Bright Side
NewPopular
Inspiration
Creativity
Wonder

A Study Shows That Watching Scary Movies Can Actually Help You Lose Weight

If you feel a little down because you just broke your diet eating chocolate, go turn on the TV. Researchers at the University of Westminster have found a link between spikes in a person’s heart rate while watching a horror film and calorie loss.

Bright Side is about to share the info we found with you and explain why covering your eyes in fear during a horror flick wasn’t a good idea after all. Don’t miss the movie recommendations at the end!

Scientists at the University of Westminster guided by Dr. Richard MacKenzie conducted a study that revealed that a 90-minute horror film can help you burn up to 113 calories, the same amount of calories you would burn in a 30-minute walk or a 15-minute run.

Researchers measured levels of heart rate, oxygen intake, and carbon dioxide exhaling. They found that scary films triggered a boost in the heart rate of the case studies.

“As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline,” explained MacKenzie, a specialist in cell metabolism and physiology.

This quick rush of adrenaline discharged at brief moments of high stress (or in this particular case, fear) minimizes the appetite and elevates the basal metabolic rate which results in a higher loss of calories.

The average loss per movie was 113 calories but keep in mind that there are some movies that help burn even more calories. Here are the top 3 calorie-burning productions (they’re all classics by the way):

1. The Shining — 184 calories
2. Jaws — 161 calories
3. The Exorcist — 158 calories

These 3 films have numerous “jump-scare” scenes which produce an increase in your heart rate and give you a fast-adrenaline boost that burns calories. But if these movies are too scary for you, you can always go for lighter options such as Paranormal Activity (111 kcal), The Blair Witch Project (105 kcal), and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (107 kcal).

Keep in mind that this research was based on the number of calories you can burn. So if you’d like to give it a try we suggest to keep your snacks light and avoid pairing the movie with lots of chocolate, too much popcorn, and a big soda. And no closing your eyes this time! Remember: the more “jump-scare” moments, the better.

What do you think about the results of this study? Are you a fan of scary movies? Share your favorite horror films in the comments below!

Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for Bright Side