Love Island's Ellie Brown 'practically starved' herself before entering villa

Ellie Brown attends The Beauty Awards 2019 on November 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)

Former Love Island contestant Ellie Brown has shared that she went to extreme measures when it came to her appearance ahead of her stint in the 2018 series of the show.

Brown claims she limited her diet before going onto the programme, even shunning fruit due to its sugar content, and spent two-and-a-half hours in the gym everyday for two months.

"One of the biggest myths about Love Island is that we look so toned, tanned and skinny all of the time," she wrote in The Sun. "In reality, I practically starved myself going into the villa – eating nothing but fish and vegetables for months and spending hours sweating away in the gym each day."

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Brown said that being fat-shamed by online trolls for pictures taken after she left the programme left her feeling "lower that [she] ever had in her life".

She opined that the contestants for the upcoming series "will no doubt be under the same pressures from trolls who are desperate to scrutinise every pound they shed or gain".

The 21-year-old also added there was "no real pressure" put on contestants by producers when it came to their physiques.

The programme has previously come under fire from those who believe there is a lack of body diversity among the contestants.

The Love Island winter contestants have been announced. (ITV)

Last year, creative director of ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles responded to the backlash, saying: “First and foremost, it’s an entertainment show. It’s about people wanting to watch who you’ve got on screen falling in love with one another.

“Yes, we want to be as representative as possible but we also want them to be attracted to one another.”

“We’re not saying that everyone that’s in there is how you’re supposed to look," he added.

The new series of Love Island, the show's first winter instalment, is set to commence on Sunday, with the new crop of contestants already confirmed.