Healthy Eating At the Movies: Mission Impossible?

For some of us, the movie experience just wouldn't be the same without treating ourselves to our favorite snacks. There was a time when it wouldn't be unusual to nosh on a bag or two of popcorn at the theater and then go grab dinner or lunch afterwards as part of the outing.

But did you know that a medium buttered popcorn can provide as many as 1,200 calories, almost 900 of them from fat alone? And that even unbuttered popcorn contains about 500 calories in fat?

Then local theaters began adding menu items like pizza and chicken wings and became one-stop shops for hungry moviegoers.

So what are some healthier options for your next trip to the big screen? The best would be to bring your own snacks and bypass the concession counter altogether. But if the theater insists that you buy on site, try getting a small or kid-sized popcorn-and hold the butter.

This way, you'll only be indulging in about 400 calories, with 200 of them from fat. And all you candy eaters out there could opt for a lower-fat candy such as Gummy Bears or Dots - a five-ounce package of those will give you around 500 calories, with none of those coming from fat.

But the best offense is a good defense: Avoid going to the theater hungry in the first place. Fill up on a healthy meal before heading out to the movies and make the treat be celluloid, not calories.