Why horror? It helps weight loss.

It’s a question that ranks right up there with “Where do you get your ideas?” … the dreaded “Why do you write horror?” question. Sure, I can answer those questions with reasonably intelligent-sounding responses. If I’m being honest, though, the answer is “I don’t know.” But now I have another reason to write horror.

Apparently, it can help you lose weight.

Easy come, easy go, if you snack in moderation while you watch this.

Easy come, easy go, if you snack in moderation while you watch this.

A recent study by the University College London confirmed the physiological changes that take place when we’re scared. The journal CIRCULATION, ARRHYTHMIA AND ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY reports that watching stressful scenes in horror films affect blood pressure and breathing speed that mimic the effects of a small workout. Very small, but still…

I let my subscription lapse, unfortunately, but I can tell you that this echoes a 2012 University of Westminster study that suggests watching horror movies can burn up to 200 calories at a sitting, making that chocolate bar you snarfed down before the blood and guts started spraying everywhere a “wash” in the moments-on-the-lips, lifetime-on-the-hips equation.

Even better news for readers and writers of horror like me, the top three calorie burners on the list were books before they were films. The parenthetical numbers listed represent an average number of calories burned by study participants while watching the film adaptation:

So now I’m wondering when one of our institutions of higher learning will commission a study of how reading horror might burn calories. Short of that, I’d settle for a film adaptation of LOSING TOUCH. Either way, I’m cool…

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

2 Responses to “Why horror? It helps weight loss.”

  1. Lucy Ross Says:


    This is a very cool article in fact, I like the thought of watching horror movies to lose weight!

    In losing weight, I would like to add up to the plan of eating right and exercising .

    What helped me in my weight loss journey to get more consistent and motivated were reading articles, blogs and books over the internet.

    Thank you!
    Lucy Ross

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