilt. Movie theatre concession stands tend to stock a variety of bottled options these days, so you’ll have lots of choice. When in doubt, you can also get a coffee and sip it during the movie.
If you want a little taste of everything and can’t decide what snack will satisfy your cravings, kids’ trays are also an option. They tend to come with a small portion of popcorn, candy and a drink. I find them unwieldy to carry from the concession stand into the theatre, but if we’re talking calories, you can’t go wrong with kid-sized portions of everything you crave.