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If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s helpful to have the right foods on hand to fuel your body and provide you with the nutrients you need to feel your best.
Meal prepping can be a helpful tool for anyone, regardless of whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain weight.
Planning and preparing meals and snacks ahead of time can save you time, reduce stress around mealtime, help improve diet quality, and help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight (1, 2).
This article breaks down meal prepping for weight loss and includes foods to prioritize, how to create healthy and filling meals, sample recipes, and evidence-based, sustainable weight loss tips.
Though you may be surprised to hear this, you don’t need to follow any particular diet for weight loss.
Some dietary patterns such as low carb and vegan diets have been shown to promote weight loss, but this doesn’t mean they’re necessary to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way (3, 4, 5).
Meal prepping is a great tool because instead of following a fixed, restrictive plan, you can enjoy a nutrient-dense diet that works for you and your individual preferences. The planning piece helps make healthy meals a reality on days you’re crunched for time.
You’re also more likely to enjoy the meals and snacks that you’re eating, and you have the freedom to choose foods that you like because no foods are completely “off-limits.”
With this in mind, some foods — like fruits and vegetables — are highly nutritious and have been linked to weight loss, while others — like donuts and cookies — can still be enjoyed but should be more limited as part of a healthy diet.
A healthy, weight-loss-friendly diet can simply be a well-rounded, nutrient-dense dietary pattern. The most important …….