GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers used to call it his “80/20 Rule.”
With an admitted sweet tooth (Girl Scout cookies have been a lifelong favorite) and a weakness for a couple of his favorite Southern California haunts -- In-N-Out Burger (his order: "Double Double, animal style") and Claire’s bakery and café in Solano Beach -- the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s nutrition used to be a simple equation.
Make sure 80 percent of what you eat is healthy, and enjoy the other 20 percent.
In conjunction with his offseason workout regimen, the 80/20 Rule was good enough to keep the two-time NFL MVP in excellent shape heading into the Packers' official offseason program each year. But in recent years, Rodgers has become much more particular about his diet.
This offseason, he and Adam Korzun, the Packers’ director of performance nutrition, took a much more scientific approach to Rodgers’ meal plan, which essentially spelled the end of the 80/20 Rule. Although Rodgers still occasionally indulges, his new approach allowed him to lower his body fat percentage and show up this year in arguably the best shape of his life.
“I think it is all about finding ways to challenge yourself. And one area I've really focused on is working with Adam with my nutrition, and really thinking hard about that,” Rodgers explained last week following the team’s first open-to-the-public organized team activity practice of the offseason.
“We've talked about it the last few years, but even more this year -- just trying to be smart about my eating habits.”
While the 32-year-old Rodgers made it clear that his offseason workouts are still crucial, too -- “[Strength coach] Mark Lovat does a great job on our strength and conditioning area, and I've been working hard at that,” he said -- Rodgers believes a smarter approach to his diet will also benefit him significantly in his quest to play six to eight more NFL seasons.
“To be honest, Tom Brady is an influencer there because of the stuff he talks about, and how healthy he is,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers and the New England Patriots quarterback have become buddies in recent years, and Brady has become extremely passionate about nutrition and health, including extolling the virtues of avocado ice cream and writing a $200 book with “body coach” Alex Guerrero to share some of his philosophies. (In an interview with GQ earlier this month, Brady made it clear that the book is a “nutrition manual,” not a cookbook.)
And while Rodgers might not have plans for his own cookbook -- er, nutrition manual -- in the works, it’s clear that he is serious about the change.
“Everybody eats a little differently,” Rodgers said. “But the more where you are aware of what you put in your body and how it affects your performance, the better opportunities you have. And that's what I'm trying to do.”