Did ‘The Biggest Loser’ winner drop too much weight?

Rachel Frederickson before and after on last night's finale of 'The Biggest Loser.' (From popwatch.ew.com)

Rachel Frederickson before and after on last night’s finale of ‘The Biggest Loser.’ (From popwatch.ew.com)

When Rachel Frederickson came to the stage near the end of the finale for NBC show “The Biggest Loser” last night, I truly did a double-take.

The 24-year-old from Los Angeles looked thin. And it wasn’t just when they had her stand next to that hologram of herself at the start of the season, a day when Rachel weighed 260 pounds.

Up to that point, I mentally cheered every contestant as they appeared for their final weigh in. They all lost a bunch of weight. Some lost a lot of weight. They all looked fantastic. Packing a few extra pounds myself throughout my 56 years, I’m always glad that these folks have made themselves happier. I think the crash-course in the gym with the show’s three trainers is quite drastic, but I’m all for them learning how to eat better.

But let us come back to Rachel.

She looked too thin to me. I know, that’s putting my personal preferences on her body size, and that makes me uneasy.

Some folks may think that Rachel was absolutely stunning, perfect in a gorgeous gown.

I thought she’d overdid it, the way the skin looked on her face, the way her legs had not an ounce of fat on them.

The camera on the live show panned to trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels. Their shocked faces said much. They were whispering to each other.

Then Rachel got into her workout clothes and stepped on the scale.

The digits stopped rolling at 105 pounds.

This woman had lost 155 pounds, 55.6 percent of her original body weight.

Yes, she won this season’s title, and the $250,000 that went with it.

I hope she is happy at 105 pounds. I hope she can keep healthy.

NBC knows there’s been social discussion about the methods the shows use to guide the contestants through weight loss. They always make sure a doctor appears every season to talk with the participants about health, before and after. And they also like to bring back contestants from previous seasons to show how they’ve kept weight off and are enjoying a healthy life.

To me, though, Rachel is just too thin.

Do you think Rachel Frederickson lost too much weight on “The Biggest Loser” on NBC? Do you think the show’s weight loss methods are good or dangerous?

Source for screen grab photo.


40 thoughts on “Did ‘The Biggest Loser’ winner drop too much weight?

  1. I stopped watching last season when they had someone on there that admitted to having bulimia. Either she got past the screening by lying or they put her on the show for drama. They exercise for hours a day and are calorie-restricted, of course she never should have been on there. She dropped out during the first episodes and was subjected to the “she must not have really wanted it” or “some people don’t want to do the work” comments from contestants and trainers on-air (and yes, I know editing may make it look worse).

    All that to say…I think it is a horribly irresponsible show, like so many other “reality” shows now. I know those who sign up are consenting adults and we know what to expect, but it has become a freak show from “the BIGGEST CONTESTANT EVER” to seeing who can puke first during a workout.

    (disclaimer: I am an overweight person with bulimia, so your opinions may vary πŸ™‚ )


  2. Damn! How many months is that show to lose that much weight? I guess when you’re 24 years old you can totally do it in a shorter time period, if you commit to eating right and exercise like a crazy person. She does look a tad emaciated, but whatever makes her happy. She was probably a big girl for a long time and just didn’t know when to stop. Hopefully, she’ll find a happy place that doesn’t make her miserable trying to maintain it.


    • I think they have the people “at the ranch” for three months, then send home the three finalists for another two months to go at in on their own before the live show. Yes, I think her age helped the process, Don. And her back story was that she was a champion swimmer who gave it up to got to Europe with a boyfriend. When that went sour, her weight ballooned.


  3. I think she looks good. I have heard television always makes you look larger than you actually are. If this is the case, then she is too thin. I also think that they do use methods on the show which are cruel and insensitive. Of course, $250,000 is a great motivator to do whatever it takes to win.


  4. I have never seen this show Mark. By comparison there is obviously a huge and shocking difference. Of course we can’t help but wonder if she is safe and healthy in her weight loss. Hopefully it will even out. I know when I went from VERY large to a much smaller size I went way low in my weight because the metabolism was burning great. But that bottomed out after awhile and it was back to the normal body size. I always hope for those who are struggling with weight that they find healthy ways to get there. Scary.


  5. I gasped when I saw her last night. I fear she is going down a very bad road and I worry that while she has lost weight, there are other issues with her that have not been addressed. She may have lost weight and won, but I don’t think Rachel is healthy.


    • Another gasper. Welcome to that club, PLGCM. I can’t speak on whether she has other issues, other than what they addressed on the show, about swimming and her father’s lack of approval when she gave that up.


  6. I didn’t watch this season but WOW she’s lost a ton of weight. In past seasons, it seems that the winners and/or contestants with the biggest amounts of weight lost gain a bit of it back, as real life sets back in (not having the 3 hours per day to workout twice, or being caught at an airport with nothing to eat…) Being that she’s young also helps with how much she lost. In my opinion she’s a little too thin but she is probably much more healthier than before!


  7. I watched the finale last night too and it didn’t really hit me how skinny she was until she got on the scale and the numbers on the scale were cycling through double digit numbers before stopping on 105. I think everyone in that room was shocked. Even the host seemed shocked/surprised/concerned. I think the show is definitely embarrassed by this. The show went from people getting their lives back to a girl being anorexic. The Biggest Loser twitter account didn’t even post a picture of her or announce her has the winner. All it said was “congratulations to the winners..”

    I can’t really comment on the methods this show uses to help them lose weight. But I’m interested in seeing next year if the trainers ever tell the contestants something along the lines of, “it’s important for you to lose weight but not toooo much weight.”

    I’m hoping Rachel realizes she’s too skinny and only did it for the prize money and intends to gain a few more pounds, but who knows.


  8. I’m all for being healthy but I don’t like TV shows like the one you describe. Being too thin is as bad as being too over weight. I hope this winner is ok.
    Hope we don’t get a similar show here.
    How’s the snow?


  9. Mark, I didn’t watch the show. Years ago, I did and I recall a contestant who won who also looked like she lost too much weight. Like Rachel, she also looked unhealthy. The emphasis should not be on how much you lose because that just leads to folks overdoing to get the grand prize. It should all be about eating healthy, and maintaining a diet and regimen that is safe and sane.


  10. I do not watch this program, but even without the before and afters I find myself judgmental and thinking that she is much much MUCH too thin.

    😦 Feeling bad about that, though my goodness, the skin is hanging off her arms 😦




  11. I’ve never watched that show, but it scares me a little. I think the idea is fantastic, teaching people how to live healthier lives. But healthier doesn’t always mean the person who has lost the most weight. It almost seems natural that Rachel (or someone like her) was going to appear at some point on the show. Hopefully, we’ve all learned from it.


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