health

Proof that drastic weight loss is not a long-term solution.

Rachel Frederickson
Rachel Frederickson at the Biggest Loser finale, and now. (Image via Us Weekly.)

Do you remember Rachel Frederickson, the US Biggest Loser winner who caused quite a stir at the show’s final reveal?

Back in February, when Frederickson stepped out onto the stage, the reaction from the audience – and the internet – wasn’t the usual polite applause and surprised excitement.

It was total and utter shock.

And that’s because the 24-year-old who used to weigh 260lbs (117kg) now weighed just 105lbs (47kg). She had lost 60 per cent of her body weight since first entering the competition.

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At the time, Mamamia wrote that Fredrickson “didn’t look fit, or healthy, or strong – she looked skeletal”.

Well, now Fredrickson is back and she’s got everyone talking again – this time because she’s reached a healthy weight.

In the past two months, Frederickson has gained a little over nine kilos and is now at her “perfect weight”.

Speaking to US Weekly, she said:

“I work out an hour, six days a week. I love classes like SoulCycle,” she shares. “I also loosely count calories, but sometimes I might eat an Oreo. It’s not the end of the world.”

As for what keeps her motivated? “We have monthly calls with the other contestants and the show psychologist,” Frederickson explains to Us. “And our nutritionist is available 24/7. I’ll call her from the farmers’ market and say, ‘What is this? How would I cook it?'”

While she is aware of the criticism that she faced when she won the show, she said that the whole ordeal had a plus side. “It started a whole conversation about body image,” she said.

“And that’s huge.”

The Biggest Loser is a huge reality television hit, with local versions that screen all over the world. Many fans say that they find the show motivating and genuinely useful when it comes to tips for maintaining a healthy diet and motivating themselves to exercise.

The contestants do lose a dramatic amount of weight, but it is generally done in a highly controlled environment with expert doctors and nutritionists on hand. Rachel’s dramatic and seemingly dangerous weight loss raised questions about whether or not the support for contestants when they leave the show would be sufficient.

Judging by Frederickson’s comments above, it seems like it is.

We are so relieved that Rachel has reached a healthy weight now. She’s not overweight or underweight, which must be a great relief for her, her family and anyone who looks to The Biggest Loser for advice.

If this post brings up any issues for you, please contact The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673).

Do you think that the Biggest Loser pushes its contestants too far?

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