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Many women go into pregnancy expecting to get fat, but that’s not always the case. Fitness expert Tarik Tyler shares the mindset that women should have when pregnant. When you know how you should be thinking in terms of maintaining good health, it's less likely you'll gain unnecessary weight.

Erickka Sy Savané
May, 12, 2016

"I'm going to eat from the time I get pregnant until the day I deliver the baby," said my BFF. She was in her early 20's, and accustomed to watching her weight. Pregnancy would be her time to indulge.

Fast-forward 15 years—she sure did keep her word.

She gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy when the average weight gain is somewhere between 15-40 lbs. I want to say that she should have taken better care of herself, but I can't talk because I gained my share of weight too. Sometimes I look back at the pictures from my baby shower and I don't even recognize myself. Even the hairs on my head were swollen, and it wasn't water weight. It was food. Everywhere you go people want to feed the pregnant woman like she's a zoo animal. We hear things like, 'You're eating for two,' and take it to heart. Then there's the constant talk of food cravings. You almost feel abnormal if you're not eating pancake and mustard sandwiches in the middle of the night.

As a result, many of us go into pregnancy looking normal and come out resembling the Michelin Man. We don't even question it. But there is a better alternative.

For answers I turned to fitness expert Tarik Tyler who helps kids fight obesity, trains celebrities and he happens to have the tightest body of any human being. Here, he shares three ways to develop the right pregnancy mindset when it comes to fitness.

1) Be aware that you're developing a human being, so make sure the vehicle you're using is functioning properly. That means treating your body like a Porsche and not a hoopdie.

2) Get fit before you get pregnant. It's never too early to start taking care of yourself and creating the right environment for your child. Remember they pick up on your habits good and bad. Even in the womb.

3) Maintain good strength and posture. You want to have strength in your upper and lower limbs, so you want to train. Training is not all about weight loss. It's self-awareness and knowing your strengths and weaknesses. If you know your weaknesses you can learn how to get around them.

Fitness starts with the right attitude and an awareness of what we're doing to our bodies. And ultimately, the focus should be on the baby. If you're thinking, ‘how can I create the healthiest baby possible?’ you can't go wrong.