Being a long time participant in, and
loser of, the battle of the bulge, I'm always looking for a not too
complicated way to take off a pound or two.
I recently came across something that
would not tax too many of us. No, it's not a belt designed to melt
flab or a food that actually burns more calories than it puts out.
It's watching scary movies.
I was actually a little perturbed when
I saw a screening of "The Shining" burns about 184 calories, yet
my daily 35 minute two mile walk (I'm that slow guy you always pass
at Kefauver) might burn 150 if I'm lucky.
It also didn't set too well that this
was about 50 more calories than my nightly "bike ride" on the
"How is this possible?" you ask,
fist pounding the table, I'm sure. Well, it's one of those common
sense things. When you watch a scary movie, your pulse tends to speed
up and anything your body does burns calories. Even sleeping burns
calories. It's why most of us only weigh 350 instead of 700.
The study was done by the University of
Westminster (for lack of anything better to do, I suppose), and
showed the top 10 scary movies for losing weight are:
The Shining: 184 calories
2. Jaws: 161 calories
3. The Exorcist: 158 calories
4. Alien: 152 calories
5. Saw: 133 calories
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118
7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
The Blair Witch Project: 105
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107
Rec: 101 calories.
Apparently I could give up walking and "bike" riding and just watch one of those top five movies every
night and get the same effect. I've seen six of these movies and
heard of nine of them. I have no idea what "Rec" is.
The study said it's "jump" moments more than gore that helps burn the calories, which would
explain the lack of zombie and vampire movies on this list. I can
recall moments in both "The Shining" and "Jaws" that made my
skin crawl as I lifted a little out of my seat.
Now, the study said this won't work
if you hide your eyes or jump behind the sofa every time a scary
moment comes on the screen. I also assume it won't work if you're
eating a butter covered tub of popcorn (450 calories) and washing it
down with a sugar filled drink (350 calories).
Alas, this would be a limited workout
in that horror movies become less frightening the more times you
watch them. I almost did flip out of my seat when I was 13 and
watched Danny Torrance ride his Big Wheel around the corner in the
Overlook Hotel and almost run over those creepy twin girls who should
not have been there (come play with us, Danny).
But now, many years later, I know it's
coming and my pulse rate, and weight, stays the same.
The problem, of course, is that nothing
really seems to burn calories. You might think 184 calories sounds
great just for sitting and watching a movie, but that burger and
fries you had for lunch totaled 800 calories alone. You'll probably
down that many, or more, for dinner. Not to mention if you're a big
But if you are the kind of person who
watches what they eat and you decide to watch all of these movies in
a row, you'd burn 1,330 calories, which is great as I'm sure a
strenuous two-hour workout would probably only burn about 200
What if the doctor has you on an 800
calorie a day diet and you watch all of these movies in a 24-hour
period? What if you do it several days in a row? Would you start to
disappear, shrinking until you became something less than human?
I would say that'd make a good horror
movie, but we'd probably all gladly do it. Gotta be better than "bike riding" on that stupid Wii.
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