Love Island: the gruelling secrets behind the ladies’ bikini bodies

Montana Brown reveals: "I banned carbs and worked out almost three hours a day"

Love Island diet exercise workout

by Georgina Terry |
Updated on

She had a super-toned figure during Love Island 2017, but Montana Brown admits that she pushed herself to extremes to prepare for the spotlight.

The size 6 star told Closer, "I found out I was going on Love Island two months beforehand and went on a health and fitness kick.

"I'd start the day with fasted cardio – spinning or running for an hour before eating breakfast. I’d do hill sprints, too."

Love Island diet exercise workout

She added, "In the evenings, I’d do 90 minutes of weight training. I was also doing around 50 squats a day to get a peachy bum."

Montana, 23, also reveals that she overhauled her diet before going on the show so that she could look her best.

CHECK OUT Love Island - what are the rules inside the villa?


Love Island: What are the rules?

1. Alcohol1 of 11

1. Alcohol limit

It is suggested that one of Love Island's main rules is that contestants follow the strict alcohol policy.Eyal Booker from Series four of Love Island exclusively told Closer about the villa's very strict drinks policy.When asked about how much the Islanders were allowed to drink, he told us, "it was very, very limited. Max two glasses of wine a night and that's max!"

2. Eating2 of 11

2. Eating is monitored

According to 2018 Islander Alexandra Cane, one of the Love Island rules insists that contestants food intake is monitored.Viewers are always wondering when the contestants eat as we never see them sit down for meals unless they leave the villa to go on dates. Alexandra Cane revealed to Closer, "We do have to be monitored on what we eat. This is to make sure everyone in the house is eating sufficient amounts of food and no one is going to get ill."So, lunch and dinner times were never shown because we had to eat certain amounts."She added, "Sometimes we would be split up so the girls would sit on their own and the boys would sit on their own to eat food, but it was mainly for monitoring purposes".

3. Smoking3 of 11

3. Smoking area removed

In the first few seasons of Love Island, smoking was openly seen on camera and the smoking area seemed the most popular hotspot for the best conversations and gossiping. However, the show then faced backlash as it was seen to encourage and glamourise the habit. So in 2018, the ITV2 show introduced strict rules which meant Islanders could only smoke off screen. Smokers now have to ask for a cigarette and enter the designated area one at a time, it's said.The 2018 smoking ban inside the villa grounds seems to have carried on for the fifth series.

4. Health checks4 of 11

4. Health checks throughout their time on the show

Love Island Bosses recently revealed that the 2019 cast had to pass mental health checks before entering the villa.This rule comes after the reality show received criticism for its aftercare in the wake of the deaths of former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon.Niall Aslam, from 2018, left the villa just days into the series and later shared his daily struggles with Asperger's syndrome and mental health. Each Islander now follows a continuous duty of care process which covers pre-filming, filming and aftercare.

5. Fighting5 of 11

5. Physical fighting

Kady McDermott recently claimed that she was punched and left with a bleeding nose during her time on Love Island.Kady came third in 2016 alongside her then boyfriend Scott Thomas, but has now admitted her feud with fellow Islander Malia Arkian extended far beyond what was shown on TV.Kady shared an apparent extra insight into the infamous fight as she shared a video of the altercation on her Twitter page.At the time viewers were told that Malia had "shoved" Kady and subsequently been removed from the house.It seems that the no-fighting policy on the ITV2 show is very strict and those who break it, are removed from the villa immediately.

6. Microphones6 of 11

6. Microphones need to be worn always

We are assuming that Love Island has one quite obvious rule - keep the microphone packs on at all times. The producers like to capture every conversation that takes place on the show and Dani Dyer revealed that while everything on the show is real, some things are tweaked.She told the Capital Breakfast show, "The only direction you have is just on your conversations, so that they space them out a little bit because you can't have like 10 conversations going on at once so they'll be like, 'just wait a little bit longer' or 'leave it 'til the morning'."

8. No nudity7 of 11

7. No nudity in the villa

This rumoured rule has definitely been broken in the past...It's claimed that Love Island's apparent no nudity policy means contestants are not allowed to be fully naked in front of each other or even in the shower, as the villa is a public place.

8. Masturbation8 of 11

8. Masturbation banned

One of Love Island's rules apparently includes a ban on solo sex acts.We are assuming that masturbating, along with full nudity, is banned for contestants so others are not made to feel uncomfortable in the villa.According to The Mirror, "Despite islanders being told to get frisky whenever they wish, this must be with a partner. No solo acts are permitted on the premises".However Elma Pazar hinted that all the boys broke this rule in the villa.

9. The Handbook9 of 11

9. The Handbook

Former Islander of series three, Simon Searles, told The Sunabout Love Island's strict booklet, that is given to each contestant on the show. He told the publication, "They give you a bit of a handbook before and it's in regards to consent, nakedness, condoms, what's right and what's not."You never really get a lot of drink but they do say if someone's had too much to drink do not have sex with them."

sherif lanre10 of 11

10. Language banned in the villa

Sherif was kicked out of the Love Island villa on day 9 after he play fought with Molly-Mae Hughes and described it as a "c--t punch".However the TV star admitted that it wasn't the first time he was told off for saying something controversial. He explained to The Sun: "There were so many things I was pulled aside on. The first was calling Amber 'lighty,' which I know is a poor choice of words but she did not get offended."He went on to say: "I asked them, 'Can you give me a list of the words I can use?' They said, 'No, but you cannot use that one.'"Arabella Chi also revealed she was told off for saying something deemed controversial.

Lucie Donlan11 of 11

11. No singing

In an exclusive chat with Closer online, Amy Hart told us that singing 'commercial' music – pop songs, to me or you – was against the villa rules. They worked a way around it by singing songs from Disney films and musical theatre, instead.

montana brown love island 2017

"I’d have salmon, avocado and eggs for breakfast and maybe some salad with brown rice for lunch – but after lunch, I cut out carbs so my body would burn fat for energy. I cut out my usual crisps and sugary treats and snacked on pumpkin seeds instead – it was hideous."

And the model and TV presenter insists that the toned and tiny bikini bodies showcased on the show are achieved with a lot of hard work.

Love Island diet exercise workout bikinis
The Love Island 2021 girls rocking their bikinis during a challenge ©ITV Pictures

“No-one looks like the girls on Love Island naturally," she says.

"People who are watching the show should remember those bodies aren’t 'normal' – there’s been a lot of hard work, gruelling fitness regimes and healthy eating put into them."

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Montana isn't the only Love Island star to undergo a body transformation either before or after the show. In fact, a number of Islanders have put on weight after leaving the villa due to the strict diets they were on in preparation to appear on TV.

Series four star Ellie Brown previously told The Sun, "One of the biggest myths about Love Island is that we look so toned, tanned and skinny all the time. 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."

Love Island diet exercise workout

Most recently, Jamie Jewitt unveiled his dad bod - or "father figure" as he calls it - after putting on four stone since his Love Island stint in 2017. The dad-of-one, who is engaged to Camilla Thurlow, told fans that although he didn't want to be as thin as his reality TV days, he was looking to lose weight. "For those asking. During Love Island I was 80kg. 4 stone and 25kg lighter than I am now. I don't want to be that thin again as I personally feel better a little heavier," he wrote on Instagram in January.

Chris Hughes is another ex-Islander who has gainined weight since the show, but says he's "happy" with the way he looks now. He said, "Some days all I want to do is just eat. When I did that ice bath challenge [On ITV Racing in March] I was like, 'God, my body does not look like it did four years ago in Love Island'."

After losing four stone before entering the villa, Shaughna Phillips told fans she'd gone from a size eight to a size 14 in lockdown after putting on two stone. She later revealed she was adopting a "new healthy lifestyle" and had already dropped a dress size.

And Amber Gill told Closer how she'd gone from a size 12 to a size eight following a lifestyle overhaul after gaining a stone in lockdown.

She said, "There are fitness fanatics who train three times a day, every day, and then eat nothing. I put on a stone, then lost it, but I’ve made sure I haven’t let my diet and fitness take over my life. I’m not fitness obsessed. I wanted to do something that was sustainable and would also make me feel better mentally. I could never do a crash diet – I love my food.”

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