Losing weight is tough, but meal prepping makes it a whole lot easier. Trust me, I’ve been there! Like many folks, I set a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get healthier. But between work, family, and life’s craziness, I struggled to cook nutritious meals and control my portions. My weight barely budged for months!
Then, I discovered the secret weapon of food prepping. Planning out meals in advance helped me stay on track with my diet and finally start shedding pounds. Once I got into the weekly routine of prep, my weight loss results completely flipped. Now, I’m down 15 pounds and feel better than ever!
In this post, I’ll share the biggest benefits I’ve experienced from food prepping, so you can jumpstart your own weight loss journey:
Time-Saver and Consistency Booster
No more coming home starving after a long day and caving into takeout. Now I’ve got healthy, delicious meals ready to grab in the fridge. Prepping on Sundays leaves me set for the whole work week. I save so much time not having to cook and wash dishes every night.
Knowing exactly what I’m eating each day helps me stick to my diet consistently. No more guessing calories or making impulsive choices when I’m famished. Meal prep gives me structure.
I like to prep enough dinners for the work week, plus extra servings I can mix and match for lunches. Things like grilled chicken breasts, roasted veggies, quinoa, and more. It makes assembly each morning so fast. I usually do breakfasts day-of since most keep well – overnight oats, chia pudding, eggs, yogurt and fruit. But prepping some muffins or breakfast sandwiches on the weekend helps for busy days too.
I find having go-to staple recipes that I repeat weekly saves me even more time. I’ve got seasoning combos and cooking methods down so prep and clean-up are a breeze. I know exactly how much of each ingredient I need to make enough for the week. Establishing these routines has helped me stick with meal prepping long-term.
Food Portion Control like a Pro
I used to eat way more than I should without realizing it. Pre-packing my meals into containers with portioned servings has been a total game changer. Now I can easily track calories and macronutrients. Portion control is key for steady weight loss, and prepping makes it effortless.
I invested in a food scale to weigh and divide all my bulk prep into precise daily servings. For example, I’ll roast a whole sheet pan of Brussels sprouts to last all week, then divide it evenly into 5 containers. Doing this for carbs, proteins, fats, and snacks allows me to grab pre-apportioned meals anytime.
Getting the right container sizes also helps. I use larger ones for lettuce-based salads or veggie sides, medium ones for grains and starches, and smaller ones for oil-based dressings, nut butters, cheese, etc. Having the right vessel sizes helps keep my portions in check when assembling meals and snacks.
Portioning everything out during my Sunday prep sessions instead of at mealtimes prevents me from accidentally overeating. I don’t have to worry about over-scooping quinoa or pouring too much salad dressing when racing to eat lunch at my desk. The mental effort of daily decisions is gone – I just reach for my pre-packed containers and know I’m getting the perfect amount.
During my busy prep sessions, I load my meals up with slimming superfoods like fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. No more guessing if I’m getting the right nutrients. I know each meal I make is balanced and vitamin-packed. Eating nutritious foods like this makes me feel amazing while the pounds melt off.
Here are some of my go-to nutrition all-star recipes that have helped me drop pounds:
Overnight Oats – I make a big batch on Sunday with old fashioned oats, chia seeds, nuts, Greek yogurt, and berries. The chia and Greek yogurt add protein to keep me full, while the berries give me antioxidants. I portion these out into daily breakfast bowls and top with more fruit in the morning.
**Turkey Chili **- Packing my lunches with protein is a must. I brown ground turkey with onions, garlic, spices, and veggie broth, then add in black beans, corn, zucchini, and tomatoes. It’s hearty, satisfying, and full of fiber. The lean turkey keeps me feeling energized, not sluggish.
Baked Chicken Breasts – I season chicken breasts with herbs, paprika, garlic, and lemon then bake a batch on Sundays I can shred or slice to top salads and grain bowls all week. It’s an easy slim protein.
** Roasted Veggies** – Roasting cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peppers and more brings out delicious flavor. I toss them in a little olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice then roast at 400 degrees. The natural carbs and fiber help keep me full between meals.
Greek Yogurt Parfaits – Layers of vanilla Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and toasted nuts or chia make a nutrition powerhouse snack to grab from the fridge. The combo of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats keeps me satisfied for hours.
See what I mean about nutrition all-stars? I make sure to incorporate foods like this into all my meal prep recipes so I stay nourished while losing weight.
If I’m hungry and the break room donut box is calling my name, I just remind myself that I’ve got a satisfying Greek yogurt parfait waiting for me. Meal prepping means I’ve always got something delicious and diet-approved to munch on. I don’t obsess over cravings anymore, because I’m not hungry in the first place!
Having my meals and snacks mapped out in advance eliminates temptation and decision fatigue around food. I’m not tempted to swing through the drive-thru when dinner is already cooked in my fridge. And when coworkers offer me candy from the receptionist’s desk, it’s easy to pass.
Meal prepping also helps remove emotional or stress eating patterns. I’m less likely to overindulge in wine and chips on a tough day when I’ve got a nourishing meal ready to heat up. There’s no need for empty calorie fixes.
Packing my lunches also saves me money that I would otherwise impulse spend on restaurant meals, bakery snacks, or the cafeteria at work. Bringing food from home stops me from getting lured in by greasy pizza slices or calorie-loaded sandwiches when I’m hungry. Meal prep helps me say “no” to sabotaging temptations all day long.
Organized and Ready
I love the structure of knowing my fridge is already stocked with healthful eats for the entire week ahead. No more last minute scrambling when I need to grab something. Prepping ingredients like pre-chopped veggies in advance makes throwing together meals so much quicker too. I feel prepared for any busy day instead of stressed.
Having grab-and-go options available lets me easily resist temptations. When friends invite me out to dinner on a weeknight, I don’t have to derail my diet by tagging along since I’ve already got meals prepared at home. I can socialize on my terms by suggesting a walk or coffee date instead of dining out off plan.
Prepping also makes traveling and holidays easier. I cook and pack meals in advance to bring to family potlucks for guilt-free enjoying. For road trips and flights, I assemble snacks, sandwiches, and salads that will stay fresh to avoid pit stops that sabotage my progress. Thinking ahead alleviates so much on-the-go stress.
Meal prepping has also helped improve my overall organization outside of food. It’s established discipline that has carried over to other aspects like getting ahead on chores, planning out my week in advance, and waking up earlier to work out. Once the habit formed, I became more focused and productive in many areas – all which support my weight loss journey.
Accountability to My Goals
Setting aside time to prep and plan my menu each week keeps me accountable. It keeps me focused on my health and weight loss goals when life gets hectic. I stick to my meal schedule and feel proud cooking tasty food that nourishes and fuels my body. Anytime I need motivation, I remember how awesome meal prepping makes me feel.
Knowing the effort I put in on my designated prep day motivates me to stick to what I’ve made for the week. Whether it’s pre-packing a healthy lunch before going out with friends or passing on snacks in the office, I remind myself of the work I did to set myself up for success. This keeps me consistent.
The habit also keeps me on track with grocery shopping. I plan what recipes I’m making for the week and make an organized shopping list to match. Sticking to the list prevents me from impulse buys at the store that could throw off my meal plan. And it saves money on my grocery bill!
Setting aside prep time every Sunday helps reinforce my weight loss goals mentally too. It puts me in a focused, health-conscious mindset at the start of each week. I feel prepared, motivated and excited to follow my plan, instead of lost or unsure. Progress pictures help me visualize my hard work too – seeing those first few pounds drop from meal prepping pushed me to keep going.
If you want to get healthier and drop weight too, I seriously recommend trying meal prepping. It a total game changer! The effort pays off big time with amazing results over time. Just take it week by week.
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