Making it to the gym can be a Herculean feat—so naturally, if you’re not seeing results from your sweat sessions, you can feel discouraged. We talked to Dr. Charles Passler, nutritionist and founder of Pure Change (he counts Bella Hadid and Adriana Lima among his clients) to find out what to do about it. “The connection between exercise and nutrition can at times be confusing,” he says. Basically, if you’re consistently going to the gym but not seeing any results, you need to take a look at what you’re eating.
“I’ve heard people say both exercise and nutrition have some sort of numerical percentage behind them as if they were one entity,” says Dr. Passler. “For example, a patient may say, ‘I’ve heard that reaching goals is 70 percent nutrition and 30 percent exercise.’ I always respond the same way: Look at nutrition and exercise as two separate parts of bigger goal. They play very different but equally important roles in reaching a lifestyle change.”
Here, he breaks down the three most common nutrition and exercise mistakes and how to correct them.
3 Reasons You're Not Seeing Results From Your Workout
"Without setting some sort of goal, exercise can become frustrating for people—they feel as though they're working toward nothing," says Dr. Passler. "The best way to start any sort of lifestyle change is to have a plan—a guide you follow in order to be successful. If you have to question what you'll be eating on a busy day or what workout you'll be doing at the last minute, then you've already started down a path that will most likely lead to failure. A person's success is gauged by how efficiently their exercise and nutritional plan is laid out."
"Knowing exactly when and what to eat as well as what workouts to do, rather than just winging it, helps a person not make bad decisions on the fly."
"Measurement is management," Dr. Passler says. "When you actively log your daily food intake, you can see your progress and make sure you are hitting your calorific needs. You also understand how, for example, eating sugar every night before bed can compound into a reason why you're not reaching your goals."
"Getting empty calories through sugary drinks is one of the worst things you can do to the human body," Dr. Passler says. "If a person is a habitual consumer of drinks high in calories and sugar, he or she will have a much harder time reaching goals, both nutritional and exercise. A properly hydrated person's energy systems run much more efficiently, allowing for better workouts."