"The Biggest Loser" winner Rachel Frederickson dismissed speculation she has anorexia, insisting her 155-pound weight loss was due to a 1,600-calorie-a-day diet and lots of exercise.
"I worked out a ton," said Frederickson (via the L.A. Times). "I'm extremely proud of the way I lost the weight. I followed the advice and supervision of the medical team at 'The Biggest Loser' the entire journey.
First and foremost, my goals are to be healthy and strong. I'm an athlete and have been an athlete since I was a little girl. I went on the 'Biggest Loser' journey to find that confidence that I lost. I started as a [size] 20 and now I'm a 0/2. I was a 6 during makeover week. It's all about maintaining now."
Frederickson, who lost 60 percent of her body weight, said she ate five small meals a day comprised of carbs, fats, and protein totaling 1,600 calories.
The 5-foot-4 Rachel, who previously weighed 260 pounds, slimmed down to 105 pounds and was named the winner of season 15 of "The Biggest Loser."
According to the Body Mass Index chart, Frederickson is technically underweight. Her gaunt face and frail body immediately fueled rumors her extreme weight loss was due to the eating disorders anorexia or bulimia.
Frederickson's skeletal appearance even drew alarmed gasps from trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. Harper confessed he was shocked by Rachel's drastic weight loss.
"I was stunned. That would be the word," said Bob. "I mean, we've never had a contestant come in at 105 pounds. What people don't understand it, when the contestants leave to go home, they're in charge of themselves. So I had not seen her until that night,and so when she walked out, I was just kind of like, whoa. And I've been on the show since the beginning."
Frederick's trainer, Dolvett Quince, author of the 3-1-2-1 Diet, defended Frederickson's extreme weight loss, writing on Facebook:
"Biggest Loser is a journey which has its ups and downs. Please try not to look at one slice of Rachel's journey and come to broad conclusions. Rachel's health is, and always has been, my main concern and her journey to good health has not yet ended!!"
Frederickson, a former competitive swimmer, works out a lot, including walking for hours every day at a treadmill desk, squeezing in daily gym workouts and up to four exercise classes a day like Zumba and spinning.
Her super-skinny appearance has caused outrage among "Biggest Loser" fans, who said selecting someone who looks unhealthy as the winner sends the wrong message.
But Frederickson dismissed the criticism, saying she looks and feels fantastic. "I see a strong, confident woman [when I look in the mirror]," she said. "I feel great."