To summarize, a preliminary analysis of the data suggests that in my first four weeks going vegan, I needed to consume somewhere around 300 kcals a day worth of food more than I was before to meet the same energy demands. That’s a shocking increase, over 11%. Whether it holds up long-term, or whether my body adapts in some way, is yet to be seen. I used to be a big believer that weight management was just a matter of balancing calories in vs calories out, but this is a pretty dramatic demonstration that since not all “calories in” are absorbed, just balancing this equation isn’t right. I like being wrong, and admitting as much.
Is physical endurance mind over body? I tackle this question through the lens of a new study which suggests not. I offer two thoughts on why it’s not surprising researchers in a recent high-quality study were unable to enhance endurance by enhancing the brain area involved in resisting our urge to stop in response to stress. The takeaway? Your ability to will yourself to better performance or push through the pain is pretty limited, and that urge to stop is likely just the collapse of your body’s ability to metabolize fuel at a rate needed to continue. It’s not merely a subjective feeling to be overcome.