If you’re struggling to lose weight, it may be because you’re not prepared to eat healthier meals. Some people think they can’t eat healthy on the go, but what they don’t realize is that eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods altogether.
With these meal prep ideas, you can make delicious and healthy meals ahead of time so you have more food choices when the week gets busy.
Why you should start meal prepping
Meal prepping is ideal for a lot of reasons: It saves you time on busy days, ensures that you’re eating healthy food, and can help you save money. All in all, it’s a great way to reach your weight loss goals without breaking your budget or sacrificing your health.
The things you’ll need to get to start meal prepping
Before you start meal prepping, you should get all the equipment you need! This includes things like a Tupperware container to put all your prepared food in, a microwave and a refrigerator.
The best meal prep containers should have dividers, so you can separate different kinds of foods or parts of meals (for example, meats and veggies). They should also be freezer-safe if you plan on storing them in there. Here are some of our favourite meal prep containers:
Round Plastic Meal Prep Containers by Igluu – Reusable BPA Free Food Containers with Airtight Lids – Microwavable, Freezer and Dishwasher Safe – Ideal Stackable Salad Bowls
Meal Prep Containers 1000ml with Lids Food Prep Boxes 1 Compartment Made of BPA Free Plastic, Stackable, Microwavable, Freezer
Premium 3 Compartment BPA Free Meal Prep Containers – Reusable Plastic Food Containers with Lids. Stackable, Microwavable, Freezer & Dishwasher Safe Bento Lunch Box Set with eBook.
Prepping meals ahead of time makes it much easier to cook when you’re strapped for time — and it’s much less likely that you’ll make bad food choices like picking up something unhealthy on your way home from work.
People who meal prep regularly are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. If that sounds good to you, here are seven awesome meal prep ideas that will help keep you feeling good all week long.
A filling and healthy way to lose weight is to use lettuce cups. Lettuce cups are a great snack for anyone who is trying to lose weight.
All you have to do is take some iceberg lettuce leaves and put in some ground beef, chicken or other meat of your choice. Next, add any veggies that you want, such as tomatoes, olives, mushrooms or onions. Lastly add in cheese if you would like and wrap it up in a lettuce leaf for a delicious lunch or dinner alternative. If you don’t like those ingredients listed above just switch them out with what ever healthy things you enjoy eating. By doing so it will still help you keep off pounds while keeping your taste buds happy!
Here is a great lettuce cups recipe.
Tuna Salad Lettuce wraps (286 calories)
- 1 ¼ cup (280g) tuna in olive oil, drained
- 1 tbsp. tomato puree
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- ½ Granny Smith apple
- 8 lettuce leaves
Put the tuna and half of the oil from the can in a bowl and mix with the tomato puree.
Chop the red onion as fine as possible and add to the tuna. Cut the apple in 2 parts and remove the core. Chop the apple into small cubes and also add to the tuna. Mix everything.
Spread the tuna over the 8 lettuce leaves and serve as wraps.
Quinoa is a fantastic replacement for rice in your meal prep ideas and an excellent addition to any diet. It’s a gluten-free whole grain that offers all nine essential amino acids, making it ideal for building muscle and aiding in recovery. It also provides fiber, iron, B vitamins and many other essential nutrients.
Quinoa is low on the glycaemic index scale, which means that it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels like some grains do.
To prepare quinoa bowls ahead of time, combine cooked quinoa with your favorite veggies and lean protein source (chicken breast works great) then place the end result in your Tupperware. You can store these in your freezer for up to two months.
Here is a delicious (vegan) quinoa bowl recipe.
Quinoa Tabbouleh (272 calories)
- 1 cup (170g) quinoa
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 small cucumber, finely diced
- 1 bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- ⅔ cup (15g) parsley, chopped
- ⅔ cup (15g) mint, chopped
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
Cook the quinoa according to instructions on the packaging. Once cooked, place in a large salad bowl.
Finely dice the vegetables and chop the fresh herbs, then add to the salad bowl.
Squeeze in the lime juice, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix everything well until combined.
Serves as a salad or side dish. Store covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Soup & Salad
Not only does soup work well for meal prep, but it’s also super healthy and tasty. Make a large batch of chicken or vegetable soup on Sunday and you’ll have several lunches covered during your week.
Soup can help stabilize blood sugar levels, making it a great choice for weight loss . And since most soups pack in veggies, they’re a low-calorie alternative to higher calorie comfort foods like fried potatoes. Pair your warm bowl of soup with a fresh salad (just be sure to leave off any high-calorie dressing) for an extra boost of satiating fiber and nutrients.
Here is a delicious and antioxidant-rich soup recipe.
Broccoli and ginger soup (179 calories)
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 7 oz. (200g) leeks, chopped
- 2 tbsp. ginger, chopped
- 2 broccoli heads, florets
- 1 large potato, peeled, chopped
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 6 cups (3 litres) stock
- 6 tbsp. natural yogurt (or dairy free option)
- 6 tsp. sunflower seeds
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for around 5-6 minutes, until leeks are softened.
Add in the ginger, broccoli florets, chopped potato, turmeric, salt, sesame oil and stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Blend until creamy and smooth with a hand blender, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve topped with yogurt and sunflower seeds.
The soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months
In addition to keeping you full, nuts are also rich in proteins and unsaturated fats that help promote better heart health. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that people who consumed walnuts as a snack twice daily for 4 weeks showed significant decreases in weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that participants who ate 1.5 ounces of walnuts for 6 months had decreased abdominal fat and waist circumference when compared to participants who were not on a nut-rich diet. Almonds are also a great choice as they contain monounsaturated fats which have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your blood.
If you’re looking for a fast, easy and delicious breakfast idea for weight loss then look no further than egg muffins. These are single serving low-carb breakfasts that can be prepared ahead of time. Simply crack some eggs into a muffin tin and bake until set. When cooled, store in freezer bags for up to 3 months. Just grab one from your freezer when you need to go.
Do you love yogurt? We do too! In fact, there’s a reason why it appears on our list of 7 recipes for weight loss. Yogurt is packed with probiotics that help keep your digestive system humming along every day. Parfaits are also a great way to add variety to your regular routine, so try one of these healthy recipes for breakfast or lunch. With granola, berries and chia seeds thrown in, you won’t even miss dessert!
Here is a great yogurt parfait recipe.
Summer yoghurt parfait (252 calories)
- 2 medium peaches, chopped, frozen
- 1 medium banana, sliced, frozen
- ¾ cup (190g) natural yogurt
- ½ cup (125ml) coconut water
- 1 scoop (25g) vanilla protein powder
- fresh berries
- Goji berries
- chia seeds
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth.
Divide between 2 bowls, add your favourite toppings and serve straight away.
The best thing about smoothies is that you can get a lot of vitamins and nutrients, which you can’t always get from food alone.
Smoothies are also one of those things where, if you’re not sure what to make, you can mix it up every time so you don’t get bored. If there are some healthy ingredients that sound good to you, add them in!
This is what makes smoothies great: they give you more options and flexibility. Every day is different; if something sounds good today, throw it in your blender tomorrow! Here are a few more tips on how to make delicious and healthy smoothies: Make sure your ingredients are fresh—this will be crucial for taste and healthfulness.
Here is a beautiful smoothie recipe.
Peanut butter and jelly smoothie
- 1 small banana
- 1 tbsp. peanut butter
- ¾ cup (100g) frozen raspberries
- ⅞ cup (200ml) almond milk, unsweetened
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth.
Meal prep is an easy way to lose weight and stick to your diet plan. In just a couple of hours on a weekend, you can prepare meals for your whole week and make sure you don’t end up ordering pizza or stopping by a drive-thru.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed these 7 meal prep ideas and you’re ready to get started in prepping your healthy diet! Be sure to check out this meal prep service in Toronto that delivers healthy and delicious meals that suit your goals.
If you’re serious about weight loss, make sure to check out the Nutrition2change Academy weight management and nutrition course.