Is "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here" just a celebrity weight-loss show?

We’ve come to that point in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! when our alleged celebrities have been in the jungle on a severely restricted diet for such time that it’s started to affect their bodies as well as their minds.

Headlines are proclaiming the triumph of the jungle inmates in losing significant amounts weight in a very short time.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Warnie, Brendan Fevola, and Paul Harragon combined have lost more than 30kg in their three weeks in the jungle.

Val Lehman, 72, has lost 4.8kg. This is the same contestant who vomited and then collapsed after competing in a tug-of-war battle.

The other female campers have lost a combined 12.8kg — which doesn’t sound like a whole lot until you notice Laurina Fleure’s protruding collarbones.

The diet the contestants consume would not be advised by any doctor. They subsist on rice, beans, and water, as well as vile concoctions from the “Tucker Trials”, which, if kept down, can win them extra meat and vegies.

It’s a wonder they don’t come out of there with scurvy.

This show is purportedly about celebrities surviving in the jungle in order to win money for charity, but really, it kind of seems like a weight loss show dressed up as a test of endurance.

Laurina never had a whole lot of weight to lose, so a starvation diet can’t be doing her any favours, health-wise. Image via Ten.

The celebrities consume little food and undertake gruelling physical tasks in the hope of securing more.


The audience nominates celebrities for involvement in “Tucker Trials” where they must compete in repulsive/scary challenges to win a food for themselves and their teammates. If they’re not successful? Beans and rice to the caloric value of 500 is all each contestant receives for the day. The thought of it is clearly enough to make someone stick their head in a box full of snakes.

An adult woman should consume at least 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. For a man, it’s 2,500 calories.

The wife of Paul Harragon, Pam, says she’s sure he’s unhappy at the physical degeneration his body is undergoing because of the conditions.

paul harragon
Paul Harragon in the jungle. Image via Channel 10.

“He said on the show he looks like a pencil and that to me means he’s upset with how he looks,” she told News.com.au.

“He likes to feel strong. He works so hard at being big, gaining muscle and eating often because he’s got a really fast metabolism. He would absolutely be upset about losing that weight.”

If they were doing this on The Biggest Loser, we’d be calling for their heads.

Dr Sam Hay examined the celebrities before the show began.

“Their diet is 30 to 50 per cent of what they are usually on, which is safe for a short period of time,” he told the Tele.

“This is obviously an extreme diet. If they were to keep this up after the jungle, they would run into health concerns,” Dr Hay told the Tele.


“For the short term, it has an effect, but in the long term it is not safe. It’s a highlight to everyone out there that if you exercise and cut down your calories you will lose weight.”

Great message!

Watch Laurina Fleure making some very important requests… Post continues after video.

Video via TenPlay

On the show last year, winner Chrissie Swan refused to be weighed after she finally left the jungle. It had become customary for eliminated contestants to be put on the scales and for their weight-loss to be celebrated.

Swan was having none of it.

“Scales aren’t that important to me,” she said.

“I feel great. I’ve been eating an Olsen twin diet for six weeks so chances are I weigh a bit less than what I did when I went in but it is not about weight-loss for me at all.”

Listen to one of the celebrities from last year’s season of I’m A Celeb discuss the show with Rosie Waterland and Sarah Jane Collins here. (Post continues below). 

Another former contestant Julie Goodwin was disappointed to find headlines lauding her weight-loss after being on the show.

“Of course, in the jungle, I lost some weight because we starved over there,” Goodwin told the Australian Women’s Weekly. “But it wasn’t healthy. I wouldn’t recommend that for anyone. I became foggy in the head, depressed, cranky and had zero energy. There were days when nobody had the energy to move off their beds.

“My guts stopped working. It’s a terrible way to lose weight. I did it in the spirit of the program, but anyone who thinks that it’s a good idea to starve to lose weight is very misguided.”