When Rachel Frederickson revealed her new, size 0/2 figure on last Tuesday’s finale of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, she thought she would wow friends, family and viewers – and maybe win the title of Biggest Loser.
She did win, but the 24-year-old voice actress also ignited a firestorm of controversy about her dramatically slimmed-down figure, down to 105 lbs. from her starting weight of 260 lbs. (At 5’4″, her height-weight ratio puts her BMI at 17.5, below the threshold doctors consider healthy.)
Now, looking back on her rigorous workouts in the three months leading up to the finale – during which she exercised up to six times daily – Frederickson tells PEOPLE exclusively, “Maybe I was a little too enthusiastic in my training to get to the finale.”
But she insists that she maintained a healthy, 1,600 calorie-a-day diet and received weekly support calls from the Biggest Loser team, including producers, doctors and her trainer, Dolvett Quince.
“I did [the training and dieting] absolutely naturally and healthfully,” Frederickson tells PEOPLE. “I ate my calorie budget.”
Still, she admits being shocked by the reaction to her appearance at the finale.
Soon after the show aired, “I headed over to the hotel and I flipped on the social media I was overwhelmed,” she says of the sudden backlash. “It was a realization that this was going to be a huge topic of discussion.”
• Reporting by PATRICK GOMEZ