In our busy and stressful life, we don’t want to stain ourselves every day thinking of what to prepare for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. So, it is better to have all our meals planned out beforehand. Also, if you are on diet control, planning your meals ahead will give you a clear idea about your food intake. In this article, we will discuss healthy meal prep ideas for weight loss.
But first, let us get into the basics of meal prep.
What is Meal Prepping?
How many times have you entered the kitchen, not knowing what to prepare or you have planned of making something and the ingredients are not available? So many times! Right?
Meal prepping is planning and preparing your meals beforehand. Planning can make anything look easier. Making a list of meals in advance will save up a lot of your time and you will know exactly what you have to prepare. Also when you do the preparation ahead of time you won’t have to worry about the missing ingredients.
Meal prepping can be done for any meal of the day. You can meal prep for a week or just for the next day. It is not hard as it sounds and I am sure you will enjoy meal prepping once you get the hang of it.
Benefits of Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is a genius plan for starting off your week. There are so many reasons that will make you fall in love with meal prepping. A few of them are listed below:
We decide to prepare something, buy it from the store, use a little part of it, and the rest is forgotten for days. We then find it when it becomes stale or is already past the expiry date. This is a very common situation in many households.
Also, there are times when we are not in a mood to put too much effort into cooking or we are home late and then we opt for takeouts or order food from outside. If all the family members are working, there are chances that this situation may come often. All these things will leave a hole in your pocket.
But if the meal preparation is already done in advance and you just have to put it in a microwave, you won’t have to spend a huge amount on ordering food.
First of all, thinking about what to make the checking for the ingredients, if something is missing then planning to make something else or getting it from the store, doing the preparation, and finally getting the meals ready. This is what you have to go through every day.
So, save up the time and do this all in one single day. You’ll need a little planning and a few ingredients and you can easily set yourself up for a week.
When you don’t have to do the preparation from scratch every day, it saves your energy and you can spend your time relaxing or focusing on your health. Also, if you are planning to lose weight you can spend your time doing exercises or yoga.
There are times when we prepare a huge quantity of food and a portion of it goes to waste. And sometimes a few of your ingredients are just forgotten in the refrigerator. With meal prepping you get a clear idea of what you will need and how much to prepare. This will not only save food but also your money.
Healthy Eating and Calorie Count
When you plan, you get a clear idea of what you eat and it’s calories count. It also makes it easier to keep a track of proteins, carbs, fats, or fiber percentages in your food.
You can choose the recipes that will support your weight loss and make it beforehand. This way you will slowly start avoiding junk foods.
How To Meal Prep
Now that you know what meal prep is and it’s benefits, let’s see how to meal prep. There are 4 steps involved in this process:
You need to plan what all the dishes you want to make for the week. The planning can be done according to your diet plan, your family’s wishes. Plan your servings and make a time table. Choose the recipes where you can use some of the same products, this will save your budget.
Once you are done with the planning of the dishes you can prepare a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need. If 2 or 3 of your dishes require the same ingredients then calculate the quantity accordingly.
Always make a shopping list as it helps you remember what all you require and you will never miss out on a thing.
Apart from the ingredients needed in the recipe, you’ll also need something to store what you prepare. If you are new buy a few airtight containers, zip-lock bags, mason jars, etc.
Now you know what you have to prepare and you also have everything you need so the next step is, to begin with prepping.
If you are new to meal prepping start by planning for a day or two and then move on to a week. Once you are done, separate them in portions for storage.
Pack the meal portions in jars, boxes, or bags accordingly. Store them in a refrigerator or freezer. Keep each portion in a separate container, this way you can easily take out a box and get your meal ready in minutes.
How Meal Prep Supports Weight Loss
When you are looking for weight loss, you don’t want to opt for takeouts or any junk food. Healthy eating habit is one of the most effective reasons for weight loss. And when your meals are already ready, you won’t have to buy food from outside.
You can keep a track of what you each and how much you eat. While planning your meals, add in all the nutritious dishes you want. Also, it is easier to keep a count of the percentage of proteins, fiber, carbs, and fats you eat. If you are planning to cut down calories, meal prepping will give you a clear idea of your calorie intake for a week.
If you are following certain diets like keto or paleo, you have to plan the meals accordingly. In case you have a habit of having some snacks in between meals or at midnight then include them in your plan too.
Below are a few dishes that are healthy and will support your weight loss. You can add in your meal plan.
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss: Recipes for Breakfast
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Here are a few ideas.
One of the healthiest and easiest things you can enjoy in the morning is a smoothie. Get some berries, bananas, spinach, etc. (ingredients of your smoothie) ready in a zip-lock bag and put it in the freezer. You just have to take it out and put it in a blender to get it ready.
2. Overnight Oats
When it comes to breakfast, oatmeals never miss out on the list. And if you are looking forward to weight loss, oats are best as they keep you full for a long time.
Burritos can be made beforehand and packed nicely to keep it in a freezer. Warm it up in the morning and your breakfast is ready in a minute.
4. Pumpkin Pancakes
Pancakes! Yes, it won’t affect your diet plan. Pumpkin pancakes are not only tasty but also healthy. They are loaded with proteins and are freezer-friendly.
5. French Toast
Who doesn’t love french toast? You need to prepare a set of french toast sticks and then store them in bags. Just preheat the oven and put them in before eating.
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss: Recipes for Lunch/Dinner
Here are five recipes which you can try for lunch or dinner.
1. Cauliflower Fried Rice
Cauliflower fried rice is low in carb and gluten-free. It is also much healthier than plain rice. You can make big batches of it in advance and store it in the freezer.
2. Sheet Pan Chicken
Sheet pan recipes are the easiest. You just have to put everything together in a pan and get it ready. Divide them into boxes and store them in the fridge. You can make your own sheet pan recipe.
3. Teriyaki Tofu And Broccoli
Want to try vegan on some days? Teriyaki Tofu is an amazing choice. They are gluten-free, healthy and easy to cook. This crispy recipe will satisfy your cravings, so you won’t have to go for junk or unhealthy food.
4. Lemon Roasted Salmon With Asparagus
You can never go wrong with this recipe – Lemon Roasted Salmon With Asparagus. It’s juicy and flavorful.
5. Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs
Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs has all the flavors you need, they are spicy and sweet. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare the entire dish. You can freeze the meatballs and put them in the microwave before dinner to serve them hot.
Continue Reading: Healthy Late Night Snacks