Keeping to a weight loss plan may seem more effort than it is worth. You forbid yourself from tasty snacks and takeaways while having to cook your own meals.
If you have little spare time on your hands, you may not want to have to create something from scratch for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That’s a danger in itself as you either opt for poor meal choices or simply go hungry.
This is where batch cooking and meal prepping come in very handy. You should already know which healthy ingredients you want to use and what flavors you like.
Make a list of the recipes that you can create for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Incorporate the recipe ingredients into your food shopping then spend a few hours each week batch cooking the recipes, and then portioning them up.
That’s it, over the week your food portions will be ready and waiting for you to eat them up.
Quick Answer: What Are Some Healthy, Simple Meal Prep Recipes For Weight Loss?: You can prepare all sorts of meals in advance to make it easier to stick to a weight loss plan. For breakfast, try some overnight Chia Seed Pudding that you can pick up straight from the refrigerator. Lunch can be some Sweet Potato Soup, Greek Couscous Salad, Chicken, Hummus, And Legumes Plate, or Taco Salad Lunch Bowls. There are plenty of options for dinner too, from Turkey Stir-Fry, Chickpea Curry, Vegan Chili, Zucchini Noodles, or Mongolian Beef With Broccoli.
Meal preparation can be relatively straightforward for weight loss, if you are happy with batch cooking. That may mean cooking a whole stock pot of delicious food and only using a small portion of it immediately.
You will be pleasing your future self as there will be days when sticking to a weight loss diet seems more effort than it is worth. On those days, you can simply retrieve an already prepared meal, heat it up and not have to worry.
Healthy, Simple Meal Preparation Recipes For Weight Loss – Quick Comparison
|Recipe||Total Preparation Time|
|Taco Salad Lunch Bowls||30 minutes|
|Greek Couscous Salad||25 minutes|
|Chicken, Hummus, And Legumes Plate Lunch||10 minutes|
|Turkey Stir-Fry||15 minutes|
|Chickpea Curry||30 minutes|
|Vegan Chili||30 minutes|
|Mongolian Beef With Broccoli||35 minutes|
|Zucchini Noodles||20 minutes|
|Chia Seed Pudding||2 minutes|
|Sweet Potato Soup||40 minutes|
Total Calories (per 100g): 141
Total Preparation time: 30 minutes
If you cannot get enough of Mexican food then do away with the tacos and stick with the fillings in a Taco Salad Lunch Bowl.
These can be really simple to create if you have some leftover taco meat. Simply mix in some fluffy white rice or caulirice and drizzle over some lime juice. You could sauté some corn or put it in as cold.
The rest of the toppings can simply be chopped up including some sliced avocado, red onion, and diced tomatoes.
To complete your Taco Salad Lunch Bowl, add some grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream on the side.
Total Calories (per 100g): 160
Total Preparation time: 25 minutes
For an easy, healthy lunch for a few days, try a Greek Couscous Salad which you can batch cook and portion up.
Prepare your couscous according to the packet and add in some of your favorite spices and seasoning.
Allow the couscous to absorb the moisture (either from hot water or vegetable stock) while you chop up a cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and three bell peppers. Finely chop up some parsley leaves then drain and rinse your cans of chickpeas.
Prepare your dressing by combining red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, dried oregano, seasoning, and Dijon mustard in a mason jar. Put the lid on and give it a shake until fully combined.
Layer up the portion by starting with the couscous then placing the vegetables and chickpeas on top, and ending with the dressing.
Total Calories (per 100g): 120
Total Preparation time: 10 minutes
For a clean lunch meal you can prepare in advance, cooked chicken goes really well with hummus and legumes.
Prep up and portion your vegetables including a sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, carrot, and some grapes. Portion out your cooked chicken, with some cheese, and hummus to add to each container.
As you should expect, this should last for a few days in the refrigerator where you can simply pick up a container and pack it away for lunch.
Total Calories (per 100g): 190
Total Preparation time: 15 minutes
As a lean meat, turkey is great for a stir-fry and this can be a really quick meal to prepare and save for later.
Mix together some soy sauce, raw honey, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame seeds, and maybe some chili flakes. Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet pan over a medium-high heat then fry off your turkey until cooked through.
Stir in some chopped-up asparagus, sliced red pepper, and sliced red onion then cook for around four minutes. Pour the sauce on top and ensure the contents are coated before serving with rice, quinoa, or caulirice.
This can keep in some airtight containers in the refrigerator for around five days or in the freezer for two months.
Total Calories (per 100g): 148
Total Preparation time: 30 minutes
Curry is a great meal to prepare in advance, especially for weight loss as you portion it up and freeze it for a day when you do not have the time to cook.
Heat up a Dutch oven over a medium-high heat and add half a cup of coconut milk, heat up until shiny. Add some Panang curry paste to taste and then the rest of the coconut milk with brown sugar, fish sauce, and peanut butter.
Once the mixture is at a simmer, add your vegetables including sliced onion, sliced red bell pepper, diced butternut squash, and the can of chickpeas. Stir it until combined, and simmer for around 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the spinach until it wilts then serve with rice, you can always add some yogurt if it proves too hot. Leave to cool and then portion out in some airtight containers to freeze.
Total Calories (per 100g): 107
Total Preparation time: 30 minutes
This is a really simple recipe that you can use in one instant pot to create a meal that can last for a week.
Chop up an onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper then add to the instant pop with some garlic cloves. Sauté the vegetables in some water until softened and then add in your seitan, cauliflower florets, and mushrooms, or simply a can of beans.
Add some more water, then mix in the garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, oregano, ground cumin, and chipotle chili powder with the pinto and kidney beans.
Stir it thoroughly, then add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce on the top, drop the lid on and use manual mode for ten minutes.
After the instant pot has naturally vented following the ten minutes, release some more additional pressure. Stir in some tomato paste, Masa Tamale flour, and some garnishes such as chopped parsley.
Let the mix rest for ten minutes to thicken up and give it an occasional stir.
Total Calories (per 100g): 130
Total Preparation time: 35 minutes
You can also create a takeaway-worthy meal to batch cook in your efforts to lose weight.
Cover the flank beef strips with cornstarch then create your sauce in a separate bowl. Mix up some brown sugar, soy sauce, water, hoisin sauce, grated ginger, and minced garlic.
Fry the beef strips in a single layer in a large skillet pan in some oil over a medium-high heat. Sear the beef strips on both sides, drain excess oil then leave on some paper towels to soak up even more oil.
Return the beef strips to the skillet pan and add in the sauce until thickened and the strips are cooked. Add your rice and cooked broccoli as well as any other vegetables then portion up in airtight containers.
Total Calories (per 100g): 16
Total Preparation time: 20 minutes
Zucchini noodles (or zoodles) freeze really well and are a superb alternative to regular noodles.
For a lunch bowl, cook your meat or seafood accompaniments first and leave them to cool. Add some olive oil to a large skillet pan and fry the zucchini noodles until just cooked and tender.
Drain them off then leave them to rest for ten minutes while you prepare the sauce ingredients.
In a bowl, whisk together the plain Greek yogurt, light mayonnaise honey, Thai sweet chili sauce, sriracha sauce, and lime juice.
Portion out the sauce into airtight containers, mix the zoodles with your meat or seafood accompaniments then leave to cool. This can be left in the refrigerator for a few days though you should heat up the zoodles separately.
Total Calories (per 100g): 81
Total Preparation time: 2 minutes
For a breakfast meal you can prepare the night before, chia seed pudding will be chilled and ready to go.
Grab a sealable jar and throw in four tablespoons of chia seeds, a cup of coconut milk, and a quarter cup of coconut yogurt then decide on your fillings.
Some berries, perhaps some chopped mango or banana, and maybe some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Give it all a big stir, seal the lid and simply leave it in the fridge overnight.
Total Calories (per 100g): 59
Total Preparation time: 40 minutes
For a lunch that you can batch cook and then freeze for another day, a stock pot of sweet potato soup is ideal.
Heat some oil in a large stock pot over a medium-high heat then add some diced carrots and onion until softened. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, ginger, and paprika then stir until fragrant.
Throw in the diced sweet potato with vegetable stock and bring the pot to a boil, reduce to low, and cook until you can put a fork easily in the sweet potato.
Ladle out the soup into a blender and blitz until smooth though you can add some more water. Serve up in a bowl with some pepper and red chili flakes.
For the rest, pour into airtight containers and leave to cool before putting in the freezer. You can also use Ziploc freezer bags.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Meal Prep For A Full Week?
If you want your meals ready to go then you should leave them in the refrigerator, in which case they have a shelf life of between three and five days.
This may be lower depending on the recipe as overnight chia seed puddings are designed to be eaten the next day and salads can only last for so long.
However, you can freeze a lot of meals such as curry, soup, and zoodles so you can take these out the day before to allow them time to defrost.
Which Specific Foods Can Help Burn Belly Fat?
There are a few foods that can directly help if you want to burn belly fat. These include red bell peppers and broccoli so stock up on those for your vegetable content. Beans and yogurt can also help and you should consider swapping your beef for a nice piece of salmon.
Why Is Meal Prepping Important For Weight Loss?
Sticking to a diet can be tricky, especially when you realize there are only certain foods you should be eating. Meal prepping helps to take away that decision-making process by leaving you to create meals that you know will be fine and portioning them up.
If you have had a tough day and do not want to think about cooking but want to stick to your diet then grab a ready-prepared portion and you no longer need to worry about it.