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What is the Tom Brady Diet? NFL legend still

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: One of the greatest quarterbacks of American football, Tom Brady has retired from NFL in 2023. But Brady’s eating habits remain the same even after his much-publicized retirement. The 45-year-old former football star has a strict philosophy when it comes to food. He knows that his body is his asset and maintains it accordingly.

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Brady’s dedication to following a diet is what has fueled him through his 23-year-long NFL career. While he retired from the game in February 2023 after playing three successful seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his diet consisting of organically grown vegetables and lean meat will stay. Brady also stays away from the usual suspects – sugar, caffeine and alcohol – to maintain his fit physique. 

Tom Brady (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Tom Brady (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

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’80 percent of what they eat is vegetables’

Tom Brady has always been a strict follower of diet throughout his illustrious career. In his 2017 book, ‘The TB12 Method: How to Do What You Love, Better and for Longer’, Brady opined that his remarkably long NFL career is due to his particular diet which he named TB12 method. It is primarily a plant-based diet that focuses on organically grown seasonal produce. He wrote in the book, “At TB12, balance is as much about creating the right mixture of strength, conditioning, and pliability as it is about lifestyle choices—what we eat, how much rest and recovery we get, and what daily activities we engage in,” before adding, “The more balanced we are, the better. In my experience, most athletes like to work on things that they’re already good at. It reinforces their confidence in their own abilities. Strong athletes like to work on strength, and fast athletes like to work on speed. But that doesn’t create balance. To create balance, we need to work on our deficiencies as well.”

Brady’s diet includes an 80/20 balance where 80% consists of plant-based produce and 20% consists of meat. He champions for a diet consisting of organically grown fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes for 80 percent of the time. While his diet plan is mainly plant-based, he does eat meat too. He prefers grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free organic lean meats and wild-caught fish and seafood for the remaining 20 percent of his diet, as per Stylecaster.

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In an interview with Boston.com, Brady’s chef Allen Campbell spilled the beans regarding his diet. He said, “80 percent of what they eat is vegetables. [I buy] the freshest vegetables,”he said. “If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon. It’s very different than a traditional American diet. But if you just eat sugar and carbs—which a lot of people do—your body is so acidic, and that causes disease.” 

He further added in detail, “No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt.”

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He also commented on the foods the Brady family avoided, “[Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then, but just maybe once a month. I’m very cautious about tomatoes. They cause inflammation.” 

As it is expected, Brady’s diet doesn’t include coffee too, “What else? No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy. The kids eat fruit. Tom, not so much. He will eat bananas in a smoothie. But otherwise, he prefers not to eat fruits.”

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‘My body was my asset’

Once an athlete, always an athlete. While the seven times Super Bowl winner doesn’t go berserk with a strict diet routine, he tries to stick to the healthy habits he has acquired throughout his prolific football career. In an interview with People, Brady said, “I don’t think it’s a strict regimen,” before adding, “I think it’s just trying to make healthy choices that allow me to live the life I want to live.”

The father of three is conscious about his nutrient intake as he said, “I think what I put in my body is very important. My body was my asset. It’s a little different now.” While he knows that he might not be required to follow all the healthy habits as he is no longer playing regularly, but Brady wants to stick to the healthy habits that he has adopted throughout his athletic career, “I’ve developed so many healthy habits, I just want to stick with them.”

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Brady is notorious for not having strawberries. However, in the interview, he further discussed that he doesn’t have strawberries because he has not acquired a liking for their taste, “I just didn’t like the taste.”

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In another interview with Variety in 2022, Brady revealed, “I don’t even enjoy eating things that probably aren’t going to give my body what it needs. I wouldn’t say I’m going to turn into a couch potato.” But he is not “super strict” with his diet, “I mean, I eat ice cream. I’m not very super strict with my diet. I don’t want to give off the impression that I’m some psychopath about a diet. I just make good choices most of the time.”

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