“10,000 calorie challenge”, “space cheat-meal” … These terms are present on social networks today and are associated with bodybuilding. Eat more to gain more muscle, the equation is (on the surface) obvious.
But is it ethical to gain muscle, to eat more, without taking into account what allowed us to achieve our goals, without take into account what food really is?
First and foremost, I wanted to share who I am for people who read me but don’t know me: I am a sports coach, and I do bodybuilding. So you might as well be clear right away: I’m supposed to be one of the people I’m describing. However, I try to stay away from this way of doing things, but I wanted to make it clear so as not to come across as the lesson-giver who feels superior to others.
In addition, let us also be clear on this: when I speak of an ethical problem related to food, I naturally think of products of animal origin (meat, fish, etc.), although plants are not not set aside either (I will come back to this later in the article).
We are offline
For me, the problem isn’t with the mass gain itself. It is normal to want to gain muscle, to want to improve physically, whatever the reasons. The concern for me is that when you move towards mass gain, you can become obsessed with it, even obsessed and ultimately completely disconnected from the diet.
3 to 4 whole eggs in the morning, 100g of chicken for lunch, 1 shaker of protein after training and a 100g of salmon steak in the evening. A classic scheme. We buy in bulk, we stock boxes of 20 steaks to save money, we take in lots so that the weight gain does not come too expensive. In the end, meat, fish, and all other animal products are nothing more than stones which serve to build our edifice. We do not count in number of pieces of meat or fish, we count in number of proteins per kg of body weight per day. Meat is just a quantity of protein.
Are animals food? I will not answer this question because everyone has their own answer, but I think any food deserves a minimum of consideration.
The easy way would be to tell you that animals deserve more respect than plants, but I want to get you to think beyond that. Obviously, animals are a special case, and they deserve special attention. Killing an animal for consumption should never be taken lightly.
Eat to gain notoriety
The ultimate symbol of this disconnection for me is the cheat-meal, and what’s more when it’s done with a lot of excess. The icing on the cake: take a photo or video to show that you’ve broken your own calorie consumption record.
I had already covered this in a previous article but I still needed to talk about it. Taking a photo or video of overeating to share it on social networks or on YouTube, is that a rational attitude? A question we can ask ourselves. Is the cheat-meal there to actually make a “cheat” meal or rather to gain 10 subscribers on Instagram?
And as I said in the introduction, I’m not just talking about animal products, it is obviously possible to make cheat-meals when you’re vegetarian or vegan.
I do not want to lead to hatred but to reflection: what is the meaning of all this? When are we going to realize that food is not a game, that it is not a distraction, that it is not a way to gain subscribers, to become popular, to display photo on social networks? Gain muscle, sure, but is it necessary to expose it this way?
When are we going to lift our heads from the screen, open our eyes, and realize that food is manifestations of life, all imbued with a purity that we have obviously completely lost?
Now you may or may not have guessed it, but I’ll tell you something: I’m vegan. If I tell you now that I’m vegan, it’s because I didn’t want you to be influenced by it while reading the article. Being vegan doesn’t have to mean disagreeing completely with omnivores. Being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean feeling superior to omnivores.
I am not writing this article to denounce one type of diet or defend another. I just wanted to share my take on the deep disconnection we have as humans with food. Towards this food which allows us to achieve our sporting goals, but also to live, to grow, to be happy, to share good times with friends, with members of our family. To this food to which we owe everything, and to which we give nothing, to which we express no gratitude.
I truly believe that we should try to take a step back and realize how fortunate we are to have access to such a variety of foods. In another country, in another era, things would be very different. Food – whether animal or plant origin – gives its life for us, let’s give it a minimum of consideration.
Like I said, I try to apply it on a daily basis but I don’t consider myself perfect. I don’t yet have the level of appreciation I would like to get from food. It comes as you go, taking the time, and not taking anything for granted.
Thanks to you for reading this article. If you want to know how to optimize your vegan sports diet while reaching your sports goals (without doing over-mediated mass gain), you can now start a distance coaching by clicking here . Train with the heart, eat with the heart.