Looking for helpful meal prep ideas for weight loss? Read on.
If you're trying to lose weight, you probably know by now that planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks is half the battle. Armed with our meal prep ideas for weight loss, you'll be better equipped to avoid quick, unhealthy options and instead enjoy nutritious eats to help you reach your goal without too much extra work.
One of the most common reasons people make poor nutrition choices is a lack of time. You know how that goes. You're rushing out the door to a meeting and you grab a sugary energy bar or muffin in place of a wholesome breakfast. You plan to hit the grocery store after work, but your hunger pangs win out and you wind up at a fast food restaurant instead. When you're time-crunched or too tired to cook, it's easy to reach for whatever is fastest, most convenient, and most often unhealthy.
With a solid meal prep plan, however, you can curb those cravings and fuel better when you're pressed for time. If you're already a meal-prep pro but need help making choices to support your weight loss goal, we have your back. Try our meal prep ideas for weight loss to ensure that you always have healthy options on hand. With a solid foundation in place for your day-to-day nutrition, you'll be off to a great start toward nailing your goal weight.
Meal Prep Ideas For Weight Loss
One of the main components of your meal prep plan should be plenty of high-fiber produce. Fruits and vegetables add bulk to your diet, making you feel full longer. They also provide important antioxidants and vitamins, to help support a healthy immune system while you're trimming down. Some great ways to work with produce include:
- Pick one day a week to prep all your fruits and veggies at once. This cuts down on the time spent making meals throughout the week. Rather than washing and chopping the produce each time, you can simply toss prepared items into salads, stir frys, pastas, and smoothies.
- Besides basic chopping and dicing, try spiralizing veggies like zucchini, carrots, beets, and cucumbers. Spiralized veggies work well as pasta substitutes, wrap fillings, and salad toppers. Plus, the different shapes and textures you can achieve with a spiralizer will add variety and an appealing aesthetic to your meals.
- Wash and dry leafy greens in a salad spinner when you bring them home. Store them in a Ziploc bag or food container lined with a paper towel to stay fresh. Throughout the week, grab a handful or two to add to every salad, sandwich, sauté, and bowl.
- Make salads to go by packing your favorite produce into Mason jars; then pack one for lunch every day of the week.
Any healthy weight loss plan should include ample lean protein. Grill or roast meats and poultry in advance. (You can meal prep most seafood, too, although you'll want to eat it within a few days). Cook beans and lentils in large batches in a slow cooker, which requires minimal effort. Then, turn your proteins into multiple meals:
- Use chicken breast cutlets or a lean steak as the focal point of a meal. The next night, cube some of the protein and arrange with veggies on skewers, or whip up a healthy stir fry. For another meal, use your protein as a salad topper or sandwich filler.
- Make a big pot of nutritious chili or lentil soup to last throughout the week. Pack the pot with plenty of veggies, and either keep it vegetarian or add lean ground turkey. You can even freeze portions to enjoy down the road.
- Beans and lentils make a great base for protein-packed cold salads. Just add a mix of veggies, fresh herbs, and vinaigrette and you'll have a side dish or main meal salad for days to come.
- Make several bean or meat-filled burritos or wrap sandwiches for easy lunches to fuel your week.
- Protein shakes are a nutritious way to supplement when you need fast, healthy fuel on the go. Use BlenderBottle GoStak containers to prep your protein powder in advance, and your favorite BlenderBottle shaker when you're ready to mix it up and enjoy.
Whole Grains & Seeds
Whole grains keep well when cooked, so don't hesitate to cook a big batch of brown rice, quinoa, couscous or other grains at the start of each week. Even oatmeal can be cooked in advance, as well as soaked overnight. Some tasty and nutritious ways to incorporate prepped grains into your diet include:
- Use grains as a base for bowls or salads, topped with any combination of protein, produce, nuts, seeds, sauce, dressing, or salsa. Anything can really be turned into a bowl and it's easy enough to prep multiple bowls in advance so experiment with your favorite add-ins and get on board with this healthy nutrition trend.
- Stuff grains into bell peppers, hollowed out zucchini boats, or Portobello mushroom caps. Top with a small amount of shredded Parmesan and bake. Stuffed veggies taste great hot or cold.
- Make individual portions of overnight oats, muesli, or chia pudding. You'll love having a healthy breakfast waiting for you first thing in the morning.
Using these meal prep ideas for weight loss, you'll be on your way to healthy, nutritious, and delicious eating. And you'll cut down on time spent cooking while you work to reach your goal weight.