Lose Fat

Are Any Foods Off-limits, Even for a Cheat Meal?

Everyone loves a good cheat meal now and then, but you've got to do it right.

Man Eating Fast Food
Kathleen Finlay / Getty

The Question:

Are there any foods I should avoid at all costs, even during my cheat meals?

The Answer:

I don’t believe that you can eat anything you want; you should cheat smart.

As a dietitian, the boring thing to say is that you can eat anything in moderation. For the majority of people, that approach works. But if you have long-term goals of being super-ripped, jacked, and in incredible shape, you should focus on foods that are higher in protein and stay away from foods that are loaded with excessive amounts of sugar.

—Heather Mangieri, R.D.N., is the CEO/nutrition consultant at Nutrition CheckUp, author of Fueling Young Athletes, and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.