Can Watching Horror Movies Make You Lose Weight?
by Breet Noonan
A post has been circulating around social media sites which claims that watching horror movies can burns calories. So the question is, how does these movies burn calories and can it possibly count toward your overall calorie-burning goal?
The answer might surprise you. Studies show that watching a ninety minute horror movie can burn up to one hundred and thirteen calories (telegraph.com). So by watching one horror movie, a person can cancel out the calories in a Sobe Noodle Bowl or dink eight ounces of Apple Juice. If eating snacks, one movie could cancel out ten chips or one ounce of popcorn. In terms of exercise, a horror movie can replace ten minutes of kickboxing, running a mile for ten minutes, or walking the mile in thirty minutes. (web4health).
Surprisingly, horror movies can cause viewers to burn more calories than other horror movies. Some movies can almost burn two hundred calories per ninety minutes while others may only burn one hundred. So why is there such a difference and what movies cause the best calorie burns?
The answer actually lies on the viewer’s fear itself. Fear causes adrenaline, a hormone that causes the heart rate to increase and cause carbohydrate metabolism to rise (Hormones.org). So what is Adrenaline and how does it help burn calories?
Adrenaline sends out a strong emotional response to the body over certain events that happens during the day. There are many different emotions, however, the focus today will just be on fear.
So the hormone triggers the emotion of fear which helps jumps the body into getting ready to go into the flight-or-fight instinct. The body needs tons of energy to either escape the situation or fight. This causes the heart rate to increase, metabolism to increase, and hypersensitive hearing, smell, and sight. Thus the body is working so hard to ensure safety that it drives everything into overdrive, thus helping burn calories.
So what movies does Adrenaline effect more? It has also been found that movies rattled in jump scares burn the highest amount of calories because the viewers are always tense waiting for the next scare to pop out leaving them constantly in a state of fear. Basically, the adrenaline is working tenfold to warn the body that there is danger nearby and to be on the lookout.
However, since viewers have different levels of fears, it really depends on the individual. In fact, some of the top calorie burning movies are not one with tons of jump scares. It’s The Shining which burns one hundred and eighty-four calories. Jaws comes in second with one hundred and sixty-one. Exorcist comes in third with one hundred and fifty-eight calories burned (telegraph).
So there’s probably a lot of people wondering why they haven’t lost any weight when they are avid horror lovers. The answer lies upon eating habits, exercise habits, metabolism levels, sleep habits, and if the horror movies actually scares them.
To lose a pound, a person has to burn three thousand and five hundred calories. Just counting the movies (no food) it will take thirty movies to burn off a pound. If a person eats the average two thousand calories a day diet and wants to lose a pound a week (which needs a five hundred calorie deficit per day by exercising, food decrease, etc) a person will need to watch thirty horror movies to lose a pound a week. This is not even taking into effect metabolism levels which can affect how easy or hard it is to lose weight.
Another issue is that usually there is food involved while watching movies. Pizza, soda, chips, popcorn, and other snacks can cancel out any calorie burning that the movie could give. So its best to leave the snacks and drinks alone to get the most benefits from watching movies.
Losing weight by sitting on the couch and watching movies sounds lovely but sadly, it’s not going to make a difference other than allowing you to eat that delicious snack in front of you. Unless you can watch thirty horror movies a week and stick to a strict diet.
In conclusion, yes, horror movies burns calories but it is not enough to effectively lose weight. However, next time you find yourself afraid while watching a horror movie, just remember, you are helping yourself by burning calories. So watch on and do not forget the popcorn.