Stay one step ahead – use these quick exercises before meals

So, you want to get ahead of the 8 ball and burn some extra calories before your next meal? Fabulous thinking, and as long as you are not “strapping on the feed bag” at mealtime, it could actually be a beneficial game plan.

Any time that you do anything to break up the monotony of your typical day will render results after time. So if you start a program which you are able to maintain on a day-to-day basis, you should succeed.


Exercise 1: The push up

You can do this fabulous exercise anywhere. If you are an old pro at push ups, you can do them on your hands and toes.

If new to them I would start with 5; work your way to 10 and then to as many as you can. I have been working on push ups for a while, so I am now doing the amount of push ups I am old. Don’t tell anyone but that equals 36 push ups.  Yikes! But if it doesn’t challenge you it will never change you, so it has to be increasingly hard as you go on.

Executing the push up

For those of you just starting out with this exercise, I suggest taking it to the wall.

Stand a few feet back and lean in to the wall and perform a pushups. Inhale as you lower your chest to the wall, ground and exhale as you straighten your arms and return to starting position. If you are a beginner, work on 3 sets of 12-15.

Exercise 2: Ab exercises

I LOVE ab exercises! Truly they are one of my all time favourites, because again you can do them anywhere with little, to no equipment.

I love the V-up, but these are far more advanced than just the typical crunch or bicycle, so work at your comfort level.

Executing the V-up

You must start by lying down on your back with your legs straight out in front of you, and your belly button to your spine. Keeping your core tight will ensure that your back is pressed into the floor.  Extend your arms over your head on the floor. Next, bring your arms and legs up at the same time, reaching your hands past your legs on either side.  Lower your arms and legs and repeat.

Make sure you slowly progress to this exercise if you are just starting out.  A traditional crunch, bicycle, or starting with bent knees gets you ready for this fabulous exercise. Work up to 3 sets of 25.

Exercise 3: The squat

What a great multi-purpose and multi-joint exercise. Truly, there are few better than this.

Again, you can increase the intensity with weights or bands, but performing body weight squats or pop squats alone can give you are great little pre-meal boost!

Executing the squat

Stand with your feet slightly wider than the hips. Engage your core and keep your chest and head up as you push your weight unto your heels. Hinge at the hips and shift your hips and buns back and down towards your heels. Be cautious not to allow your knees to travel past your toes. Remember to keep your core muscle engaged and keep your back flat. Hold for 2 seconds and return to starting position. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way back to starting position. Complete 3 sets of 12-15.

Doing these three exercises before your next meal will help you burn some extra calories before you eat and may also make you mindful of what you are putting in your mouth.

However, it is not a free pass to eat everything you see! So get your exercises in then bon appetite!


1. Move Love Eat – 8 Push-up Progressions you NEED to know!

2. Los Angeles Times – V-up instead of abdominal crunches

3. Calisthenics Daily – The bodyweight squat: Guide to Perfect Form

Read more from Expert Rebecca Clem.

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