7-Day Meal Prep For Weight Loss • A Sweet Pea Chef

FULL WEEK of healthy meal prep for weight loss, ready in just about one hour.  All 7 days, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks – great for weight loss or if you just want to have your healthy meals all prepped for you for the week.

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For so many years I’ve been listening to other people, my friends and even family how sticking to a healthy lifestyle is hard and just takes up so much time. Instead of just waving them off (and saying telling them they’re wrong to their faces ;)), I love showing people how it’s actually easier than they might think to eat real food, enjoy what they’re eating, and even be FULL, all while losing weight. . Yes, it’s possible to eat healthy and not hate your food!

Changing your eating habits can be intimidating, I know. It may even feel like you’re leaving everything you love behind. All the midnight snacks, takeouts, sweets…  But, although it may seem like that at first, soon enough you realize that eating healthy will not only make you feel and look good but can also taste darn good!  The key is finding a lifestyle you love (not one you dread) so that you stick to it.

Once you get a hang of it, making healthier and yet equally, if not even tastier, versions of your favorite dishes will bring you more joy than any unhealthy over-processed options out there. I’ve even made a healthier version of one of my all-time favorites – Mac and cheese, and it’s one of my favorite recipes ever.

With our busy schedules, it’s often hard, impossible even, to cook every single day and, to be honest, sometimes even when I do have the time, I’d rather be spending it doing something else. That’s why is so often rely on meal prep!

Not only is meal prep a great way to save time, as you cook only once or twice a week and have a nutritious meal ready in a matter of minutes every day, but by planning ahead you can keep track of your calorie intake more easily.  The idea is to plan to succeed, not wait to fail with eating healthy and, ultimately, with weight loss in general.

In order to help you jump on the meal prep train, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite tips that will help you get started and a full 7 days meal prep for weight loss.  This 7 day meal prep for weight loss includes 4 easy meal prep meals per day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack to munch on in between and totals to 1500 calories per day.

Ready, set, go!  You got this!

WHAT DOES MEAL PREP MEAN?

Meal prep, short for meal preparation, is the process of planning and preparing your meals ahead of time. You can meal prep one day ahead, or take one day to prepare lunch and/or dinner for an entire week. While most meal prep only one or two meals, you can easily meal prep breakfast, lunch and dinner, even snacks for the week ahead. It’s entirely up to you!

In this post today, I’ve shared a 7 day meal prep for weight loss that includes all your meals and snacks to make it as easy as possible to stay on track.

HOW DO I MAKE A MEAL PLAN?

First things first – planning. Before you start to prep your meals, you need a nice, solid plan. Coming up with a meal plan may sound overwhelming at first, but it’s not as bad as it may seem. Just take it one step at a time and start with one, simple meal you love and that you know is healthy, and then work your way up. Soon, you’ll be prepping all your meals! Watch out – it gets addicting!

How To Make a Meal Plan

That’s it, you’re set.

CAN YOU LOSE WEIGHT WITH MEAL PREP?

Meal prep is a simple and easy way to track your food intake. Whether you just want to stay away from over-processed foods and eat healthy to build muscle, lose weight, or simply feel better, meal prep is a great idea. Prepping all, or at least most your meals, ahead of time makes cooking and eating healthy, nutritious food easier and quicker than ordering take out or grabbing some fast food on the go.

Meal prep is one of the best ways to ensure you’re eating healthy all day long and prevent the vicious cycle of skipping meals during the day and binging on unhealthy foods once you’re finally home in the evening, one of the problems many people who are struggling with losing weight are facing with every day.  Plus, it’s so much easier to grab and eat food you’ve already prepared than to struggle with also cooking and/or prepping it when you’re hungry.

HOW MANY TIMES A DAY SHOULD YOU EAT TO LOSE WEIGHT

There’s no hard rule on how many times a day you should eat in order to lose weight. But, when it comes to weight loss, the first change you need to be making is your eating habits. They don’t say that abs are made in the kitchen for nothing!

If you want to lose weight and feel better, you need to eat nutritious food that will keep you full for longer. Protein and fiber take longer to digest and therefore keep you feeling full for longer than simple carbohydrates and sugars. Whether you eat three bigger meals or five or six smaller ones throughout the day is entirely up to you, as long as you keep in mind the number of calories you consume.  Typically, a woman should eat approximately 1400-1700 calories each day to lose weight, depending on their specific bodies and nutritional needs.

WHAT ARE THE BEST MEAL PREP CONTAINERS?

I heart meal prep containers. <3

When meal prepping, you definitely want a meal prep container that will keep your food fresh. Whether you’re prepping meals for an entire week or just a few days ahead, the way you store your meals is just as important as cooking the food. You want to make sure you always store your food in airtight containers to prevent spoilage.

Food containers come in all shapes, sizes and equally important – materials. Depending on your lifestyle, you can pick the ones that fit into your lifestyle (and your bag!) best. If you’ll be taking a lot of your meals with you on the go, the slimmer and lighter the container is, the better. Also, make sure the container is suitable for keeping in the freezer and/or microwave use, depending on what you’ll be using it most – that’s why I love these glass meal prep containers. There are plenty of options and after you’ve done your planning, it will be much easier for you to determine what kind of container is the best option.

My Favorite Meal Prep Containers

Personally, I love these glass meal prep containers for all my meals that will be microwaved.  Then, I use these 1 quart mason jars for my salads and these 16-oz. mason jars for make-ahead smoothies and overnight oats prep.

HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP MEAL PREP IN THE FRIDGE

Once you’re done with your meal prep, make sure you let your meals cool down before transferring them to airtight containers and storing them in the fridge, but make sure you don’t keep your food in room temperature for more than two hours. If you are using meal prep containers and have stored your cooked meal prep well, it can last in the fridge for up to 7 days.  Some foods will keep longer than others, which is something to consider when prepping 7 days at a time.

To make sure your veggies stay fresh in the fridge up to twice as long, a great tip is to soak them in ice cold water for 15 minutes and them store them in the fridge with a wet cloth or a damp paper towel.

If you prep your meals twice a week, that will help keep your food as fresh as possible.

CAN YOU FREEZE MEAL PREP FOOD

Freezer meals are a great option, especially when you have extra food you know you won’t get to in time before it spoils. Before you freeze any cooked food, make sure to let it cool down completely. You may need to transfer your meal to a larger bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.

For easy thawing and storage, freeze your meal prep either in airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. If using a freezer bag, make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before placing your meal prep in the freezer.

When you’re ready to eat it, you can either let your meal prep thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat in the microwave for around 2 minutes or reheat it in the microwave while frozen for 4-5 minutes. Easy peasy!

More Healthy Meal Prep For Weight Loss

Alright, now that I have you hooked on healthy meal prep for weight loss and al its glory, check out these other great meal plans to help you to keep eating healthy!

I hope you like the recipes I’ve shared in this meal plan.  The meals are recipes I like to eat and meals I ate when I have tried to lose weight.

Remember that every person is different and requires slightly different calorie intakes to lose weight at a healthy rate.  If you’re combining this with a workout routine, you can increase the amount of calories easily by adding in another 200 calorie snack to find what best suits you and your needs.

The idea of this meal plan is for you to focus on enjoying your food and having meals prepped for you that you know are well-balanced so you don’t have to worry about counting calories. I find calorie counting to be tedious and I get overly obsessive so I like to choose meals that are naturally healthy and nutritious to add into my meal preps like the recipes I’ve chosen for you today.

You don’t have to think about the calories you’re going to eat, what you’re gonna eat, it’s just so much easier to plan and prep ahead.

7-Day Meal Prep For Weight Loss

1 hr 20 mins
FULL WEEK of healthy meal prep for weight loss, ready in just about one hour.  All 7 days, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks – great for weight loss or if you just want to have your healthy meals all prepped for you for the week.
Categories: Healthy Eating, Mason Jar, meal planning, Meal Prep
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats (Breakfast for 4 Days)
Quinoa and Kale Salad (Lunch for 4 Days)
Veggies + Hummus (Snack for 4 Days)
Beef With Broccoli and Brown Rice (Dinner for 4 Days)
Mango Green Smoothie (Breakfast for 3 Days)
Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice (Lunch for 3 Days)
Strawberries + Almonds (Snack for 3 Days)
Lemon Roasted Salmon With Asparagus (Dinner for 3 Days)
To Prep the Grains and Beans:

In a deep pot, combine the brown rice, sea salt, and low sodium chicken broth. Heat this over high heat until it begins to boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until the water is all absorbed and the rice is tender.

To cook the quinoa, combine uncooked quinoa with sea salt and water, in a deep pot, and then bring to boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Once all the liquid is absorbed, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool as well.

Next, let’s get our lentils started. Add the dry lentils to a pot, followed by water. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring this to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the lentils are tender. For whole lentils, it should take about 15-20 minutes. Then, drain the lentils and set aside for later.
For the Healthy Beef with Broccoli:

To make the Beef with Broccoli, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add thinly sliced flank steak and cook until it’s well-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Once it’s well-browned, remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add minced garlic, chopped shallot, and green onions. Cook one minute, stirring frequently.

Then, add the broccoli florets and cook for 5 minutes until the broccoli turns bright green and becomes mostly tender.  Since we’ll be storing this meal, we don’t want to cook the vegetables completely through or they’ll be super mushy when we reheat them later.

To make the sauce, in a mixing bowl, combine low sodium soy sauce, coconut sugar, fresh minced ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add arrowroot starch and water and stir until no longer lumpy.

Add this sauce to the pan and cook until it starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Return the beef and stir to combine, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes. Then, set this aside to slightly cool.
For the Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice:

To make the cauliflower fried rice, heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add some sesame oil.

Season the boneless, skinless chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper, then place into the hot oil.
Cook for 4-6 minutes per side, turning occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Once it’s cooked through, remove from the pan, dice into bite-size pieces, and set aside.
Add the diced carrots into the empty pan and cook until they’re mostly tender, followed by the low sodium soy sauce, peanut butter, and chili paste and stir to combine.
Add the frozen edamame, minced garlic, and sliced green onions, and cook until heated through.

To make the cauliflower rice, grate a head of cauliflower using a kitchen grater (or you can also use a food processor or buy pre-riced cauliflower).

Once you’ve grated all the cauliflower, add to the pan.
Add the rice and cook the cauliflower rice over med-high heat until tender.
Return the diced chicken back to the pan, and stir to incorporate.

Push the fried chicken cauliflower rice mixture to one side of the skillet and add a couple eggs into the empty side of the pan and then scramble. Once the eggs are mostly scrambled, break up with a spatula and combine with the rice mixture.  This is now done and can be removed from the heat and set aside.

For the Lemon Roasted Salmon with Asparagus:

To make the roasted salmon recipe, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Arrange the pre-cut salmon portions in the center of the making sheet and then arrange the asparagus around the sides.
Add thinly cut lemon slices around the edges of the salmon and over the asparagus.

In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. Pour this mixture over the salmon and asparagus.

Then sprinkle parmesan over salmon and asparagus.
Place this in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and broil another 5-7 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside. This salmon is so easy and so flavorful.
For the Quinoa and Kale Salad:

To make the dressing for the kale and quinoa salad, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, raw honey, dijon mustard, sea salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil in a small mixing bowl, and whisk together until well combined.

To prep the kale for the salad, we’re going to add it to a large bowl with a little olive oil and rub all over the kale, massaging it until the kale reduces in volume and becomes less stiff. (This makes a huge difference in the texture of the kale and makes it much easier to eat. I like to buy pre-cut kale when I meal prep because it’s just easier and takes one less step out of the process.)

To assemble the salad, combine 3/4 cup of the cooked quinoa, 3/4 cup of the cooked lentils, the kale, garbanzo beans, diced cucumber, diced carrot, grape tomatoes, finely diced red onion, and raw sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine.

Then, drizzle over a few tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette, and toss once more. This is so dang good.

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats:

To make the chocolate peanut butter overnight oats, add the bananas, dark cocoa powder, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and unsweetened almond milk to a kitchen blender and blend until smooth.

Add the rolled oats and stir to combine. Do not blend. (You could also do this in a separate bowl, but this makes less dirty dishes.)

Divide this into four mason jars because we will be using it for breakfast four of the days. Then, close, and then place into the fridge overnight or for at least 4-6 hours. (You can heat them up each morning or just eat them cold right out of the mason jar. When the oats are ready, I like to top them with some dark chocolate chunks.)

For the Mango Green Smoothie:
To prep our mango green smoothie, divide fresh or frozen mango chunks, banana, and baby spinach into either ziplock freezer bags or mason jars. When it’s time to blend this all together, you’ll add in flaxseed meal, protein powder, and unsweetened almond milk for a tasty smoothie.
For the Strawberries and Almonds:
Our snacks for four of the days will be raw almond with fresh strawberries. This can be prepped in a mason jar or a reusable bag. (This snack is roughly 200 calories. If you don’t like almonds, you can replace wit cashews or walnuts. Fruits can be switched out as well.)
For the Veggies and Hummus:
Our other snack for the other three days is carrots and cucumber with hummus. You can make your own hummus or buy it from the store, depending on your preference. 
To pack this snack, add the hummus to the bottom of a mason jar – we’re looking to do about 2 tbsp in the bottom. Then add carrot and cucumber sticks for dipping right into the hummus. This makes a tasty, crunchy snack that is savory.

To store the salad, you can either use a meal prep container or mason jars

To pack our beef with broccoli, add it to one side of the meal prep container and then add in the steamed brown rice on the side. Top with sliced green onions. This meal is roughly 500 calories and will make a tasty dinner for four of the nights.
To pack up the chicken cauliflower fried rice, add it to one end of the meal prep container, and next to it add some fresh snap peas. I like to have a crisp veggie along with the fried rice for a little texture. This will serve as a lunch for three of the days and is roughy 400 calories.
Now for our salmon meal, make a layer on the bottom of the container with the asparagus and then top it with one of the salmon fillets. If you wanted to add some quinoa to this meal, that would be a good option if you find you’re still somewhat hungry.
Recipe Notes

– Remember that every person is different and requires slightly different calorie intakes to lose weight at a healthy rate. If you’re combining this with a workout routine, you can increase the amount of calories easily by adding in another 200 calorie snack to find what best suits you and your needs.

– Nutrition facts are for 1 day of the meal plan, including breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner

Nutrition Facts
7 Day Meal Plan For Weight Loss
Amount Per Serving (1 day)
Calories 1500 Calories from Fat 344
Protein 80.2g160%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This content was originally published here.

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