Claire Sweeney smiling and eating her dinner

Claire Sweeney left ‘bed-ridden’ with health condition after‘quick-fix’ diet

Claire Sweeney left ‘bed-ridden’ with health condition after‘quick-fix’ diet

Claire Sweeney once ended up “shaking uncontrollably” and bed-ridden after trying out a “quick-fix” diet.

The TV star, 51, was so desperate to lose weight after a stint on Celebrity Big Brother that she embarked on the Atkins diet.

All the rage in the Noughties, those on the eating plan would swap carbohydrates for large amounts of protein.

But former Brookside actress Claire is convinced it made her fall ill.

Claire Sweeney blames a ‘quick-fix’ diet for making her sick (Credit:

What has Claire Sweeney said about the Atkins diet?

Recalling the frightening episode, she previously told ITV’s Lunchtime News: “At the time I had a very punishing schedule and suddenly being thrust into the spotlight after Big Brother made me aware of my weight and being under scrutiny.

“It seemed like the quick-fix diet. You could go to a restaurant and it would be quite easy to choose what to eat, so I went on the Atkins diet.

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“I didn’t notice a great weight loss and within three to four weeks I started getting pains in my lower back and kidneys, then I got a temperature and uncontrollable shaking.”

There wasn’t enough known about the side-effects at the time.

She added: “I never miss a day’s work but suddenly I was bed-ridden for two days. I had a kidney infection.

“There wasn’t enough known about the side-effects at the time but my instinct told me it was due to the diet and probably a punishing schedule as well.”

Claire Sweeney on Big Brother
The star tried the Atkins diet after her 2001 Big Brother appearance (Credit: YouTube/C4)

Claire’s weight battle

This weekend, Claire will appear on Kate Garraway’s cooking and entertainment show Garraway’s Good Stuff.

She first found fame playing Lindsey Corkhill in Channel 4 soap Brookside before turning her attention to the stage.

Claire has starred is musicals including Chicago in the West End, Legally Blonde The Musical, Hairspray and Tell Me On A Sunday. She is also known for presenting TV show 60 Minute Makeover.

But throughout her career in showbiz, Claire has made no secret of her battles with her weight.

In 2008, she even made a documentary called Claire Sweeney: My Big Fat Diet.

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Claire deliberately gorged on food for the show in an attempt to demonstrate how easy it is to become obese. In just six weeks, she piled on two stone.

claire sweeney eating a burger
Claire deliberately piled on 2 stone for a documentary (Credit:

Staying sensible

These days, Claire takes a sensible approach to keeping her weight in check.

In March, she revealed her plans to slip into a catsuit for Cabaret All Stars, which she is currently starring in at Proud Embankment in London.

claire sweeney in cabaret all stars
Claire used hot yoga to get in shape for Cabaret All Stars (Credit:

She told Closer magazine: “‘I wear a fabulous catsuit! I find it really liberating that I’m going to get completely outrageous and I am going to sing the song Light My Fire with a big band arrangement – and I think they’re actually going to set fire to me while I’m doing it.

“This does all mean that I want to look my physical best. So the plan is to start going to the gym and hot yoga five days a week, because it’s amazing for weight loss and strengthening my core.”

Garraway’s Good Stuff, 8.30am, ITV1, Saturday June 25, 2022

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