The Diet Detective: 8 Healthy Habits to Improve Your Lifestyle

Here are a few trends to watch out for and, a few hints to help you create a healthier you.

Body Weight Work

Trend: According to the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) worldwide survey, one fitness trend will be body weight training, which includes "back-to-basics" exercises like push-ups, planks, pull-ups, squats and other exercises that use the body as resistance.

Why It Matters: It reduces injuries because you're using only your own body weight, not heavy weights, and you don't have to go to a fitness center, you can do most exercises at home. Fit Tip: Check out the following to get started:

Exercise as You Age

Trend: The ACSM also believes that another trend will be an increase in functional fitness for older adults.

Why It Matters: There is significant research to show that engaging in strength and functional training activities can strengthen bones, reduce joint pain and reduce injuries from slips and falls.

Fit Tip: If you can afford it (or if you want to give a gift to a relative), hire a qualified certified personal trainer. Make sure to find one who has lots of experience with older adults, has insurance and is certified by ACSM or the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Eating Healthfully While Dining Out

Trend: According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 7/10 consumers say they are trying to eat better at restaurants vs. how they ate two years ago. Additionally, 3/4 of consumers say healthy menu options are an important factor when choosing a restaurant.

Other findings reported by the NRA's survey are an increasing interest in children's nutrition (including whole-grain foods) and in local sourcing, which also includes "hyper-local" sourcing, such as restaurant gardens.

Why It Matters: We eat out a lot ­ nearly half the time, in fact. And most high-calorie foods are consumed when eating away from the home. It's also wonderful to know that restaurants are catching on and will be delivering healthier, fresher foods. I love the idea of a restaurant having its own garden—nice touch.

Fit Tips:

  • Say no to mayo, tartar sauce, creamy dressings and extra cheese.
  • Use mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper or vinegar as fat-free ways to season your food.
  • In salads, watch the nuts, croutons and other add-ons.
  • Look for foods that are grilled or broiled, NOT breaded or deep-fried.
  • Instead of cheese (100 calories per 1-ounce slice for lettuce, tomato and onion.

More: 8 Tips for Eating Out More Healthfully

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