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Motivation Monday: Is there a safe, fast track to weight loss?

A viewer asked if it’s possible to lose 20 pounds in a month. Health expert Lynch Hunt says it can be done, but on average most people lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Fast-tracked weight loss, who doesn't want that?  It's a goal that most people go after at some point.

But is it realistic?

WFMY News 2 viewer Debra Martin wanted to know and posted on Facebook:

"I have a birthday in August & would love to drop 20 pounds by then. Is that possible?"

It's a great question for our health expert and life coach Lynch Hunt.

"Losing 20 pounds is a major challenge for anyone.  It can be done quickly and safely, but realistically it will take longer than most people think," said Hunt. 

RELATED: Motivation Monday: Stay committed and focused on your fitness goals

"Whether you lose weight fast or slow you still have to make a bunch of simple changes to your diet and your lifestyle.  The keyword here is simple because simple isn't always easy."

According to the CDC, it is safe to lose 1 to 2 pounds of weight per week or 4 to 8 pounds a month.

"So we gotta really turn it up and do about 3 to 4 times the amount of work.  In short, weight loss happens when you use more calories than you take in, either by reducing your intake or increasing your physical activity, and since we want to lose a lot of weight in a little bit of time we have to do both," Hunt said. 

Hunt said in order to lose weight, you have to reduce your calorie intake drastically.  

"We gotta double down on our cardio to keep us in a major caloric deficit.  We gotta mix up our training to help increase our metabolism and to burn more calories throughout the day.  Ramp up your protein and water to promote feelings of fullness which helps to reduce calorie intake preserve our muscles and ensure we have the fuel so we are not counterproductive. On top of it all off we need lots of accountability."

RELATED: Motivation Monday: Home gym vs. a gym membership

That can include weighing yourself daily, keeping a food journal, and pairing up with friends and coaches to enhance the process.

Lastly, Hunt said you need to be honest about why you're doing this and how to make it last.

 "Motivation like your birthday or an event will get you started but your habits will ultimately keep you going so you can make it a way of life," said Hunt.