Heading to the theater to watch a movie or curling up on the couch with Netflix is a treasured way to relax for many people. Part of the movie-watching experience is indulging in a little snack while you watch–and for most people, that equals popcorn and candy. Unfortunately, you may find that these snacks no longer fit into your macros if you adhere to the keto diet.
Instead, you will need to find new keto movie snacks that can satisfy cravings and still feel like an indulgence. Here are low-carb foods to snack on during your next trip to the movies.
The most traditional movie snack is a heaping bucket of popcorn, drenched in a thick layer of butter. The good news is that you will likely still be able to indulge in a small serving of popcorn while adhering to your keto diet. The trick here is to consume popcorn in moderation, which means that you will no longer be able to eat mindlessly from an extra-large bag.
Compared to some movie snacks, popcorn is relatively low-carb. A one-cup serving of air-popped popcorn has 6 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fiber for 5 grams of net carbs. 
That being said, many of the toppings that are traditionally added to popcorn negate the health benefits of a single one-cup serving. While butter may be okay, you will have to skip sugary syrups and kettle corn, and be wary of the “butter” on movie popcorn and many brands of microwave popcorn, as it’s essentially just flavored oil–and not the good kind of oil. Make clarified butter at home for your popcorn, or sprinkle it with salt or cinnamon to give it a little extra flavor.
If you do want to go for microwave, butter-flavored popcorn, it typically has about 3.5 grams of net carbs per cup (not the whole bag!). 
Those tasty chocolate-covered raisins you eat while watching your favorite movie may masquerade as a healthy candy, but prepare to be amazed by the high carb count. This is one snack that you will need to slash from your diet if you want to stay in ketosis. A single serving of Raisinets has 31 grams of net carbs, making it impossible to eat even on your lowest carb keto days. 
Instead, substitute your chocolate-covered raisins for an equally tasty–and much healthier–snack: chocolate-covered nuts. These keto chocolate-covered almonds use just three ingredients (keto chocolate chips, coconut oil, and almonds).
A quarter-cup serving of keto chocolate-covered almonds has just 3.5 grams of net carbs and can curb those cravings for sweets. If almonds aren’t your favorite, try out these keto nut clusters with pecans instead. In a single nut cluster, you will consume just 1.5 grams of net carbs.
While you may not necessarily see bags of chips at the concession stand, many people sit down with a bag of their favorite salty snacks when they watch movies at home. Unfortunately, potato chips are relatively high in net carbs and they aren’t likely to leave you feeling satisfied. A single ounce of plain potato chips has roughly 15 grams of net carbs. 
The clear winner for those who prefer the salty crunch of a potato snack is actually pork rinds. Pork rinds are equally salty and give you the same satisfying crunch that you look for in a crispy potato chip. While you may not want to polish off the whole bag due to the sodium levels and MSG, you can indulge in these keto snacks on movie nights without worrying about carb count, since they are naturally zero carb.
You can also substitute your potato chips for these homemade Cheez-Its, which have just 3 grams of net carbs per serving.
Of course, the most common movie snack is candy. Packaged in those brightly-colored boxes under the glass counter at the concession stand, the candy options seem endless at movie theaters. From Red Vines to Reese’s Cups, each candy is begging for you to indulge a little–but not so fast, if you are on the keto diet.
Regular candy has too much sugar–and therefore carbs–to work as a keto movie snack. Instead, you may want to make your own “candy” at home using sugar-free chocolates.
You can make this homemade chocolate bar with just two ingredients for under 2 grams of net carbs per serving. Other homemade candies that you might want to try out include:
Finding Keto Substitutes for Your Favorite Movie Snacks
The good news is that delicious keto movie snacks don’t have to be challenging or time-consuming to prepare. While you may have to pack your own snacks from home, you can still enjoy the simple act of sitting down at the movies with something sweet, salty, or crunchy. Keep some of these snack substitutes in mind to avoid the temptation to kick yourself out of ketosis next time you hit the movies.
Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people improve their
lives -- in every way possible. She understands that food and diet are necessary
components to a healthy lifestyle and experiments with both. When she isn't
typing away, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.
United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Snacks, Popcorn, Air-Popped. FoodData Central. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167959/nutrients
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