My 5 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for the Week
Wanna know how to meal prep for weight loss, but don’t want to spend all weekend doing it? I hear ya! Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, pick 2 or 3 of these options. Once you get in the habit, these will be your go-to healthy meal prep ideas for the week!
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How to Meal Prep for Weight Loss
Are you just getting started with meal prep? Maybe you’re restarting your weight loss journey or want to focus on getting back into routine-building to focus on healthy eating consistency. Whatever your goal, just know that meal prep is a fantastic tool for all of these things.
In my weight loss journey of losing 100 lbs and maintaining that weight loss for over 6 years, I’ve experienced first hand what works and what doesn’t. I will tell you that building concrete habits in your life around food, and developing a healthy relationship with food will take you far!
Here are my go-to healthy meal prep ideas for the week. Not only do these things help me stay consistent with healthy eating, they help me make healthy choices in advance. It’s a win-win!
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Healthy Meal Prep Idea 1: Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs are a protein staple, that I like to always have on hand. With 6 grams of protein per egg, they are a great way to add more protein to my breakfasts and salads at lunch.
I’ve discovered one of the best places to buy eggs is at Costco. Check out my post for the 15 Things I Always Buy at Costco for Healthy Meals and Snacks.
Here are a few recipe ideas that are a great use for eggs:
Healthy Meal Prep Idea 2: Overnight Oats or Baked Oatmeal
Having overnight oats or baked oatmeal stocked in my fridge is one of my go-to breakfast meal prep staples. Not only do I eat these several times a week for a healthy, protein packed breakfast, my son loves them before school.
Reasons why I love oatmeal for breakfast meal prep:
- For the overnight oats, it’s just a matter of stirring them together before you go to bed (or on the weekend) and they are waiting for you, ready to eat, in the morning.
- The oatmeal bars are great for baking on the weekend. I then slice them, and freeze. On weekday mornings, we will defrost in the microwave and pair with yogurt and berries for a healthy, filling breakfast.
According to Women’s Health Magazine, oatmeal can be a great options for weight loss. Making sure you keep your portion in-check and enjoying it with healthy toppings (fruit, nuts, nut/seed butter) is the best way to go. These overnight oats & baked oatmeal bars get the healthy seal of approval stamp, as they are prepared with good quality, healthy ingredients!
Looking for more breakfast ideas? Check out my post for 30 On-the-Go Breakfast Options.
Here are my recipes for overnight oats:
- Blueberry Overnight Oats
- Peach Overnight Oats
- Cherry Overnight Oats
- Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats
- Pumpkin Overnight Oats
- Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
- Almond Joy Overnight Oats
Here are my recipes for Baked Oatmeal Bars:
- Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
- Blueberry Baked Oatmeal Bars
- Almond Joy Baked Oatmeal Bars
- Healthy Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Healthy Meal Prep Idea 3: Grilled Chicken or Browned Ground Beef/Turkey
Grilling chicken and/or browning ground beef or turkey is a great time saver for your weeknights. These make great protein staples for salads and protein bowls for lunches during your work week. Here’s what I do for each:
- Grilled Chicken: I will often grill chicken as I’m making dinner on Sunday evening. Once it comes off the grill, I let it cool (often while we are eating dinner that evening.) When I’m cleaning up dinner, I will quickly assemble some salads, and slice up the grilled chicken. I love having salads or protein bowls as a quick lunch during my week.
- Browned Ground Beef or Turkey: Having pre-cooked ground beef or turkey is a fantastic option for making a quick dinner on a weeknight. You can quickly throw together tacos or a pasta with meat sauce with either of these protein bases.
Here are some of my Grilled Chicken Recipes:
- Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken
- Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken
- Brown Sugar Balsamic Grilled Chicken
- Italian Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Pineapple Chicken
Here are some ideas on how to use ground beef or turkey:
- Healthy Unstuffed Peppers
- One Pot Cheesy Italian Goulash
- Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Ground Beef Tacos
- One Skillet Stove Top Lasagna
- Healthy Turkey Chili
- Sheet Pan Mini Turkey Meatloaf
Healthy Meal Prep Idea 4: Clean & Cut Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Cleaning and cutting fruits and vegetables is not only an easy meal prep idea, it’s a great way to meal prep for weight loss. Having fruits and vegetables ready to eat in your refrigerator allows you to consume them at any time.
No need to stop and peel, cut or slice. You’ve already done it! Having pre-cut, ready to eat fruits and vegetables in your fridge also means they are less likely to go to waste.
One very helpful tool is having good containers to store your fruits and vegetables. I prefer clear, square/rectangular containers, which fit well in my refrigerator and have a good footprint. Check out my post for all of the Best Meal Prep Containers!
Wondering how to consume more fruits and vegetables?
- Start by adding fresh berries, peaches, cherries or apples to your breakfast. Adding fresh fruit to your breakfast is a great way to add flavor, volume and fiber to your meal. I love having an English muffin topped with nut butter and berries!
- Add in pre-cut cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and broccoli to your salads or as a side with your wrap at lunch. Instead of chips or other processed foods, having vegetables is a great way to add fiber and volume to your lunch for not many calories.
Healthy Meal Prep Idea 5: Make a Snack
Instead of hitting the processed foods aisle at the grocery store, make some healthier snacks at home. When thinking about how to meal prep for weight loss, substituting homemade snacks for processed foods is a great way to have a sweet treat without going overboard with excess calories or poor ingredients.
The advantages to making your own snacks at home are vast. Here’s a few reasons why you should opt for homemade snacks:
- You get to control the ingredients going into your body. Unlike most processed snack foods like crackers, chips and cookies, having a homemade treat will allow you to use healthier ingredients. For example, my 4-ingredient Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies only contain oats, bananas, vanilla and SF chocolate chips!
- Homemade snacks cost MUCH less than processed foods. You can make these Double Chocolate Protein Bites for a fraction of what you would pay for over-sugared protein bars from the grocery store.
- You get to decide how much, if any sugar you are consuming. If you were to purchase a muffin or a slice of pumpkin bread at Starbucks, you’ll consume on average 500+ calories, and that doesn’t include your drink. Most of these pastries and snacks from coffee shops contain LOADS of sugar. When you make your own snacks, you get to decide how much sugar, if any, you are consuming. Looking to go sugar-free? I have! Check out my post on How to Quit Sugar and Survive.
Here are some of my recipe ideas for homemade snacks that contain little to no refined sugar:
- Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread
- Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf – no sugar added!
- Black Bean Brownies
- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Cake
- Plain Greek Yogurt stirred with my Homemade Pumpkin Butter
What is the best day to meal prep?
Many people find that Sunday works best for meal prep. Many have more free time on Sunday, and its a good time to prepare for your workweek. Dedicate one hour on your Saturday or Sunday to prep a couple things that will help you make healthier choices throughout the week.
Did these ideas on how to meal prep for weight loss inspire you to get started with meal prep? Like I mentioned above, start with just one or two things on your weekend. Once you get into a groove and develop the habit of preparing food in advance, you’ll be able to take on a few more recipes or ingredients for your week.