6 Ways to Eat Smart at the Movie Concession Stand

6 Tips to Eat Smart at the Movies
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When you enter the movie theater, your inner voice likely shouts, “Popcorn, and candy, and soda, oh my!" You can practically smell that popcorn from the parking lot! But catching a flick isn’t an excuse to eat poorly. I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and I have six tips to help you eat smart at the movies.

Don't Show Up Hungry

If your stomach is rumbling before you even hand your ticket to the usher, bad decisions are sure to be made.

This is the same reason you shouldn't grocery shop when hungry!) If you can, eat a healthy meal beforehand. While some movie treats are better than others, the majority of them are meant for mindless munching. You’re much better off filling up on real food. After all, it's hard to practice mindful eating when the lights are out and you're focused on Benedict Cumberbatch’s abs! 

Avoid Discount Combos

Being swayed by "a good deal" is one of the biggest diet mistakes out there. The occasional movie treat is fine, but don’t throw caution to the wind and go overboard. You don’t need a calorie-packed beverage, savory snack, AND candy. Chose one, and enjoy. Have a little snack, but pair it with bottled water. Then change it up next time. There will always be more movie-snacking opportunities.

Check Out the Kiddie Items

The kids' menu should really be called the "portion-controlled menu!" The movie concession stand is full of snacks that are way larger than what someone should eat in one sitting.

A medium popcorn has about 800 calories... and that's without butter! Cinemark Theaters offers a Junior bag with just 200 calories. Other theaters offer similar options. So ask if there are kid-sized snacks, and stick with those!

Get Coffee

Most theaters offer coffee and other hot beverages. If you're craving something sweet, java with no-calorie sweetener is a great way to go.

The hot temperature will cause you to sip it slowly, and the caffeine could help you stay awake if the movie lags! And for at-home movie nights, make your own low-calorie coffee drinks.

Share a Soft Pretzel Instead of Getting Buttery Popcorn

As I mentioned before, movie popcorn is a bit of a calorie disaster, especially if there isn't a petite size offered. But a soft pretzel or order of pretzel bites can hit that salty-snack craving for way fewer calories! Just ditch the questionable cheese goo that's often served on the side and share that pretzel treat with a pal! 

Be Choosy With Candy

It’s no secret that candy isn’t exactly healthy. But plenty of sweets are relatively low in calories. Most gummy candy is a decent choice: Try Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, or Sour Neon Worms. If you’re a fan of a little heat, go for Red Hots. Those take a nice long time to eat! And if you've got to have chocolate, Junior Mints and Raisinets are among your best bets. No matter what you pick, I recommend sharing it with a movie buddy or two—most movie-theater boxes contain several servings! Turn that box over, and check the serving size before the lights go out. Rather outsmart those candy cravings altogether?

I've got you covered.

That’s all for now. The movie’s starting!

For more tips ’n tricks, plus guilt-free recipes, food finds, and more, sign up for free daily emails at hungry-girl.com

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