Scottsdale Weightloss Center

The Difference Between a Diet Plan and an Eating Plan


When you look for ways to lose a few pounds, you’ll see terms like diet plan, eating plan, weight loss plan and meal plan. Some of these terms mean the same thing, while others don’t. Here, we explain the similarities and differences between common weight loss terms.

You can use one term for before or while you are losing the weight, and one for after you have reached your weight loss goal. For example, what you plan to eat while losing weight will be your eating plan, and when you are maintaining your weight use meal plan.


An eating plan is what you eat throughout the day. It includes your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks. A healthy eating plan can help you lose weight and to maintain your weight once the extra pounds are gone. The eating plan is used interchangeably with the meal plan.

A meal plan is self-explanatory: you plan meals for the day, the week, or even the month. It includes meals, snacks, and even beverages that meet your nutritional needs. If you focus your meal plan on fruits, vegetables, and proteins, it will help you maintain your eight. A meal plan is often used interchangeably with an eating plan.

With either a meal plan or eating plan, you should not just be focused on weight loss, but on a permanent lifestyle change. In either case, an eating plan or meal plan is not the same as a diet plan or a weight loss plan. It is, however, a part of a diet or weight loss plan.


A diet plan is synonymous with a weight loss plan. These two are not usually used as before and after weight loss. They simply just mean the same thing, and you can use whichever term suits you. But if a diet plan is not the same as an eating plan, what is it? It is your plan, guide, or blueprint for reaching your weight loss goals. It takes more than chasing what you eat to keep weight off.

Your weight loss plan should be used with an exercise plan as well. That exercise plan should contain plans for stretching exercises, aerobic exercises, strength training, and possibly even endurance training.

Your diet plan should include a plan for drinking six to ten glasses of water each day and taking any vitamin supplements your doctor may recommend.

Finally, you should have a weigh-in plan as a part of your diet or weight loss plan. Most diet experts will advise against daily weigh-ins but we find it helpful to keep track of tangible results.


Once your goal is reached, the term used for keeping the weight off is a maintenance plan or weight loss maintenance plan, or even a weight-maintenance plan. When you think about your weight loss plan and your meal plan, understand that this is the planning stage you are shooting for: maintaining your weight after you’ve lost those extra pounds.

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