If a diet doesn’t work in helping you shed the pounds, then try going to watch some scary movies instead.
According to a new study by the University of Westminster in London, England, watching a frightening horror film can help viewers burn up to the same calorific value as the calories you consume in a bar of chocolate.
It takes roughly a 30 minute walk to burn 113 calories – or you could watch a 90 minute horror film instead. That’s the average amount of calories burned during the viewing of a scary movie, but some films are even more useful for burning calories.
Ten films were studied, and top of the list for burning calories was THE SHINING, Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic. People watching Jack Nicholson play Jack Torrence while he terrorised his wife and child burned 184 calories, while JAWS’ swimming and shark action used up 161 calories and THE EXORCIST took up 158 calories of energy.
Apparently, the movies most likely to use up more of the audience’s calories were those with regular ‘jump-scare’ moments. This is because those moments make your heart rate shoot up. The biology behind this is that when your pulse quickens your body has a surge of the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline is a leftover hormone from our caveman days that prepares the body for ‘fight or flight’ in times of danger. Adrenaline can be produced in moments of stress or fear. The appetite drops along with the metabolic rate and more calories are burned during these periods.
The research was commissioned by film rental company Lovefilm and results showed that the number of calories burned during the screening of a horror film increased by a third on average. According to the study, here’s the top ten calorie-burning films:
1. 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 calories
7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
8. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories
9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories
10. REC: 101 calories
Those looking to burn off some calories after the festive season should check out their local cinema listings for the best new horror movies. Or, have a look at Cineworld Youtube videos for taster of the best new releases and scary movies hitting the screens this year.