Keepin’ It Real #1: Making it Work at the Movies

Keep your arterial status safe

Keep your arterial status safe!

Your blogs are too long and cover way too much, and I don’t care about research. Once in a while, I just want you to tell me something without proving it.

LIKE WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIES?

I’m going to go see Skyfall. Let’s pretend I refuse to bring my own snacks like a social reject. I want to enjoy myself, dammit. But I don’t want my heart to stop before the movie finally starts. WHAT CAN I EAT?

Love,

Hatin’ in Hillsdale

Dear Hatin,

Thanks for your constructive feedback. To appease your attention span, I’ll get right to the point.

Cinemark and AMC now offer some “light” options for you peeps who still want to drop some bucks in the theater, but don’t want to stuff butter-coated hairballs into your arteries while you’re at it.

AMC first came out with Smart Snacks. For 7 or 8 bucks, you get:

  1. 1 bag of Chiquita fruit Chips (113 calories for dried banana, mango, and pineapple chips)
  2. 1 bag of POPCorners Popped Corn Chips (Kettle flavor, 140 calories).
  3. 1 Odwalla Trail Mix Bar (200 calories, peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, coconut and chocolate chips)
  4. 1 Dasani water

Cinemark got jealous, so since the beginning of 2012 they offer Lite Bites Orville Redenbacher popcorn, a Jamba Fruit and Nut Trail Mix, and a 16 oz cup of Coke Zero (totaling 450 calories).

The thing is, I’ve never actually seen these anywhere accessible. Now that I know they in theory exist, I’ll attempt to buy one the next movie I hit up and let you guys know if they are for real.

vomiting butterOK, I can’t seem to find these. Or… maybe I can, but I’d rather be a little more “fun”. Let’s talk popcorn. Isn’t it a whole grain?

Yes…popcorn is a whole grain! Movie popcorn I’d place in a different category, however…Most places practically fry it in coconut oil, which is mostly saturated fat. Also, if you get the “buttery topping” added on, you’re piling on 120 calories a tablespoon of something you don’t-want-to-know-it’s-not-butter. (Some places offer real butter, too, which is no caloric win, but at least it’s real.)

Cinemark, however, pops it in non-hydrogenated (meaning no trans-fats) canola oil.  Hooray for them!

Here’s the breakdown of the calories. PS- this is not the calories that the movie theater offers…this was determined by an independent lab analysis done by CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest).

CINEMARK—popped in non-hydrogenated canola oil

  1. Small = 8 cups,  420 calories, 2 grams saturated fat
  2. Medium = 14 cups, 760 calories, and 3 grams of saturated Fat
  3. Large= 17 cups, 910 calories, 4 grams sat fat

AMC – popped in coconut oil

  1. Small = 6 cups, 370 calories, 20 grams sat fat
  2. Medium = 9 cups, 590 calories, 33 grams sat fat
  3. Large = 16 cups, 1030 calories, 57 grams sat fat

So…you know your activity level and your caloric needs. I think most people should get away with sharing a small if you can. Just bring some mints or something to nom on since you’ll probably finish it before the first movie preview.interestingmanalive

Starving Student Trick #1: Pop your own air popped stuff at home and put it in a ziplock bag in your (friend’s) purse. Then, mix in movie theater popcorn to “extend” your small well into the movie!

OMG. I’m so thirsty. Yay for soda!

First off, don’t waste your money on the vitamin waters. Just get a tap water or bring your own water bottle in (you’ll just have to prove to the door peeps that it isn’t vodka). This country has not seen scurvy issues in most anyone’s lifetime, nor do you have the B-vitamin deficiencies these $3 and up bottles are hoping you think you have. No need.

Starbucks is now at Cinemark. More on how coffee is good for your health some other blog. (Just make sure you don’t drink it too fast while watching Skyfall– it’s like 2.5 hours, so you will have to pee!) Grab a decaf if you’re worried about staying up all night. Or, grab a $3 Tazo Tea which will make you wait the whole movie to drink it because it’ll be so uber hot! Starving Student Trick #2: Bring your own teabag and pay for the hot water and cup. (Holy ghetto, I know. But I have no shame.)

You didn’t hear me. Yay for soda!!

See this blog on Diet soda for whether the once-in-a-while diet soda will kill you. (Hint: it won’t!).  So I

Don't leave your drinks unattended

Don’t leave your drinks unattended

suggest diet soda here, if you absolutely must have a soda. Otherwise, here’s the digits on the regular soda:

AMC- REGULAR Soda:

  1. Small- 200 cal, 21 fl oz
  2. Medium- 300 cal, 32 fl oz
  3. Large- 400 cal, 44 fl oz

Cinemark- REGULAR Soda:

  1. Small- 150 cal, 16 fl oz
  2. Medium- 300 cal, 32 fl oz
  3. Large- 400 cal, 44 fl oz

Alright, what about CANDY!? I know, I know, I should be fine with my popcorn and soda. But let’s pretend I’m not going to listen to you and I’m having candy no matter what. What should I grab?

Right…cuz your popcorn and soda only lasted you through the previews… So my advice is stick with those two treats and call it a day. BUT if you must…

First place in the packaged food department goes to beef jerky.  Cinemark offers a 100-calorie pack of this dehydrated salty protein.  Coming in at second place is a low-fat ice cream or sorbet bar.  You can grab a Skinny Cow Low-fat ice cream sandwich for 150 calories.

Again, are you listening? I said CANDY!! Not dried meat and anorexic ruminant cattle.

Two cuties: Little Drew and the alien with heart.

Two cuties: Little Drew and the alien with a heartlight

As far as the candy goes, nobody even places.  Movie theater candy is a jumbo-sized version of its natural self (3-4 oz with a 1.5 oz serving size…you do the math!).  Top pick, if just a sweet satisfier is your goal, is Welch’s Fruit Snacks, which only are 130 calories.

Who comes in last? This kills me because I LOVE them, and I’m really sorry, E.T… But the loser is: Reese’s Pieces. The major reason why they lose? Portion size! It comes in an enormous 8 oz bag! M&M’s “only” is sold in the 5.3 oz bag, and here weighs in at 750 calorie.  Reese’s, because of the amount, rings in at 1160 calories, 122 grams of sugar, and 60 grams of fat.  (The peanuts also add in some of the calories, but still, an 8 oz bag is over the top!)

Life should not be about calorie counting and joyless eating. But maybe have  just as much joy with some 400 calorie Raisinets (a much smaller 3.5 oz bag) if you have to have chocolate no matter what.

Starving Student Trick #3: Pack your own trail mix of nuts and dark chocolate chips and some dried fruit if you need to mindless munch. OK guys, you may need to bring a purse to pull this off.

Marily O.

MS, RD, PhD

P.S.

Did you know that Mars said “no” when Amblin Productions asked to have M & M’s be E.T.’s favorite candy? Bad move. Hershey’s got one of the most famous and successful product placements ever!

P.P.S-

Starving Student Trick #4: Watch a movie on-demand at home and airpop your own corn. Add garlic salt, or add cinnamon and mix in a little bit of Cinnamon Life cereal for added fun.

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5 responses

  1. Love the starving student tricks! Movies are expensive enough! :). And hey, what better use for trick-or-treating candy. The kiddos love getting to pick their own treats. 🙂

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