It’s year-end and health, diet, fitness and nutrition enthusiasts are looking for the best trends in weight loss to start the New Year off right. Healthier living is within reach with these top 5 weight loss, nutriion and emerging trends for 2012.

1. The most dominant new trend is people cutting foods that contain wheat and dairy out of their diet. This particular trend has been monitored for many years now. (And in some cases actually encouraging it.) But it has never taken hold the way it is now.

2. Whey protein is out, plant protein is in. One thing that seems to be consistent is that protein shakes are and will always be popular, especially at breakfast. But people are realizing they need to up the plant protein when possible. Switching to plant-based protein is a very simple adjustment.

It is likely are seeing more plant-based protein shakes on the shelves of your favorite health and nutrition stores. If you don't believe it, next time you are in Whole Foods, ask the knowledgeable people there about the new offerings.

3. A third trend is a widespread focus on natural health. There is a much greater awareness that synthetic additives in foods are correlated with poor health. For example, many respondents to the survey said they had removed aspartame from their diet. Other people stated that they have been looking for doctors with a more "integrated" approach to care.

This seems to be an "emerging trend." People appear to be very interested in this subject, and respond strongly. What is most interesting is that people are taking action, based on the responses as well as the questions and other feedback.

4. The fourth trend is an accelerated shift towards more plant-based foods in the diet. All of the top rated diets now feature a strong focus on adding greens and vegetables. People are taking this advice and putting it into action.

What is interesting about this trend is that everyone "knows" that vegetables are good for them. People are actually putting this advice into practice. Given the strong correlation between plant consumption and lower risk of disease, this could be a positive indicator for the future of the US healthcare system.

5. The final trend is a shift in the way people define breakfast. People are beginning to turn away from a heavy focus on sugars, carbs and grains. They are open to the idea that they often are eating "dessert for breakfast" in the forms of muffins, high sugar yogurts and syrupy lattes.

People are struggling with finding good ways of getting protein, fiber and veggies into their morning food routine. They are, however, drinking green juices and green smoothies as a part of breakfast.

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Author's Bio: 

Jackie Wicks is the founder of the groundbreaking health and weight loss community, which was recognized by US News And World Report as one of the best sites to stay on a diet and lose weight in June, 2011. She is regularly quoted in the press as a healthy lifestyle expert in publications such as ABC News, Wall Street Journal Radio and hundreds of other national media outlets. Ms. Wicks is also the author of the innovative PEERtrainer Cheat System: A Simple Guide To Healthy And Long Term Weight Loss. For more information or to sign up for PEERtrainer's Free Daily Weight Loss Support Program and Tip of the Day, please visit