What Does It Mean to Eat 80% Wholesome Meals Each Week?

At Flex Appeal, we often tell our clients to aim for eating 80% wholesome meals each week. But what does this really mean, and why is it important? Let’s break it down and explore how this approach can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Understanding the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is a balanced approach to eating that allows you to enjoy your food while still making healthy choices most of the time. Here’s how it works:

  • 80% Wholesome Meals: These are meals made from nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods. Think of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to function optimally.
  • 20% Indulgence: This is where you allow yourself some flexibility. Enjoying your favorite treats, whether it’s a piece of cake, a burger, or a glass of wine, without guilt. This helps you avoid feeling deprived and makes it easier to stick to your healthy eating habits.

Why 80% Wholesome Meals?

Nutrient Density:

  • Wholesome meals are packed with nutrients that support your overall health. Eating a variety of these foods ensures that you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Energy and Performance:

  • Eating nutrient-rich foods provides the energy you need for your workouts and daily activities. This is especially important if you’re focused on building strength and improving fitness.

Long-term Health:

  • Consistently choosing wholesome foods can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It supports your long-term health and well-being.

Balanced Approach:

  • The 80/20 rule is sustainable. It encourages healthy eating without being overly restrictive. This balance helps you maintain your eating habits over the long term.

How to Implement the 80/20 Rule

Plan Your Meals:

  • Plan your meals around wholesome foods. Include plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Preparing meals at home can help you control the ingredients and portions.

Snack Wisely:

  • Choose healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, or yogurt most of the time. Keep indulgent snacks for occasional treats.

Cook at Home:

  • Cooking at home allows you to use fresh ingredients and avoid hidden sugars and unhealthy fats often found in restaurant meals and processed foods.

Be Mindful:

  • Enjoy your 20% indulgence without guilt. Being mindful of your treats helps you savor them and prevents overindulgence.

Stay Flexible:

  • The 80/20 rule is a guideline, not a strict rule. Some weeks might be more challenging than others, and that’s okay. The goal is to find a balance that works for you.

Examples of Wholesome Meals

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with fresh berries and nuts, or a smoothie made with spinach, banana, and protein powder.
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with a variety of vegetables and a vinaigrette dressing.
  • Dinner: Baked salmon with quinoa and steamed broccoli.
  • Snacks: Apple slices with almond butter, or a handful of mixed nuts.


Eating 80% wholesome meals each week is about finding a healthy balance that supports your body and fits into your lifestyle. By focusing on nutrient-dense foods most of the time and allowing yourself some flexibility, you can enjoy your food and make sustainable, healthy choices. This approach not only helps you achieve your fitness goals but also promotes long-term health and well-being. At Flex Appeal, we believe in empowering you to make the best choices for your body, and the 80/20 rule is a great way to start.

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