Sometimes even the scariest horror films aren't nearly as frightening as the calorie and fat counts of some of the snacks you'll find at the theater. HG's got the 411 on what to chew and not to chew at the movies.
If you're used to popcorn being a better-for-you option, you'll probably fall out of your chair when you find out the stats on the movie theater version. A large size with butter packs in around 1,500 calories and 130 grams of fat. That's a POINTS® value around 40 and almost two days worth of POINTS values for many people—ouch! Opt for the smallest one, leave off the butter and it'll still set you back around 500 calories and 25 grams of fat (a POINTS value around 11). It doesn't seem worth it at all. Especially since we're all used to munching on those mini bags that have a POINTS value of 1 to 2 each. So sneak in some microwave-popped bags—or just chomp on it at home, because movie theater popcorn + you = larger pants (sad, but likely true).
A "small" isn't that small
A movie-theatre-sized "small" soda (16 not-so-small ounces) clocks in at around 200 calories (a POINTS value of 4). The scary slushy machine pumps out an equally offensive beverage; with around 220 calories in each same-size serving (also has a POINTS value of 4). Skip 'em—stick with water or diet soda, and save your calories for things you can actually chew.
Helpful movie fact
Studies have shown that people eat more during sad movies than they do during upbeat funny ones. So arm yourself with guilt-free snacks if you're going to see a tearjerker!
Avoid going giant
Watch out for those giant-size movie candies, people!
A 3 oz. bag of peanut M&Ms contains 470 calories and over 24 grams of fat (a POINTS value of 11). Who needs that?
Reese's Pieces 8 oz. Movie Size has 1,200 calories and 60 grams of fat (a POINTS value 29). Zoinks!
Twizzlers 6oz. Movie Size contains 600 calories and 4 grams of fat (a POINTS value of 12). And you thought this low-fat treat was a good idea, right?
What to bring in
Here are some no-guilt movie snacks that can easily fit in your purse:
Tootsie Pops and Blow Pops: With just 60 to 70 calories each, and hardly any fat at all (Blow Pops are fat free), these lollipops have a POINTS value of 1, and will keep your mouth happy and occupied for a long time. Yum!
Weight Watchers Fruities: These are a fantastic alternative to the higher-cal gummies found at the concession stand. They are, without a doubt, my favorite movie snack ever (and I'm not just saying that because I'm writing this column for WeightWatchers.com). With less than 70 calories in an entire pack (a POINTS value of 1), these chewy sugar-and fat-free fruit snacks take a long time to eat, so one pack can easily last an hour or two. The catch is you need to go to Weight Watchers locations to buy them (but you don't need to be a member to purchase them).
Apple Slices: Apples aren't boring—cut up a pretty Fuji apple, squirt some lemon juice on it (to keep it from getting brown) and toss those slices into a zip-top bag. You'll have a delicious and completely healthy snack that has less than 100 calories and a POINTS value of 1. I'm obsessed with Fuji apples. Mmmmm!
Fat free candy
While no movie candy is actually healthy, sweet and tart Lemonheads are fat-free, and only about 100 calories per ounce. Plus, their super-sour taste makes it hard for you to overindulge on these lemony snacks. So if you're all out of options and you find yourself at the snack counter desperate for a treat, grab a box.