Meal prepping prep meals for weight loss has long been touted as the nutrition go-to in the fitness world. Advocates praise it for keeping their diet on point and pounds off, all while saving them time and money. But what exactly counts as meal prep, and is it worth the hype?
When done right, meal prepping can be one of the biggest factors helping you lose weight fast and hit your fitness goals. But it takes a little strategy to get it right and make meals that you will continue to enjoy for more than a few weeks. To help, we’ve compiled our favorite meal prep ideas for weight loss, including recipes, meal planning strategies, and flavor hacks to stop boredom in its tracks.
How to Meal Prep
What is Meal Prep?
Meal Prep Benefits
Weight Loss Meal Planning
Weighing Your Food
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss
Meal Plan Template
Best Meal Prep Recipes for Beginners
Easy Dinner Recipes
Breakfast and Lunch Recipes
Healthy Snack Ideas
Food Prep Hacks
How to Meal Prep for Weight Loss
Learning how to meal prep doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can tailor your meal plan and approach to your skill level—no chef culinary skills needed.
Your diet, just like your meal prep, is personal. And what works for one doesn’t always work for everyone. To start, let’s get the basics down first.
Meal prepping is the art of planning and preparing some or all of your meals in advance with the intention of controlling calories and nutrition to meet personal dietary needs.
This could be making your lunch the night before, cooking in batches, or pre-cooking all your food and portioning it out for the week. And it is often done to improve overall nutrition intake, cut calories, gain muscle, support workouts, etc.
Meal prepping benefits range from reduced cost and time spent to lower stress levels and more successful dieting. Taking control of your diet and the foods you’re eating is one of the best ways to make sure you are successful.
Having a plan and food on hand will prevent you from making poor, hunger-based decisions when they arise and can cut down on the amount you are eating out—saving you money in the long run. And with research continuing to suggest that meal planning is associated with better nutrition and more weight loss, it is definitely something worth considering if you are trying to get in shape (1,2,3).
Meal prepping can also help reduce the stress that comes with trying to eat healthier. Dieting, especially cutting calories, can cause you to think about food all day long. And not knowing what your next meal will be or whether or not it’s going to help your dietary goals can get overwhelming day after day.
Not to mention, your willpower gets drained much faster, and you are more likely to go off your plan when you’re tired or “not in the mood” to make the healthier decision, especially if it feels more difficult or time-consuming.
This is probably the most important part of your meal prep routine. Prepping food alone won’t necessarily help you drop pounds if you aren’t following the basic steps for weight loss. Start with the following, in this order:
Calculate how many calories you need to lose weight with this.
Learn How to Count macros on-point using this.
Read this to learn the best foods for weight loss.
Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to start putting it into action.
Calories and macros go hand in hand, which is why meal prepping on a macro diet can make keeping your portion control in check and calorie control even easier – especially since counting macros means you have an idea of how much of each type of food your should be eating.
You may also want to consider buying a food scale or use a food tracking app to be as precise as possible and learn the exact portion sizes that match your individual needs.
Keep in mind, the portions you use may change from one day to the next or one meal to the next, depending on your fitness and health goals. You can adjust your carb and protein portions around your workouts, eating more food when you are more active and a lighter meal on rest days or when you are not moving around as much.