I went to the movies the other night, and realized how much I used to love sitting there eating popcorn and drinking soda. I don’t even want to figure out how many calories I would eat sitting at a two hour movie, I’m sure it’s mind blowing. I decided that I wanted to snack on something. My girlfriend and I were out at Target, so we hit the candy aisle. I started looking at the $2 bags of candy, for something that would be satisfying, fun to have during a movie, and not insane calorie-wise.
It was downright depressing. Almost all of the bagged candy was about 140 calories (or more) per serving, with 5-10 servings per bag. I knew that if I chose a bag, opened it, and tried to just have a serving, it would be two, then three, then I’d say screw it, and eat the entire bag. I looked at bagged popcorn, it was just as bad. Licorice wasn’t the answer either, the reality of calories and sticking to a budget set in once again.
I was getting bummed out, and then decided to go look at granola bars and fruit leather/snacks, they were lower in calories, and smaller portioned, but still wasn’t what I wanted. I finally ended up with a moderate sized bag of beef jerky, 3 servings at 80 calories each. Yes, I ate it all, and while red meat is not the greatest for you (or the sodium), I think it was better than the 1000+ calorie mistake I was about to make. I also got a bottled water, awesome, no calories, and a total of 240 calories for my movie snack. I left room in my daily calorie budget, it was high protein, and a decent amount of calories in comparison to candy, popcorn, or nachos!
Some other ideas are granola bars, generally 110 – 200 calories per bar, fruit leather (natural) around 80 – 160 calories depending on serving size. If you’re at home, you can air pop popcorn with no butter, and light salt for about 15 calories per cup! You need someone with a decent sized purse to smuggle it into the theater. The best thing to do is go with a plan in mind. If you like to snack during a movie, don’t deprive yourself, just make a better decision than the last minute popcorn/nacho/candy purchase, your scale will thank you, AND you’ll save a TON of money too. I think a medium popcorn and large drink tops $12 here in Portland. You can buy two packs of beef jerky (not the cheapest snack) and two bottled waters for that much!