Watching This New Movie Can Ward Off Weight Gain

movie theater popcorn

By Dana Leigh Smith

When you’re trying to lose weight quickly, everyday social situations—like heading to the movies—suddenly seem more difficult to navigate. Lucky for you film fanatics, slimming down at the theater is as easy as swapping your ticket.

You and your BFF have been wanting to see the latest Julianne Moore flick, Still Alice, but she always insists on buying hard-to-resist movie snacks. So what’s a movie-loving dieter to do? Skip Still Alice and buy tickets to a comedy like Hot Tub Time Machine 2, instead. Why? People consume up to 55 percent more snacks while watching a sad movie than a funny one, according to new research. This news comes piggybacking on previous findings that suggest people consume significantly more food while watching action movies than talk shows, so skip Run All Night, too.

In the lab, a group of study participants who watched the tearjerker, Love Story, ate significant more than those who viewed the comedy, Sweet Home Alabama. The Cornell University researchers found their results held true outside the lab, too. Dumpster diving analyses of discarded theater popcorn revealed that moviegoers who watched a sad movie with this buttery snack ate, on average, 55 percent more than comedy goers.

The bottom line: To lose your gut, go see a movie that will make you laugh until your stomach hurts; it’s sure to make your friend’s gummy bears and popcorn look less tempting and can increase your metabolism up to 20 percent, too. That means if you spend just 15 minutes laughing at the silver screen, you could burn up to 170 calories! Now that’s a diet trick we can get behind.

Turning on the tube at home? Instead of mindless munching, turn to our not-so-sinful, but seriously delicious 50 Best Snacks for Weight Loss.