In a world where most models could use a hamburger or 5, meet the only supermodel actually who needs to be told to stop eating.
Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model Kate Upton’s concerned friends staged an intervention last summer — months after she was named SI’s rookie of the year — after she packed on enough pounds to jeopardize her career, sources say.
The all-American beauty’s close-knit circle sat her down and gave it to her straight: watch your diet, or you won’t be on the cover of SI next year.
Upton’s friends knew landing on the same cover once graced by icons like Christie Brinkley and Elle Macpherson would catapult her career. But first, they had to scare her straight.
The down-to-earth Upton, 19, who loves comfort food and snacks like french fries and ice cream, calmly reassured her buddies that she’d get her figure under control, the source said.
She upped her training regimen, which includes swimming, pilates, kickboxing, and workouts with a trainer.
“I never deprive myself. If I’m craving something once a week, then I’ll go have it,” she said last night at an event at the club Crimson in Chelsea. “Ice cream or whatever, I just eat the foods I like.
“I have to give credit to my trainer. He definitely kept me motivated in staying in shape.
“I’ve always been naturally curvy, but of course I had to get used to being in the public eye,” said the 5-foot-10 Upton, who has balanced meeting high-fashion standards with flaunting her assets in pinup-style ads for Guess and Victoria Secret.
She was named SI rookie of the year in February 2010.
“She likes to hang with guys and she’s a huge football fan,” another friend said, describing her as “a guy’s girl.”
Upton has been spotted at Jets games with her sister Christie, who is a manager of client relations for the team.
At one point Upton became close with quarterback Mark Sanchez, who wooed her by cooking her dinner at his home, according to one of his pals.
Unlike most models, Upton prefers relaxing by the beach instead of hitting loud clubs, her friends say.
Upton is an accomplished equestrian from Michigan who has won five championships