Meal prepping is one of those habits that can start strong and then die a quick, sudden death. We start with the best intentions. We get the best color-coordinated Tupperware containers and promise ourselves to never miss a meal-prep Sunday. But alas, life happens and we slip up.

Don’t worry — this doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means you’re human!

After working with hundreds of members who have been able to master the art of meal prepping, we noticed a few commonalities in their approach to the sacred art. Here are some of the best meal prepping hacks we’ve seen. Implement these strategies into your meal prepping and decrease your chances of falling off the bandwagon.

1. Look for shortcuts.

Pre-cut vegetables can be a major time saver — because who has time to chop 10 sweet potatoes and zoodle copious amounts of squash when there are deadlines to meet and crying babies to attend to? Look for these containers of beautifully pre-chopped sides next time you go to your favorite grocery store! Trust us, they’re worth the extra buck.

2. Embrace the mason jar trend

Mason jars aren’t just for jams and wedding centerpieces. Use the trendy glass containers to neatly store your meals — we especially love using them for salads! Layer up all your veggies and pour in your favorite homemade dressing. Shake it up and voila, you have a great meal for your on-the-go lifestyle. (Plus, you’ll definitely want to Instagram that cuteness)

3. Cook it all at once

Have an oven? Perfect. Roast your vegetables, cook your carbs and bake your protein all at once. This will ultimately save you time (and sanity!) Set a timer and pop in a tray of veggies (seasoned with some olive oil, salt and pepper), some potatoes and chicken breasts and BOOM, you have all your ingredients ready to go!

4. Ice cube trays and muffin tins — make them your best friends!

Freeze salad dressing, soups and seasoning in ice cube trays. Pop them out and warm them up for instant flavor. Pour your eggs and veggies into muffin tins and pop them in the oven. You’ll instantly have nicely portioned meals ready to go! It’s all about thinking outside the box when it comes to meal prepping, and we love these handy kitchen tools that most everyone already has!

5. Pick a day and time and stick to it — no matter what

Sometimes, you have to set hard rules for yourself. Make meal prepping one of them. Like any other habit, consistency is key to getting the results you want. Whatever day works best for you, block off an hour as your sacred meal-prep hour. Don’t let anything come in the way of this time! (We know that sounds harsh but hey, the abs are worth it! Trust us.)

We hope these tips help you in your fitness journey! Bonus tip: have PATIENCE! Mastering the art of meal prepping takes time. You won’t become an expert overnight, and that’s ok! Learn from your mistakes and take note of what works and what doesn’t. In time, it’ll be a breeze.