The Hunger Games, Movie Theaters, and Mindless Eating – Part 2

As promised in my last post, here are four ways you can plan ahead to combat mindless eating at the movies.  Not only will you eat less junk, but you’ll save some money, too!

1.  Take a pass.

This is what my brother and I did when we went to see The Hunger Games yesterday, which, by the way, was FANTASTIC.  We were able to last the whole 2 hours and 22 minutes (+1 hour wait/commercial time) without any food – it really wasn’t that difficult!

2.  Order small.

Trust me.  You don’t need the biggest size available – you’ll be so into the show that you’re not going to notice that much of a difference!  And if you finish eating before the credits roll, that’s great!  It will give you more time and energy to focus on the movie.  (Or if you’re seeing Hunger Games, you could spend the time trying not to cry, comparing book vs. movie, Peeta vs. Gale, etc… ;))

3.  Share.

Movies are better with a buddy, and so are the snacks – in fact, the more, the merrier!  Not only will you probably eat less, but you’ll also have to be polite about it, too – being sure not to take more than your share, not scarfing/shoveling it by the handful…  It’s a win-win!

4.  Bring your own.

I’m not sure what all theater policies are, but some don’t allow you to bring in your own snacks.  But that’s not to say that they won’t search your purse/pockets if you stuff them with Trader Joe’s goodies or other snacks from home…  Not that I’ve ever done that before!  It’s probably the best way to get the most health-conscious, cost-effective theater snack, though.  Just sayin’! 😉

So next time you go to the movies (or when you see Hunger Games for the third time), ask yourself what you’re going for – the film?  Or the drinks, candy, and popcorn?   Hopefully these four alternatives will help you avoid mindless eating while still enjoying your movie.

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”*

 *Disclaimer:  I’ve only seen the Hunger Games movie; I have not yet read any of the books.  Don’t worry – I am planning on reading them!

The Hunger Games, Movie Theaters, and Mindless Eating – Part 1

Have you seen The Hunger Games, yet?!?

I haven’t, and it’s all I can think about!  (I’m planning on going this week, so no spoilers, please!)

If you have seen it, lucky you!  If not, try to recall the last movie you saw in a theater.  Did you have any theater food while you were there?  What did you eat?  How was it?  Don’t you remember?

Think about it.  At movie theaters we spend so many dollars and calories on food, but do we actually pay attention to what we eat during the film?

This concept ties in with my “quest for conscious eating” theme.  What’s the point of sound nutrition advice, good food choices, calorie-counting, et cetera, if you’re not going to pay attention to what you’re eating in the end anyway?

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to completely bash eating at the movies.  In fact, popcorn itself can make a healthy snack – when it’s not drenched in artificial butter, of course!

My point here is not what you eat, but how you eat it.

The thing is, here in America, we’ve grown accustomed to using external cues to determine how much to eat (e.g. an empty plate), rather than the natural, internal cues (e.g. no longer feeling hungry).  For example, when you’re at a restaurant with friends, do you honestly assess your level of fullness to determine when to stop eating (listening to your body = internal cue)?  Or do you just continue grazing until your visit is over and/or plate is empty (listening to outside forces = external cue)?

When you eat without purpose or without consciously thinking about it, this is called mindless eating.  We all do it at times.  But the good news is, if you do some thinking ahead of time, you can actually use mindless eating to your own advantage: since you’re not really paying attention to your food anyway, you can easily make healthier choices in advance and you won’t even notice the difference!

In my next post, I’ll give you four simple ways you can do this.

To be continued…

(Click here to read part 2.)