I'm a 260lb 5'10.5" male trying to lose some weight. I'm also on a really really tight budget. I have about $100 a month I can spend on food at the moment so I'm really trying to go as cheap as possible.

I think I've began to run into a problem of not eating enough calories though. I'd been trying to diet by eating less junk, little to no sugar, cutting portions, etc.. and exercising (strength and cardio) but the weight wasn't dropping. Then I fell down on my working out and I dropped about 15-20lb in about a month.. when I started working out again regularly my strength didn't drop so I'm assuming it wasn't muscle-weight that I lost so I'm thinking that my caloric requirements dropped and let my body shed some fat.

Looking at what I've been eating, I don't think it has been enough. From what I've seen and what I've looked at I'd guess its been around 1500 to 2000 instead of the 2800-3300 I should be eating..

So, how do I find out how few calories I can take in and still remain fairly healthy while reaching my goal of 200lb?

2 Answers 2


There are multiple calculators on the net that you can use to calculate the exact calorie intake that a 260lbs 5'10" male should be taking.

Here's my advice though ... When trying to lose weight you must burn more calories than you ingest. So at around 2800-3300 calories, you would be doing a lot of work to burn off those calories in order to lose / shed some weight.

From experience, 1200-2000 (give or take) calories per day will drastically show a difference ...

As for the weight drop ... I'm guessing it was muscle mixed with fat that you were losing. Even if you didn't lose strength, you may be naturally strong. It might have even been water weight that you lost - there's many possibilities!

Best of luck for you to get a little more cash to put in your food, that's something you really can't neglect.

Side note

Stay away from fatty foods and carbohydrates if you're trying to lose weight. Lazagna, Pizzas, TV Dinners and all that "good" stuff ... It's gotta go! :)


I don't know where you live, but my husband and I spend around this much per week and our groceries are 95% only healthy stuff. I completely agree with Alex in the point that you have to burn more calories than you ingest, but you also have to pay attention to what else comes with those calories, so you can succeed in burning them.

Let me be more clear and maybe very obvious. But it's much easier for you body to burn 200 calories from a dish of baked veggies than from a little plate of stir fry brown rice because of all the other components, besides the calories.

Instead of thinking that your have a small budget, you should search for dishes that fit in your budget and are still very healthy and rich in veggies. If you allow me, I will share two of the most popular dishes I make.

  1. You just need some spinach (frozen spinach is so cheap!) and dice ALL the veggies you have in your fridge, stir fry them (even without oil, just a bit of water) and then put them in a baking dish. Then cover it with eggs beaten (more egg whites, if possible), sprinkle some spices, a little salt and leave in the oven 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. It will be pretty much carbs free, pure protein and delicious. Did I mention very cheap?
  2. You still can have a lasagna, but what about a eggplant lasagna? You just need to season some ground beef/turkey and use a tomato sauce (I avoid canned stuff, but I'm in love with Muir Glen products, they are delicious and not as bad). While this gets ready, slice one eggplant, maybe some squash or zucchini (everything is allowed to increase your intake of veggies and make you fill satisfied), stick in the oven for about 20 min (400F). Then once it's cool, you will just create the layers alternating veggies and the delicious meat, put back in the over for other 15 min and you have a delicious not fat meal.

It doesn't have to be expensive to be delicious. It doesn't have to be small to be light. It doesn't have to be crappy to be cheap. Good luck!

  • 1
    The body doesn't care about calories for energy per se. Muscles burn glucose. Also, your first dish - if you chop up all the veggies in the fridge, and cover it with egg whites, you're going to get more calories from carbs than protein. One egg white is ~ 15 calories (protein), 1 cup broccoli is 50 calories (carbs). Not sure why egg whites only, the notion that yolks are bad is mostly a myth. Also, the OP states that they have $100 a month, and you say that you spend $100 per week. Not exactly a good recommendation.
    – JohnP
    Jul 31, 2013 at 15:04
  • I'm not! I'm just pointing out erroneous information in the answer.
    – JohnP
    Aug 1, 2013 at 0:01

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