Wanna lose weight? New study says you should watch scary movies

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

Weight loss is tough. You try to eat right, try to get to the gym, but you're still disappointed every time you step on the scale. Well, there could be an easier way. According to new research, you might be able to burn calories and shed a few pounds just by sitting on the couch and watching scary movies.

A new University of Westminster study, released just in time for Halloween and commissioned by rental company LOVEFiLM, revealed that viewers who sit and watch a particularly scary film can burn off as many calories during a 90-minute film as they would during a 30-minute walk.

The university selected 10 participants and put them through a gauntlet of scary films, all the while measuring their metabolic rates to determine which films raised heart rates the most, and therefore helped to burn the most calories.

"As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline," said Dr. Richard McKenzie, a specialist in cell metabolism and physiology at Westminster.

"It is this release of fast acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear), which is known to lower the appetite, increase the Basal Metabolic Rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories."

According to the study, the film that produced the highest calorie burn was Stanley Kubrick's 1980 classic The Shining, which burned 184 calories on average, more than the calorie count of the average chocolate bar. Steven Spielberg's Jaws came in second with an average of 161 calories, while The Exorcist was third with an average of 158 calories.

Rounding out the top 10 were (from 4-10) Alien (152 calories), Saw (133 calories), A Nightmare on Elm Street (118 calories), Paranormal Activity (111 calories), The Blair Witch Project (107 calories), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (105 calories) and [REC] (101).

So according to this research, as long as you don't completely blow it with snacks, you can actually lose weight (or at least burn off some Halloween candy) by watching scary movies. What do you think? What movie gets your blood flowing enough to drop some calories?

(Via The Telegraph)