Scare Away Calories: How Horror Movies Can Melt Away the Snacks

Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch, engrossed in a horror movie that has you on the edge of your seat. Your heart is pounding, adrenaline is pumping, and you feel the goosebumps rising on your arms. Who knew that this thrilling experience could actually help you burn extra calories?

Frightening findings

Researchers from the University of Westminster in England discovered that watching a terrifying film can help you eliminate those extra calories, and the effects can be significant. In their study, participants who watched a scary movie burned an average of 130 calories – equivalent to what you’d find in half a candy bar.

Now you might be wondering, why does watching a horror movie result in calorie burning? The credit goes to your body’s natural response to fear. As you watch the movie, your pulse rate rises, causing your heart to pump blood faster around the body. This results in a surge of adrenaline being released.

This adrenaline rush, triggered by intense stress (in this case, caused by fear), is known to lower your appetite, increase your basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy your body uses while at rest), and as a result, burn a higher level of calories.

Top 10 calorie-burning horror flicks

The researchers put this theory to the test by measuring the calorie burn of participants who watched the following ten horror movies:

  1. The Shining: Tormented writer Jack Torrance becomes increasingly unhinged while taking care of an isolated hotel with his family. Calories burned: 184.
  2. Jaws: A killer great white shark terrorizes a beach town, leaving residents and tourists in fear for their lives. Calories burned: 161.
  3. The Exorcist: A desperate mother enlists the help of two priests to save her daughter, who has become possessed by a demonic entity. Calories burned: 158.
  4. Alien: The crew of a spaceship encounters a vicious extraterrestrial that proceeds to hunt and kill them one by one. Calories burned: 152.
  5. Saw: Five strangers find themselves trapped in a sadistic game of life-or-death, orchestrated by a serial killer known as Jigsaw. Calories burned: 133.
  6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: The vengeful spirit of a child murderer, Freddy Krueger, invades the dreams of teenagers, terrorizing and killing them in their sleep. Calories burned: 118.
  7. Paranormal Activity: A couple moves into a new home, only to discover they are being haunted by a malevolent entity that grows increasingly violent. Calories burned: 111.
  8. The Blair Witch Project: Three film students venture into the woods to investigate a local legend, only to find themselves lost and at the mercy of an unknown terror. Calories burned: 105.
  9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A group of friends find themselves stranded in a rural area, where they are terrorized by a butcher wielding a chainsaw and wearing a mask made of human skin. Calories burned: 107.
  10. Rec: A reporter and her cameraman document a night shift at a local fire station, only to be trapped inside a building with an unknown, deadly virus. Calories burned: 101.

A scream-worthy strategy

It’s evident that sitting through these horror movie classics can be a calorie-burning experience. While this “horror movie diet” might not be a comprehensive weight loss plan, it can certainly be a fun addition to your fitness regime. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the rollercoaster ride of fear, thrills, and chills that these films offer?

So, the next time you’re planning a movie night, swap the romantic comedy for a classic horror flick. Turn off the lights, grab a healthy snack (because it’s likely your appetite will be diminished), and enjoy the terrifying tales that these iconic films have to offer. And while you’re at it, know that you’re also giving your body a mini workout without even leaving the couch.