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What is the Counterweight Diet? All you need to know about the weight loss programme

IT is an internationally recognised diet programme that many people have successfully followed. But what is the Counterweight Diet and what does it entail? Here’s the lowdown. What is the Cou…

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IT is an internationally recognised diet programme that many people have successfully followed.

But what is the Counterweight Diet and what does it entail? Here’s the lowdown.

A study found that the plan may reverse type 2 diabetes

Getty – Contributor 2 A study found that the plan may reverse type 2 diabetes

What is the Counterweight Diet and who is it for?

The Counterweight Plus Diet is claimed to be a “proven solution for those with a higher starting weight”.

The diet is a 12 month healthy eating and lifestyle plan with the goal of achieving long term, stable weight loss.

The diet plan is recommended for people fitting the below guidelines:

  • Adults aged 18 and over
  • Those with a BMI over 25
  • Those who are at the right stage if behaviour change to undertake a new weight management plan

According to The Times, the dietary advice given out in the Counterweight-Plus programme is not very different from that given by the NHS more generally.

What is different is the counselling that goes with it – which aims to help people break out of their bad habits around food.

The plan is good for those with a BMI over 25

Getty – Contributor 2 The plan is good for those with a BMI over 25

Can the Counterweight plan reverse diabetes?

According to an article in The Guardian, the “radical diet can reverse type 2 diabetes”.

The plan involves an initial phase of consuming around 850 calories a day for three to five months.

This is then followed by a second phase of two to eight weeks where calorie intake is slowly increased.

Participants are then encouraged to attend monthly advice meetings – with the aim of maintaining their weight loss.

In a recent study, conducted by researchers from several institutions in the UK and funded by Diabetes UK, it was found that people on the Counterweight Plan lost 10kg on average – with around a quarter achieving the target of losing 15kg or more.

Half of those on the plan went into diabetes remission

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Living

Two mums debate if it’s too lazy to pay somebody else to potty train their children

FOR years, potty training has been a rite of passage for all new parents. But one mother has posted an advert for someone to do the job for them — for £50 an hour. In the advert, the busy mum, from…

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FOR years, potty training has been a rite of passage for all new parents.

But one mother has posted an advert for someone to do the job for them — for £50 an hour.

 Potty training can be a real headache for parentsGetty – Contributor Potty training can be a real headache for parents

In the advert, the busy mum, from Surrey, said she and her husband found it hard to train their three-year-old girl due to their “busy careers” and wanted help for ten hours a week.

The woman also said she wanted their daughter using the potty for when her in-laws visited at Christmas and would give a “handsome bonus” to anyone who met the target.

While some parents will understand the frustrated mum’s cry for help, others think outsourcing important duties is idle parenting.

Here, two mums debate whether paying someone to take on the nitty-gritty tasks of bringing up a child is OK, or just plain lazy.

 The online advert which caused a stir among mums The online advert which caused a stir among mums

Yes, says writer Alice McIntyre

ALICE, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, is all for using potty trainers. Mum to Charlotte, seven, and Oscar, two. 

When I heard about people paying potty trainers I just wished I’d known about the service five years ago when I was battling to train my daughter while holding down a full-time job.

Back then, I thought nothing of paying a childminder to look after my daughter from 8am to 6pm – I trusted her to nurture, feed and change my child.

But when it came to potty training, well, that was down to me – and it was a hard slog.

 Alice McIntyre is in favour of mums paying 'nappy trainers' Alice McIntyre is in favour of mums paying ‘nappy trainers’

I’d put the potty on the living room floor and remove Charlotte’s nappy, hoping she’d just know what to do.

She didn’t.

Weekends were spent living on the edge, waiting for accidents.

I’d pack ten pairs of leggings for a day out, and invariably get through them all. And there was the time I took her to a friend’s engagement party at a London pub . . .

‘Excuse me,’ a very polite young man whispered, ‘I think your child has done a poo on the floor.’

Mortified doesn’t cover it. Eventually, with the help of our childminder and a stash of lollipops, she cracked it.

 Potty training is a full on job - meaning some busy parents are calling on experts for helpGetty – Contributor Potty training is a full on job – meaning some busy parents are calling on experts for help

But now I’m at the edge of the abyss again, about to start training my son.

And this time, working from home, I’ve got no one to help me.

I’m not ashamed to admit I’m putting it off, delaying the inevitable.

While the other mums at nursery proudly announce their little ones are toilet trained, I try not to listen.

It’s a dirty job, so I can’t see a problem outsourcing it to someone who knows what they are doing.

 Once you have trained one, having to teach another child feels like an even bigger challengeGetty – Contributor Once you have trained one, having to teach another child feels like an even bigger challenge

People hire cleaners, gardeners and decorators to do the jobs they hate, or simply don’t have the time for – and society doesn’t bat an eyelid.

It’s no fun for the kids either, to keep soiling themselves while their parents spend months fighting a losing battle.

I’m sure my son would be grateful if someone came in and got him out of nappies in days.

To me, £50 an hour is money well spent to get over one of life’s messiest hurdles.

Professional potty trainer Amanda Jenner explains why her service is worth £500 a day

No, says writer Lynsey Hope

WRITER Lynsey from Sevenoaks, Kent, is mum to Jacob, three, and nine-month-old Olive.

When you have a child, like it or not, you’ve signed up for a LOT of work.

New tasks include changing nappies, feeding, lots of love and attending to your child, day or night. You also teach them manners, how to share, to wash . . .  the list is endless.

 Writer Lynsey Hope says potty training is a job which must be done by the parents Writer Lynsey Hope says potty training is a job which must be done by the parents

I can’t understand why anyone would pay a stranger to do one of the most important jobs – potty training.

Just like the nappies and manners , it’s a job that mums and dads should do themselves.

Next we’ll be paying someone to read bedtime stories, comb nits out of hair or take children to the doctors when they’re poorly. What kind of a world would we be living in then?

 Be prepared for accidents, but it is rewarding once you have trained your childGetty – Contributor Be prepared for accidents, but it is rewarding once you have trained your child

And having someone to potty train your son or daughter is not cheap. I’d rather spend that money on a family day out.

I started teaching Jacob to use the potty when he was two and a bit. I covered the potty in stickers to make it appealing and did plenty of research.

It probably took six months before we were ready to ditch the nappies for “big boy” pants.

I was working a busy job at the time and I had my second child Olive in the midst of it all.

 You can buy dolls for children to help teach them how to use the pottyPA:Press Association You can buy dolls for children to help teach them how to use the potty

Invariably Jacob would need a wee just as I sat down to feed her and I was constantly asking him if he needed the loo.

I had to take a few days off work to make the final transition into pants – I didn’t feel it was a job for his teachers or grandparents.

One of the most important things with kids is they need consistency. I sat him on the potty when he woke up, before meals, before his bath and before bed. He soon got used to the routine.

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Living

We rate Christmas dinner extras – and the best don’t break the bank

IF you are resigned to  putting on a few extra pounds  this Christmas,  at least do so with the best food and drink. Our elves GUILIA CROUCH and GRANT ROLLINGS have   sampled supermarket crackers, …

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IF you are resigned to  putting on a few extra pounds  this Christmas,  at least do so with the best food and drink.

Our elves GUILIA CROUCH and GRANT ROLLINGS have   sampled supermarket crackers, fizz, Stilton and Christmas pudding.

 Jilly Goolden is on hand to give us her pick of the portOliver Dixon Jilly Goolden is on hand to give us her pick of the port

Plus  wine expert JILLY GOOLDEN gives us her pick of the port.

Here, they  mark each out of five, with a shining star for the top scorer  in every category.

THE FIZZ

THE STILTON

THE PORT

Oliver Dixon

THE CRACKERS

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Living

Who wrote A Christmas Carol, how many ghosts are there, what are the best quotes from the book and how many film versions are there?

A CHRISTMAS Carol is a classic movie to watch this holiday season. But who wrote the book, and how many film versions are there? Here’s what you need to know… Who wrote A Christmas Caro…

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A CHRISTMAS Carol is a classic movie to watch this holiday season.

But who wrote the book, and how many film versions are there? Here’s what you need to know…

 A Christmas Carol is a book written by Charles Dickens, and made into 24 films - including this 2012 adaptation starring Jim CarreyAlamy A Christmas Carol is a book written by Charles Dickens, and made into 24 films – including this 2012 adaptation starring Jim Carrey

Who wrote A Christmas Carol?

A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost – Story of Christmas, is a novella by Charles Dickens.

Published in 1843, it tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable old man who’s visited by a series of ghosts.

They teach him valuable life lessons, and ultimately make him a better man.

The film has become a cult classic, with the word ‘Scrooge’ becoming synonymous with a person who hates Christmas.

 Even the Muppets did a version of A Christmas Carol, back in 1992Alamy Even the Muppets did a version of A Christmas Carol, back in 1992

How many ghosts are there in A Christmas Carol?

There are four ghosts in A Christmas Carol.

Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, right at the start of the film.

While the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future also visit Scrooge during the night – and whisk him away to see how things were, are and could be for himself and others.

 Albert Finney played Scrooge in the 1970 filmAlamy Albert Finney played Scrooge in the 1970 film

How many film versions of A Christmas Carol have there been?

Amazingly, there have been 24 film versions of A Christmas Carol.

The first was released way back in 1901, just 31 years after Dickens died.

It’s a silent film by Robert W Paul, where actors wear what appears to be enormous sheets to play the part of the ghost.

The most recent was in 2012, while memorable versions include The Muppets, released in 1992, and the 2009 film starring Jim Carrey as the voice of Scrooge.

Every version of A Christmas Carol ever made

  •  Scrooge (Marley’s Ghost): 1901
  • A Christmas Carol: 1910
  • Scrooge: 1935
  • A Christmas Carol: 1938
  • The Christmas Carol: 1949
  • Scrooge: 1951
  • A Christmas Carol: 1954
  • The Stingiest Man In Town: 1956
  • Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol: 1962
  • Carol For Another Christmas: 1964
  • A Christmas Carol, animated version: 1969
  • Scrooge: 1970
  • A Christmas Carol, animated: 1971
  • The Passions Of Carol: 1975
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol: 1983
  • A Christmas Carol: 1984
  • Scrooged: 1988
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol: 1992
  • Ebenezer: 1998
  • A Christmas Carol: 1999
  • A Christmas Carol: 2000
  • A Christmas Carol: 2004
  • A Christmas Carol: 2009
  • A Christmas Carol: 2012

What are the best quotes from A Christmas Carol?

Almost everyone has seen a version of A Christmas Carol, so it’s no surprise that some of the quotes have slipped their way into the modern vocabulary.

Here are some of our favourite quotes…

“Bah, humbug!”

“Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”

“No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”

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