Nutritionist Meal Plan For Weight Loss


Learn what to eat when you follow this nutritionist meal plan for weight loss. This meal plan can be used by people who want to lose weight and need a diet that is healthy and safe. You will learn what each meal should include and can easily cook the meals in 30 minutes with easy to follow recipes. We know that our busy lifestyles make it hard to stick to a healthy diet, but eating healthily doesn’t have to be frustrating.

7-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan & Recipe Prep

Meal Plan for Weight Loss with yogurt, overnight oats, carrots, and grapes

The optimal diet for weight loss is one that reduces your daily intake of calories, fat, salt, and sugar while still being healthy and maintainable.

A healthy and long-term eating plan is the ideal one for weight loss. While there isn’t a single meal plan that works for everyone, you should make sure you are consuming the right number of nutrients while also cutting back on calories, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugar.

Remember to talk to your doctor before starting any diet, and think about working with a qualified dietitian to make sure your weight loss strategy is wholesome and nutrient-dense.

A good weight-loss diet should consist of the following:

Why Nutrition is Important for a Weight Loss Diet

What feature unites all weight-loss diet plans? Usually, you need to gradually reduce your caloric intake to notice effects. You might not lose weight if your calorie intake isn’t reduced.

However, cutting calories too drastically can make you feel deprived and unhappy. When extremely delicious foods are put in front of you, this causes cravings and makes it difficult to manage how much food you eat.

This may sound familiar to you. You intend to eat less tomorrow because you ate too much tonight. After a day or two of extremely low calorie intake to make up for recent binge eating, you wind up going on another binge, and the cycle repeats.

Avoid reducing daily caloric intake below the 250–500 range advised by healthcare professionals to avoid this.

There is no magic number, and depending on one’s weight, height, medical history, amount of activity, and other factors, each person will have different calorie demands for weight loss. For best results, you’ll probably need to modify your calorie deficit over time.

7-Day Sample Weight Loss Menu

This one-week meal plan was created for a person who needs around 2,000 calories per day, but who wants to lose weight by eating between 1,500 and 1,750 calories, spread out over 3 meals and 2 snacks, each day. Your daily calorie target can change. Discover what it is below, then modify the strategy to suit your unique requirements. To better precisely analyze and prepare for your dietary needs, think about working with a certified dietitian or talking with another healthcare professional.

This diet is low in carbohydrates, rich in protein, and moderate in fat to aid in weight loss. This meal plan contains 25% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 35% dietary fat as its macronutrient ratios. As long as you do so with comparable menu items and amount quantities, food substitutions or substitutes are OK.

Day 1


  • 3 large scrambled eggs
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast

Micronutrients: 350 calories, 21 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, and 21 grams fat


  • 1 small container (5.3 ounces) plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1-ounce cashew pieces

Micronutrients: 272 calories, 20 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat


  • 4 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Micronutrients: 418 calories, 38 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, and 26 grams fat


  • 1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in 1 cup nonfat milk

Micronutrients: 193 calories, 28 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, and 1 grams fat


Micronutrients: 449 calories, 36 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,683 calories, 144 grams protein, 106 grams carbohydrates, and 79 grams fat

Note that beverages are not included in this meal plan. Individual fluid needs vary based on age, sex, activity level, and medical history. For optimal hydration, experts generally recommend drinking approximately 9 cups of water per day for women and 13 cups of water per day for men.5 When adding beverages to your meal plan, consider their calorie count. Aim to reduce or eliminate consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and opt for water when possible.

Day 2


  • 1/3 cup dry oats (cook in water and a dash of salt and cinnamon)
  • 4 large scrambled egg whites
  • 1 ounce slivered almonds

Micronutrients: 340 calories, 24 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat


  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

Micronutrients: 316 calories, 9 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat


  • 4 ounces solid white tuna in water (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
  • 16 thin wheat crackers

Micronutrients: 327 calories, 29 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, and 13 grams fat


  • 1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in coffee or water
  • 1-ounce almonds

Micronutrients: 280 calories, 26 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat


  • 6 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli

Micronutrients: 306 calories, 54 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, and 6 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,569 calories, 141 grams protein, 108 grams carbohydrates, and 70 grams fat

Day 3


  • 6 ounces 2% cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1-ounce cashew pieces

Micronutrients: 337 calories, 22 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat


  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

Micronutrients: 213 calories, 3 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat


  • 6 ounces roasted turkey deli meat
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • 1 (6-7 inch) flour tortilla or wrap

Micronutrients: 340 calories, 43 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, and 12 grams fat


  • 1 cup salted and prepared edamame in the pod
  • 1 cup sliced carrots

Micronutrients: 238 calories, 20 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat


  • 6 ounce 97% lean ground beef burger
  • 1 slider-size hamburger bun
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 slices red onion

Micronutrients: 432 calories, 54 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,559 calories, 143 grams protein, 110 grams carbohydrates, and 65 grams fat

Day 4


  • 1 serving Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Waffles
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Micronutrients: 262 calories, 21 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat


  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 part-skim mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup sliced carrots

Micronutrients: 359 calories, 21 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat


  • 6 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Micronutrients: 562 calories, 57 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, and 28 grams fat


  • 1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in coffee or water

Micronutrients: 110 calories, 20 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, and 1 grams fat


  • 6 ounces 99% fat-free ground turkey breast, sauteed in 1 teaspoon olive oil and mixed with 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups steamed zucchini noodles

Micronutrients: 284 calories, 40 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, and 9 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,578 calories, 159 grams protein, 107 grams carbohydrates, and 63 grams fat

Day 5


Smoothie: 1 scoop whey protein powder, 1 small frozen banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 cup nonfat milk, ice

Micronutrients: 383 calories, 34 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, and 10 grams fat


  • 1/4 cup pistachios, in the shell

Micronutrients: 175 calories, 6.5 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat


  • 4 ounces deli roast beef
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • 1 slice rye bread
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 2 slices tomato

Micronutrients: 337 calories, 34 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat


  • 1 small container (5.3 ounces) plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1-ounce almonds

Micronutrients: 258 calories, 21 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, and 15 grams fat


  • 4 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup steamed mixed vegetables

Micronutrients: 424 calories, 38 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,578 calories, 133 grams protein, 115 grams carbohydrates, and 68 grams fat

Day 6


Overnight Oats: Combine the following in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with 1 ounce chopped walnuts.

  • 1/3 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • dash of cinnamon

Micronutrients: 464 calories, 34 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, and 22 grams fat


  • 1 cup salted and prepared edamame, in the pod
  • 1 cup sliced carrots

Micronutrients: 238 calories, 20 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat


  • Quesadilla: 3 ounces grilled chicken breast, 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese, and 1 (6-7 inch) flour tortilla; serve with 2 tablespoons salsa

Micronutrients: 306 calories, 37 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat


  • 6 ounces 2% cottage cheese
  • 1 medium peach

Micronutrients: 196 calories, 19 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, and 4 grams fat


  • 6 ounces grilled salmon
  • 6 large steamed asparagus spears

Micronutrients: 370 calories, 40 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, and 21 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,573 calories, 149 grams protein, 107 grams carbohydrates, and 67 grams fat

Day 7


  • 4 egg white omelet with 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, 1 cup spinach, and 1/4 avocado
  • 1 slice wheat toast

Micronutrients: 250 calories, 20 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat


  • Smoothie: 2/3 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt, 1 cup nonfat milk, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, 3 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1/2 frozen banana

Micronutrients: 425 calories, 34 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat


  • 6 ounces grilled salmon
  • 6 steamed asparagus spears

Micronutrients: 370 calories, 40 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, and 21 grams fat


  • 2 hard-boiled eggs

Micronutrients: 155 calories, 13 grams protein, 1 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat


  • 4 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 1 cup steamed stir fry vegetables
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce

Micronutrients: 457 calories, 43 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, and 15 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,657 calories, 150 grams protein, 110 grams carbohydrates, and 71 grams fat

Simple Meal Plan to Lose Weight

Losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult.

calories consumed versus burned. That’s actually how easy it is. Your body holds on to extra calories and converts them to fat if you consume more calories than you expend each day.

The good news is that burning calories comes naturally to our bodies. A person who weighs 150 pounds will sleep for an hour while burning about 46 calories. For “energy” (memory, information processing, calculating, etc.), the human brain uses calories, and even basic actions like getting up and moving to another room include calorie burning.

The main contributor to weight growth or loss is food. Your fitness progress will be derailed by junk food more quickly than you might think. 600 calories of pure sugar cannot be made up for through exercise. However, eating the appropriate foods will help you lose weight more effectively than spending six hours in the gym ever could.

By advising you to spend an entire day on meal preparation or providing you with meal plans where each recipe calls for at least 15 items, “experts” will occasionally make it appear difficult.

If done correctly, losing weight can be easy.

The simplest kind of meal planning is to list your go-to meals and snacks. The majority of my favorite dishes are also the simplest. Spending time preparing intricate dishes does not make you want to consume that cuisine any more than if it were simple, unless you love cooking.

You can see my personal recommendations for weight loss at the conclusion of this list of generic tips.

Simple Meal Plan to Lose Weight

Losing weight the simple way involves a few key things: A diet plan, healthy meals and a shopping list.

Weight Loss Tips For This Simple Meal Plan

Here are (truly) simple tips that can make a BIG difference.

1. Track What You’re Eating

Actually, keeping track of your food intake can be a very useful tool. Even tracking for a short period of time, such as a few days, can be enlightening. It DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SOMETHING YOU DO FOREVER. You will become aware of where the majority of your calories are coming from when you keep a food log. You can then decide what is truly worthwhile to you.

Use an app if you prefer it to pen and paper. I like the app Lose It to My Fitness Pal since there are fewer meals available, which means there is less uncertainty when trying to choose a chicken.

How do you calculate how many calories are right for you? Since they don’t account for your metabolism, I’ve discovered that app algorithms and estimates based on your height, weight, and gender are generally wrong.

This is when keeping track of your meals proves to be really beneficial. I advise recording your typical eating habits for three to five days (without any restrictions!) and then deducting 100 to 250 calories from that average. It makes no sense to follow a 1200 calorie diet just to go back to your “regular” way of eating later and put the weight back on, isn’t it? This manner, your new calorie goal will suit your metabolism and be achievable over the long run.

2. Reduce Starchy Carbohydrates

Please note I did not say “eliminate,” just reduce! I do not believe that deprivation helps your overall goals.

Reducing total carbohydrates in the diet is significantly proven (1) to:

  • reduce your appetite
  • cause faster weight loss when compared to high carb diets
  • boost your metabolism while losing weight if eating adequate protein

Starchy carbs are what? In addition to starchy vegetables like beans, peas, maize, and potatoes, starches also include grains like bread, rice, pasta, and quinoa.

A piece of thicker bread, 1/2 cup of cooked rice, quinoa, or beans, or 1 cup of starchy vegetables like maize constitute one serving of starch, which typically has 120 calories.

Making replacements that feel equivalent is the greatest method to reduce your starch content. 30 grams of starch are found in a medium russet potato. A medium sweet potato only has around 8 grams in it. You can still have a potato with your meal when you make that switch.

Instead of a bun, eat your veggie burger wrapped in lettuce. Then, with only a minor adjustment to better serve your objectives, you are still receiving your favorite lunch.

Consider how many servings of carbs you are eating when you begin keeping track of your calories. Do you think you could get away with having one or two fewer servings? Can you still eat your favorite supper if you substitute something for something less starchy?

3. Add Non-starchy Vegetables for Volume

The best trick by far is this one! While the above-mentioned starches and non-starchy vegetables both contain significant amounts of carbohydrates, loading up on vegetables will provide you considerably more food for your money (both financially and in terms of calories).

For instance, which would you choose: 3 cups of cauliflower rice or 1/2 cup of rice?

By making these minor adjustments, you’ll feel fuller for longer. After dinner, you won’t have to rush back for another snack.

Listed below are some excellent non-starchy vegetables to include on your plate:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Salad Greens
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini

4. Focus on Eating ONLY When You’re Hungry, Not from Boredom, Stress or other Emotions

The hardest one is this one. But it might be the most crucial! One of the main reasons people acquire weight is boredom and emotional eating.

Discover your unique hunger and fullness cues. You need to find alternatives to eating when you’re experiencing an emotion but aren’t hungry. Send a quick text to a buddy to say hello, go for a brief stroll around the block (or even just your room), or focus on deep breathing. Although it can be challenging at times, being better at this grows easier over time. If talking to a therapist helps, do so.

You can try drinking water whenever you feel the temptation to go for a food to see whether the urge disappears as this may help you learn your cues. Make sure to get a nutritious snack, such as sugar-free Greek yogurt, if you are still feeling hungry.

If Weight Loss is Important to You, Make Time for It

Time is merely a construct. Even if it seems like we never have enough time, we actually find time for the activities we want to do. For instance, if I have work to accomplish but I recently watched a TikTok video for an incredibly adorable Amazon throw blanket, I’m finding time to do some online shopping.

Although meal planning and eating healthily are probably not the most enjoyable things to do with your time, you must make the time if losing weight is something you value.

Make time to sit down and plan your meals, then write them down (or use an app for meal planning)! Keep a record of your favorite healthy meals so that you may make your meal plan by just looking at it in the future. It should not take more than 15 minutes to create your meal plan.

Make a list of your groceries, then go shopping.

the preparation of meals. You can use shortcuts (such buying pre-grilled chicken strips and pre-cut vegetables) and it doesn’t have to take very long, but whatever you do, don’t neglect this crucial stage.

Make extra if you plan to prepare dinner at home and use it for a couple of weekday lunches. Even leftovers count toward dinner preparation!

Here is a full-day meal plan to give you a place to start and hopefully save you a little time. with breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks included.

Simple Meal Plan to Lose Weight


First of all, only eat if you are actually hungry. Listen to your body’s hunger & fullness cues – do not force yourself to eat. 

If you are hungry, stick with protein & fat type foods like eggs, cheese, and avocado. Here are some ideas:

  • 2 hard boiled eggs + 1 string cheese
  • Omelet with diced bell pepper and ½ avocado
  • 1 low-sugar yogurt with ⅛ cup crushed nuts

AND! Did you know that eating protein at breakfast can absolutely decrease carb cravings later in the day (2)?


What do we want from lunch? We want to be full and satisfied but not be so lethargic that we can’t get back to work!

It is easy to create filling and energizing lunches and dinners with my “formula” also known as #thatformula:

  • 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables, like lettuces, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
  • 100-200 calories of fats, like avocado, cheese, oil etc.
  • 4-5 oz of protein like chicken, tofu, beef, etc.

Here is an example for lunch!

1 can tuna (protein) + 1 Tbsp mayo + everything bagel seasoning. Mix those ingredients together. Dip 2 cups of baby carrots!


Similar to breakfast, I recommend sticking with protein and fat foods to keep you full and energized, but to limit total carbohydrates.

Here are some examples!

  • 1 cup baby carrots + 1 to-go guacamole
  • 2 hard boiled eggs + 1 string cheese (yes, breakfast meals can double as snacks!)
  • 1-2 servings of jerky


Follow the same formula I discussed above!

  • 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables, like lettuces, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
  • 100-200 calories of fats, like avocado, cheese, oil etc.
  • 4-5 oz of protein like chicken, tofu, beef, etc.

Here is an example for dinner!

2 cups broccoli + 1 serving  frozen shrimp. Stir fry with an oil spray and drain away any excess water. Top with 2 Tbsp peanut sauce, and 1/8 cup roasted peanuts.

How to Meal Plan for Weight Loss — A Detailed Guide

You can use meal planning as a strategy to help you lose weight.

When carried out properly, it can assist you in achieving the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss while giving your body the nourishing meals it requires to function and maintain good health.

Making your meals ahead of time can help speed up and streamline the preparation process.

This article discusses the key elements of meal preparation for weight loss, offers a few simple recipes, and offers further advice to help you succeed.

How to meal plan for weight loss

When it comes to weight loss meal plans, the magnitude of options can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you search for the most suitable plan.

Creating a calorie deficit in a nutrient-dense way

One thing all weight reduction programs have in common is that they encourage you to consume fewer calories than you expend.

What you consume is just as essential as how much you eat, even though a calorie deficit will help you lose weight regardless of how it’s achieved. That’s because your dietary decisions play a crucial role in ensuring that you satisfy your nutrient requirements.

A successful diet should adhere to the following common standards:

  • Includes plenty of protein and fiber. Protein- and fiber-rich foods help keep you fuller for longer, reducing cravings and helping you feel satisfied with smaller portions
  • Limits processed foods and added sugar. Rich in calories yet low in nutrients, these foods fail to stimulate fullness centers in your brain and make it difficult to lose weight or meet your nutrient needs
  • Includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Both are rich in water and fiber, contributing to feelings of fullness. These nutrient-rich foods also make it easier to meet your daily nutrient requirements.

Building nutrient-dense meals

Start by include non-starchy veggies on one-third to one-half of your plate when implementing these suggestions into your weight reduction diet plan. These offer you water, fiber, many of the vitamins and minerals you require, and they are low in calories.

Then, place whole grains, fruit, or starchy vegetables on the remaining space on your plate, leaving between a quarter and a third of it for protein-rich meals like meat, fish, tofu, seitan, or legumes. These include extra fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Add some healthy fats from foods like avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds to your cuisine to enhance the flavor.

Some people might find it helpful to eat a snack between meals to stave off hunger.

The best snacks for weight loss seem to be those high in protein and fiber.

Good examples include roasted chickpeas, hummus and vegetables, apple slices with peanut butter, and Greek yogurt with fruit and almonds.


A successful weight loss meal plan should create a calorie deficit while meeting your nutrient needs.

Helpful tips to make meal planning work for you

An important aspect of a successful weight loss meal plan is its ability to help you keep the lost weight off.

Here are some tips to help increase your meal plan’s long-term sustainability.

Pick a meal planning method that fits your routine

Meal planning can be done in a variety of ways, so be sure to choose the one that best suits your schedule.

To make it simple to grab individual servings during the week, you can want to batch cook all of your meals over the weekend. If you prefer to cook every day, on the other hand, prepping all of your items in advance can be the ideal option for you.

You might choose a technique that calls for you to stock your refrigerator and pantry with predetermined amounts of items each week while allowing you to improvise when putting the foods together for meals if you don’t enjoy following recipes or would like a bit more flexibility.

Another fantastic way to save time and ensure that your refrigerator and pantry are always stocked with nutrient-dense foods is to buy for groceries in bulk.

Consider trying an app

Apps can be a useful addition to your toolbox for meal planning.

You may customize certain applications’ meal plan templates based on your dietary needs or food sensitivities. They can also be a useful tool to gather all of your data in one location and keep track of your favorite recipes.

Additionally, a lot of apps offer personalized grocery lists based on the recipes you choose or the leftovers in your fridge, which can save you time and save food waste.

Pick enough recipes

By choosing a sufficient number of dishes, you can ensure that your meals are varied enough without having to spend all of your free time in the kitchen.

Consider how often you’re likely to eat out, whether for a date, client dinner, or brunch with friends, when deciding how many meals to prepare.

The amount of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners left over should be divided by the number of meals you can reasonably cook or prepare for that week. This makes it easier for you to estimate how much of each dish you’ll need to prepare.

Then, just choose your recipes by browsing through your cookbooks or internet food blogs.

Consider snacks

It may be harder to achieve your weight loss objectives if you let yourself become extremely hungry between meals, which may encourage you to overeat at your next meal.

Snacks can reduce hunger, increase feelings of fullness, and help you eat fewer calories throughout each day.

Combinations high in protein and fiber, including nuts, roasted chickpeas, or vegetables and hummus, seem to be the most effective for promoting weight loss.

But be aware that some people tend to gain weight when they include snacks in their diet. So when using this technique, be sure to keep an eye on your findings.

Ensure variety

It’s important to eat a variety of foods to give your body the nutrition it need.

Therefore, it is better to steer clear of meal plans that call for batch cooking a couple of meals for the entire week. This lack of diversity might make it challenging to achieve your daily nutritional needs and eventually cause boredom, which lowers the sustainability of your meal plan.

Instead, make sure to incorporate a variety of items on your menu each day.

Speed up your meal prep time

Meal prepping doesn’t have to mean long hours in the kitchen. Here are a few ways to speed up your meal prep time.

  • Stick to a routine. Picking specific times to plan the week’s meals, grocery shop, and cook can simplify your decision-making process and make your meal prepping process more efficient.
  • Grocery shop with a list. Detailed grocery lists can reduce your shopping time. Try organizing your list by supermarket departments to prevent doubling back to a previously visited section.
  • Pick compatible recipes. When batch cooking, select recipes that use different appliances. For instance, one recipe may require the oven, no more than two burners on the stovetop, and no heating at all.
  • Schedule your cook times. Organize your workflow by starting with the recipe requiring the longest cooking time, then focus on the rest. Electric pressure cookers or slow cookers can further reduce cooking times.

Inexperienced cooks or those simply wanting to reduce the time spent in the kitchen may want to pick recipes that can be prepared in 15–20 minutes from start to finish.

Store and reheat your meals safely

Storing and reheating your meals safely can help preserve their flavor and minimize your risk of food poisoning.

Here are some government-approved food safety guidelines to keep in mind :

  • Cook food thoroughly. Most meats should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F (75°C) while cooking, as this kills most bacteria.
  • Thaw food in the refrigerator. Thawing frozen foods or meals on your countertop can encourage bacteria to multiply. If you’re short on time, submerge foods in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes.
  • Reheat food safely. Make sure to reheat your meals to at least 165°F (75°C) before eating. Frozen meals should be eaten within 24 hours of defrosting.
  • Dispose of old food. Refrigerated meals should be eaten within 3–4 days of being made, and frozen meals should be consumed within 3–6 months.


Picking a meal-planning method that works for you, along with an adequate number and variety of meals and snacks that can be cooked or reheated quickly and safely, increases your likelihood of sustainable weight loss.

Easy recipe ideas

Weight loss recipes don’t have to be overly complicated. Here are a few easy-to-prepare ideas that require a minimal number of ingredients.

  • Soups. Soups can be batch-cooked and frozen in individual portions. Be sure to include a lot of vegetables, as well as meat, seafood, beans, peas, or lentils. Add brown rice, quinoa, or potatoes if desired.
  • Homemade pizza. Start your pizza with a veggie- or whole-grain based crust, thin layer of sauce, source of protein, such as tempeh or turkey breast, and veggies. Top with a little cheese and fresh leafy greens.
  • Salads. Salads are quick and versatile. Start with leafy greens, a few colorful vegetables, and a source of protein. Top with olive oil and vinegar and add nuts, seeds, whole grains, or starchy vegetables.
  • Pasta. Start with a whole-grain pasta of your choice and source of protein, such as chicken, fish, or tofu. Then mix in a tomato-based pasta sauce or pesto and some vegetables like broccoli or spinach.
  • Slow cooker or electric pressure cooker recipes. These are great for making chili, enchiladas, spaghetti sauce, and stew. Simply place your ingredients in your device, start it, and let it do all the work for you.
  • Grain bowls. Batch cook grains like quinoa or brown rice then top with your choice of protein, such as chicken or hard-boiled eggs, non-starchy veggies, and a healthy dressing of your liking.


The recipe ideas above are simple and require very little time to make. They can also be prepared in a variety of ways, making them incredibly versatile.

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