While fitness trainer Keltie O’Connor usually tries different exercise workouts and shares the results with her social media followers, she recently decided to try a new diet, one promoted by football star Tom Brady.
“Going into the New Year I was feeling really bloated,” O’Connor wrote on YouTube. “I know you guys have requested me to attempt celebrity diets, so I thought let’s start 2019 off with the GOAT himself, Tom Brady!”
Brady, 41, published his book “The TB12 Method” in 2017, and it goes into detail about his strict diet plan.
“The regimen I follow is a mix of Eastern and Western philosophies,” writes Brady, according to an excerpt shared on Boston.com. “Some of these principles have been around for thousands of years. My nutritional regimen may seem restrictive to some people, but to me it feels unnatural to eat any other way.”
O’Connor tried the diet for a full month and documented the process in a nearly 18-minute video. Although she said she was at a healthy weight at the beginning of the diet, she was feeling unbalanced and having digestive issues.
“I’m not doing this for a weight loss as much as just like a reset,” she said at the beginning of the video. “And you know what, if my abs could come back a little bit more, I wouldn’t be mad.”
O’Connor said the premise of the book is eating proper portions of nutrient-dense foods in certain combinations, with a focus on alkaline foods. Brady eats either protein with vegetables or carbohydrates with vegetables, but no protein with carbohydrates, and he says fruit should be eaten alone.
“I just had to rewire what I think of a meal, because I think of a balanced meal: having some fruit or veggies, a complex carb, protein, and a healthy fat,” O’Connor said.
It was also recommended to have no food three hours before bed to ensure good quality sleep and drink lots of water throughout the day, but always with electrolytes added. Brady drinks 20 ounces of water first thing every morning.
According to the book, Brady also often drinks a smoothie in the morning, then a protein shake after his workout. Lunch mainly includes fish and vegetables, with more vegetables at dinner. Snacking was encouraged.
However, some things O’Connor struggled with were the restrictions on dairy, sweetened or fruit drinks, soda or other carbonated drinks, and alcohol, and she was not allowed more than 200 mg of caffeine.
“It’s bad, but I have a very, very, very, very high caffeine tolerance,” she said.
O’Connor said the diet was very inconvenient and time-consuming because of the meal prepping involved, while Brady himself uses a personal chef.
But the biggest problem for the fitness trainer was eating enough calories due to the large amount of vegetables she was consuming.
“About two or three weeks into this, I woke up gaunt. I woke up and I felt weak and brittle, and I looked in the mirror, and I was like, ‘Whoa, ribs,'” she said.
As a result, O’Connor said she lost weight that she didn’t want to lose, and it became “unattractive.” At that point, she started eating more fats from nuts, cooking oil, and proteins like salmon.
In the end, O’Connor said she felt healthier, slept better, and had more energy from limiting caffeine, sugar, and alcohol and eating more fresh and local foods.
O’Connor said she was less bloated, and her abdominal muscles were more visible. However, she felt aspects of the Tom Brady diet, such as the food combinations, were too restrictive.
Brady’s nutrition arguments in the book, such as eating alkaline and anti-inflammatory foods, have been criticized by nutrition experts. The athlete also pushes products from his TB12 nutrition and supplement company with controversial business partner Alex Guerrero, according to Vox.
The Boston Globe reported that Guerrero has faced sanctions by federal regulators for deceptive practices, and he once promoted a “drink that protects your brain from the consequences of sports-related traumatic brain injury.” He later stopped selling it.
However, Brady told the Globe that Guerrero “has been a huge part of what I do” and is a “huge, huge reason why I’m still playing.”