You don't need anyone to tell you that candy, cookies, sodas, junk food, fast food and excess booze are wrecking your body or at least hampering your progress.

Actually, maybe you do. That's because there are a lot of hucksters and spineless pleasers out there telling you that this shit is okay "in moderation." This is the sad new state of today's diet and fitness industry: really fit people telling really fat people that it's okay to eat crap... because "body love" or because "science" or because they've run out of marketing ideas.

They also like to say "there's no such thing as a bad food" because apparently they define "food" as anything you can swallow that won't kill you immediately.

Well, they're wrong. Every time an overweight person consumes what we'll classify here as "obvious crap" they're either taking a step backward or temporarily halting their progress. And since many of these foods have addictive properties or wreck gut bacteria in such a way that causes extreme cravings, moderation goes into the trash faster than junk mail.

Ditch the Cheat Meals

If your goal is to lose fat, keep it off for good, and boost performance, cheat foods have to be set aside. Yes, there are a lot of plans out there that encourage cheat foods, but those people-pleasing plans have about the same long-term success rate as Weight Watchers did for your fat aunt.

Maybe it's time to grow up and stop feeling so entitled to a food reward every time you do your workout. Sure, a few skinny young dudes and heavy steroid users can get away with eating junk for a while, but try staying lean after the age of 30 or 40 when you eat like a spoiled chubby kid every weekend.

Like a good strength and conditioning coach, a diet coach must first fill the cracks in the foundation, then build up a strong structure. This is easy, because usually the athlete knows damn well what he's eating that he shouldn't be. And you do too.

Oddly, it's human nature to keep making those obvious mistakes until someone tells you to cut it out. So here it is: cut it out.