Seasons in the Abyss?

By Emily Beers

In Coaching, Nutrition

December 14, 2014

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Every year, people gorge themselves over the holidays and derail their diets. Does it have to be this way?

Three-time CrossFit Games athlete Ben Stoneberg is a cheater—a cheater on his diet during the holidays.

In fact, the athlete—whose fans call him “Stone Cold” Stoneberg—allows himself a couple of cheat days each week in the year, making the Christmas season an extreme version of standard operating procedures.

“I love food … so I take full advantage when it is sitting in front of me,” Stoneberg said. “My Christmas cheat meal consists of pretty much everything you can think of: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green-bean casserole. And dessert can range from pumpkin pie, cheesecake, cookies, chocolate.”

The 27-year-old, blessed with what we can only assume is a turbocharged metabolism, doesn’t believe cheat meals affect him negatively. He believes loosening the reins on his diet actually helps him.

If only the rest of the population could enjoy repercussion-free pizza—Stoneberg’s all-time favorite cheat meal.

For most, the unfortunate truth is that throwing back a dozen of grandma’s buttery shortbread cookies every other day in December will have consequences. In some cases, doing so will mean losing the fitness gains of the previous 11 months and finding yourself regretfully singing “Auld Lang Syne” with a soft layer around your waist and a painful awareness that January will be a tough month at the gym.

So although delicious temptations relentlessly dominate the month of December, most coaches try to keep their athletes in check during the holiday season.

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