July 5, 2022

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The Sports Fanatics

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady strays from strict TB12 diet this Thanksgiving: ‘Let’s go for it’

It’s safe to say avocado ice cream wasn’t the highlight of Tom Brady’s Thanksgiving table. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback said “screw it” this Thanksgiving and ate what he wanted, straying from the strict diet he says has helped him play into his 40s. 

Brady, 44, revealed his holiday plans to podcast guest Oprah Winfrey in an episode of “Let’s Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jim Gray.

“That’s the one meal where I’m like, screw it, let’s go for it,” Brady said. “And we all get to enjoy it.”

The enjoyment didn’t last long for Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl champion lamented the holidays of his childhood, when he didn’t have to return to work as soon as he does now, and looked forward to the holidays after his playing career. 

“Practice usually ends about 1 or 2 p.m., you eat about 3:30, and then you’re getting ready for the next day of practice,” Brady said. “And then, same thing with Christmas. So, you know, I’m looking forward to the time when I’m done playing football so that I can have some of those more normal holidays that I had growing up that were important where the family’s all together.”

Thanksgiving staples such as mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and cranberry sauce all wouldn’t fly under Brady’s now famed TB12 diet. The diet consists of 80% fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes with animal protein accounting for the other 20%. Dairy, gluten, refined carbs, processed meats, sugar and excessive caffeine are all prohibited.

Brady detailed his diet in the 2017 book “The TB12 Method,” the genesis of the health and wellness brand he established with his longtime personal trainer Alex Guerrero. The three-time MVP listed cold cuts, pineapples, yogurt, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and dandelion greens as some of his favorite foods in the book. 

The “screw it” strategy Brady took this Thanksgiving seems to be a departure from his previous statements. The longtime New England Patriots star said he doesn’t “believe” in cheat days and never feels “like I’m missing out” in 2017.

“I don’t plan ‘cheat days’ … I actually don’t believe in the idea,” Brady told PEOPLE. “The way I eat makes me feel great. But I believe in the ideas of balance and moderation, and if I’m in a place with incredible food, I’ll absolutely try it.”

With 3,177 yards and 29 touchdowns in 10 games, Brady is heading toward a career season and could afford to let loose on Thanksgiving day. His Tampa Bay Buccaneers will head to Indianapolis to play Jonathan Taylor and the Colts this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.