While fries and chips and junk foods have their appeal, if you are someone trying to lose weight, these are the last things you would want to have in your meal. They are undoubtedly tempting and many people are even apprehensive about how far “healthy” food can satiate their taste buds, but at some point, you just have to keep your priorities sorted. But does that mean, you have to give up entirely on satiating your taste buds? Thankfully, No. Weight loss meal prep ideas need not always be bland and you can get some awesome recipes with all kinds of healthy ingredients packed in them.
The key to sorting your meal plan is striking the balance between what you eat from breakfast to dinner. The timings of your meals, the quality of the ingredients, size of the portions and the preparation methods altogether affect your health and weight loss journey. We have listed some quick, easy and delicious healthy meal prep ideas for weight loss that can satiate your taste bud but will not hamper your prowess towards a healthier lifestyle.
As we prepared the list, the availability of the ingredients, the ease and simplicity of the preparation and the taste were the primary factors taken into consideration. From salads to healthier versions of tacos- you can find it all here and rest assured that spices are not forsaken either.
What does Meal prep mean and other important prerequisites?
Meal prep is not just about tossing in the ingredients at hand and coming up with something edible enough. It is an art to be nurtured and science to be mastered. The concept of meal prepping is about scheduling and planning meals ahead of time. This helps to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and reduce impulsive eating.
You can go for batch-cooking or make individual portions or simply keep the ingredients prepared so that your diet routine does not get hampered. When your goal is meal prep for weight loss, it goes without saying that the ingredients which are ideal for weight loss should always be available at hand. Here are a few tips for efficient meal prepping:
- Have a consistent schedule for shopping groceries and cooking and stick to that.
- Sort the right combination of recipes so that you can limit the dishes that are utilized daily.
- Invest in quality containers that are microwave-friendly and made from healthy materials.
- Plan the combination of dishes such that you get maximum nutrition with maximum taste.
- Be careful about the portions and batches you make ahead of times, especially for recipes that tend to go rancid quickly.
When you follow these carefully, you can easily make sure that meal prepping becomes more fun and easier to tackle. Now we have some awesome recipes which you can make in a jiffy, implementing the meal prep tips shared above.
Meal prep recipes for breakfast
Breakfast is the first meal of the day and should be the heaviest and the healthiest to keep you going through the day. This is exactly why we are asked never to skip breakfast. The following are meal prep ideas to lose weight and are ideal for your breakfast:
1. Chocolate Peanut butter Oats
- 2 bananas
- Dark cocoa powder- 1/4cup
- Natural peanut butter 1/4cup and 2 tablespoon
- Vanilla extract- 2 teaspoon
- Almond milk- unsweetened- 2 cups
- Rolled uncooked oats, 2cups
How to prepare:
The preparation is simple where you need to blend the cocoa powder, almond milk and oats thoroughly and heat them if you want. Once it comes to boil, add the vanilla extract and peanut butter and blend some more. In the end, add the bananas after dicing them.
2. Peanut butter green Smoothie
- 1 bag spinach
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 3 ripe bananas
- 6 tablespoon peanut butter
- Unsweetened almond milk
How to prepare:
You can store all the ingredients except the almond milk and peanut butter, in a zipper bag in the fridge and every day take out each bag to blend into a smoothie with the almond milk and peanut butter. The process is simple where you just have to blend everything thoroughly before serving.
3. Ham, Egg and Cheese Quesadillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Diced ham 1 cup
- Broccoli floret diced- 1 cup
- 4 large eggs beaten
- Kosher salt and Pepper to taste
- Green onions sliced
- ½ shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat)
- ½ cup raspberries and blueberries
- Thinly sliced green shallots- 2
- Peeled and segmented tangerines- 4
How to prepare:
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line with a baking sheet or parchment paper.
- In a pan, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic for a minute. Then add ham and broccoli till broccoli gets tender.
- In a skillet add the eggs and cook till no liquid egg remains on the pan.
- Layer tortillas with the egg and fold them into halves and then place them in the preheated oven after sprinkling with cheese.
- Cook 3-4 minutes till the cheese melts.
- Place the tortillas with raspberries, tangerines and blueberries in a meal-prep container
4. Fruit and yoghurt meal box
- 1 cup low-fat granola
- Fruits of your choice- diced and peeled
- Plain yoghurt fat-free- 4 cups
How to prepare:
All you need to do is assemble the ingredients in a bistro box. You can sprinkle salt and pepper as required and refrigerate them. You can prepare such boxes for every day and they can be stored for up to 3-4 days.
Meal Prep Recipes For Lunch
The lunch needs to be lighter but have more proteins and fibres and hence keeping that in mind, we have presented some simple recipes for weight loss meal prep:
5. Cauliflower shrimp fried rice
- Small cauliflower head- broken florets
- 1 lb of raw shrimps- beheaded and devised.
- Medium-sized zucchini cut into cubes
- 1 diced red bell pepper
- 1 diced yellow bell pepper
- Low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp, garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon each of ginger powder and sesame seeds
How to make:
- Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor till it is broken into rice size pieces.
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan and add shrimp, garlic and ginger powder. Stir for two minutes till the shrimps are partially cooked.
- Stir in the veggies and the cauliflower rice till they get tender.
- Add the soy sauce and keep stirring till the liquid is completely reduced.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds.
6. Low carb Tuna Salad
- 2 can tuna packed in water and liquid drained.
- 2 tablespoon Mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- A celery rib finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Sea salt to taste
7. Romaine Lettuce leaves for the wrap and diced choice of raw veggies
How to prepare:
- Flake apart the tuna in a medium bowl and mix well with all the ingredients except for the romaine lettuce and raw veggies.
- Spread the mixture on lettuce and at the side, serve with 2-3 inches sticks of carrot which are peeled.
- This can be stored for up to 4 days in meal-prep boxes.
8. Green Couscous Salad
- Any flavoured pearled couscous mix- 2 ounces
- 1 English cucumber- chopped
- 3 bell pepper finely chopped
- Large onion finely chopped
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup Italian flat parsley
- 2 cans chickpeas
- Feta cheese to taste
- For dressing:
- 1/4cup red wine vinegar
- Olive oil ½ cup
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
- Minced garlic 1 tablespoon
- Oregano 1 teaspoon
- Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to prepare:
- Prepare the couscous mix as per the instructions on the packaging.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and roast them in the oven if you want.
- Prepare the dressing by shaking all the ingredients together inside a mason jar.
- Chop all the veggies roughly and to serve as a salad mix them up with the couscous and chickpeas and top with the grated feta cheese.
- To set aside as meal prep, divide into the containers and add a lemon wedge, add feta cheese and salt and pepper on the top. Just give it a good stir before you eat.
Meal Prep Recipes For Dinner
Dinners are all about delicacies and also the lightest meal of the day. We have some delicious meal preps for dinner specifically which will definitely fulfil these criteria:
9. Mongolian Beef Meal Prep
- First, put 1lb of flank beef in a medium-sized bowl and add cornstarch until the beef is evenly coated with it.
- Add 3 tbsp of brown sugar, 3 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp of water, 1 tsp of grated ginger, and 1 clove of minced garlic to make the Mongolian beef sauce in a separate bowl.
- Stir and mix evenly to blend the ingredients perfectly.
- After that, put oil in a deep non-stick skillet and bring it to medium-high heat.
- Lay the beef into the skillet in a single layer when the oil is hot.
- Make sure that none of the pieces overlaps while doing this.
- Cook the beef for a few minutes until it turns brown and then flips it to sear and brown the other sides too.
- Make sure not to fully cook the meat but only sear both sides.
- In case there isn’t a skillet available that is big enough to hold all the meat, then cook in small batches.
- Again, bring the skillet to medium-high heat, and put the beef back in.
- Now pour the previously prepared sauce and stir fry the meat until the beef is completely cooked this time.
- Once the sauce thickens, garnish it with scallions and serve when cool.
10. Zucchini and Prawn Noodles Meal Prep
- Cook any proteins first on the stove and keep them aside.
- Take a large skillet and pour olive oil into it to cook the zucchini.
- Bring the olive oil to medium to high heat and add the zucchini noodles to it.
- Keep cooking until water is released from the noodles; this will make the noodles tender and yet crispy.
- Turn the heat off and drain the zucchini from the water.
- Keep it like that for 10 minutes before progressing.
- Once the water is released from the noodles, it’s time to add the sauce ingredients.
- Take 1/4th cup + 2 tbsp of fat-free plain Greek yoghurt, 1/4th cup + 2 tbsp light mayonnaise, and the same amount of Thai sweet chilli sauce in a large bowl.
- Mix it with 1 ½ tbsp of honey, 1 ½ tsp of sriracha sauce, and 2 tsp of lime juice using a whisk to make the sauce.
- Once the mix is smooth and ready, you can pour it into four separate containers.
- Now mix the noodles with your proteins and then store them in the refrigerator for three days.
- On the day of final preparation, heat the noodles, drain the water, and toss in the sauce (either hot or cooled).
11. Salmon and Asparagus in Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce
- First, add cherry tomatoes that are halved, with olive oil, minced red onion, and salt and pepper as per taste.
- Make sure to marinate first when preparing any dish with salmon and asparagus.
- Now, season the fish with salt and pepper and keep it like that.
- To prepare the asparagus, wash and cut off the ends and then blanch them in boiling water for a couple of minutes.
- Soak it in ice water after that.
- If you are working with really thin asparagus, then you can skip this step; simply drain and keep it on one side.
- Now gently cook both sides of the salmon in preheated olive oil on a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat until it turns golden brown.
- Then bring the skillet to medium heat and pour minced garlic with vegetable broth or wine and simmer.
- Combine with butter, lemon juice, parsley, and hot sauce and stir.
- Now add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the salmon back to the pan.
- Reheat for a few more minutes and then store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days with marinated tomatoes before serving.
Healthy sides & Desserts Meal Prep Recipes For Weight Loss
Nutritious food is the foundation of our health and needs to be chosen with utmost care. There was a time when our grandmother or even our mother dedicated their whole time to taking care of the family by cooking elaborate and healthy home cook food. But the scenario has changed with time, now everyone has a tight schedule and has to balance both household and work together.
As nowadays there is little time to spare to cook after a hectic day at work. We all want food which will be easy to cook, healthy as well as tasty. These three criteria of preparing the perfect meal can be achieved easily if you are organized and plan your meal properly.
12. One-pot chicken
This dish is one of the easiest and quick recipes. If you are out of time and want to make a quick yet healthy recipe one pot chicken is the one to go for. The only utensil you will need is a pot and every ingredient just gets cooked together.
If you want healthier one-pot chicken rice to replace the white rice with a brown one, sauteed veggies like beans, carrot and peas with the chicken add some herbs and pepper and put it to boil until the rice is cooked.
13. Baked Peaches and Ice cream
Another quick yet delicious recipe is baked peaches and Ice-cream- you get health and taste in one. Preheat the oven at 325F and place halved peaches on a medium-sized bowl with the cut side up. Combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle this over each half. Place a piece of butter at the centre. Bake it for about 40 minutes till the peach is tender without losing shape. Serve with vanilla ice cream on the side.
14. Oats Jar
Oats jar is one of the easiest and tasty breakfast recipes that you can try any day. The reason you will love making this oats jar is that it can be a very versatile recipe. You can top it up with any flavour you like. But the basic step to make an oats jar remains the same and that is soaking it overnight in the milk of your choice. Next morning you are ready to eat after topping it with any seasonal fruit, syrup, spices, yoghurt or even you can add some chocolates with berries.
15. Fruit sorbet
If you want a guilt-free dessert during your diet sorbet is the answer to your prayer. This frozen dessert only requires any fruits of your choice that can be berries, mango, banana or watermelon. Cut the fruits into cubes and freeze them in your deep freezer then blend the frozen fruit and add a few drops of lemon or syrup to enhance the flavour.
16. Asian chicken in lettuce wraps
Asian flavour is always spot on and you cannot go wrong with the taste as it is easy and quick to make. This Asian chicken wrap is the perfect lunch recipe and can be done in twenty minutes. All you need to do is prep the chicken filling with some chicken pieced or ground, diced veggies, some pepper for seasoning and some soy sauce. You are ready to add this feeling inside your lettuce wraps.
17. Vinaigrette salad
What can be more refreshing than a vinaigrette salad, you can put any veggies of your choice and the vinaigrette salad will do its magic. All you need to make this salad dressing is some apple cider or balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, salt and most importantly olive oil. For added flavour you can also add some crushed garlic and your vinaigrette dressing is all ready to go in the veggies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Should you have or not have breakfast in the morning?
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether skipping or not skipping breakfast leads to faster weight loss. According to some research, our body has the highest metabolic rate in the morning. Now you all know the metabolic rate is just the total calorie our body burns in a certain time.
Also, many studies show that eating a good breakfast in the morning helps you in a faster rate of metabolism. Coming to faster weight loss it is more likely that people will get more obese after skipping breakfast. As they will have a bigger appetite in lunch and will be more likely to go for a big junky meal during the lunch break which will only lead to more weight gain.
Q. How many meals should you have in a day?
This is one of the most debated questions for years. We often get confused about how many meals should a person have in a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The confusion mainly happens between the divisions of meals, that is whether to have three proper meals in a day or to have six small meals in a day.
Researches show that whether you have three meals or more small frequent meals in a day it doesn’t affect your weight as long as the total calorie intake remains the same for the three-time eater or six-time eater.
Q. Do Skipping Meals Lead To Faster Weight Loss?
Skipping meals is not the ultimate solution to weight loss. Many kinds of research show that skipping one meal can lead to a bigger appetite or overeating tendencies which would ultimately result in obesity. Also fasting or cutting up on meals can mess up with your body, especially skipping breakfast can lead to overeating throughout the day and intake of more calories.
Meal prep is the more organized and easier way towards leading a healthy life in this fast-paced world without depriving yourself of home-cooked healthy delicacies. When you have some easy-to-cook and fast recipes, the work becomes even simpler.
We have listed all such recipes keeping the time factor, health and taste in mind and hope you enjoy them. Now that you have so many meal prep ideas to lose weight, you can easily schedule a healthy diet plan and stick to it without any compromise. The best part is, you need not worry about daily cooking when you have such recipes at hand that can be prepared in minutes and stored in batches.