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Everyone enjoys a little indulgence while relaxing on vacation. But if you’re not careful, you might be bringing home more than a tan and a suitcase of souvenirs, a new study says. You could be carrying a little extra weight.

The study, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, found that short-term vacations result in significant — and long-lasting — weight gain. This was true even for those who increased their physical activity while on vacation. At the same time, the vacationers’ perceived stress and systolic blood pressure decreased after being on vacation for one to three weeks.

The researchers took height, weight, blood pressure and other health measurements from 122 adults who took vacations lasting from one to three weeks. Information was gathered one week before, one week after and then six weeks after the vacation.

Alcohol the main culprit

The vacationers gained nearly a pound while on vacation. What’s worse is that the weight gain persisted so that by six weeks later, they had kept that weight and put on a  little bit more.

The researchers said the main culprit for the weight gain was an increase in calorie intake, especially from alcohol. Consumption of alcoholic drinks doubled on average from eight per week before the vacation to 16 per week during vacation.

Longitudinal studies among U.S. adults show that average weight gain is somewhere between 0.9 and 2.2 pounds every year, the researchers say. Research shows that the holiday season and summer vacations for children and adolescents are strong contributors to yearly weight gain. But the new study shows that other, very short periods of time throughout the year can contribute a significant portion of the average yearly weight gain, the researchers say.

Practice mindful eating

There are several ways that you can avoid the annual creeping weight gain that vacations contribute to, says Susan Albers-Bowling, PsyD. Dr. Albers did not participate in the study.

Many people will diet or restrict their eating before going on vacation, Dr. Albers-Bowling says. The thinking is that if they lose a little weight before vacation, they can afford to indulge while on vacation and gain a couple of pounds without any overall impact.

“I encourage people not to diet before going on vacation,” Dr. Albers-Bowling says. “What ends up happening is when they go on vacation, they go completely overboard.”

Instead, Dr. Albers recommends using mindful eating techniques while you’re relaxing on vacation. That means slow down when you eat, be more aware of what you’re eating and pay attention to whether you actually are hungry — and stop eating when you feel satisfied.

“Mindful is not a diet, it’s just being more aware of how much you’re eating, being more mindful of your portions, and slowing down,” Dr. Albers-Bowling says.

Drink fluids often and keep walking

Another way to keep the vacation pounds off is to stay hydrated with non-alcoholic drinks. Water is perfect choice.

Drink plenty of fluids — with your meals and between meals — before you feel thirsty, Dr. Albers-Bowling says.

“On vacation, make sure you stay hydrated,” Dr. Albers-Bowling says. “I think this is a really important tip because sometimes we confuse hunger and thirst. We think that we’re hungry, but we’re actually thirsty.”

On vacation, you often go out for every meal, Dr. Albers-Bowling says.  Try splitting meals with friends and family to match the size of meals you would have at home.  Or pack some of your own snacks to tide you over between meals.

Also, vacation is the perfect time to wear a pedometer, Dr. Albers-Bowling says. Research has shown that people who are mindful of their steps tend to lose more weight.

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/03/vacation-might-culprit-creeping-weight-gain/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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