The Game Changers film was released in 2018 as a co-collaboration with many star producers, including James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan. UFC Fighter and United States military trainer James Wilks presents his discoveries about the benefits of a plant-based diet, backed by research and testimonials from doctors and celebrity athletes. He aims to debunk myths about the necessity of animal-based protein for high athletic performance and an overall healthy lifestyle.
The Game Changer Diet Philosophy
The Game Changer movie diet encourages people to switch our heavily animal-based diet to a plant-based one. This Game Changer diet has been promoted by the Game Changers film, debuted in January 2018 at the Sundance Film Festival.
The movie focuses on how the plant-based Game Changer diet has increased athletic performance. It also suggests the implications of a plant-based diet on our general health and environment. The movie is narrated by James Wilks, a combat instructor for the United States military who did extensive research about diets that aid recovery after he was sidelined by a serious injury.
James Wilks had made a surprising discovery that Roman gladiators thrived on a plant-based diet. After speaking with experts on this topic, he did his own research. James Wilks found that a plant-based diet significantly improved his performance, and he came across other professional athletes with similar results.
The more Wilks dug, the more convinced he became that the necessity for animal-based protein was a marketing scheme of the meat industry. His revelation inspired him to make the Game Changers documentary film, which tries to educate people about the facts of protein intake.
Other athletes interviewed in the film are former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, strongman Patrik Baboumin, and cyclist Dotsie Bausch. While Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about the games of advertising, Patrik Baboumin and Dotsie Bausch give personal testimonials about their experience with a vegan diet.
Reversing Adverse Health Effects of an Animal-Based Diet
Our routines have a considerable effect on our health, far more than our genetics. Diet is one of the most critical factors in preventing illness, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. With cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s important to note how a plant-based diet can reduce inflammation in our bodies.
Consuming meat causes our arteries to constrict. Salty, high-fat diets increase your rate of bad cholesterol, which creates plaque build-up in your arteries. Over time, this plaque can have a severe impact on your circulatory system.
One method to combat high cholesterol and blood pressure is to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and healthy fats. For this reason, doctors typically recommend a Mediterranean or plant-based diet to patients struggling with high cholesterol and hypertension, as Mediterranean cuisine is heavy on legumes, vegetables, and healthy oils.
Heme iron, found in meat, is responsible for increasing plaque deposits in your arteries. In contrast, nitrates in vegetables like spinach, beets, carrots, and lettuce can reduce inflammation in your circulatory system. Often, people that switch to a plant-based diet see a significant decrease in their cholesterol numbers.
Game Changers cites Doctor Walter Willett from Harvard University, who explains that amino acids found in animal byproducts may encourage the onset of cancer. He specifically references protein from dairy products being a major player in the emergence of prostate cancer, suggesting The Game Changer Diet to be an optimal men's diet plan. Animal products lack antioxidants that can reverse oxidative stress and inflammation, which may damage cellular DNA to encourage the production of cancer cells.
Game Changers plant-based diet can also help reduce the effects of erectile dysfunction by lowering cholesterol. Nitrates found in plants can increase the dilation of blood vessels, which is necessary for an erection.
A diet primarily consisting of vegetables may also improve our neurological health by preventing or reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It may also reduce inflammation responsible for asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Performance and the Game Changer Diet
A calorie surplus is necessary for building muscle mass. Expert weight-lifters consume 5-10% more than the daily requirement to develop and maintain muscle. Plant-based diets have lower caloric content, allowing athletes to eat more while feeling fuller. Though plants are far lower-calorie than animal products, it is possible to pack in the necessary calories without turning to meat.
Athletes following the Game Changer Diet should incorporate more high-calorie plant-based foods into their diets, such as tofu, tempeh, avocados, nuts, beans, and dry fruits. There are many plant-based dietary supplements on the market that can help fill in the gaps. Plant-based power bars, protein powders, and substitute meats can help increase calorie count to achieve your necessary daily intake.
Now to protein. Protein is not exclusively sourced from animals. Instead, animals get their protein from plant sources. Meat is exceptionally high in protein, but it has an inflammatory effect on our system, not to mention that it lacks vital nutrients from plants that were stripped away in the animal's digestive process.
While commonly consumed vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce are low in protein, there are many high-protein sources among plants that are not typically a part of our Western diet. These include beans, lentils, tofu, various nuts, and seeds.
Animal-based protein can harm our system by increasing our intake of cholesterol, saturated fat, and pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory elements. In contrast, plants can deliver the same amount of protein while decreasing inflammation and providing our body with essential nutrients.
The Game Changers film turns to nature to explain this concept. It mentions that some of the strongest animals in our world use only plants for sustenance, such as the rhinoceros and silver-backed gorilla. World-famous strongman Patrik Baboumin attests to this as an active advocate for veganism, having given up animal byproducts entirely in 2011.
James Wilks originally stumbled upon the plant-based diet as an aid to a quicker recovery. The Game Changer diet's de-inflammatory effect can speed up recovery between workouts. It can also improve muscle efficiency, increase blood flow, and raise your energy level overall.
The Game Changer Diet Recipes
While cutting out animal products may seem impossible for some, many innovative recipes can substitute the foods you love. Some ingredients are easy to replace. Mashed bananas, applesauce, and silken tofu can replace eggs used in baking. Ready-made substitutes for eggs and milk can be purchased in your local grocery store. Milk substitutes like soy, rice, and almond milk have become increasingly popular, and therefore more accessible to the average shopper.
Many Eastern cuisines already incorporate plant-based dishes into their everyday diet. Many Indian, African, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cuisines offer simple, delicious recipes that cut out animal products entirely.
The Game Changer Diet official website suggests their own innovative recipes to recreate the foods you love without animal products. Check out their home page for instructions on Sweet Potato Queso, BBQ Chickpea and Carrot Sliders, Tempeh Bacon, Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream, and Chickpea Tuna Salad.
The Game Changers site offers a lot of other tips for people converting to a plant-based diet, from being a traveling vegan to staying motivated when you're trying to forgo your guilty pleasures. This advice includes meal prepping and stocking your pantry with legumes and other products that are easy to whip up in a pinch.
With plant-based diets becoming increasingly popular, many ready-made vegan dishes are available in the freezer aisle of your grocery store. It never hurts to have a few frozen pizzas on hand when you've had a long day and aren't up for testing out your culinary mastery.
Pre-prepped vegetables are available in most grocery stores. Buying chopped frozen sweet potatoes or ready broccoli florets can save you valuable time by skipping the need to cut, peel, or boil raw vegetables.
The Game Changer Diet and the Environment
The Game Changer Diet seeks to ‘cut out the middleman,’ those animals which give us protein by processing plant sources. By reducing our consumption of meat, we could cut back on an industry that is harmful to our environment. Raising animal livestock requires a significant amount of resources, such as land and water, increasing our footprint on the earth via pollution and carbon gases.
Animals must consume six times the amount of protein they produce. To reach this threshold, animals need a vast amount of land for grazing, which much be irrigated. Significantly more water is used for agriculture than any household use- almost seven times more, at 27% of our overall water usage. Waste resulting from livestock farming is the primary factor in water pollution.
Animals consume a lot of resources, and they must be cared for until adulthood before farmers (and meat-eaters) reap on the reward. This requires months and years of heavy land and water usage for just one animal. While the Game Changers film primarily focuses on the practical aspects of meat production, there are far more ethical arguments against animal-based products. When looking at the physical rewards and benefits of the Game Changer diet for our environment, we must wonder why we haven’t already made the switch.