Tom Brady is the winner of seven Super Bowls and one of the greatest athletes of all time. At the age of 43, in his 21st season, Brady is evolving, rather than ageing.
But should we all take his nutrition advice?
Another celebrity diet, or a blueprint for success?
Brady states, "It really doesn’t matter how much exercise you do, if you’re not eating the right food and providing your body with the right nutrients"
Brady attributes his longevity to his regimented lifestyle and diet, also known as the TB12 method.
In the NFL world, he's a relic, but his peak physical fitness and consistent success has gripped the attention of athletes and non-athletes, alike. Everyone wants to get in on TB12.
Admittedly, I hardly notice the Superbowl coming and going, but anything to do with diet, and my ears prick up!
So what's all the hysteria about his diet, and why is it called out for being extreme. Indeed, 6 litres of water per day may be hard (and dangerous) to chug, but let's take a closer look to see if it really is that wild.
What are Tom Brady's diet principles?
Eat 80% plant based and 20% lean animal protein
Eat organic, local and wild wholefoods
Only use cold pressed olive oil for salad dressings (don't heat!)
Only use stable saturated fats like coconut oil for cooking
Drink plenty of water and replace electrolytes
Avoid processed, added sugars and refined carbohydrates
Avoid trans fats and vegetable oils
Avoid additives, GMO and MSG's
Avoid dairy and gluten
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Avoid nightshade vegetables and fungi
Brady doesn't eat a lot of things, but is that a bad thing?
On first glance this long list of principles may seem overwhelming, but when you break it down, it's not very different to most nutrition guidelines. Essentially, it's an anti-inflammatory diet, that helps restore hormones and gut function — sounds pretty soothing, right?!
Brady avoids the big health offenders — processed food, sugar, refined carbs, trans fat, vegetable oils, additives, GMO and MSG's — I think everyone can agree, these are better out, than in.
In fact, taking the first step to remove these foods is something that everyone can do to significantly improve their health — independent of whether you are vegan, vegetarian, keto or carnivore.
For those looking to take their health to the next level, the following strategies will help lower inflammation and nourish the body, so you can thrive — eat organic wholefoods; use the right fats, in the right way; drink enough water; replace electrolytes; limit coffee and alcohol consumption.
These guidelines may seem like 'nice to haves', but the truth is, these are standard nutrition recommendations — they just feel very far removed from our western diet. In other words, we've normalised poor quality foods, and anything outside of that feels like a luxury.
Reminder : Your health is not a luxury, it's a necessity
So should I eat like Brady?
Unless you're biologically identical to Tom Brady, then you may not need to give up dairy, nightshades and fungi. We're all different, with unique food tolerances. For Brady, bell peppers are holding him back, but for another person, it could be kale, onions or garlic.
There is a lot to like about the TB12 diet, however there are a few features that are very specific to Brady and shouldn't be taken as a blueprint for everyone.
Before radically transforming your habits, make sure you do your research, work with a nutritionist and most importantly, listen to your body — your body will tell you what foods it does or doesn't like, so start tracking your data!
The bottom line is that Tom brady follows a diet that makes his health sing, which is a key element of his success. A diet that makes you healthy and happy is easy to sustain because it feels fulfilling.
So next time you make dietary changes, don't just do it because you want to be that celebrity; do it because it enriches your life for the right reasons. And take it one step at a time. Chances are, Brady didn't make all of his dietary changes overnight and neither should you. Master just one health change at a time!
I think we can learn a lot from Brady. He's advocates a healthy diet and lifestyle that goes beyond weight loss and tackles something deeper — longevity and performance.