The finale for season 15 of NBS's Biggest Loser brings with it a flurry of controversy over how much winner Rachel Frederickson lost. According to the Entertainment Weekly recap on Feb. 5, she lost a total of 155 pounds and weighs 105 pounds. That's 60 percent off of her starting weight of 260 pounds. Needless to say, she looks like a totally different person, and not everyone thinks it's a healthy look. At 5 foot 4 inches is 105 pounds too thin for the season 15 winner?
Rachel appeared on the Today Show this morning, and Al Roker said, "You look great." Roker himself lost 140 pounds but gained 40 back after having gastric bypass surgery. He has written a book titled Never Goin' Back about his own weight loss journey. Roker asked Rachel, "Can you believe how far you have come?"
"I can't believe it. It's just been such an amazing, almost seven-and-a-half-month journey. I'm truly grateful for the whole experience." – Rachel Frederickson via Today Show
Rachel was an athlete before she gained her weight following an unhappy breakup. She admits that when she gained the weight she lost her confidence. "I lost that athlete," but with the weight loss she "got that spark back."
According to BMI Biggest Loser is too thin
Is the season 15 Biggest Loser too thin? Her body mass index (BMI) is .5 lower than what is considered normal and places her in the underweight category. BMI is used by many doctors as an indicator of healthy weight and while it isn't an exact science it offers a way to measure body fat.
Biggest Loser nutrition and exercise
The Biggest Loser diet features healthy foods and encourages getting lots of exercise. This approach builds strength, melts away unwanted pounds, and makes for a healthy combo that helps you make lasting changes to your eating and exercise habits. However, a recent study suggests the extreme diet and exercise regimen highlighted on the show can't be sustained in a real-life setting. With that in mind, perhaps Rachel will gain back just enough weight to reach a BMI of 18.5.
Rachel doesn't think she is too thin and is happy with her results. "I'm extremely proud of the way I lost the weigh. [...] "I followed the advice and supervision of the medical team at 'The Biggest Loser' the entire journey." (Los Angeles Times)
During her weight loss journey with Biggest Loser, Rachel ate 1600 calories a day but exercised "a ton." Now that she has lost her unwanted weight, she will need to find the right combination of calories in and calories burned to find/maintain her ideal weight. Right now she's not answering questions about whether she lost too much weight.
What do you think? Is Rachel Frederickson too thin?