You're on the right track if you plan to lose weight by eating mainly fruits, vegetables and lean proteins for the next month. Fad diets won't provide you with the weight-loss results you want; instead, you need to make permanent changes in what you eat to lose weight and keep it off.
But you can't eat unlimited quantities — even of healthy foods — and expect to lose weight. To drop those pounds, you'll need to cut back on quantities and tack on some exercise, too.
Depending on your calorie intake and exercise routine, you may be able to safely lose 8 to 10 pounds in a month eating only meat, vegetables and fruit.
You ate 3,500 calories more than you burned to gain every excess pound, and you'll need to eat 3,500 calories fewer than you burn to take them off. Fortunately, the foods you've chosen — fruits, vegetables and lean proteins — generally contain fewer calories than high-fat meats and snack foods. Still, you'll need to count calories and consume fewer of them.
To lose 4 to 5 pounds in one month, you should consume about 500 to 600 fewer calories each day than you would if you weren't trying to lose weight. However, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends you not eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day if you're a woman or 1,500 calories a day if you're a man.
Eating too few calories may sabotage your weight-loss efforts by slowing down your body's calorie-burning power to conserve.
Read more: Recommended Caloric Intake for Weight Loss
Your Food Choices
When choosing fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, make sure you focus on the freshest choices. Fruits that come in jars or may contain added sugar, which will add unnecessary calories and potentially sabotage your weight loss. Try cutting up some fresh fruit and add a sprinkle of cinnamon instead.
Also, watch out for vegetables in sauces, as those sauces can contain added fat, calories and excess salt. Steam fresh vegetables and add a splash of soy sauce or paprika for flavor. You'll lose more weight in a month if you avoid unnecessary calories.
Read more: Top 10 Healthiest Fruits and Vegetables
Add Exercise to Drop Pounds
Although you potentially can drop 4 to 5 pounds in one month safely through healthy diet changes alone, you can accelerate your weight loss if you add exercise to your routine.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, depending on your weight, you can burn 330 to 490 calories in a 60-minute low-impact aerobics class. That could potentially translate into an additional 3- to 4-pound weight loss for one month, bringing you to a total 9 to 10 pounds in a month.
Make Your Diet Permanent
Although you potentially can lose up to 8 to 10 pounds by eating only fruits, vegetables and lean proteins for one month, you should view your planned diet changes as more of a lifestyle change than a one-time effort.
If you change the way you eat permanently and adopt a moderate exercise routine, you'll have a better chance of keeping the weight you lose at bay permanently. Talk with your physician about your plans before you start your diet to make sure you don't have any underlying health problems that could affect your results.