Meal Prep Hacks For Weight Loss Beginners
meal prep weight loss easy
Do you need some super easy meal prep ideas to help you lose weight?
Do you wish you had a personal chef to plan and prep all your meals for you?
Then you could just sit down and eat and not even think about it, right?
Because I feel like I’m in the kitchen all the time and if I’m not there then I’m thinking of how I’ll need to be in there soon.
So a personal chef sounds like the perfect solution.
There’s only one problem…
Ain’t nobody got the money for that.
Okay clearly somebody has the money for that or personal chefs wouldn’t exist but unless you’re rolling in the dough, you probably don’t.
I’m certainly not rolling in cash but I’m not really about that stay in the kitchen all day life either especially since I’m trying so hard to make this blog and online business work.
So I’m going to give you some compromises between hiring a personal chef and slaving away in the kitchen so that you can get dinner done and then get back to pursuing those goals and dreams that we have.
These meal prep tips will make your time in the kitchen shorter and sweeter so you can get back to doing things you actually enjoy.
But first, how does meal prepping even benefit us?
I’ll be covering why meal prepping even matters for weight loss and 7 super easy ways to meal prep so let’s get started!
Oh yeah, and this post contains affiliate links to great products that will help you in your health journey. I will get a commission if you decide to buy from these links but I’m only recommending products that I feel confident about.
Why Meal Prepping Is Essential For Weight Loss
Just like I discussed in my blog post about meal planning, meal prepping keeps you on the straight and narrow road to health.
When you have healthy and delicious food in the refrigerator already cooked and ready to eat then you have set yourself up for success for that week.
For instance, in the past when I didn’t have food already in the fridge, come dinner time I would stop by a Chinese or Mexican restaurant and order take out because I was too hungry to cook at that point.
And even though, I was doing this, I would still bang my head against the wall about not being able to lose weight.
However, the first week that I discovered meal prepping and I actually tried it, I lost 4 pounds that week.
I couldn’t believe it because sometimes I wouldn’t lose 4 pounds in a year, so 4 pounds in a week was life-changing for me.
However, I didn’t keep it up because it was time-consuming.
I didn’t want to spend Sunday afternoon chopping a ton of vegetables.
So my weight loss has stalled.
Now I am starting it back up again because I’m using some of these tips, I’m sharing with you, to make meal prepping so much easier.
7 Easy Meal Prep Tips For For Weight Loss Beginners
1. Buy or Create Frozen Meals
Now, these can be meals you cook yourself or meals from the freezer at the grocery store.
I love being able to thaw some homemade chili from the freezer.
You truly can’t tell the difference and it takes no time to thaw really.
What you can do is make a large pot or two when you have free time and then freeze them in bags.
You would put enough into the bags for one meal for you and your family if you have one.
Dinner is done with little prep and little cleanup.
And I’m just using chili as an example. You could do this with lots of meals.
Something else that I’ve learned is that some women will prepare 20 to 30 meals in one and then freeze.
Then when they are short on time, they will take one of these bags of prepped food and put it in the Crockpot or pressure cooker.
There is a lot of prep work on the front end but after that, you could just grab a bag from the freezer, throw it in the appliance of your choosing and dinner is hands-off.
Here’s a link to a Pinterest page about how to make freezer meals.
But if that seems like too much work then you can always get a frozen meal from the grocery store.
If you’re leery about buying frozen meals from the grocery store, I understand.
Many meals from the freezer seem to be allergic to taste yet packed with sodium and all sorts of dubious ingredients.
There are some that are not as sketchy like frozen meals from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and those in the special separate freezer section reserved for those dinners made with natural and whole ingredients.
Just stick with those especially if you are trying to lose weight.
2) Jump On The Slow Cooker Meals Train
Now I haven’t jumped on this train yet but I know that slow cooker meals are, for the most part super easy to make.
Of course, they aren’t quick in terms of how long they take to get ready but how quick they are to prepare.
Just throw any kind of meat or protein in there with some sort of braising liquid (water, broth, stock, BBQ sauce, etc.) and some seasonings and voila… dinner is officially hands-off.
And then if you use a slow cooker liner…Boom clean up is a cinch too. You can of course by slow cookers from Amazon, Walmart, Target, and a bunch of other stores.
2. Use a Pressure Cooker And Dinner Is Done In Minutes
It’s a little silly but I’m a bit afraid to use pressure cookers. I think it’s because I’m traumatized by the sound and steam that my grandmother’s pressure cooker let off when it was working its magic.
However, today’s pressure cookers are not as loud and “scary” as the ones from yesteryear.
And thank goodness because they are huge time savers.
They are the opposite of slow cookers but the food prep is much the same.
You can throw a protein in the pressure cooker just like you would a slow cooker except the food will be done in minutes instead of hours.
And please note that you should follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to use all of these appliances.
It’s perhaps a little more involved than just throwing it into the cooker ;).
What If You Don’t Have A Slow Cooker Or A Pressure Cooker?
If you don’t have a slow cooker or a pressure cooker then you can buy one kitchen gadget that does both and so much more. It’s called an Instant Pot and it has 7 different functions. It’s a:
- Pressure cooker
- Slow cooker
- Rice cooker
- Yogurt Maker
And more. And the over 70,000 reviewers say it’s awesome.
3. Buy Pre-cut and Prepackaged Groceries
I’m normally all about saving money but sometimes you have to make a choice. Do you have more time or more money?
The answer can change based on when the question is asked but right now it seems like I have more money than time so I will buy pre-packaged items if it is a good deal.
For instance, I never buy spinach that’s not already pre-washed.
It’s just not worth it to save those few cents and buy it without the packaging.
I buy packaged carrots so I can just dump them in a pot.
I also buy turkey burgers from Trader Joe’s even though it’s cheaper to buy it in a roll.
I can’t make turkey burgers as delicious as theirs and its easy to just pull it from the freezer whenever I’m in the mood for one.
How To Buy Prepackaged Foods On A Budget
Buying pre-cut and prepared foods can be expensive.
So some ideas to cut down on the cost would be to use coupons and cashback apps
What Are Cash-Back Apps?
Cashback apps are apps that you can use to get cash back on the groceries and products you were already going to buy!
The most popular cash back app is called Ibotta.
I’ve used it plenty of times over the years to save me a lot of money. And it’s so easy to use.
And it’s completely FREE to use.
Like no catch whatsoever.
I’ve never paid anything to use it in 2 years of using it. I’ve only ever gotten money back.
This is how they work.
You download the app and use it like this
How To Use Ibotta To Save Money On Groceries
1) Open the Ibotta app,
2)Find the store that you want to shop
3) Scroll down through the list of offers or products that you can get cash back from that are available for that store.
List of Kroger products you could get cash back for!
4) Tap the product that you are interested in
6) Click the plus sign
5) Complete the small task like watching a short video or answering a short question (although sometimes that’s not necessary) and then that offer is added to your list of offers
6) Then go to that store where the offer is valid, buy the item, and then redeem.
7) Next, you take a picture of the receipt when you are prompted to do so. You have to take a picture of the ENTIRE receipt or it will not process correctly. If it’s a long receipt then you just take multiple pictures.
8) Then once you take the picture and click done (I believe it says), that money will go into your Ibotta account.
9) Once you reach $20 in cash back earnings, you can cash out your account through Paypal or through different gift cards like Amazon.
It’s a really amazing deal and super easy to use.
4. Just Be Boring
A lot of the hassle from food prepping is when we try to make all of these fancy recipes that we see in cookbooks or on Pinterest.
I’m not saying don’t ever try anything new but maybe just try one new recipe a week and then prep for a meal that you know by heart and don’t have to look at a recipe to make.
This will make your time in the kitchen a lot shorter
Another way to be boring?
Make the same recipes all the time.
I discuss this in my meal planning blog post.
Have a recipe database with at least 7 or 8 meals per meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and pull your meals from the database every week.
5. Eat Out
Yes I know I know.
We shouldn’t eat out too often but this is as close to a personal chef as many of us will get.
And if you have coupons or you split one meal into two or 3 meals, which shouldn’t be too hard since most restaurants give you 2 to 3 servings, then it is quite economical.
And if you want healthy options you can check out my free guide to healthy meals at popular restaurants (it’s a part of my free resource library) to help you know what to order.
It tells you meals you can order that are under 400 calories and what you should order at your own caloric risk.
6. Explore The Deli Departments At The Grocery Stores
I didn’t promise you cheap options.
I promised quick options and while you’re out grocery shopping, just:
– Stop by the deli and
– Pick up a rotisserie chicken (the ones at Sams are incredible),
– Add a side dish and
– Open a can of green beans and
And dinner is done!
It’s not fancy but it’s delicious and can be healthy(ish).
7. Look Into Ordering A Meal Delivery Service
Hello Fresh Homepage
I have never subscribed to any of these services but I found an informative article from a blogger who has tried and compared 6 different services so if you’re interested in them then please read to find out more.
What was especially interesting was how much prep was involved in some of the recipes so if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the cooking then you’ll want to pay close attention to those parts of the review.
Conclusion For Meal Prep Ideas For Weight Loss Beginners
Okay, so you still don’t have a personal chef.
However, if you employ these ideas on a regular basis you’ll start to feel like you have one and you can start meal planning and kick start your weight loss journey to boot.
You don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen cooking up a storm.
These 7 tips will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time (some of them don’t require you to go to the kitchen at all).
I don’t mind cooking but I would much rather be reading or writing so I’m really excited about some of these tips that I’ve never tried.
What about you my friends?
What kind of tips do you have that make you feel like you have a “personal chef”?
Let me know in the comment section!
And before you leave let me tell you about this…
Download Free Weight Loss Printables To Help You Lose Weight Faster!
If you want to lose weight then you will need some tools to help you track your progress;
I want to help you do this so I created a resource library with free weight loss printables inside to help lose weight for good!
This is what free weight loss printables are in my resource library
– Healthy Meals On The Go (Healthy Popular Restaurant Meal Options Guide)
– Healthy Grocery List Printable
You can gain access to all of them in my free Weight Loss resource library.
Just click below and enter your email address, I will send the password and link to the library to your inbox.
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