Soap opera queen Susan Lucci reveals what she really eats in a day

There are some stars who rely on the skills of a plastic surgeon to look half their age, and others who hide behind a full face of makeup -- and then there's Susan Lucci. 

The 71-year-old soap opera actress looks better than most of us will look in a lifetime. It's a youthful aesthetic she's maintained thanks to the help of pilates -- which she credits for her "core strength, flexibility and energy" -- and a healthy diet. Lucci recently opened up to Harper's Bazaar about her dieting routine, what goes into her cheat days and more. 

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Susan Lucci's style transformation
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Susan Lucci's style transformation
ALL MY CHILDREN - portrait - 9/17/70 Susan Lucci plays Erica Kane on ABC Daytime's 'All My Children'. 'All My Children' airs Monday-Friday, 1-2 p.m., ET, on the ABC Television Network. AMC70 (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) SUSAN LUCCI
Studio Portraits of Susan Lucci (Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 01: Susan Lucci (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Bert Convy and Susan Lucci (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Susan Lucci (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Susan Lucci (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Susan Lucci (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Susan Lucci (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Susan Lucci (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Susan Lucci (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Susan Lucci during Susan Lucci at Los Angeles International Airport at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Susan Lucci during Taping of 'The Phil Donahue Show' at NBC Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Liza Huber and Susan Lucci during American Cancer Society's 'Dynamic Duos' 1994 Gala at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Susan Lucci during Video Software Dealers Association Convention - July 25, 1994 at Las Vegas Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Susan Lucci (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Susan Lucci. (Photo by Diane Freed)
E 346249 001 02/07/99 New York City Barbie 40Th Anniversary Gala. Susan Lucci. (Photo By Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actress Susan Lucci arrives for the 'Taboo' play/musical opening November 13, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
Alicia Minshew, Susan Lucci and Eden Riegel during All My Childrens 35th Anniversary Celebration benefitting Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids at The Rainbow Room in New York City, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - MAY 20: Actress Susan Lucci poses in the press room at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Radio City Music Hall May 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 6: Actress Susan Lucci arrives to the after party for the ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Benefit on February 6, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
Susan Lucci during 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards - Arrivals at Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - MARCH 02: Actress Susan Lucci attends the 4th Annual ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares / Equity Fights Aids Benefit at the Marriott Marquis on March 2, 2008 in New York City (Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MAY 08: Actress Susan Lucci arrves at the 7th Annual Women Who Care Luncheon on May 8, 2008 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MAY 13: Susan Lucci arrives at the 2008 Riverkeeper Fisherman Ball on May 13, 2008 at Pier 60 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Actress Susan Lucci attends the Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction exhibit Opening at The Whitney Museum of American Art on September 16, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Actress Susan Lucci attends the 'A Serious Man' premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on September 24, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Susan Lucci attends the Facing AFib press conference at Pulse Restaurant on September 23, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 23: Susan Lucci attends The 32nd Annual Carousel Of Hope Ball at The Beverly Hilton hotel on October 23, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Actress Susan Lucci enters the 'Good Day New York' taping at the Fox 5 Studios on September 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
Susan Lucci attending the Memorial To Honor Marvin Hamlisch at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in New York City on 9/18/2012. (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Susan Lucci attends The T.J. Martell Foundation 37th Annual Honors Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11: Actress Susan Lucci of Devious Maids arrives at the A+E hosted NCTA Chairman's Reception at Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery on June 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for A+E Networks)
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - JUNE 17: Susan Lucci attends the Lifetime original series 'Devious Maids' premiere party held at Bel-Air Bay Club on June 17, 2013 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Susan Lucci attends the 18th Biggest Baby Shower Ever event at Metropolitan Pavilion on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Actress Susan Lucci attends Gray Line New York's Ride Of Fame Honors Susan Lucci at Pier 78 on November 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Susan Lucci attends the 'La Golda' premiere at Lighthouse International Theater on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J Carter Rinaldi/Getty Images)
GARDEN CITY, NY - JULY 30: Actress Susan Lucci attends The Garden City Hotel 140th Anniversary Celebration at Garden City Hotel on July 30, 2014 in Garden City, New York. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Susan Lucci attends A+E Network's 2015 Upfront at Park Avenue Armory on April 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 22: Susan Lucci attends AOL Build Speaker Series - Susan Lucci, 'Devious Maids' at AOL Studios In New York on February 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
Susan Lucci attends the 'Joy World Premiere' at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. ?? LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Actress Susan Lucci attends the 15th Annual Women Who Care luncheon benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of New York City at Cipriani on May 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for United Cerebral Palsy of New York City)
THE BRAVOS -- Pictured: Susan Lucci -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 26: Susan Lucci attends 'Celebrity Autobiography' at Guild Hall on August 26, 2016 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Actress Susan Lucci attends the 2016 Sound of Gol Fundraiser at The Chester on October 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01: Susan Lucci attends the Broadway Opening Night Perfomance of 'A Bronx Tale' at The Longacre on December 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - APRIL 30: Actress Susan Lucci arrives at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Actress Susan Lucci attends UCP of NYC 70th Anniversary Gala on March 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for United Cerebral Palsy of New York City)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17: Susan Lucci attend The Paley Honors: Celebrating Women in Television at Cipriani Wall Street on May 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Susan Lucci attends the 2017 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Ceremony at The Lambs Club on November 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Actress Susan Lucci discusses her upcoming comedy show 'Celebrity Autobiography' at Build Studio on March 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Actor Susan Lucci attends the Adapt Leadership Awards Gala 2018 at Cipriani 42nd Street on March 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Adapt Community Network)
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The 'All My Children' alum wakes up with a cup of coffee, mixed with organic sugar and whole milk before squeezing in a pilates workout. Her breakfast normally consists of Greek yogurt with lingonberries, while she opts for sliced turkey on a beefsteak tomatoes (instead of bread) for lunch. And salmon, broccoli and salad is Lucci's go-to dinner  with her chef husband. 

When it comes to cheat days, the daytime television star knows it's better to not deprive herself. Whether it's blueberry pancakes or champagne, Lucci wants a splurge to "be worth it." For more on her daily routine, watch the video above! 

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Susan Lucci on Instagram
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Susan Lucci on Instagram
Is this what they mean when they wish you “may the wind be at your back”!? #catamaran
Are you sure you want me to fly the plane? Lol😊
Happy time with Helmut!!! Have a great weekend!!! #luckierinlovethanerica
ANDREA BOCELLI !!! Concert last night at MSG brought cheers and tears and awe! Spectacular guest performers, including Kristin Chenoweth—their duet brought the sold-out house down!!! #wow @andreabocelliofficial @kchenoweth
🎼’Tis the season...🎼Yuletide Ball tonight to benefit NYU/Winthrop Hospital—where both our children were born!!! Eternally grateful to wonderful doctors and nurses in first-rate NICU!!! #beautifulevent #winterwonderland #recordcrowd #greatband @nyu/winthrophospital
🎄🎼Deck the Halls...🎼🎄 The beautiful “halls” of Old Westbury Gardens last night—the perfect place to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season!!!🎄🎄🎄 #surroundedbybeauty #importantarchives #preservation
So honored!!! So happy to receive NATAS Silver Circle Award yesterday in NY—presented to me so beautifully by my friend I admire so much, Megyn Kelly!!! #inspiringwords #specialevent #gratitude @NATAS @thelambsclub
Sitting at Mark Twain’s card table!!! Amazing experience shooting an interview today at the landmark Players Club in NY!!! Stanford White designed home of Edwin Booth!!! #documentary #thankyousomuch@billylyons #myteacherwynnhandman#americanplacetheatre #haroldclurman
Join me on @BuzzFeedNews #AM2DM tomorrow! Can't wait to sit down with @theferocity. Watch live below at 10AM ET! buzzfeed.twitter.com #photocourtesyofpeoplemag
On the Red Carpet--fabulous Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit last night in NY! Magical at St John the Divine!!! @ejafdn
M-mmm blue skies, sunshine, crisp air and leaves putting on their gorgeous fall colors--what a perfect October Saturday in The Hampton's!!! #exhilerating #awesome #mothernature
Homeward bound!!! Whirlwind west coast/east coast/west coast/east coast--but so worth it!!! #greatshootinla #greatlatedinnerwithmyamazinggoddaughterkatie #somuchfun
PRESTON BAILEY masterpiece!!! Standing in front of his spectacular/magical full-size, working carousel--made completely of flowers!!! #breathtaking #feastfortheeyes #artistry #lasvegas @thewynnhotel
What a special Sunday afternoon!!! Our son Andreas' best friend, Alex and his wife Kiersten's beautiful baby George's Christening!!! Andreas is the proud and loving Godfather!!! George is an angel!!! ❤️😇❤️ Thank you, Courtney, for the gorgeous photos!!! @alexbarnet @kiersten_barnet @andreas1313 @holding_court
Next time Helmut walks The Highline--his knee is going to be good as new!!! Big thank you to surgeon, Dr Steve O'Brien at Hospital for Special Surgery in NY!!! And a big thank you to the entire team at HSS--from the moment we checked in at 6am to the moment Helmut was discharged yesterday afternoon--every single person made Helmut's operation as smooth and positive experience as it could possibly be!!! #gratitude @hspecialsurgery
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun--and so does the audience!!! Come join Christie Brinkley, Brooke Shields, Ali Wentworth, Mario Cantone and me for Celebrity Autobiography!!! We'll be on stage at Guild Hall in Easthampton this Friday night, August 25th at 7pm and 9:30pm--along with the creators of this hilarious show: Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel!!! #laugh-packed #ivanatrump #liztaylor #thekardashians @guild_hall
Picture-perfect day in NY--on my way in to one of my personal favorite NY destinations! #"sprinklemyashes" #quintessentialny #fashioncapital @bettyhalbreich @bergdorfs
M-mmm--Good morning coffee on this beautiful Sunday!!! Enjoy😍
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h/t Harper's Bazaar

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