Weight Gain

weight gain Apr 03, 2023

Katie Breazeale, MS, RD, LD


I feel like we touch frequently on obesity and managing your weight, but what about those who would benefit from weight gain?


Weight gain could be needed for someone who has been under fueling based on their training, a female adult or teen who has no menstrual cycle, those with a gastrointestinal disease, or a child with failure to thrive.


These are all very different reasons to gain weight and work with a dietitian. A big question to ponder is could my insurance help me with paying for this if I need to gain weight?


If we are looking at it from the athlete side to gain weight due to under fueling this isn’t really medically related, but it could be preventative nutrition therapy and lucky for you, your insurance may cover the costs.


But when you start hearing phrases from the doctor like failure to thrive, malnutrition, a gastrointestinal disease, or even RED-S (formally known as the female athlete triad) we are looking at the medical side of things. Your doctor could send us a referral saying what they want us to work on. Your insurance would now be looking at covering medical nutrition therapy. Again, great news because your insurance is hopefully picking up the tab.


Working with a dietitian on weight gain is beneficial to your health. There’s a point your body will reach that it no longer functions at its optimum level. When you’re under weight you may be prone to vitamin deficiencies, frequent illness, delayed recovery, lost menstrual cycle, impaired sleep, hormonal imbalances, mood disturbances, and injury. That is quite the list!


It is not about being skinny or fat, it is about being a weight that your body will optimally function for you. If you’re tired all the time, or frequently getting sick do you really believe your functioning at your best? Now let’s add in you needing to focus on a test or to drive and you can’t focus because your body is not functioning at an optimal level.

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