Thinking of going on a diet? IRS won’t subsidize reduced-calorie food. The cost of meal replacements, diet foods, weight loss supplements and beverages doesn’t qualify as a medical expense, IRS says in Publication 502. These items are substitutes for food that people eat to satisfy nutritional needs. Nor can these expenses be reimbursed by health flexible spending arrangements. The costs of doctor-prescribed weight loss plans are deductible medicals. Amounts you pay for weight reduction programs that are ordered by doctors to treat obesity, hypertension, heart disease or to mitigate another ailment qualify. Gym membership fees aren’t deductible. Nor is the cost of weight reduction plans entered into for the purpose of improving your appearance or sense of well-being. If you are claiming a write-off for the cost of a weight loss program… Make sure that you keep your receipts to substantiate the deduction in the event you are later audited. A couple who were both diagnosed as obese were counseled by their doctor to enter a medically supervised weight loss plan. They reported on their return over $16,000 of deductible medical expenses. The Tax Court recognized that the weight loss program qualified as medical care, but nonetheless disallowed the write-off because the couple didn’t have receipts, canceled checks or other proof of payment (Fiedziuszko, TC Memo. 2018-75).