By Jessica Frost

So much of what we see when we look at a models life is back-to-back workouts, gruelling beauty regimes and strict, health conscious diet plans. It’s easy to just take it at face value without appreciating how challenging of a lifestyle it really is to maintain.

The problem is that when people assume it’s easy for a model to stay in shape, they begin to become really negative about them being seen flashing an In N Out burger or being papped in the queue at Maccas.

There’s definitely a stigma attached to eating unhealthy foods. Sure greasy takeaway and sugary treats are pretty bad for you, physically, mentally and visually, but should we ever feel ashamed for needing a burger (with fries) or piece (block) of chocolate every now and again?

Fitness and health bloggers and apps and programs exploded over the past few years and they continue to gain more and more popularity. They’re a great way to keep a bit of motivation and advice in your pocket, no doubt, but their habit of pedalling their own products to sell you a healthy way of life feels like an easy way to cash in on the negative stigma they create around eating sugar. I may sound a little dramatic but really, telling people that a specially made protein ball or celery sticks with vegan nut butter is a ‘treat’ only adds to the culture of judging and shaming people for what they eat.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to lead a holistic lifestyle and stick to completely natural eating. Power to the people that can keep it up. But there’s also nothing wrong with treating yourself. Gigi Hadid, arguably one of the biggest models in the industry right now, says herself that she eats a burger a week to stay sane.

It comes down to the emotional attachment that you have with food. If you have a binge night with your girlfriends where you eat a block of cheese and finish a few bottles of wine, so what? As long as you know that your body won’t be able to function properly if you do that every night, you’re good to go indulge when you feel you deserve it.

It’s when people use food, both healthy and unhealthy, to treat undiagnosed symptoms or rely on it to make themselves feel better that it begins to be a problem.

As a model, using a weekly burger or the occasional slice of pizza to reward yourself for your hard work and to take a break, both mentally and physically, is a great way to stay in touch with a healthy way of life and avoid becoming all consumed by the strict diets and excessive exercise. No one should ever feel embarrassed to eat something unhealthy every once in a while. Go forth and eat pizza.