Low Calorie Sweet and Sour Chicken For the 5-2 Diet

Sweet and Sour Chicken the Low Calorie 5-2 Diet Way:

A little while ago I was sent a sample of Truvia, a natural sweetener that is almost zero calorie.  The idea was supposed to be that I could cook with it, but when I checked, I found I’d been sent small sachets, the sort you might add to tea or coffee.  Since I don’t have either, the Truvia has been sitting in the cupboard for a while, but, on my last 5-2 diet fast day I had a craving for sweet and sour chicken.  A perfect opportunity to experiment with a low calorie sweetener, because all 5:2 diet recipes need to be very low in calories and just the addition of a teaspoon of sugar can push you over the 500 calorie allowance that a woman has following the 5:2 diet.

5-2 diet sweet and sour chicken with Shirataki noodle stirfry copy

My mother’s old recipe, probably the one you use yourself if you make this at home, involved tomato ketchup, sugar and a tin of pineapple, none of which would have worked particularly well at keeping the calories low so that the dish was suitable for the 5-2 diet or for that matter any other low calorie diet.  So, my adapted version uses fresh tomato, Truvia and no pineapple though if I’d had some around I might have added a little fresh pineapple.

5-2 Diet Low Calorie Sweet and Sour Chicken

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Region Chinese


  • 150g Skinless chicken breast (chopped into 1cm cubes)
  • 1/2 Red chilli (De seeded and sliced)
  • 2 Tomatoes (skinned and chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons Light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons White wine vinegar (or rice vinegar if you have it)
  • 1 piece Ginger ((about 2cm) peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 clove Garlic (Peeled and finely chopped)
  • 100g Shirataki noodles
  • 50g Pak Choi (white part only, chopped)
  • 50g Carrot (chopped into 2 cm strips)
  • 2 Spring onions (chopped into 2cm strops)
  • 30g Red Pepper (sliced into 2 cm strips)
  • 1 teaspoon Light low cal soy
  • 6 shots 1 cal oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon Sweetener of your choice (I used truvia, but you may prefer to add honey or sugar. Adjust the calories as appropriate)


Step 1 Spray a small pan with oil and gently soften the ginger, garlic and chili for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time
Step 2 Add in the chopped tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of soy, 2 teaspoons of vinegar
Step 3 Cook for 3-4 minutes till you have a thick sauce.
Step 4 Now taste and add sweetner to your own preference. I found I needed 1 sachet of truvia (about a teaspoon of sugar) but you may find you a little more.
Step 5 Spray a wok with 1 cal and brown the chicken on all sides before adding it to the sweet and sour sauce and cooking gently for 8-10 minutes.
Step 6 about 3 minutes before you want to eat stir fry the remaining vegetables, adding soy and water as necessary and then add the pre-rinsed shirataki noodles.
Step 7 Place the vegetable stirfry on a plate then add the chicken sweet and sour on top.

The result is a dish that is considerably lighter than a conventional sweet and sour, but still with that sweet and sour tang. I really couldn’t tell that I’d used sweetener instead of sugar – I’ve cooked with sweeteners before when I was looking after my mother who was diabetic and while I am still in two minds about the potential pitfalls, I don’t think it hurts to do so occassionally.   I made a noodle and vegetable stirfry to go with the chicken – if I’d had the spare calories, I might have cooked some rice and the vegetables would have been added into the sweet and sour mix instead, but shirataki noodles, while filling, really do need to be cooked with something.  This makes a substantial plate of food which should feed even the hungriest person on a 5-2 diet fast day and is under 300 calories for a portion.  It is also a low fat recipe.

.sweet and sour chicken with shirataki noodles


I particularly enjoy the asian flavouring and ginger is a great appetite suppressant while both chili and ginger are supposed to be thermogenic and will help increase your metabolism.  You can adjust the amount of chili to taste.  If you don’t particularly enjoy spicy foods, then by all means leave it out completely or add chili sauce to taste at the end.  You can also use different vegetables.  Green peppers, celery, mushroom and bamboo shoots would all be good in here.

I hope the 5-2 diet is working well for you.  I’m persevering, although some weeks I think I simply eat too much food on feast days (three meals out in a row doesn’t really help if you  are trying to lose weight.  But I do always feel better the day after a 5-2 diet fast day and even if I don’t lose weight every week I suspect it is stopping me from becoming a balloon!

If you want to find out more about the 5-2 diet, do check out my 5-2 diet tips and consider buying Michael Mosley’s book on the subject after you’ve read my review about The Fast Diet .


Link up your recipe of the week
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. says

    I know what you mean about eating too much on the feast days – after an initial period of weight loss, now I think the fast days are just damage limitation! I’m not consciously binging but eating out is so difficult, even when you have 2,000 calories to play with.

  2. says

    I’m of 2 minds when it comes to sweeteners as well. I find most of them taste like chemicals and can ruin the taste of whatever you’re eating. Will have to give Truvia a try, thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Erika Holt says

    I have been trying to find a S&S recipe that I could easily adapt to Gluten Free. I think i shall have to try yours, it looks delicious!

  4. Sarah Ballantyne says

    Great recipe – it looks really colourful and fresh. I’m not on the 5-2 diet but this would be a fab low cal lunch – I’m going to give it a go.

  5. annala2001 says

    i’m just restarting the 5:2 diet with a little more resolve having given up on it last year. I have given up refined sugar due to having had M.E. and thought my days of sweet and sour were over – i never even thought of putting stevia in it! i’m looking forward to trying this out very soon. Thanks for the recipe :)

    • says

      I think/hope stevia is one of the *good* sugars. It works quite well in this type of dish, I have heard people say it has a slightly bitter taste, but in an essentially savoury dish it doesn’t notice and DOES cut the calories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *