As the summer rapidly approaches in half of the world, losing weight and going on diets is a popular conversation. Unfortunately, many people make diet mistakes that not only stop them from losing weight, but sometimes gain it as well. Many individuals calorie count and think that somehow lowering their caloric intake will have a dramatic effect.  That is not always the case as it depends upon what you eat.  For example, if you eat foods filled with processed and artificial ingredients, you will not lose weight and you will affect your health in negative ways.  It is understandable that the adverts including shakes and bars seem like a convenient and easy way to skip meals, get nutrition and lose weight.  However, they aren’t and there are numerous alternatives which are healthier.  Eating low fat foods can also be a trap as they often contain higher amounts of sugar and fillers  than full fat foods.  For example, you decide that it would be in your best interest to eat salads on a daily basis because you believe it is a wise choice to reduce your waistline.  Surely, that isn’t one of the diet mistakes.  However, what you put on the salad could sabotage your weight loss.  The darker, leafy vegetables are chock full of nutrients.  If you put on the creamy dressings rather than an olive oil, balsamic or even fresh lemon juice, your caloric intake just jumped dramatically.  Even when they say the salad dressings are low fat, read the ingredients.  You will see in the fine print sugar, fillers and possibly other chemicals you have never heard of.  Adding dried cranberries or raisins thinking that a fruit would keep your calories down would be another type of diet mistakes.  Some dried fruits even contain hydrolyzed  oils which are quite unhealthy.  There are many options such as cucumbers, sunflower seeds, carrots, summer squash and any other of your favorite vegetables that you enjoy raw.  Obviously, the croutons and bacon, which are just abut everyone’s favorite parts of a salad, need to be dropped to fit into that summer swimsuit. Diet mistakes are so easily unnoticed unless you read all the labels.  Many restaurants now include a calorie number by their menu items.  It will help you avoid diet mistakes and enjoy an evening out without worrying about gaining weight.  The other part of diet mistakes is that individuals don’t seem to recognize portion sizes.   If you eat protein in a disproportionate amount to the vegetables on your plate, it will be stored in your body as fat.  The old saying of following the 80/20 rule of  focusing eighty percent on nutrition and twenty percent on exercise it is still true today.  If you workout too often, but are missing the nutritional side, you will be disappointed in your results.  The bottom line in diet mistakes is listen to your body, eat in a healthy way at  regular times and exercise on a consistent basis.  The results will be visible.  In the Good Gus series diet mistakes were not an option as everything was home grown and there were no processed foods, fillers, etc.  The books are available exclusively on Kindle worldwide.  If your diet mistakes are getting you frustrated, take a break and read “Misplaced Trust.”  You might enjoy it.  The book is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd and Tolino.  the pictures of my visit to the Cotuit Library are now available at www.goodbusbooks.com.