What SparkPeople Coaches Eat at the Movies

Going to the movies can be an enjoyable experience, but it can provide a host of temptations for anyone trying to lose weight or eat healthier. As soon as you walk in the door, you're hit with the smells and sights of delicious goodies--buttery popcorn, boxes of chocolates, cheesy nachos--the list goes on and on. So how do you enjoy the show without succumbing to the tempting treats? We recently asked SparkPeople's coaches how they handle--or avoid--movie theater temptations. Find out which of their strategies could work for you.

Chris Downie, Author, motivation expert and SparkPeople founder
"We often have 'family night' with our boys where we eat a healthy dinner while watching a movie with the lights low or off and then have fairly healthy homemade popcorn."

Becky Hand, Registered and Licensed Dietitian
"My son and I share a unbuttered popcorn. I usually bring a bottle of water."

Nancy Howard, Certified running coach and SparkPeople Community moderator
"I make sure I eat before I go so I will not be tempted."

Tanya Jolliffe, Healthy eating expert and SparkPeople Community moderator
"I almost never get treats at the movies. My husband and I came from families of six, and our parents would feed us before we went to a movie because it was just too costly to purchase tickets and snacks for all. My husband and I have continued to follow this same practice and eat before we go to the movie so we don't need a snack."

Jen Mueller, Certified personal trainer and SparkPeople Community leader
"My husband and I pick a small serving of candy from the 'pick-a-mix' station. That way we can pick exactly what we wanted and control the portion. Otherwise I end up feeling sick after the movie because I ate a giant box of Milk Duds."

Nicole Nichols, Certified personal trainer and SparkPeople editor
"When I was overweight in the past, I looked for any excuse to eat more food and to eat all the wrong kinds of food. I'd tell myself, 'You can't watch a movie without candy!' and consume thousands of calories worth of sugar each time I popped in a video or went to the theater. I had to re-train myself as I learned to eat more intuitively and lose the weight. For a long time, I consciously chose to not eat movie snacks even though I wanted them. It paid off and now I don't always associate an outing like a movie with food, nor do I feel like it's a must or that I'm depriving myself if I don't get it. These days, I probably enjoy movie treats 1/3 to 1/2 the time I watch a movie at the theater. It all depends on my choices for the day and whether I TRULY want something. My love of Twizzlers runs deep, so they are my candy of choice. I don't like movie theater popcorn (never have) or soda, but I love candy and will usually get that when I'm in the mood for it--as long as I've made healthy choices that same day or the days prior. It's all about moderation!"

Denise Tausig, SparkPeople Community moderator
"I don’t usually eat treats at the movie theater because it’s hard for me to monitor how much I am eating when the portions are large and I'm paying attention to the movie. If I do eat a treat at the theater, I will take a small portioned snack with me (a granola bar, a small portion of nuts, graham crackers, etc). Doing that allows me to have a snack without going overboard and filling up on a lot of candy."

Looking for healthy and low-cal snack ideas when you catch your favorite movie on the big screen? Check out Movie Theater Snack Attack for more suggestions!