For as long as I could remember, being a couch potato never helped anyone lose weight. It's common sense that eating a balanced diet and exercising is the most effective way to be fit.
Sitting down and watching TV sounds like the last thing that will help you shed the pounds, but that's probably because you haven't been picking the right genre of movie or show.
A study from the University of Westminster has recently found that you can lose weight simply by watching horror movies, minus the snacks, of course.
The researchers came to this conclusion after noting that the study's participants experienced elevated heart-rate, increased oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output while watching a 90-minute adrenaline-pumping film, which are all signs of calorie burn.
"Each of the 10 films tested sent pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies," Dr. Richard Mackenzie, senior lecturer and specialist in cell metabolism and physiology of the university told The Guardian.
He continued, "As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline. 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."
Also, those jump scare scenes we all love to hate are what really help your body go into calorie-burning mode as they can easily spike up your heart rate. This is why so many of us experience heavy breathing, sweating, and exhaustion after sitting through a scary movie.
Not all horror movies are created equal so the researchers also complied a list of the best calorie-burning horror flicks. Stanley Kubrick classic The Shining came out on top.
On average, viewers who watched the creepy psychological horror starring Jack Nicholson burned a whopping 184 calories, which is the amount you can burn with a brisk 30-minute walk.
Here are the top 10 most calorie-burning horror films:
10. [REC] - 100 calories
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 107 calories
8. The Blair Witch Project - 105 calories
7. Paranormal Activity - 105 calories
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street - 188 calories
5. Saw - 133 calories
4. Alien - 152 calories
3. The Exorcist - 158 calories
2. Jaws - 161 calories
1. The Shining - 184 calories
While this study bears good news for fans of the horror genre who are attempting to lose weight, it's important to recognize that watching these movies isn't going to give you the same results that working out does.
Don't replace your regular gym session with a movie marathon, but on those days when you don't feel like leaving your house, you can scare the pounds away by putting on a horror film.