Kate Upton Talks Pregnancy, Diet and How Husband Justin Verlander Inspires Her

She’s a world-renowned Sports Illustrated cover model and a soon-to-be mom of one: You might say Kate Upton has it all figured out when it comes to balancing her career, health and life with pro ballplayer husband, Justin Verlander.

Whether she’s squeezing in a workout while on the road, maintaining a healthy diet with an occasional cheat meal (yes, she eats french fries!) or serving as a brand ambassador for Copper Fit, a technology-driven activewear brand centered on creating clothes that make you look and feel good, the 26-year-old Michigan native is focused on living a positive, meaningful life.

LIVESTRONG.COM caught up with Upton for the celebrity How I LIVESTRONG series, where she opened up about her love-hate relationship with social media, the inside scoop on her first pregnancy and all about the diet and exercise routine that keeps her feeling her absolute best.

Model Secrets for Staying on Track

When it comes to fitness and keeping up with her health, Upton says her trick is to stay active as much as possible, even while running errands throughout the day. “I love cardio, but you can find cardio in every part of your life — you don’t specifically have to set a day,” she tells LIVESTRONG.COM. “Whether it’s walking your dog, going on a hike, taking the stairs, I definitely am always focused on getting outside, working out, staying active — and that makes me feel the best and ultimately feel strong enough to have energy. Whenever I’m working out I definitely notice that I am calmer, I’m more centered and I feel better.”

To help her get off the couch and in the gym, Upton uses workout clothes as a way to stay motivated, always switching up her looks in order to feel confident and energized. “Fashion is definitely inspiring. Whenever you get new clothes or cool prints, you’re wanting to go to the gym more — it keeps things fresh,” she says. “I like a variety of [color] because I like to mix it up. It’s hard when you’re working out every single day to keep things exciting and new, so I love everything — prints, black, whatever works.”

Her Pregnancy Diet

Kate Upton

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With a hectic travel schedule and a baby on the way, Upton admits that she definitely experiences challenges when it comes to her health, especially while dining out. “My daily diet — I can’t tell you that I’m perfect with my diet, especially right now being pregnant. I enjoy the occasional cheat, but I always try and stay away from sugars,” she shares. “It’s so hard to stay on track, especially while traveling.” Her number-one trick? Breaking down a restaurant’s menu to ensure she’s getting the nutrition her body needs. “Food-wise I just try to look at a menu as ingredients and pick out different things to keep me inspired and eating healthy.”

And while she may eat clean most of the time, Upton says that she is definitely still human, enjoying the occasional junk food throughout her week. “I try not to beat myself up whenever I have a cheat meal. Instead I try to enjoy it and be in the moment and take that as inspiration to get back into the gym or back on track.” So what does a cheat meal look like for Upton? Let’s just say it’s definitely relatable. “Cheat meals can really be anything. It can be dessert, it can be french fries.” She laughs, “I hate the question, ‘Sweet or salty?’ Why can’t we have both?” Agreed!

Her Top Tricks for Minimizing the Use of Social Media

Being active on apps like Facebook and Instagram can come with its fair share of pressures in terms of body image and self-love, and Upton is no stranger to that. The model admits that she deals with the same struggles as many, but tries to keep it all in perspective while scrolling through her feed. “Social media is the worst with self-comparison because everyone’s showing their best self,” she tells LIVESTRONG.COM. “Everyone deals with it, myself included, and you just have to move past it and try to be the best you you can be and focus on staying healthy and working out and not always having to be perfect. We need to put less pressure on ourselves.”

She continues: “I think it’s really important when you’re struggling with your confidence to focus on yourself and give yourself a little ‘you time.’ Whether it’s in the morning or just going on a walk, yoga — anything to refocus on yourself and get into that good place again.”

So how does someone like Upton, whose career is centered on being in the public eye, minimize her use of social media? It may be simpler than you think! “A great thing about this pregnancy is pregnancy brain — I just lose my phone,” she laughs. “So when you can’t find it, there’s less social media!” The star also chooses to focus on certain aspects of her life other than filtered photos and airbrushed selfies. “Whether it’s my husband and his motivation and his inspiration on how dedicated he is every day or my dog and how carefree he is, anywhere in my life I find inspiration.”