As the name implies, alternate day fasts are performed by alternating between fasting and non-fasting days. In the purest sense, a fast means that you completely abstain from consuming calories. However, modified versions of alternate day routines allow you to consume about 500 calories on your fasting days.
This modified way of eating is growing in popularity because it is doable and produces weight loss results. In this post, I share a hearty 500 calories recipe that is filled with hunger-satisfying nutrients.
500 Calorie Alternate Day Fasting Recipe [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Why an alternate day fasting routine is helpful.
- A delicious 500 calorie recipe!
- The nutrition facts for this recipe.
Alternate Day Fasting Routines
Dr. Krista Varady is one of the leading researchers on alternate day fasting. She found that modifying the fasting days by allowing the consumption of 20 to 25 percent of your body’s energy needs, which is typically simplified to 500 calories, increases adherence without sacrificing the health and weight-loss benefits.
The 5:2 Diet that Dr. Michael Mosley popularized puts an additional spin on this way of eating. His Fast Diet protocol involves limiting your calorie intake to 500 or 600 calories for two days of the week and then eating as you typically would for five days. The fasting day calories can be spread out into smaller meals or consumed in a single meal like I will be showing you today.
500 Calorie Meal for Alternate Day Fasting
When looking at this one meal-a-day way of eating, a 500 calorie meal is not a tremendous amount of food. However, you can make it feel bigger by combining high volume, low-calorie vegetables with foods that provide a good amount of fat and protein.
This combination will digest slowly, so hunger stays away longer. It will also keep your blood sugar level steady, which prevents hard-to-control cravings later in the day. The Mexican Shredded Beef Bowl recipe that I share below has those hunger-satisfying elements.
500 Calorie Recipe Details [Mexican Shredded Beef Bowl]
Much of the fat and protein in this meal comes from shredded beef that I prepared in a crock pot. I simply trimmed the excess fat off a bottom round roast, seasoned it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and placed it in my slow cooker for eight hours. I then shredded the beef by pulling it apart with two forks.
Note that this recipe calls for one pound of meat. I made a two-pound roast, which you may want to do as well. The leftovers can be used in another meal or frozen for later. You could also make this recipe with ground beef if you don’t want to make a roast.
Low Carb Cauliflower Rice
Much of the volume of this meal comes from cauliflower. Cauliflower is a popular non-starchy vegetable with low carb and keto dieters because it is so versatile. When finely chopped, it has a similar look and consistency to white rice but has only a fraction of the carbohydrates.
Cauliflower rice is also easy to season with different spices, which can add a lot of flavor to a meal. For our 500 calorie recipe, I am using cauliflower rice seasoned with taco seasoning.
Because of cauliflower rice’s popularity, you can find it pre-riced at stores like Costco. You can also find it at most grocery stores in the frozen foods area or produce aisle.
For this recipe, I melted two tablespoons of butter in a skillet and then added one pound of frozen pre-riced cauliflower rice and ½ of a packet of taco seasoning mix and cooked it for about 7 to 10 minutes depending on whether you are using fresh or frozen rice.
Just a side note. You can make your own taco seasoning mix. For convenience, in this video, I am using a packaged mix from the grocery store. Before you buy a seasoning mix, check the nutrition label. Many people overlook the fact that spices come from plants and all plants contain carbs.
In most of your cooking, you are not adding a lot of spices. However, store-bought seasoning packets contain many spices and possibly fillers, so you’ll need to pay attention to that if you are on a low carb or keto diet.
Spicy Low Carb Sauce
A nice thing about this recipe is that you can make all of the parts the day before and then assemble the meal when you are ready to eat. For instance, if your modified fasting day is Monday, you can make the beef and cauliflower rice on Sunday and store them in your refrigerator. You can also make the Spicy Low Carb Sauce the day before.
Homemade sauces put you in control of the ingredients and are simple to prepare. For this sauce, I combined ¼ cup of mayonnaise, one teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of chili powder, and a ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard in a small bowl and blended them together.
This meal is already taking shape. If we look at a serving, we see that we already have a hearty meal with fat and protein to control hunger. Yet, these three elements –beef, rice, and sauce – only add up to 350 calories. So we have 150 more calories to add, allowing us to add more hunger-satisfying and flavorful toppings.
For toppings, I chopped up a small bell pepper and onion as well as a medium poblano pepper, which provides a bit of heat. If you like a bit more heat, you can add a hot sauce, like sriracha.
I also added to the meal’s fat content by including half of an avocado and a cup of shredded cheese. I used a mix of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese.
500 Calorie Alternate Day Meal Macros
Together, this meal has just about 500 calories, 36 grams of fat, 35 grams of protein, and less than 13 grams of carbs. This macronutrient breakdown is going to keep your blood sugar level steady, making it easier to continue through your fasting period.
Mexican Shredded Beef Bowl [Crock Pot]
courtesy of Dr. Becky Fitness
- 1 pound Bottom Round Roast substitute rump roast or chuck roast or use ground beef
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice
- 1 pound Riced Cauliflower fresh or frozen; substitute cauliflower florets that have been finely chopped in a food processor
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 packet (1/2 packet = 18g; about 6 tsp.) Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1/4 cup Full-Fat Mayo preferably made with avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 medium Poblano Pepper chopped
- 1 small Bell Pepper chopped; use red or any color pepper
- 1 small Onion chopped
- 1/2 medium Avocado chopped
- 1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar Cheese If you cannot find this cheese blend, use a 1/2 cup of each cheese
Prepare the Beef Roast
- (Note that you will be using 1 pound of beef for this recipe. You can buy a larger roast and freeze the extra meat or use it for another meal.)
- Trim the excess fat off of the beef roast. Season it with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place the roast in a crock pot. Cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for about 4 hours.
- When the roast is fully cooked, remove it from the crock pot and allow it to rest on a cutting board for a few minutes. To shred the beef, use two forks to pull the meat apart.
Prepare the Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice
- Place a medium-sized skillet on the stove on medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt before adding the cauliflower rice. Cook the rice until slightly tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the seasoning mix and continue to cook on low heat until the rice is tender, about 2 to 5 more minutes depending on your desired tenderness. Add a tablespoon or two of water if too dry.
Prepare the Sauce
- Place all of the sauce ingredients (i.e., mayo, chili powder, lemon juice, and mustard) in a small bowl and stir to blend.
Assemble the Beef Bowl
- Place one-fourth of the cooked rice in a bowl. Top it with one-fourth of the shredded beef, and one-fourth of the toppings (i.e., poblano pepper, bell pepper, onion, avocado, cheese, and sauce).