What’s the key to making sure your eating plan stays on track? Always have plenty of healthy options on hand.

You don’t have to be training for a competition to be the type of person who plans out their food choices. Knowing exactly what extra ingredients are in that chicken dish or how much fat goes into the salad dressing can go a long way toward helping keep your calories in check and your macros in line with your goals.

In fact, research from Johns Hopkins University found that subjects who cooked their own dinner six to seven times a week consumed fewer calories, fat, and sugar on an average day compared with those who only cooked dinner once a week or less.

Having your food ready to eat when hunger hits will also keep you from bingeing on snacks or prepackaged convenience food. As both a nutritionist and an IFBB figure pro, I not only encourage my clients to organize their meal prep in advance—I also practice what I preach. Here are my top tips for keeping your menus on track and your body adequately fueled.

Couple cooking together with a cookbook

5 Key Points for a Successful Meal Prep

Make meal prepping hassle-free.

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