Healthy Meal Prep Ideas To Help Lose Weight – Meal Prep Lunch Ideas & Easy Meal Prep Recipes
Easy Meal prep ideas – Prepping your meals is a great way to save you time, and just as importantly, you can also take control of your calorie intake.
It can sometimes be nice to go to the shops on your lunch break for food, but you may give into temptation when you walk past McDonalds or Five Guys.
This is why having meals pre-cooked so that you can warm up and eat is convenient.
If you are worried about finding time to cook because of how busy you are, I am going to share some tips on how to cook only once or twice and have meals prepared for the entire week.
I am also going to share a few recipes that you can use in your meal plan that will make this process as easy as possible, so let’s dive in.
The Benefits of Meal Prep Recipes
Streamlining Your Routine
Prepping your meals ahead of time is a great way to streamline your diet for the week and to ensure that you stay on track with your healthy eating regime.
You can greatly reduce the need to go and buy foods that are high in calories while at the same time easily tracking your calorie intake for each day.
Putting healthy meal prep ideas into a plan
Setting Goals and Objectives
Before you start prepping your meals, please take a moment to think about what it is you want to achieve. Decide on how many calories you need to eat in order to lose weight to hit your targets.
You can use apps like MyFitnessPal to calculate your calorie intake, or you can use an online calorie intake calculator.
Once you know the number you are aiming for, you can design your breakfast, lunch and dinners so that you stay within the calorie deficit you have set?
Designing a Weekly Meal Prep Menu
Do some research into healthy recipes from Pinterest, google, Instagram or Blogs. Once you have your recipes, decide on the meals that you want to prep ahead of time for the week for lunch or dinner.
Remember that the fewer meals you decide to eat, the easier it will be when it comes to batch cooking.
Also, try to design your meals to be as healthy as possible to make sure that you have a variety of vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.
Creating a shopping list
After you have designed the weekly menu, write out all the ingredients you will need. If you have selected a few recipes, they will include the ingredients you need for one meal.
Before finalising your shopping list, check for the amount of food you already have in your fridge or cupboards to avoid duplicates.
You will then need to multiply the ingredients you want to buy by the total number of meals you want to cook for the week.
For example, if one of the ingredients is 100 grams of rice and you are going to eat rice for 7 days, you will probably need one kilogram of rice for the week.
Stock up on containers and other items.
If you do not have containers to store your food in or you have lost a few, it will be a good idea to stock up on some more. Also, you will need to buy:
- Cling film
- Plastic cutlery (or you can use the cutlery you have to bring to work)
Foil and cling film will come in handy for wrapping individual servings and keeping your prepped meals fresh throughout the week.
To be as efficient with your time, cook fewer recipes in the week. If you decided to have chicken, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, and whole grain rice for lunch and dinner for 7 days, you would need to batch cook enough ingredients for 14 meals in one go.
If you decided to have 2 different meals for lunch and dinner, then you would have to batch cook twice. That would mean cooking seven lunches and then cooking seven dinners.
How to Store Foods
Storage is really important as you don’t want your food to go off before you have had a chance to eat it. Invest in some meal prep containers that are airtight.
Divide your meals into multiple portions using these containers, and reheat when you are ready. Remember to wrap up your meals using cling film or foil for best results.
Label Your Meals
This is optional, but it can save you time when you’re in a rush if your food is packed with multiple containers. Particularly if you have prepped using more than 2 recipes for the week.
Use sticky notes or labels, and if you want to be detailed, you can add an expiration date.
Overnight Oats & Other Healthy Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas
Here are some of the best meal prep recipes that you can make every day of the week that are easy and healthy.
This is a healthy meal prep recipe where you add some mile to oats with some honey and let it sit overnight.
Beat some eggs and add vegetables that have been chopped up like:
- Bell peppers
Add a little bit of cheese, and roast in the oven.
Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer Greek yoghurt, fresh berries, and a sprinkle of granola in a mason jar. This delightful parfait is not only visually appealing but also a great source of protein and fibre to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Breakfast Burritos: Prepare a batch of whole wheat tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, sautéed veggies, and a sprinkle of cheese.
Meal Prep Lunch Ideas
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then lunch is probably second. Try some of these healthy recipes to avoid to ensure you eat a healthy lunch.
To make this recipe,
- Boil the quinoa in a pot until tender.
- While you are boiling the quinoa, grill some aubergine, bell peppers and courgette.
- Let the vegetables cool once they have cooked by removing them from the pan.
- Once the quinoa is finished, mix the vegetables and quinoa together in a large bowl.
- Chop some parsley or basil and add to the mix.
- For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Once you have finished the dressing, pour it over the quinoa and vegetables.
- Marinate your chicken breast in lemon juice, garlic, parsley and olive oil for thirty minutes.
- Roast the chicken in an oven set to 200 Celsius for 25 minutes.
- Prepare your salad while the chicken is cooking. Cut some romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes and onion to accompany your chicken.
- Allow your chicken to cool once it’s cooked, and add it to your plate with the salad you prepared in advance.
- Mix some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey to make a vinaigrette dressing to put on your salad.
Sheet Pan Chicken Meal Prep Dinner With Sweet Potato And Broccoli
Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner with sweet potato and broccoli is an easy meal that can be made quickly ahead of time. This meal is perfect for cooking on a busy night and can easily be batch-cooked.
- Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius.
- Marinate your chicken in a bowl.
- Prepare your sweet potatoes and broccoli for cooking.
- Pour some oil onto your sheet pan.
- Add your seasoned chicken, potatoes and broccoli to your sheet pan.
- Place your sheet pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
Chicken and rice meal prep bowl is a fast and efficient way to prepare a healthy meal in advance when you have a busy schedule. It involves prepping all of your ingredients in advance and assembling them into a bowl.
- Season your chicken with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
- Add brown rice to a pot and boil until cooked.
- Grill your chicken in the oven, or use a George Foreman Grill for cooking.
- Steam your vegetables – broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and runner beans.
- Once cooked, add all the cooked ingredients together and divide evenly into multiple meals.
- These meal prep bowls can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
The Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad recipe is an extremely tasty dinner that is simple to make.
- Season your chicken using basil, oregano thyme, and lemon juice.
- Cut some lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese and add to a large bowl.
- Grill the chicken, slice it into thin strips, and place in a large bowl
- Divide your chicken and salad into as many different meals as you like and store them.
Healthy Chicken Pasta
- Start by cooking the pasta according to package instructions until it’s al dente.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan and sauté chicken pieces until they’re cooked through and golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Cook bell peppers, onions and mushrooms in the same pan that you used to sautee the chicken.
- Then, add garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and cook for another minute.
- Next, pour in a jar of marinara sauce and bring it to a simmer.
- Add back the cooked chicken and pasta, and let everything cook together for a few minutes.
- Serve the chicken pasta hot with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.
Reheating your meals can result in something other than soggy food with no taste or flavour. Use the following tips for reheating food in the microwave or oven:
- Loosely cover your container with a microwave-safe lid, or you can use a paper towel to help retain moisture.
- You can use an oven if you are at home, and although it will take longer, you will get better results.
80% of weight loss is diet, so if you can master meal prep, you will take a significant step towards losing weight. You will need to be organised with your time and strategic with your shopping, but the results are worthwhile.
Remember to have enough containers, cling film or foil for storage and to properly reheat your food.
Overall, if you prepare your meals in advance, it can be a great tool to have in your arsenal.