Prepping meals can be a successful way to meet your weight loss and fitness goals. You can still eat delicious recipes without settling for takeout. Planning and prepping in advance not only saves time but allows you to put together wholesome, high-quality meals that help reach your nutritional goals. Let’s face it; scrambling around trying to find better ways to improve your diet can be stressful. With meal prepping, you will likely reach your goals faster and have lasting results. Learn more about how to successfully meal prep for weight loss.
Preparing meals in advance also allows you to keep track of the calorie counts and proper food measurements. You can properly weigh your foods and even choose the correct fat/carbohydrate/protein ratio. If you are committed to clean eating, start planning now with healthy meal prep recipes. You can start small and see how meal prepping works for you. Here are some of the best meal prep tips for losing weight.
Healthy Food Shopping List
Make a grocery list with the most nutritious foods you can find. Additionally, portion the food so you won’t overeat. Here are some food suggestions:
Plenty of Vegetables
Fiber goes a long way in regulating your digestive system. Vegetables are filled with fiber, prebiotics, and the vitamins you need for good health. Veggies should make up about half of your meal prep.
Good lean fish, chicken, beef, and even tofu are great choices to keep you full. Cut down or completely eliminate fried and battered meats. Saute your meats in a little olive oil or oil-free spray. Additionally, protein ensures lean muscle growth.
Keep It Low-Carb
Good whole grains are a nutritious addition to any meal — just don’t overdo it. Brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and even quinoa add a lot of flavors. Remember, some grains are nutritious, but they are also high in calories and starch. Limit your grain portions to about one-third of your meal. Consider replacing starches with veggies: cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles are a great way to satisfy that carb craving while still eating healthy.
Use Healthy Fats When Cooking
Replace vegetable oil with healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil. You can even add nuts and avocados for more flavor. These oils and additions are healthy but loaded with calories, so use them sparingly.
Use Added Ingredients Sparingly
It is very tempting to use additional ingredients when you cook. Refrain from using extra butter, sauces, cheese, and dressings. These foods can easily add a few hundred more calories. Go for lighter options like lemon, lime, sugar, or fat-free dressings and herbs to keep your prepped meals low calorie.
The Best Tips To Get You Started
There are several tips you can utilize to get you started on your meal prep journey. They will save you time and money while keeping your diet on track.
Plan in Advance
Choose what you want to eat ahead of time. Try out some healthy recipes off your shopping list and store them. This method is the fastest way to get you started.
Learn to tackle more than one thing at a time. If you can cook your meat and vegetables at the same time, do it. You can easily make a sauce (like pesto) while roasting sweet potatoes on a sheet pan in the oven. This will free up free time to do other things.
Use Different Meal Prep Containers
People often use plastic containers with lids to store their meals. Mason jars can be just as useful. These are great for layered meals like salads. The foods stay crisp and fresh for hours in glass meal prep containers. They’re also a great idea for healthy breakfasts, like overnight oats.
Prep the Right Number of Meals
Never over-prep. It is essential to create the right number of meals every week. Too many meals can result in you throwing away food that goes bad. Remember, even foods that are stored in air-tight containers in the fridge have a shelf life.
Remember Your Goals
Understand your goals and stick to them. If you are doing meal prep for weight loss, make sure you stick to healthy meals that ensure weight loss. If you are simply trying to maintain a healthy routine, you can give yourself a bit of leeway. Never lose sight of your goals so you can achieve long-lasting results.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
Unfortunately in the days of COVID-19, the price of everything has gone up — especially food. It’s not as easy to hang onto money as it was a couple of years ago. Shop as smart as you can. Finding cheaper cuts of meat and items out of season is a good option. A lot of grocery stores offer several sales that can save you a bit of money if you are pinching pennies.
Ideas For Healthy Meal Prep
If you are stumped when it comes to recipe ideas, you can find many simple and delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal prep recipes online. Downloadable meal plan templates are available with interchangeable meal plans. This way you don’t have to repeat the same old boring options. Try foods that you may never have eaten before like hummus, greek yogurt, and even butternut squash. You may be surprised.
Don’t Be Afraid of Food Hacks
These little tricks can significantly cut down on meal prep, especially when you are cooking a large quantity of food.
Cook in a Batch
If you have a crockpot, make healthy and delicious one-pot meals. You can store them in the freezer. There are many healthy chili and stew recipes that you can whip up in no time.
Consider buying meats in bulk to prepare for the week. Buy chicken breasts and cut them into pieces or buy a few pounds of ground turkey and make meatballs.
Incorporate high protein, low carb ingredients like lentils, black beans, and chickpeas. Cook up a large batch and you’ll have enough for your entire weekly meal prep.
Check the grocers’ freezer for broccoli, salad mixes, canned goods, and other items that can cut food prep time in half.
Breakfast and Lunch Burritos
These yummy creations can be prepped in foil, stored in the freezer, and microwaved for a few minutes when ready to eat. Not only are they a great-tasting breakfast meal, but they can be healthy and low in calories.
Meet Your Weight Loss Goals With These Healthy Meal Prep Ideas
Meal prep does not have to be rocket science. It is a tremendously cost-effective and nutritious way to eat. Remember, you don’t have to do anything fancy; just find easy recipes you can enjoy and prepare them. Once you know how to meal prep, it will likely become a sustainable life choice. You’ll be making your favorite meal prep recipes all the time!
Easy meal prep and healthy eating are just one component of building a healthy lifestyle along with regular workouts, but YoFresh can help. Whether you’re a beginner on the weight loss journey, sticking to a diet plan, or getting back into healthy living, we have delicious and healthy meals that you can pick up or have delivered to you in Mahoning, Trumbull, or Columbiana counties. Whether you’re doing meal prep for weight loss or the convenience, try YoFresh today!