Cross Training at Christmas: how to train and not eat like a fool

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Hi there, cross trainer!

The time of year has arrived when difficult decisions have to be made: shall I eat a mince pie or a coffee liqueur-filled chocolate? Shall I keep on stuffing myself with starters or shall I leave some room for the turkey?

Yes my friends, it’s Christmas! A fantastic time for those who like to be with the family, (including the in-laws), but difficult days for those wanting to keep their figure and who prefer not to give themselves an extra 3 or 4 kilos as a Christmas present.

It’s not the first Christmas we’ve been through, it’s not yours either, and we know how easy it is to get carried away by the spirit of lack of control and “I’ll burn it all off after”. MISTAAAKE!!

We’ve prepared this article in order for you to see how you can still enjoy traditional Christmas food without having to give up your Cross Training world, going to the BOX or your WOD, at this special time of the year.

CAREFUL! Don’t expect to find in this article the best-kept secret of humanity… As always, it’s a question of common sense:

It’s enough just to continue doing your functional training routines and to eat one mince pie instead of five. Follow this advice and you'll have a great Christmas season without neglecting your health and training.

P.S. We’re sorry, but you’re going to have to put up with the repeated jokes about your in-laws…

Survive Christmas

  1. Focus on yourself, don’t look at anyone else:

You can certainly eat the prawn cocktail, the roast potatoes, the turkey, the Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and even the odd chocolate, but do it using your head. It’s enough just reducing the amounts, which for someone else are “normal”.

Can you see how your brother, also known as “theonethatnevergetsfat” eats 4 big slices of Christmas cake? Well, don’t follow his example: have one, savour it well and enjoy it without feeling guilty.


You can get revenge by telling everyone his most embarrassing anecdotes as a child, to teach him a lesson!


  1. Referee, change!

Usually, at Christmas we fill our tables with red meats, roast potatoes, fantastic sauces and some foods that are not that healthy for us.

We don’t want you to become a weirdy that eats green leaf salad with pine-nuts for dinner, but I’m sure you can manage to find a way of replacing some foods for others without it affecting your reputation.

Even though it might not be possible with all of the menu, any good replacement will be a success.

Seeing that every family menu is a world in itself, we’re not going to give examples of any dishes in particular; we’ll use dessert as an example. If instead of eating Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and having seconds (like your twit of a brother does), you eat a piece of fruit, you’ll still feel as happy and you will have prevented a sudden increase in calories.

General advice:: if you can, choose foods rich in omega-3, such as olive oil, tuna belly, salmon or swordfish.


  1. Don’t cheat:

The way you cook what you eat has more of an affect than you realise, and also how or what you accompany the food with.

If you decide to “eat healthy” and eat a fillet of chicken, it would be better if you didn't cook it in a pool of oil. And it would also be much better if you didn’t soak it later in half a pint of ketchup or mayonnaise > #StopPosing

It’s not enough appearing that you’re looking after yourself, you really should do it.

A frying pan isn’t usually a good friend, you can get all the meat and fish proteins by steaming them or cooking them in the oven. And once again, don’t cheat, pick the less fattier parts of the fillet, because grilled bacon is still bacon...

Yes, it’s a bit of a pain looking after your diet, and specially at Christmas. But don’t forget that what we want, is to continue eating as healthily as we’ve done until now and not to get carried away, so just be consistent with yourself, you little cheat.


  1. Don’t pick between meals

One of the expressions that we’ve heard most at Christmas is: “Oh, sh**, I’ve been stuffing myself all day long”. Has it also happened to you? Well let’s try to avoid it. You know that Christmas meals are large and rather heavy, so be aware and don’t pick between meals, leave your appetite for your favourite dish.

Attention to the question: What should you do if you see everyone having nibbles?


Run! Avoid cheating in the form of Christmas cake and skip the pork crackling.

What’s more, if you can literally run away, so much the better, that way you’ll burn the nibbles you didn’t manage to avoid..

Remember the routine of eating 5 times a day, and if you still haven’t done it, it’s time you started.


  1. The champions’ breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and with that excuse we’re going to fill ourselves with food. Yes, that’s right. Prepare some eggs, chicken sausages, fresh orange juice, tea and whole wheat toast. Beneficial? You’ll burn these foods throughout the day. In addition, you’ll be ready to face the whole day without being excessively hungry when you get to other meal times.

CAREFUL! This advice is directly proporcional to your willpower. If you’re weak and know that you’re going to fall into temptation, just don’t overdo it or it will turn against you



  1. Less sweet and more savoury

If you can’t fight against the elements any more, at least be selective. Forget about mince pies and Christmas cake and go for nuts, such as pistachios, almonds or walnuts.

If nobody has thought about you and the only thing available is sugar, sugar and more sugar: refer to tip number 4.


  1. Control those drinks!

It’s great to have a good wine with our meal, champagne to make a toast and a gin & tonic to help us with digestion, isn’t that right? I’m sorry to tell you that alcohol puts on quite a bit of weight, so you’re going to have to cut down on the drinks. Control the amount of alcohol you drink. If you can, choose a glass or two of red wine and that’s it.

(It’s so easy to give advice, isn’t it…?)


  1. Stay away from lifts

To start of with, stay away from lifts, BACK OFF FROM THEM! They bring no good, more than anything, because of the benefits their main competitor has: the stairs. Make the latter an ally, they have a much better surprise prepared for you ;-)

*NOTE: If you haven’t taken any notice of tip number 7 and you’ve had a bit too much to drink, you are allowed to use the lift, we wouldn’t want you to get hurt..


  1. Split your training time

Since you’re going to overeat, a great solution would be to train twice, splitting your training time between the morning and the afternoon. That way, you will burn more calories altogether and you’ll have less time to lie on the sofa eating. Sounds good, doesn’t it?


  1. Sports before eating

Go out and run before the family feast. Yes, go out even though it’s cold. Firstly, because it’s an ideal way of burning calories, even before you start eating them. Secondly, you’ll arrive for dinner feeling a buzz because of having practised sport on Christmas morning and you might even control yourself more because of feeling motivated.


It seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. Using your common sense at meal times is enough, and it’s more than clear that, under no circumstances must you stop training. Cross Training and you have to be inseparable.

Don’t forget that Christmas isn’t just a time for eating like crazy, but it’s also to enjoy being with the family and to make the most of those extra hours that the holidays give us.

Remember: functional training and common sense at meal times are perfect pieces of advice in order to survive the Christmas festivities.


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