Before you make that trip to the concession stand, think twice about what it will do to your blood pressure and your waistline.
- Step 1: Order small sizes and resist the offers to upsize.
- TIP: Eat something healthy before you go to the movies so you won't be starving and susceptible to making bad food choices when you get there.
- Step 2: Choose water as a beverage. A small soda has 150 to 300 calories and 10 to 19 teaspoons of sugar, while diet sodas are linked with health problems such as metabolic syndrome.
- Step 3: Ask the theater manager what kind of oil its popcorn is popped in. Commonly used coconut oil packs a whopping 90 percent saturated fat, but canola is healthier.
- Step 4: Skip the pumps of buttery liquid and salty topping that will clog your arteries. It's like adding salt and butter to a bag of chips, and you wouldn't do that.
- TIP: Bring a small baggie or container of nutritional yeast in your purse or pocket to use as a healthy alternative topping on your popcorn.
- Step 5: Look for healthier snacks on the menu, such as animal crackers, fruit snacks, or dark chocolate.
- TIP: The candy packages in theaters are oversized, and once you start eating it's hard to stop, so buy just one package and share it with a friend.
- Step 6: Make better hot food choices by getting cheese pizza instead of pepperoni, leaving the cheese dip off nachos, and asking for turkey dogs instead of hot dogs.
- Step 7: Don't go back for refills. Chewing gum quietly will keep your mouth occupied and satisfy any urges to make a second trip to the concession stand.
- FACT: A recent study found that a medium popcorn and soft drink at one of the leading movie theater chains has as many calories as three quarter pounders plus 12 pats of butter.