How SAS: Who Dares Wins contestants are starved and restricted to a piece of chicken and a boiled egg

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Reality star Vicky Pattison is said to be among the brave stars currently being put through their paces as they film for the upcoming new series of Channel 4’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

But while the Channel 4 show sees celebrities recreating the gruelling SAS selection process faced by real recruits, they’re only allowed a mere 800 calories a day, according to a former contestant.

Indeed, despite their punishing training regime, which can involve running with 30kg strapped to their backs, their daily diet, or "food rations", typically features "treats" including the likes of a boiled egg and some soup.

Hollyoaks actress Nikki Sanderson , who was seen by viewers reaching the final stages of the show last April, revealed: “We were given 800 calories a day. Porridge, a boiled egg, some soup, some boiled chicken breast.”

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Detailing a typical challenge that she was tasked during her time on the show, she spoke of “running with 30kg on my back, then being handed another 30kg to carry and go off on a 3-hour steep hill hike.”

And revealing that lack of sleep, cold temperatures and general exhaustion added to the misery that Vicky and her fellow contestants can expect to endure, Nikki added, “I was weak for days after the show.”

Helen Skelton, who took part alongside Nikki, has also given an insight into the horrors Vicky and co can expect to experience on the series which is regarded as the toughest reality show on TV, and is likely to air in April 2021. “You’re so hungry all the time,” recalled the Countryfile presenter. “You’re tired, cold, you feel like s**t because you’ve not had a shower in days.”

Participants in the non-celebrity version of the show even spoke of being "starved for 48 hours" at one point in the process.

But ex-Special Forces soldier Ollie Ollerton, who was shocked to be dumped from the show in the summer, knows only too well the importance of eating correctly in order to fuel the body for strenuous exercise.

According to Ollie there are specific food and drinks that will not only give you an energy boost for your fitness regime – perfect for the Celebrity SAS contestants – but aid weight loss too, making it a win-win scenario if you’re trying to shed the pounds…

Ollie, who’s also the founder of Battle Ready 360, a fitness, wellbeing and nutrition subscription programme, gives his diet lowdown:

  • Chilli Peppers: “One you may not consider all too often, but chilli peppers help you feel fuller for longer. Containing powerful antioxidants to help reduce inflammation, they can also help you burn more calories and in turn, lose body fat, helping you to achieve a healthy weight. Add chilli peppers or spices such as cayenne pepper to your dishes several times a week.”
  • Eggs: "Eggs are a great food for a whole plethora of reasons. Not only are they a source of protein, they can also jumpstart your metabolism and help to burn calories during digestion. Helping to keep you fuller for longer, they also have added properties such as maintaining, building, and repairing muscle – making them the perfect post-exercise snack.”

  • Green Tea: “Have a cup before exercising for an energy boost and to help you burn even more calories. This healthy drink is loaded with antioxidants and is known for increasing your metabolism, burning fat and supporting overall weight loss. Add a few cups to your daily routine and your body will reap the benefits and thank you for it later.”
  • Leafy Greens: “It’s true what parents say! You really should eat your greens. Leafy greens like kale and spinach support bone health, help overall gut health, and boost digestive enzymes. Reducing bloating, spinach adds fibre and other nutrients such as iron to your diet that your body thrives off, meaning you will perform better when working out. Spinach and kale also provide fat-burning capabilities. If you’re not a fan of these greens or if you struggle to add these to your diet, toss them into a smoothie, curry, stew or even an omelette!”
  • Avocado: “Perfect for salads, bagels and smoothies, avocado can be added to any meal. Filled with magnesium, avocado is great for aiding weight loss, keeping your blood sugar balanced and reducing belly fat. The good fats in this fruit can quite simply help you burn other unhealthy fats in your body.”
  • Berries: “A key source of fibre and packed full of antioxidants, berries are quite literally a super fruit, making them a metabolism-boosting food. Blueberries, raspberries, goji berries and blackberries all contain multiple vitamins and minerals, making them a great addition to your breakfast as well as being nutritious snacks. Add to yogurt, smoothies or porridge.”
  • Fatty Fish: “Packed with all the good stuff, not only is fatty fish delicious, but is full of high-quality protein, which is essential for everybody’s nutritional needs and even more so if you exercise on a regular basis. Salmon, cod, tuna, sardines and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids which are known for reducing inflammation and aiding the loss of body fat. Eat fatty fish at least twice a week to see the benefits.”
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Fitness guru Ollie adds: “When it comes to losing weight, there’s no easy option. It takes time, dedication, hard work and a whole lot of willpower. Helping you to perform better in your workout routines, and aiding muscle recovery, these super foods are the safest, sure-fire way to help you achieve your goals with lasting results.”

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