Every year, people like to comment on how they haven’t seen most of the Oscar-nominated flicks. (FYI: That’s because summer is for shoot-em-up action blockbusters and the holiday season is for go-for-the-gold statues. And it’s only February, so you’ve barely had time.) But when has a little detail like actually seeing the movies ever stopped us Americans from allowing ourselves an excuse to indulge in some fun food? Baseball is for hot dogs, St. Patrick’s Day is for Guinness, and the Oscars is for eating stuff while watching pretty people try not to get drunk on live television.
Instead of lusting after the fit Hollywood bods and being mad at yourself that you flew through a sleeve of Thin Mints, we’ve curated a few guilt-free, themed snack ideas for staying slim while getting in the silver screen spirit. Don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers ahead; but if you’re paranoid about it, you could also skip right to these 20 Delicious Ways to Dress Up Popcorn for some homemade ideas that are way better than the buttery mess from the theater.
In Honor of The Martian: Baked Sweet Potato Fries
We don’t want to give away too much here, but potatoes are a pretty big deal in Matt Damon’s incredible movie about trying to survive alone on Mars.
Instead of basic spuds, bust out the sweet potatoes—because hey, you’re not on Mars—and whip up some sweet potato fries. They’re healthier than regular white potatoes because of the extra dose of fiber and vitamin A and you can get the recipe (and 19 more!) with these 20 Sweet Potato Recipes for Weight Loss.
In Honor of The Big Short: Harissa and Citrus Baked Salmon
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain makes a cameo in this Best Picture nominee about the financial collapse, complete with a snarky explanation that compares day-old seafood to sketchy bank deals. We’re not about to tell you to tell you to scarf down any questionable seafood—but a fresh and delicious fish dish is so money. Check out this fast recipe and more with these 20 Lazy Dinner Recipes.
In Honor of Bridge of Spies: Split Pea Soup
And here you thought we’d tell you to eat pie for the sake of a movie title pun. Instead, this Cold War-era movie gets a nod to staples like peas and carrots, which is also seen during dinner scenes. Split pea soup is a slimming choice for anyone watching healthy soup recipe and more with these 20 Best Fat-Burning Soups.
In Honor of Brooklyn: One-Pan Meat, Potatoes, and Veggies
Several of the scenes in the 1950s-set-Brooklyn are during dinner, with the main character and her peers daintily eating what appears to be well-balanced, meat and potato-looking meals. No offense to the 50s, but we’re going to go ahead and pop all those goodies onto a baking sheet, throw it in the oven, and call it a day. It’s still a nutritious, low-calorie pick and this kind of sheet pan supper leaves more time for gawking at who’s wearing what. Get the recipe and similar ones with these 20 Sheet Pan Suppers You’ll Love.
In Honor of Mad Max: Fury Road: Skinny High Protein Oreo Milkshake
We know—this cutesy milkshake does not quite hold its own in terms of the bad-assery that was Mad Max. But “mother’s milk” is a staple in the lives of the crazy culture that you saw come to life last summer and this protein shake is a satisfying, less extreme twist on what you can drink for some energy. One of these slimming shakes only has a little over 200 calories; get the recipe and more with these 23 Best Protein Shakes for Weight Loss.
In Honor of The Revenant: Bison Burger
Bison is naturally grass-fed (you always want to choose lean, grass-fed beef when it comes to burgers) but it’s loaded with more B12 than your typical cow. We don’t want to reveal why we’re referencing bison, but we do like the idea of pretending we have the grit and determination of Leo’s character as we sink our teeth into some serious protein. Watch this video on how to make the perfect burger, but replace the beef with bison to stay true to your Oscar efforts.
In Honor of Spotlight: Red Wine
Okay, there’s nothing cool about a town of Catholic priests being investigated for child abuse. Given that wine represents the blood of Christ in a Catholic mass, however, it’s the recommended flat belly pick for this Oscar nominated movie; you’ll probably need a drink for many of the dramas on this list, anyway. Bonus: There’s a compound in red wine that reportedly blocks the formation of fat cells; find out more with these 16 Wines for Weight Loss!
In Honor of Room: Shredded Wheat
Chosen as our #1 best breakfast cereal for weight loss, Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran is the flat belly food pick for Room because—unlike what the captives in the movie seemed to have—you can actually get a little nutrition from this cereal. We don’t recommend living seven years on it; but you have our permission to dig into these cereals and breakfast foods.