Monday, November 19, 2012


So, in the past month we've seen two blockbuster films hit our screens -  the new 007 film Skyfall and the saga that is, Twilight. I was one of very many who decided to watch Twilight at the weekend. I walked in to the auditorium trying to spot whether I was one of the oldest in the cinema (I was) and came out not caring -  I loved it!

Now, you probably agree that no trip to the cinema is complete without a box of popcorn or a tray of cheesy nachos to nibble on -  I’m  sure the kid behind me thought this as he rustled his packet  and noshed away pretty much all the way through the film! Anyway, as a nutritionist and ad-hoc cinema-goer, I thought I would take the time to discuss some great cinema snack ideas that we could opt for in replacement of those calorie laden foods available at the kiosk, particularly if you go the movies regularly or are trying to lose weight. You don’t have to ruin the cinematic experience and it doesn't have to be diet downfall!

Bring your own snacks
This is probably my number one tip and something I often do myself, firstly because it’s cheaper and secondly because I’m not then limited to the options available at the cinema.

Use fruit as a substitute for the Pic‘n’Mix
I have such a sweet tooth, but fruit with its natural sugars really satisfy my sweet cravings.  Try taking a bag of small sweet-size fruits like grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries or chop some fruit (e.g. an apple) in to small sweet-size pieces, and pick at these throughout the film instead of the bonbons.

Try vegetable sticks with your own dip
If you have more of a savoury tooth, why not chop up some salad sticks such as celery or carrots and/or take some bread sticks with your own low calorie salsa dip. Great alternative to the nachos.

Take your own drink
You don’t have to resort to water to keep your calorie intake down at the cinema; you can opt for the diet or ‘light’ soft drinks. The Oasis Summer Fruits light drink that I had on Saturday has only 5kcals per 100ml. Alternatively you could take your own low calorie drink rather than paying through the odds.

Damage Limitation
I love chocolate as much as the next gal, but you have to admit those king size bags are a bit excessive. If you do want to treat yourself to some chocolate at the movies, try buying your own smaller pack from the local newsagents. This way you still get a treat and a taste for what you enjoy, without going overboard.

Try a low fat yoghurt instead of ice cream
There are some lower calorie ice creams out there, but I don’t think you are going to find them at your local cinema, so as an alternative to ice cream, you could try bringing your own low fat yoghurt. Still nice and creamy but with half the calories.

I don’t believe in unhealthy foods, just unhealthy diets, so foods like hot-dogs and nachos can still be eaten, but moderation and portion control as part of a balanced diet is key. If you are going to purchase food from the cinema -  hot-dog, popcorn, nachos – always opt for the smallest size no matter how cost effective it is to go large. Remember, at the cinema you tend to engage in absent-minded eating, so even though your intention may not be to eat the whole pack of sweets, by the time the film has finished you notice you have noshed your way through the entire bag without even realizing it!

Eat before you go
You've heard people say 'don’t go food shopping on an empty stomach', well I think the same is true for the cinema. If you get there and your tummy is rumbling, it’s likely that all your good intentions to avoid the king size packs of chocolate and hot-dogs go out the window. If you eat a satisfying meal before you go to the cinema, it’s more likely that you will be able to resist the high calorie snacks and/or the large portion sizes on offer.

Let me know what you think of these tips and if you have any others to add, please feel free to comment below.

Later x

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