Movie-Night Snack Control

Close-up of a young couple watching a movie in a theater

Medically reviewed in September 2021

Having trouble choosing between Blazing Saddles and Love Story on movie night? If you're trying to lose weight, go for the funny cowboy flick instead of the tearjerker.

Why? Because you'll probably snack less. When a group of people in a study watched a sad movie, they ate close to 30 percent more buttered popcorn than when they watched a happy film.

Be a Good Reader
If funny movies just aren't your style, then break out your reading glasses and eyeball the nutrition labels on your snacks. Even if you're not feeling happy or sad, reading snack labels can help curb overindulging. A third "neutral" group in the study (neither happy nor sad) also ate much less popcorn when they read the fat and calorie content of their munchies first.

Mood over Movie
The real takeaway for the weight conscious: Be mindful of your mood when you snack. Sad feelings can easily fire up your craving for comfort food as you try to help yourself feel better. But a little education about what you're eating will keep it under control.

And try these other tips for putting yourself in a feel-good, eat-less frame of mind:

  • Make happiness a daily habit.
  • Take a vacation.
  • Break your sugar addiction.

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