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Remember the Garfield cartoon showing the lazy orange cat slouched over his bowl with a green leaf in his hand saying Diet is “DIE” with a “T”? My grandmother had that image on her fridge for as long as my memory serves me. She also had a quote that said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” (Wow, talk about an unhealthy relationship with food.) I don’t know many people who are completely comfortable with their weight, and the fridge always seems to be the place to display their battle chants and vexations. The weight issues we battle individually have transformed into a full-on national war against fat.

I grew up confused about food and what relationship to have with it. I loved so many parts about eating—flavors, colors, textures, comfort, and the quality time with loved ones—but was wildly perplexed as to why ‘grown-ups’ around me had such a push/pull relationship with their fare. Dieting seemed to be miserable, but it was accepted as necessary to at least attempt, even if weakly with a fridge motto. The full picture of health management has since come into focus as I’ve faced the same challenges, temptations, effort, expenses, and food mantras.

It’s estimated that Americans spend $40 billion a year on weight-loss products. That’s billion with a B! Clearly, something beyond our waistlines is out of control here. Our sizes continue to expand while our wallets shrink as we try to throw money at the problem. Sorry folks, but here’s your daily dose of truth: There’s no quick fix. Our lives, reading material, TVs, and stores are all flooded with weight loss products, supplements, procedures, and plans. Yet, as a whole, we’re still unhealthy and overweight. To get and stay healthy, it takes education and habit-shifting, no, life-shifting habits.

Realizing this, a doctor and a chef teamed up to deliver a healthy serving of these habits including real food, real strategies, and real results. Keyword: REAL. Dr. Amber French and chef Kari Morris cringe at the word “diet” and call their lifestyle program Wellness 100: 100 Carbs/100 Recipes. Leaving the overpromising and unsustainable weight loss programs in the dust, this new book doesn’t make empty promises or demand an unrealistic and tasteless food plan. The focus is overall wellness and tasty meals, which happens to include a natural side effect of achieving a healthy weight. The book comes with an easy-to-understand program and easy-to-make recipes incorporating wholesome and delicious food.

I’ve decided to mentally burn the cartoon on my grandmother’s fridge and take the emphasis off of “DIE” in the word “diet.” My new word for my life’s fuel and flavorful food is now: “LIVE-t.” Reclaim your health, food, and that belt notch. Here’s a taste of this new book, out Friday:

We have studied weight loss for a long time, but what do we know about maintaining our desired weight? A popular diet right now is the hcg diet. I don’t recommend this diet to my patients, because I don’t recommend crash dieting. Anyone will lose weight on 500 to 800 calories per day, but you won’t learn any good habits to help you keep it off. You will notice that the title of this book does not even contain the word diet. When people think about going on a diet, they expect to do it for a few weeks or months until they reach their goal, then go back to eating “normally.” Wellness 100 should become your normal. Studies are now showing that higher-protein diets are more effective at maintaining weight loss than high-carbohydrate diets. You will discover that when you achieve your weight-loss goal, it is very easy to continue to count your 100 carbohydrates and let the fat and protein fall into place. You may no longer need to count the calories to maintain your weight.

Wellness 100 is available in both hardcover and paperback through BQB’s online store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your favorite bookstore. The eBook version is also available through major retailers. To learn more about the book or authors, visit Wellness100.us. Enjoy!