- Don't look at the meal menu: Don't fall victim to all of the heavy deals and discount combos — supersizing your drink is not worth the sugar, and that unnecessarily large tub of popcorn will leave you in a food coma. Being able to chow down on nachos, hot dogs, and pizza is a relatively new concept in the movie theater world. There's no reason you shouldn't be able to enjoy a snack at the theater, but avoid the complete meals — most of them weigh in at over 1,000 calories.
- Rethink your popcorn: If you get to a theater early enough, lots of concession stands will pop some fresh popcorn for you without the extra salt. If this unfortunately isn't an option for you, at least say bye-bye to the buttery topping. Even if someone offers you a deal, just say no. Opt for a junior-sized popcorn that will leave you satisfied — no one needs a jumbo popcorn!
- Sayonara soda: We know that soda is just bad news. Bottled water is always available at the theater, or save some money and fill up your own bottle at home! I was also thrilled to see a coffee bar the last time I was at a movie theater. Grab an equally refreshing large iced coffee at just a sliver of the calories of a large soda.
Keep reading for two more tips for healthful movie theater snacking.
- Look for lighter combos: Cinemark offers healthy Lite Bites, a combo pack that weighs in at fewer than 450 calories that includes a diet soda, trail mix, and a freshly made popcorn. AMC has its own version in a Smart Movie Snack bundle that contains trail mix, bottled water, and fruit chips. It's still a heavy snack, but compared with the burger, corn dog, and nacho combos, this is a far healthier bet that will fill you up. If you can't say no to the deal, consider sharing this with a friend. Outside of healthy snack combos, many theaters are offering options like pretzels with hummus, fruit bars, and Popchips.
- Choose the right sweets: If you're going to indulge in some treats at the movie theater, make the best choices possible for your bod. Reese's Pieces may be your favorite (they're mine), but one 8 oz. bag is a whopping 1,260 calories with 122 grams sugar! Instead, grab a box of Sno-Caps, then enjoy the whole box for 300 calories.