When you’re trying to lose weight around your midsection, planning ahead is one of the essential keys to your success. By preparing healthy, delicious meals that are readily available to reach for, you’re less likely to grab a sugary snack or settle for a belly-fat promoting meal on the go.
In addition to meal prep, it’s important to make sure that what you’re preparing to eat during the week will provide your body with the nutrients required to help bust belly fat. Protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates are the macronutrients your body requires to stabilize your blood sugar levels, control cravings for sugar and keep your appetite satiated for longer throughout the day. These factors are essential to help you say goodbye to belly fat for good.
Here are seven highly nutritious and delicious meal prep ideas to help you reach your belly fat loss goals.
1. Customized Muffin Tin Baked Egg Cups
A protein rich breakfast is key for belly fat loss, and egg muffin cups make an easy to prepare breakfast on the go. Prepping a batch of twelve egg cups will provide you with four breakfasts for the week (a serving is three).
Simply chop your favourite veggies (mushrooms, onions, spinach and diced tomatoes make a divine combination) and add your favourite herbs (we love oregano or basil) and mix with a dozen eggs. Beat the mixture until thoroughly mixed and pour into twelve greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until your fork comes clean when testing the centre of the muffin.
2. Baked Chicken Breasts
Let’s face it- when you get home from the gym, work or school, sometimes you just can’t wait 12-15 minutes for a chicken breast to cook when you’re hangry! Baking two or three chicken breasts on your meal prep day ensures you have a lean protein source on hand to reach for when hunger strikes.
3. Mason Jar Salads
Thank goodness for mason jars! Not only are they cute, but they travel well and keep veggies fresh tasting for up to four days in the fridge when tightly sealed. Choose your favourite greens, chop your seasonal veggies and seal. You now have pre-made salads for the week! Our favourite combo is arugula, spinach, fresh dill, cucumbers, peppers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas and purple cabbage.
4. Protein Pancakes
Who doesn’t look forward to protein pancakes? A protein pancake is the perfect mid-afternoon snack to satisfy cravings and hold over your appetite until dinner. Protein pancakes can be made in a batch on your meal prep day and will last for up to three days stored in air-tight plastic ziplock baggies in the fridge. In search of protein pancake ideas? Check out our famous favourite Plantain Protein Pancake recipe.
5. Crockpot Veggie Curry
A crockpot is a meal prepper’s best friend. There’s nothing better than throwing a bunch of your favourite ingredients into a pot and coming back hours later to an aromatic house and home cooked meal. Veggie curries are an excellent meal for belly fat loss because they contain healthy fats from coconut milk, metabolism boosting spices and complex carbohydrates from quinoa and/or sweet potatoes. In addition to these ingredients, you can customize your veggie curry with broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, chickpeas, asparagus and yams.
6. A Big Batch of Quinoa
Quinoa is commonly referred to as a grain but has more properties similar to that of a seed. Quinoa contains all 8 essential amino acids, a rare find amongst plant-based foods, making it an ideal option for vegetarians and vegans. Because of it’s high protein concentration, quinoa can help keep your appetite satiated throughout the day. Prepping a big batch of quinoa before the week begins is always a good idea as a smoothie additive, a side dish for chicken, curry or a morning substitute for oatmeal with almond butter and berries. One cup of dry quinoa should last you the week as it yields four cups of cooked quinoa.
(PS: Have you tried Nuts ‘N More Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter yet? It has 12 grams of protein per serving and is a favourite at the Vitasave Headquarters!)
7. Freeze Blended Smoothies in Muffin Tins
Rushed mornings are the main reason why many of us find it hard to make time for a nutritious breakfast that fuels our bodies, boosts our metabolism and burns belly fat in the process. Since it can take more than a few minutes to freshly chop and prepare your smoothie ingredients, you may be thinking to skip over smoothies as a quick breakfast option.
However, there is a ridiculously time-efficient way to have your smoothies in the morning: On your meal prep day, blend your smoothie ingredients together and pour into a muffin tin, filling all twelve spaces. Put your muffin tin in the freezer, removing once completely frozen. You now have twelve individual frozen smoothie “pucks” that you can remove from the tin and store in a glass container in the freezer. Simply blend a smoothie puck with water or almond milk when you’re ready for a vitamin and mineral packed smoothie in under 30 seconds.