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Dr Alex George has spoken out about how his relationship with food took a turn as he prepared to take part in the fourth series of Love Island.
The 30 year old, who recently took a break from work after a "long and hard year", opened up on how he went on a restricted diet and exercised "excessively" for five months before going on the popular ITV dating programme in 2018.
Speaking on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast, the reality star explained that he cut out "everything" besides "basic components that would make me lean and lose weight."
He went on to address how often and how long he would spend doing both cardio and weight exercises to ensure he got to his goal weight in time for the show.
"I exercised excessively. I cycled an hour then I was gyming for an hour which was an unhealthy amount to exercise every day," he said.
The seeming obsession with losing weight affected other areas of his life as he began to lose touch with his friends out of fear he would slip up and consume something he felt he shouldn't.
Alex, who recently opened up on the harsh treatment that caused his skin redness on Love Island, went on: "I stopped seeing any of my friends because I thought, if I see my friends or eat one chocolate bar or have a full fat cappuccino or a pint of beer that is going to set me back.
"So I removed myself from all my social groups."
The TV personality recognised that while he may have felt as though he looked "aesthetically quite good at that time," he knows he was not healthy.
He said: "I was a recluse. I had lost contact with my friends. I had an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise and really I went on the show and thought: ‘What am I doing?’
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"I might look good but I don’t feel good.
"When I came off the show I thought: ‘I cannot do this.’ I changed the way I approached things."
He added: "I had to restrict my life in all kinds of ways just to look like that and maintain that shape. Was I living? I wasn’t living? It is not worth doing that to yourself psychologically mentally or physically to look that way."
Love Island stars
Now, with the seventh series of Love Island just around the corner, Alex said he hopes the show producers are "working on body image importantly and thinking about representing people that are the ‘normal people’ out there".
He added: "Was I happier with a six pack or now with a balanced life. I am much happier not having that six pack.
"If I were on the show now… I am not saying I’d sit here and eat junk food and put a load of weight on to go in but I certainly wouldn’t do what I did then. I would happily go in without a six pack. I seriously mean that."
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