The original 80/20 was about eating 80% healthy and 20% indulgences like cake, cookies, etc. However, for Tom Brady, 80% is vegan-based, and 20% is meat. Milk, eggs, steak, chicken, and fish are his indulgences. Tom does not eat processed cakes and cookies.
However, when choosing a diet and nutrition plan, it has to work with your lifestyle-weather it is the 80/20 or Tom Brady’s 80/20 or being vegan. It is important to mention that your diet needs to provide energy and make you feel good. And, many times, people become vegan and become tired and sick. I know. I tried it. I had to switch back, but I switched back to a 70/30. That works and is sustainable for me and my training and daily energy.
However, being a professional athlete like Tom, protein is essential for the body. So, Vegan is a good and nice way to think about nutrition. But it doesn’t work for many people. So many people like Tom eat semi-vegan. For one thing, it’s hard to get good dense protein like meat on a vegan diet. And athletes need that type of protein because of all the wear and tear their muscles go through. However, some many professional athletes and bodybuilders are successful vegans. So, where there is a will, there is a way. That is why I said vegan has to work for you. But, if forced, it can have the opposite effect, causing fatigue and making you susceptible to illness.
Are Vegan Diets Still Healthy?
Vegan diets are not seen as sustainable and are somewhat problematic. However, being vegan does have many health benefits and reduces inflammation dramatically. It really protects you against primary diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer significantly. But the issue with a vegan diet is the lack of many essential minerals and vitamins like B12, calcium, vitamin D, zinc, iron, etc. These are some vital vitamins and minerals to have as an athlete, which Tom cannot afford to miss.
So, adding chicken, steak, eggs, and fish into his diet is a good tactic. This provides all the vitamins and minerals missing in the vegan diet to prevent weakness and illness. Also, you get all the fantastic health benefits of a vegan.
What works best is figuring out how to do it. If you need to eat animal-based protein to feel good and well, then that’s what you need to do. Like in Tom’s case, you adapt it. It does not have to be written in stone that you can only eat 80/20. Try 70/30 and reduce the intake of animal protein placed with another protein over time to get to 20.
The 80/20 diet must be really effective because Tom Brady is 44 years old and still agile and energetic. He attributes all his energy, stamina, and agility to his diet, helping him stay young, strong, and fit, even as he gets older to play in the NFL. Similarly, there are many athletes and bodybuilders who eat strict vegan and say it really enhances and boosts their performance. They feel more energetic, stronger, and recover faster.
Nutrition needs to change as you get older. You just can’t keep eating pizza and cheesesteaks like you did when you were 20 years old. However, as an athlete, many have successfully switched to vegan and vegetarian diets and felt a significant difference in their health and performance.