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NFL diets: how to healthy eat like Super Bowl champions | Box Appetit

| by Drew Middleton

healthy eating, nfl diets

With Super Bowl LI this coming Sunday, we thought it fitting to provide you with some touchdown tips on the best NFL diets around. From New England’s Tom Brady to the Giants’ Rashad Jennings, follow these nutrition guidelines to eat like a champion and be as fit as a quarterback.

The ‘Quarterback Diet’ of New England Patriots’ Tom Brady

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He's just won this year's 51st Super Bowl in Houston after a historic comeback! So what's the secret diet behind his success?

With 15 football seasons and eight Super Bowl final trips (five of which he has now won), Tom Brady is one of the NFL’s most decorated MVP quarterbacks in history. Standing at 6 ft 4 in and weighing 225 lb, he is fabled for his passing ability of which he holds a number of high-placed career records...

Sprinting to the 40-yard mark: his success could be part due to his plant-based diet.

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Allen Campbell - personal chef to Brady, his Brazilian supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen and their children - was interviewed at Boston.com, unveiling some interesting nutrition secrets.

We’ve compiled the top five quotes from the interview below for you:


A video posted by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on


The Most Important: “80% of what they eat is fresh organic vegetables and whole grains. The other 20% is lean meats like grass-fed steak, duck, chicken and wild salmon.”

“No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I only cook with coconut oil, but never with olive oil. I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium.”

“No nightshades such as tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and eggplants. No coffee or caffeine. No fungus. No dairy”

“For kids: dehydrated super fruit snacks, veggie sushi with brown rice, avocado, carrot and cucumber, and raw granola. We stick to gluten free for everything”

“Differences in things I cook are seasonal. In wintertime, there are more red meat, soups, and root vegetables. In the summer, there are lighter meals like salads and raw lasagna”

Nutrition Tips from New York Giants’ Rashad Jennings diet

Undeserving & Thankful.

A photo posted by Rashad Jennings (@rashadjennings) on


Speaking with Daniel Williams, the Digital Features Editor of NFL.com, the New York Giants’ 6 ft 1, 231 lb running back Rashad Jennings shared advice on how he nutritionally fuels his body with a strict diet - and the benefits it has on his game play.

Whilst he has never graced a Super Bowl final, he knows exactly how to fuel his body for football.

Rashad’s touchdown tips to take away:

  1. Ensure your food is fuel-efficient: forget about counting calories and simply eat food that provides your body with essential energy e.g. clean carbohydrates and proteins.
  2. Eat “full” 3-4 times a day: start the day off with a large healthy breakfast and a protein shake. Then be sure to eat protein/carb/veg/fruit loaded meals for lunch and dinner
  3. Cut out “empty” foods: completely avoid foods with empty calories. They can supply basic energy but are highly processed with added chemicals and sugars. White sugar, rice, and pasta are a no-go. Eating complex meals full of rich nutrient-dense foods is crucial: brown or whole grain rice and pasta, berries, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice and green leafy vegetables.
  4. Be strict on snacks: Jennings recommends choosing whole fruits or turkey meatballs over tempting pretzels and chips.
  5. Feed your game (and recovery): protein shakes are pre-match gold, but meals high in antioxidants and protein are equally fitting. Chicken, turkey, and bison are the most nutritious meats; season with health-boosting spices such as turmeric and ginger too.

rashad jennings, new york giants, diet, nutrition, turkey meatballs

Here are a few simple and tasty meals that form part of Jennings’ diet:

  • Turkey Meatloaf with pesto pasta, sauteed vegetables, and sweet yogurt
  • Bison Burger with sweet potatoes and mixed vegetables
  • Hummus on gluten-free toast with chopped avocados and turkey bacon
  • Salad with chicken/tuna, leafy greens, and whole fruits
  • Dark turkey meat with cranberry, mashed potatoes, green beans and baked onion

Give them a try!

The ‘Vegan Diet’ of ex-Oakland Raiders defensive lineman David Carter

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Currently a free agent, David Carter was nearing 300-pounds before he realized fatty dairy products were gaining him too much weight. He decided to swap ice cream shakes and 10,000 calories a day of “bulk-food” for a 100% vegan diet, according to GQ.

The physical benefits? He lost 40 pounds, ran faster and further, was able to lift heavier weights and reduced his joint pain.

The food he ate to get him there? Cannellini beans, millet, quinoa, couscous, brown rice, sunflower seeds, fruit, homemade sauerkraut, cashews and more. These foods provided enough protein to fuel his athletic workouts and football game energy.

How retired Giants punter Steve Weatherford shreds with a personal NFL diet

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If you’re looking to shred your body fat, Steve Weatherford’s advice can help you shake the pounds off. Muscle and Fitness spoke to Steve about how he keeps his body in such fantastic shape. Here’s what we found out:

Firstly, as we’ve already learned, quinoa and plant-based proteins are huge nutritional factors. They keep energy levels high. Chickpeas, eggs, chicken and once-weekly red meat also contribute to his diet.

Secondly, he eats clean foods which are perfectly partnered with his very active metabolism. Alongside gym workouts, weight lifting, and sports training he’ll devour leafy green vegetables and juices made with kale, watercress, ginger, apple, and parsley.

These foods are very nutritious and have been proven to help you lose weight while increasing muscle mass and power.

The best advice we’ve learned about NFL diets?…

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American Football players’ nutrition will differ from position-to-position. Calorie consumption can range from 4,000-6,000 for a quarterback to 8,000-10,000 for a defensive tackle. However, NFL diets are generally formulated with healthy fats, carbs, proteins, fruits, and vegetables to fuel athleticism and prevent injury.

When it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner: grilled lean meats, steak, fresh fruits and veg, whole grains, egg whites, oats and protein shakes will always suffice.

Prep like an American Football player for the ultimate fitness nutrition now.


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