"The Biggest Loser" winner Rachel Frederickson has gained 20 pounds since winning the reality TV competition two months ago, and has never felt better.
"I've gone up about 20 pounds," Frederickson told Us April 3. "I think I'm at my perfect weight."
Rachel said she feels incredible after her 155-pound weight loss, and denied reports that she's suffering from the eating disorders anorexia or bulimia. The 5-foot-4 Frederickson, who previously weighed 260 pounds, slimmed down to 105 pounds and was named the winner of season 15 of "The Biggest Loser."
Rachel's emaciated body on finale night (Feb. 5) immediately fueled rumors she was suffering from anorexia, but she has vehemently insisted that her weight loss was healthy, and she did not starve herself.
Frederickson said she had followed a 1,600-calorie-a-day diet and worked out up to seven hours a day in the weeks leading up to the "Biggest Loser" finale. The voice-over artist said she's in maintenance mode now and no longer exercises around the clock or is as strict with her diet.
I work out an hour, six days a week. I love classes like SoulCycle. I also loosely count calories, but sometimes I might eat an Oreo. It's not the end of the world."
Frederickson's skeletal appearance on finale night drew visibly alarmed reactions from longtime "Biggest Loser" trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. Michaels recently blamed Frederickson's trainer, Dolvett Quince, for letting Rachel to go too far with her weight loss.
"I look to Dolvett to really answer to this," said Jillian, the author of Slim for Life. "We, as trainers, are allowed to talk to our contestants when they go home. Rachel [was] Dolvett's contestant."
Quince, the author of the bestselling The 3-1-2-1 Diet, insisted that Rachel lost weight the healthy way and asked fans not to jump to conclusions. Frederickson's super-skinny appearance caused outrage among "Biggest Loser" fans, who said selecting someone who looks unhealthy as the winner sends the wrong message. Show executives said they will tweak the weight-loss competition to provide more support and check-ins for the contestants after they leave the Biggest Loser ranch.
Meanwhile, Frederickson is unfazed by the anorexia controversy she stirred, saying she's glad to have opened up a debate on body image and healthy weight loss. "It started a discussion about body image," she said.
"I have so many people who will come up to me and say, 'Thank you. I've been criticized for being too thin or too tall or whatever, and now I can stand up and be proud and not let that affect me. Now I can really love myself.' I think that's pretty powerful."