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Quick, Cheap, and Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss

MealPrep

If you're looking to up your fitness game, the best place to start is in the kitchen!

I know, I know – watching what you eat is a sensitive subject for many. It can be hard to adjust your diet in favor of “health foods” and reduce your “guilty pleasures” intake.

Luckily, this article isn't about a specific diet. We're here to teach you about the wonders of meal prepping and all of the headaches it can remove from your day-to-day life!

healthy meal prep ideas for weight lossMany of you may have already heard about meal prepping.

To some, it sounds like a super structured way of eating for bodybuilders. To others, it sounds like a lot of time commitment.

In reality, meal prepping is one of the most time and financially efficient ways to structure your diet around recipes you already love. AND reducing the number of times you have to clean your kitchen.

We're pretty sure that's a win-win-win situation.

Read on to learn how structuring your cooking (and storing your meals strategically) can give you more control over your weekly diet and lead to weight loss.

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Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss: Why Bother?

We've really talked up this meal prepping idea, so it's time to show you the proof. Here are our 5 favorite things about meal prepping.

Trains you to make healthier decisions

healthy meal prep ideas for weight loss

At a minimum, you eat 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. That's 21 meals that you have to plan for and prepare! Unless of course, you run out of time and grab unhealthy fast food on the go because you're short on time…

Meal prepping allows you to eliminate the decision-making process of what you should be eating. You would already have (healthy) meals prepped and ready to go – morning, noon and night.

Saves a TON of time

meal prepWhile meal prepping does require you to carve out one or two evenings preparing meals in your kitchen a week, it saves you hours of time each day following.

Just think about it – instead of having to rush home to spend an hour cooking and cleaning up every day, you can come home knowing that dinner is just a reheat away. And that there are no big dishes that need handwashing.

Gives you financial insight

pear chick peas avocado When you don't have time to plan meals, what you get to deal with is hungry kids in the backseat who need to eat NOW. And the nearest fast food joint is usually the sane-est option.

With meal prepping, you will have more insight into how much you're budgeting week-to-week for food.

You'll be able to make smart choices for your family that will give you more flex cash for fun family activities.

Helps with portion control

healthy dish for meal preppingWhen you cook and store your meals in advance, it's easy to portion your veggies, carbs and proteins out appropriately.

You can designate different containers for parents and kids so that you know that everyone's getting the right amount of nutrients.

By consistently eating the portions you need for weight loss, you'll be able to meet your fitness goals more easily than if you didn't portion out your food choices.

Inspires a variety of recipes

We've all panicked at the grocery store and bought all the ingredients for the easiest meal we know how to make. But prepping in advance will allow you to make more exciting choices with your cuisine!

You'll be able to master new recipes that your family will love without the stress of coming up with it on the spot. Also, you'll be able to explore healthier recipe options.

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss: What Recipes Work?

Ultimately, you could find a way to make just about any of your favorite recipes work in a meal prep manner.

But as I'm sure you're used to saying by now, “work smarter, not harder!”

We have a few tried-and-true meal prep recipes that are easy to prepare, familiar, and that heat up well.

Omelet and banana: 351 calories

omelet with spinach

Start your morning out by heating up a delicious omelet! Filled with the natural protein of eggs and spinach greens, you'll be full until lunchtime.

  • A 3-egg omelet made with 1 cup of mushrooms plus spinach leaves mixed in: 241 calories
  • 1 medium banana: 105 calories
  • 1 cup of black coffee: 5 calories

Salmon and salad: 338 calories

Once lunch rolls around, you'll be ready to eat this light, but filling meal. No matter how you like to prepare your salmon, it will pair great with a bit of brown rice and salad.

  • healthy meal prep ideas for weight loss

    1/2 cup of cooked brown rice: 124 calories

  • 3 ounces of grilled or baked salmon: 155 calories
  • 3 cups of leafy greens topped with 1 tablespoon of oil-based dressing: 51 calories

Chicken Cobb salad: 338 calories

End your evening with a loaded Cobb salad! You can mix and match different vegetables to change this recipe up.

  • 3 cups of leafy greens topped with 1 tablespoon of oil-based dressing: 55 calories
  • 2 ounces of grilled chicken strips: 84 calories
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced: 72 calories
  • 1/4 cup of whole-grain croutons: 46 calories
  • 1 small apple: 93 calories

There are countless ways you can mix and match foods for delicious, and never the same, meal prepped cuisine. We just wanted to show you that it's possible to meal prep every meal of the day.

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss: What's the Process?

Now that you've seen that meal prepping is both delicious and efficient, we can dive into exactly how you can structure it for yourself.

There are 4 basic steps that will get you on your way!

  1. healthy meal prep ideas for weight lossChoose your prep days. Many meal preppers like to take one day out of the week to plan, buy and prep all of their food. Saturdays and Sundays tend to be good days for that. Others like to do two days to break up the week.
  2. Design your menu. Be intentional and choose healthy recipes that you know your family will enjoy. Think about produce that's in season to ensure you're not paying too much for a certain item.
  3.  Hit the grocery store. Now that you have your list, all you have to do is purchase! We like segmenting our lists into produce, meats, dairy, dry ingredients so we can minimize our time shopping.
  4. Cook and store. All that's left is cooking your meals and storing them! We recommend cooking proteins, vegetables and carbs in batches instead of going meal by meal. If you cook for a full 7 days, we recommend freezing the last 3 days of the week so that they stay fresh.

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss: In What Containers?

You might be thinking that meal prep will take over too much real estate in your fridge. And while there certainly will be quite a few containers in your fridge or freezer, you'll find that the overall amount of food in your kitchen is really the same.

healthy meal prep ideas for weight lossMeal prepping doesn't create MORE food for you to store, it just better organizes and prepares the food you've already bought.

That being said, there is definitely a method to the madness. We've listed out some of our favorite storage containers and how to utilize them in your kitchen below.

  • Glass storage containers: Knowing that heating food up in plastic containers isn't recommended, we opt for glass. Glass containers also have the benefit of not getting stained with whatever you choose to store.
  • Freezer and ziplock bags: Taking food to work is usually easiest in storage containers. But many at-home dinners can find a perfect home in a freezer or regular ziplock bag! Just zip and place in your freezer or fridge, ready to reheat.
  • Jars. Soups, salads, granola, trail mix can all find a great home in jars. Freezable and sealed tight, they're another great storage option that can help maximize space and avoid plastic.

Why Wait? Try Meal Prepping this Week

It can take you a leap of faith to start meal prepping, but when you do, you'll probably never look back.

healthy meal prep ideas for weight lossWith how time-consuming work, homework, sports, and other family activities are, it's nice to find small ways to reduce time spent on mandatory chores.

Meal prepping can be done completely on your own terms. You can decide how many meals a week you'd like to meal prep, and what kinds of recipes those are.

Because meal prepping isn't a diet, but a way of life, you get to be creative and decide what's best for your family.

You can learn more about healthy dieting with the Fit Mom 3-day Weight Loss Jumpstart.

Our simple, sustainable tips can help you to build a healthier life for you and your family. Try the 3-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and kick your life into higher gear!

Avatar
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi, M.D. - Naturopathic Medicine, B.S. - Nutrition, B.S. - Neuroscience

Dr. Anthony holds dual degrees in Nutrition & Neuroscience from the University Of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and is also a national champion bodybuilder.

After watching his own Dad lose his health and pass away at the young age of 42, Dr. Anthony founded The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project to help busy Moms and Dads get and stay permanently healthy for their families.

Brotherhood Nickname: Mr. Results
Bragging Rights: Has helped over 10,000 families lose over 100,000 lbs of fat and rebuild lean muscle

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on healthy meal prep ideas for weight loss.

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Our Fit Mother Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Mother Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Mother Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
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  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
  5. We openly take feedback here on our contact page. We welcome your content suggestions… and even feedback on grammar (we’d like to thing that we’re pretty OK at spelling and “stuff”).
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Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality.

– The Fit Mother Project Team

 

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