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Celebrating Fat Tuesday? Here’s How to Burn Off Those Paczkis

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Fat Tuesday is almost here and for many, it’s a day to enjoy a variety of decadent treats, notably paczkis, those yummy jelly-filled doughnuts.

So how does that work if you’re counting calories?

Is it Cheating on My Healthy Eating Goals?

Let me start by saying I don’t like the term “cheat day.” I think it has a negative connotation and sounds like you are doing something you shouldn’t. Rather, I like the term “allow day,” where you allow yourself one day each week to have one indulgence.

An “allow day” should be a part of a normal eating regimen. Consider the following benefits:

  • You look forward to your “allow day” by rewarding yourself
  • It lessens the chances of binge eating
  • You handle temptations better
  • Being proud of living a healthy lifestyle
  • You don’t feel guilty when you eat a treat on “allow day”

The important key to remember for an “allow day” is not to eat anything you want all day long; instead, it is a day to choose to eat one of the unhealthier foods you don’t normally eat. I usually choose a day when I have a social event going on so I can relax and have a good time and not count every single calorie.

Paczki Passion

The jelly-filled Polish doughnut, paczki (pronounced “poonch-key”), is one of the more popular Fat Tuesday delights. Carrying a whopping 329 to 480 calories per treat (the amount varies due to the size, filling and whether or not it has powdered sugar), paczkis are an annual must-have for many.

I am not a diehard paczki person. I have had them before and they taste good, but not good enough for all of the calories they have. To burn off the calories of a paczki, you would have to do one of the following activities:

  • Vacuum for 1 hour and 30 minutes to burn 290 calories *
  • Water aerobics for 1 hour and 15 minutes to burn 360 calories **
  • Leisurely walk for 1 hour and 10 minutes to burn 400 calories **
  • Rake leaves for 1 hour and 40 minutes to burn 420 calories *
  • Bike riding for 1 hour and 25 minutes to burn 500 calories **
  • Clean the house for 2 hours and 35 minutes to burn 525 calories *

* based on a 130-pound person
** based on a 160-pound person (the more you weigh, the more calories you burn doing the same activity as a person who weighs less than you).

It is up to you on whether you are going to make Fat Tuesday your “allow day”. If you do decide to give yourself an extra treat, remember to choose one, really make it count, enjoy every bite and feel no guilt!

How do you indulge on Fat Tuesday? Tell us in the comments.

Resource: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  • The Story Behind a Festive Michigan Favorite: Paczki Day
  • A Healthier Alternative on Paczki Day: Baked Nutmeg Doughnut Recipe 
  • 50 Reasons Why Michigan is Foodie Paradise

This post was originally published on Feb. 21, 2012 and has been updated. 

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