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8 Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss (Simple and Healthy Options)

Nothing will throw you off your weight loss journey faster than being hungry and reaching for the nearest snack. Or when you get home tired after a long day and the thought of cooking makes delivery seem like the only viable option.

What happens when you don’t have healthy meal options on hand? You might end up compromising on your diet. Meal prepping is a game changer in this scenario. It ensures you have healthy, portion-controlled meals ready to go. It also saves time and reduces stress during the week. 

And who doesn’t love having more time and less to worry about? Plus, knowing exactly what’s going into your food can make all the difference in your weight loss journey.

Here are 8 meal prep ideas that are simple, healthy, and designed to help you lose weight without feeling deprived.

Is Meal Prepping Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, meal prepping can be highly beneficial for weight loss for several reasons. Here’s how meal prepping helps with weight management:

1. Portion Control

Meal prepping allows you to measure out portions in advance, which can prevent overeating. By having control over the portion sizes, you’re more likely to stick to a calorie deficit or maintenance plan essential for weight loss (10).

2. Healthier Food Choices

When you meal prep, you decide in advance what you’re going to eat, which means you’re more likely to choose nutritious, balanced meals. This proactive approach reduces the temptation to opt for convenience foods that are often high in calories and low in nutrients (6).

3. Reduces Impulse Eating

Having meals ready to go can reduce the likelihood of impulse eating or turning to fast food. When you’re hungry, and there’s a healthy meal already prepared, you’re less likely to eat something unhealthy (4).


4. Saves Time

Although meal prepping requires an investment of time upfront, it saves you time throughout the week. This can reduce the stress associated with mealtime decisions and potentially reduce the likelihood of opting for quick, less healthy options when under time pressure.

5. Consistency

Successful weight loss often comes down to consistency in your diet. Meal prepping ensures that you have consistent access to healthy balanced meals, helping you to stick to your weight loss goals, even on busy days.

6. Budget-Friendly

Meal prepping can also be cost-effective because buying ingredients in bulk is often cheaper, and cooking at home saves money, compared to eating out. This can indirectly support weight loss by making it easier to eat healthily without the added financial stress.

We’ve discussed this in detail in our meal prep for weight loss on a budget blog.

What Can I Eat To Lose Weight In 7 Days?

Losing weight in 7 days is not a realistic or sustainable goal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a safe and sustainable rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week (5). However, by adopting healthy eating habits such as meal prepping, you can kickstart your weight loss journey in a week.

For a focused 7-day plan, it’s essential to emphasize whole, nutrient-dense foods and minimize ultra processed foods, added sugars, and excessive calories. Here’s a guideline for what to eat to support weight loss over seven days:

Fiber-Rich Foods

Fiber plays an important role in satiety. Satiety refers to feeling full and satisfied after a meal, which can help prevent overeating later on. Of course, other factors influence satiety, but an easy way to fill up on fewer calories is by including fiber-rich foods in your diet (2). Examples of high-fiber foods include vegetables (including leafy greens), fruits, whole grains, and legumes.

Lean Proteins

Lean proteins are essential for building and repairing muscles, which are primarily made from protein. Getting enough protein while you lose weight can help you make sure that you maintain your muscle mass. Why lean and not just any protein? Lean proteins, such as chicken breast, fish, tofu, and beans, are lower in calories and saturated fat compared to other protein sources. This can be beneficial for weight loss when combined with a calorie deficit, and it’s better for cardiovascular and overall health (7).

We’ve discussed numerous protein breakfast options in our high protein breakfast meal prep article.

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Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are necessary for overall health and should not be eliminated from the diet (1). However, it’s essential to monitor portions, as they are high in calories. Some examples of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and other vegetable oils.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss. However, not all carbs are created equal. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash, provide fuel for your body and can keep you feeling full for longer periods of time, reducing the likelihood of snacking or overeating (8).

Hydrating Beverages

Choosing hydrating beverages like water, unsweetened tea, and black coffee over sugary drinks can support weight loss by reducing calorie intake. Plus, staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can help prevent cravings (3).


What Should I Meal Prep for Weight Loss?

Ideally, you should prep meals that are well-balanced, nutritious, and tailored to your personal dietary needs. Here are 8 meal prep ideas spanning breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner, designed for a 7-day meal prep for weight loss:

Breakfast Options

1. Overnight Oats with Berries and Chia Seeds

Overnight oats are a fantastic breakfast option for a 7-day meal prep for weight loss because they’re rich in fiber and protein, thanks to the oats and chia seeds. 

Preparing them is as simple as mixing rolled oats with almond milk, chia seeds, a sweetener like honey or maple syrup, and topping with fresh berries before leaving to soak overnight. 

For a low-carb alternative, substitute half of the oats with flax seeds. This meal stays fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, ensuring you have a ready-to-eat, energizing breakfast throughout the week. Get recipe here.

2. Spinach and Feta Egg Muffins

These egg muffins are a prime example of high protein meal prep recipes for weight loss that are easy to prepare. Beat eggs with chopped spinach, feta cheese, and seasonings of your choice, pour into muffin tins, and bake until set.

They’re customizable with any vegetables or proteins you have on hand, making them a super versatile option. Egg muffins can also easily shift to a low-carb meal by omitting any high-carb additions. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days or can be frozen for longer storage. Get recipe here.

Lunch Options

3. Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Cucumber, and Feta

Quinoa salad is among the top healthy meal prep ideas for weight loss, thanks to its high fiber and protein content. Mix cooked quinoa with canned chickpeas, diced cucumber, crumbled feta, and a lemon-olive oil dressing for a Mediterranean flair. 

For a higher protein variation, add grilled chicken breast or tofu. This salad holds well in the fridge, maintaining its freshness for up to 5 days. Get recipe here.

4. Turkey and Avocado Wrap

This meal prep idea for weight loss is simple yet satisfying. Use a whole-grain wrap, lean turkey slices, avocado, lettuce, and tomato for a balanced meal. 

The avocado provides healthy fats, while the turkey offers a lean protein boost. For a low-carb alternative, swap the wrap for a large lettuce leaf. These wraps are best assembled the morning of consumption to maintain freshness and prevent sogginess. Get recipe here.

Find more vegan options for weight loss in our, vegan weight loss meal plan article.

Snack Options

5. Greek Yogurt with Mixed Nuts and Honey

Greek yogurt is a fantastic base for a female meal prep recipe for weight loss, being high in protein and essential nutrients like calcium. Mix non-fat Greek yogurt with a handful of mixed nuts for healthy fats and a drizzle of honey for natural sweetness. 

For a lower-carb option, opt for nuts like almonds or walnuts and limit the honey. This snack can be prepared in advance and stays fresh for up to 2-3 days when refrigerated. Get recipe here.

6. Carrot and Cucumber Sticks with Hummus

This is one of the simplest meal prep ideas for weight loss on a budget. Both carrots and cucumbers can be prepped at the start of the week and stored in water to keep them crispy. 

Pair with a portion of hummus for dipping, which provides a good source of protein and healthy fat. This snack can easily be adapted to fit a high-protein diet by adding a serving of boiled eggs on the side. Get recipe here.

Dinner Options

7. Grilled Salmon with Steamed Broccoli and Sweet Potato

Salmon is excellent for meal prep ideas for weight loss and muscle gain, due to its high omega-3 fatty acids and protein content. 

Grill or bake salmon fillets with a bit of olive oil, salt, and lemon. Serve with steamed broccoli and a baked sweet potato for a well-rounded meal. 

For a keto variation, substitute sweet potato with cauliflower rice. This meal can be prepared in advance and stays fresh for up to 3 days when refrigerated. Get recipe here.

8. Chicken Stir-Fry with Mixed Vegetables

A chicken stir-fry is a classic example of simple meal prep ideas for weight loss. It’s quick to make and loaded with vegetables and lean protein. Use skinless chicken breast and a variety of colorful vegetables for a nutrient-dense meal. 

For a low-carb alternative, serve over cauliflower rice instead of white rice. Stir-fries are best cooked and consumed within 3-4 days for optimal freshness. Get recipe here.

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How To Lose 10 Pounds In a Month With Meal Prep

Losing 10 pounds in a month may be an achievable goal for some with a combination of healthy eating habits and regular exercise. Here are some tips to help you lose weight through meal prep:

  • Calculate your daily calorie needs based on your age, height, weight, and activity level. Aim to create a deficit of 500-1000 calories per day for safe and sustainable weight loss.
  • Plan meals that are high in protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.
  • Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals for essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Limit ultra processed foods and added sugars, as they can contribute to weight gain.
  • Cook with healthy oils such as olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter.
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt to add flavor to your meals.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Don’t wait until you’re hungry to start meal prepping. Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time to avoid making unhealthy or high-calorie food choices.
  • Don’t be afraid to switch up your recipes and try new ingredients for variety.
  • Listen to your body’s hunger cues and stop eating when you feel satisfied, rather than stuffed.

By following these tips and incorporating the meal prep ideas mentioned above, some people might successfully lose 10 pounds in a month while still enjoying delicious and satisfying meals. However, an achievable goal for most people is to lose 1-2 pounds per week. 



  • What Are The Disadvantages of Meal Prep?

Meal prepping can have some downsides, such as:

  • It can be time-consuming to plan, shop for, and prepare meals in advance.
  • Some people may find it difficult or monotonous to stick to a set meal plan week after week.
  • The initial cost of buying containers and ingredients for meal prep can add up.
  • Some foods may not hold up well when prepared in advance, leading to a decrease in taste or texture.
  • It may be challenging to customize meals for different dietary restrictions or preferences within a household.

Despite these potential disadvantages, the benefits of meal prep outweigh them for many people trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve their weight loss goals.

  • Is Meal Prepping Better Than Eating Out?

Meal prepping is better than eating out for several reasons:

  • It’s typically more cost-effective to buy and prepare your meals in advance rather than eating out every day.
  • Meal prepping allows you to have more control over the ingredients and portion sizes of your meals.
  • By planning and preparing your meals, you can avoid unhealthy fast food or restaurant options that may hinder your weight loss progress.
  • Eating home-cooked meals can also improve your overall nutrient intake and support a healthier lifestyle.
  • Is It Better To Meal Prep or Cook Everyday?

Meal prepping can be better than cooking every day if you have a busy schedule or struggle with making healthy food choices on the spot. However, if you enjoy cooking and have the time to do it daily, there is no right or wrong answer. The most important thing is to prioritize your health and choose a method that works best for you.

  • Is It Safe To Meal Prep for 3 Days?

Most foods can be safely stored and consumed within three days of meal prep, as long as they are stored properly in airtight containers in the refrigerator. According to food safety guidelines, cooked chicken and fish should be consumed within 3-4 days, while vegetables and grains can last for up to 7 days. It’s always best to use your judgement and discard any food that looks or smells off before consuming it. Additionally, freezing meals is a great option for extending their shelf life beyond three days.

The Bottom Line

The right meal prep ideas for weight loss can take the guesswork and stress out of healthy eating. By planning and preparing your meals in advance, you can save time, money, and effort while still achieving your weight loss goals. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet, meal prepping is an effective method that can support your overall well-being.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Eating healthy fats has many benefits (2022,uclahealth.org)
  2. Fiber Intake Predicts Weight Loss and Dietary Adherence in Adults Consuming Calorie-Restricted Diets (2019,nih.gov)
  3. Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss (2016,nih.gov)
  4. Less Binge Eating and Loss of Control over Eating Are Associated with Greater Levels of Mindfulness: Identifying Patterns in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity (2019,nih.gov)
  5. Losing Weight (2023,nih.gov)
  6. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2020,jomes.org)
  7. Protein, weight management, and satiety (2008,nih.gov)
  8. The Role of Supplemental Complex Dietary Carbohydrates and Gut Microbiota in Promoting Cardiometabolic and Immunological Health in Obesity: Lessons from Healthy
  9. Non-Obese Individuals (2017,nih.gov)
  10. Understanding the science of portion control and the art of downsizing (2018,nih.gov)
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